Insights into China's
Society & Culture
The Culture of Face
Don't call me Laowai (foreigner): Elyse's American dream in China
It's been 8 years Elyse Ribbons lives in Beijing. Elyse came to China unexpectedly and fell in love with Beijing, so decided to come here after her graduation. "There is a really good Chinese word yuan fen, that explains how I ended up in China.
Love Relay Concert - VIDEO
2010 Music Radio's "Kappa 1200: Love Relay Concert" was held in Beijing Yuetan Stadium Monday night. The event was organized by the Music Radio of Central People's Radio and the China Children and Teenagers Foundation, and cosponsored by Kappa. All profits from the event will be donated to the China Children and Teenagers' Foundation and will be used to support three years' worth of living expenses for impoverished children.
Last night, Fish Leong, Yoga Lin, Hebe, Zhang Jie, Bibi, Shang Wenjie, Yu Quan, Li Xiaoyun, Su Xing, Li Yifeng, Olivia, and Jiang Yuheng performed for the audience.
The 2010 Music Radio "Kappa 1200: Activity to Assist the Impoverished Students" has been going on for four months. Participants have experienced two in-depth face to face visits, three "smile collections," two golf tournaments, six road shows of love in different cities, and today they have finally come to the 2010 Love Relay Concert. The whole process has attracted the strong support of all walks of life. Everyone passed on his own love, and infected other peoples.
Post-80s in China-E06 - VIDEO
E06:"I'm ma ma"
Post-80s is a special word in China, which refers to people born in the 1980s.
Old Problems Resurface With China’s Rising Food Prices
The British writer Bruce Chatwin, in his 1989 book “What Am I Doing Here,” ascribed the power of Chinese emperors to nothing more than the authority over agriculture.
“Imperial decrees,” Chatwin wrote, “used to begin ‘The World is based on Agriculture.’”
It’s been more than 20 years since Chatwin wrote and a millennium since the era he evoked.But in China, even the most massive changes in income levels can’t mask the same fault lines that pervade the task of governing this old, big country.
Little room for bikes in traffic plan, critics say
BEIJING - The municipal government's call for people to swap steering wheels for handlebars has appeared halfhearted to many.
The Beijing government issued a package of detailed rules on Thursday to address its traffic gridlock, including measures to improve infrastructure for cyclists, pedestrians and public transport.
The Ultimate "Last Nail" of Beijing
Clenched in resistance to the demolition of their homes, Zhang Changfu and his younger brother have held on to a group of drooping houses in the center of Beijing. Surrounded by high-rise buildings in Chaoyang District, the homes are known in China as a "last nail" household. In 2003, Zhang refused a demolition compensation agreement with UHN International Village, an apartment developer. The developer offered 450,000 yuan to each of Zhang's brothers for their home. Over the past seven years, Zhang's actions have attracted much media attention. Some netizens have nicknamed him as the ultimate "last nail" of Beijing. Zhang said he and his family are willing to move away, but only if they reach fair compensation from the real estate developer, which he has said would be around 6 million yuan for the 150 square meter plot.
Traditional medicine prices are elixir for sellers
Trader hoarding, supply shortages drive up prices, increasing profits
BOZHOU, Anhui - The year 2010 has seen enormous fluctuations in the price of traditional Chinese herbal medicines, price changes that have put pressure on people who need them for their health, but have benefited traders in the time-honored remedies.
Boom Times for Opera in China
BEIJING — On the frosty first Saturday of December, crowds packed the opera house of the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing to see “Xi Shi,” an original NCPA production (composed by Lei Lei with libretto by Zou Jingzhi) that tells the tragic tale of the eponymous beauty from ancient China.
Tea culture comes to live at Wuyutai - VIDEO
Wuyutai is a name known to almost every tea lover in Beijing. First established in 1887, Wuyutai enjoys fame as one of the Time-Honored Brands of China, and is well-known for its high-quality tea products and hospitable service.
The history of the teahouse is encapsulated in its name. Wu Xiqing, its founder, came from Anhui province to open a tea store in Beijing during the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Wu named the shop Yutai, which was later updated to include his family name.
Wuyutai is most famous for its secret jasmine tea recipe - a sought-after mixture of green tea and jasmine that rings the right note for tea lovers. And it is in the process of applying to make jasmine tea part of Beijing's intangible cultural heritage.
After over a century's development, Wuyutai Tea House, which was renamed Beijing Wuyutai Tea Co in 2005, has more than 190 chain stores, two tea houses and two stylish tea cuisine restaurants.
For over 120 years, Wuyutai has been holding up its traditional tea producing methods and has won high reputation and credibility among generations of tea lovers.
People in Beijing like to go to tea houses. In olden days, they used to be the center of social activity. Nowadays, tea houses are still considered an ideal venue for socializing. The preparation of tea is an important part of the Chinese tea culture. Different kinds of tea require different methods of preparation. Offering tea is considered a sign of respect, courtesy and gratitude.
Along with Wuyutai's renowned traditional tea products, the company has developed various new products to expand its market share; namely, tea-flavored moon cakes, ice cream, candy and cuisines.
At the end of 2006, Wuyutai recovered an old tea cuisine recipe that belonged to Wu Xiqing, who was also a gourmet cook and was keen on introducing tea elements to traditional Chinese cuisines.
At the Refreshments and Cuisine of Wuyutai Court (Wuyutai Nei Fu Dishes), you can not only enjoy tea beverages, but also taste tea-related cuisines. Wuyutai advocates a healthy and natural way of eating. The dishes on its menu are mouthwatering and creative.
For instance, Puer Tea with Natural Fried Chrysanthemum is cooked so delicately from fresh chrysanthemum flowers without losing the natural shape or color of the flower. And the Puer tea on the side neutralizes the flower's coolness with its warmth.
Fresh Shrimps with Biluo Tea is quite fun to eat. The teapot alongside the shrimp is an automatic dark-red enamel pot, which pours tea automatically as soon as a cup is placed on the base.
And the "brushes" on this pallet are not made for Chinese calligraphy but for your stomach. This snack is made of wheat flour mixed with cubilose, shark's fin, snow clam and papaya. The ink-like stuff on the inkstone is actually blueberry sauce. You can also choose chili sauce if you prefer.
And one appetizer is made from French goose liver and green tea pudding. There's a piece of Kuding tea leaf on each cube of pudding. The appetizer combines the bitterness of Kuding tea with the scent of green tea, as well as the creamy texture of goose liver.
Eating at the Wuyutai theme restaurant is more than just a tea banquet. While you are dinning here, you can also feel the traditional Chinese tea culture and see how it was rejuvenated under Wuyutai's business philosophy.
The man who was Mao's hero
The Bruce Lee legend never fades but it might surprise some to learn that among his legion of fans was Chairman Mao, who called him a hero.
Chairman Mao Zedong (1893-1976) and Bruce Lee the martial arts legend (1940-1973) both declared - in their unique ways - that the Chinese people had "stood up".
Mao made this proclamation on the founding of the People's Republic of China, on Oct 1, 1949, Lee said it in a cinematic way that needed no translation when he kicked and smashed a wooden panel bearing the words: "Chinese and dogs not allowed", one of the iconic scenes steeped in fiery nationalism from Fist of Fury.
The words are supposedly from notices at the entrance of public parks in colonial Shanghai, and have come to symbolize the country's humiliation.
It turns out the Great Helmsman was a huge fan of the kungfu legend.
Netizens find a word to sum up frustration
BEIJING - The Chinese character "涨" (zhang), which is used to describe a rapid price rise, has been voted "Character of the Year" in an online poll in a move that suggests the public is becoming increasingly dissatisfied with inflation and soaring house prices.
Report: China May Be Shifting on Land Use
From redistribution to radical collectivization and back again, massive changes in land use policy have been part and parcel of Chinese politics for the better part of a century. In recent decades, however, the government has been remarkably consistent, holding tight to a land-use policy built around the goal of agricultural self-sufficiency and mandating that any arable land given over to the country’s growing cities be replaced with reclaimed farmland elsewhere.
Liquor prices soar on high year-end demand
SHANGHAI/BEIJING - As the Chinese New Year draws near, the demand for high-end Chinese liquor is soaring.
Well-known brands, including Kweichow Moutai and Wuliangye, have started raising liquor prices, but analysts said frequent surges will fuel market speculation.
According to Yao the reason that the current retail price of a standard bottle of Moutai has exceeded more than 800 yuan - the maximum price Kweichou Moutai allows its retailers to charge - is a reflection of the laws of supply and demand.
Yao said the current price rise is no different from previous years, "the pre-New Year period is usually a peak season for liquor sales", he explained. Wuliangye Group Co Ltd also denied similar reports.
A world of beauty and care, depicted by outreached hands, is highlighted during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Asian Para Games at the Aoti Main Stadium in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, on Sunday night.
China’s Army of Graduates Struggles for Jobs
Villagers who will work in China’s factories are in demand, but many college graduates seeking professional jobs find their value plunging.
Puppet Masters Try to Bring Art Out of the Shadows
THE Cui Yongping Shadow Play Art Museum exhibits shadow puppets. Which is like saying the Louvre exhibits paintings.
The Final Conflict
A Stanford historian views the clash between East and West from a long perspective, and argues that we face an immediate choice — East-West cooperation or catastrophe.
Under a Fishbone Clouds
In Sam Meekings’s fable-like first novel, a couple’s devotion is tested during Mao’s Cultural Revolution and beyond.
China, 1946: the Japanese occupation is over, and the people of Fushun are wondering when prosperity will return. But 16-year-old Yuying is anticipating the answer to her own big question — what her new husband will be like.
The Chinese Dream: The Rise of the World's Largest Middle Class and What It Means to You by Helen Wang
Reviewed by Benjamin A Shobert
The author argues that the mainland's rising middle class is essential to the economic health of both China and the United States, as well as to China's future political liberalization. Underneath all this, her book also strikes a poignant note about America's lost optimism.
Home alone, China's elderly need better care and support
SHANGHAI - Wang Yuchan, 54, is not always perfectly happy, even though her peers would envy her life.
With a good pension, the retired woman leads a comparatively good life in North China's Tianjin municipality. Her husband works at a State-owned company, and their only son, who is in his 30s, has a decent job in the southern manufacturing hub of Shenzhen.
But Wang worries about her future.
"My husband and I are getting older and older, and I know that one day we won't be able to get around. I don't know what our lives will be like then," she said.
"We live a good life with a stable income now. But I don't know what will happen when my husband retires. Our only son is very busy. He only comes back during the Spring Festival holiday."
Wang's concerns are well founded. Recently a series of incidents in Nanchang, the capital of East China's Jiangxi province, in which old people died unnoticed in their homes, highlighted the plight of elderly people who live alone.
The naked truth about nude art
Xiao Yu (not her real name) smiled as she flipped through her favorite photo album - a collection of nude portraits she recently posed for at a Beijing studio.
"A beautiful body deserves pride," said the 23-year-old. "I wanted to preserve the memory of youth, when the body is at its physical peak."
Although unabashed in private, perhaps the fact that Xiao Yu did not want to be quoted under her real name for fear of upsetting her family or bosses at the media organization where she works tells a different story.
A growing number of Chinese people are now choosing to go nude for posterity, particularly young women and new brides. However, the trend is not supported by everyone.
Deal Deepens Melding of Games, Film in China
Is the movie-watching world close to seeing the Chinese equivalent of a “Laura Croft: Tomb Raider”?
That possibility has taken a step forward with the announcement yesterday that Huayi Brothers Media Corporation, China’s leading film and TV production house, is joining forces with Chinese online game developer Giant Interactive Group Inc.
Giant Interactive’s multi-player online role playing game “King of Kings III,” destined for the big screen?
Home-made food from the pot
SHANGHAI - More Chinese consumers say they are growing vegetables at home in response to rising prices and food safety issues. Prices of major types of vegetables grew 10.1 percent in October from those in September alone, figures from the National Development and Reform Commission showed.
The moral degeneration of our times
Every generation is different from the previous one. But the total absence of moral values among some people born between the late 1980s and early 1990s makes them different in a sadly different way.
As young girls, we were taught to look for knowledge and integrity in a man, and marry the one who we loved. (In earlier times, women were taught to love the man they were married to, though.) Sex was always a deepening of intimacy that came only with a relationship of trust. But some girls today consider such values old-fashioned moral rhetoric.
These are different times.
VIDEO - Naked wedding photos
China Daily reports this week that naked wedding photographs are becoming popular among some young couples in Beijing and other cities. Young people are more open-minded than in previous generations, one photography studio staff member explained.
1.4m sit China's civil service exam
BEIJING - In the cold on Sunday morning, a 31-year-old woman surnamed Zhang arrived at the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology to sit a highly competitive exam for a government job at 9 a.m.
Even though her current job here in Beijing with a multinational accounting firm pays well, Zhang said the pressure was heavy and she often had to work overtime.
"The reason I'm sitting this exam is that I want to switch to a more stable and easier job," she said.
Zhang is among the more than one million Chinese who took the annual National Public Servant Exam in 46 cities across the country Sunday, hoping to gain admittance to the civil service of the central authorities.
The exam involves two written tests, one of which is in the morning and the other in the afternoon. The first features multi-choice questions concerning the Chinese language, as well as maths and logic. The second quizzes the candidates' writing skills and ideas on certain issues.
An increasing number of people have qualified to sit the exam over the past six years, from 120,000 in 2004 to more than 1.4 million this year.
Participants leave the examination site after the first section of the annual national civil service examination to select government officials in Hefei, Anhui province Dec 5, 2010. More than 1.4 million people have been accepted to sit in China's 2011 national civil service examination to select government officials. The written test was held on Sunday in major cities across China.
It isn't just private individuals who are paying out large sums for the dubious expertise of Hong Kong's feng shui masters. The city government routinely pays fortune-tellers to "cleanse" infrastructure projects, with well-connected village chiefs often sharing the spoils.
Bringing a Softer Side to Policing in China
CHENGDU, China — A district in China has supplemented its urban street police with 13 women, to give the rough-hewn police a softer, feminine side.
Beijing’s Xu to Design Mouton Rothschild Label
Salvador Dali, Joan Miró, Georges Braque — add the name of China’s Xu Lei to the list of artists who have designed a label for top-flight Bordeaux wine producer Château Mouton Rothschild.
The winemaker has selected artists to design its label every year since 1945.
Investors see gold as inflation hedge
SHANGHAI - Investors are flocking to banks and famous gold stores in the city to snap up the yellow metal as a hedge against inflation.
"Gold investment is regarded as a safe haven by wealthy investors when uncertainties exist in the domestic stock and property markets," Wang said.
School Stages stamede drill
A police officer teaches students of a primary school in Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province, how to protect themselves when a stampede happens, following the Monday school stampede in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region that injured 41 students.