Showing posts from August, 2007

Chinese in Korea

Several thousand Chinese lived in SouthKorea by the end of Japanese rule in 1945. Chinese ran businesses in Incheon and in the heart of Seoul but in the 1960s and 1970s, under the military rule of Park Chung Hee, South Korea carried out policies designed to curb Chinese business activities and restrict land ownership. Chinese emigrated to Taiwan or the United States and the few hundreds remaining were effectively restricted to running Chinese restaurants.
Whither will they run?

Chinese Names

Chinese Names

All countries in Eastern Asia followed the Chinese name system. Today, there are over 700 different Chinese family names but only about twenty cover a majority of the Chinese people. Traditionally, a Chinese name is written with the family name (surname or last name) first and the given name next. One of the two characters in the personal name may be shared by all members of a generation and these are generational names which have been worked out long in advance, historically in a poem listing the names. Chinese names have come along way and have evolved in various ways in different countries. Some Chinese people who emigrate to, or do business with, Western countries may adopt a Western name. In Vietnam, ethnic Chinese romanize their names in Vietnamese pronunciation using quoc ngu, making them almost indistinguishable from Vietnamese names and in Taiwan, among the Taiwanese PresbyterianChristians, there is even the family name (chieh, or jie in Pingying) interest as an …


In Indonesia, Chinese New Year is known as Imlek. The celebration has been banned for nearly 30 years since 1967 following the breaking of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and China until recently when it is recognized as a national festival. In fact, the celebration at the Jakarta fairground was attended by President Bambang Yudhoyono and was broadcast live on television.

Chang Heng

Zhang Heng was an astronomer, mathematician, inventor, artist, poet and literary scholar of the Eastern Han Dynasty in ancient China. He explained eclipses, provided the best star map, proposed the square root of 10 for π and invented the odometer and the first seismograph for which he was most famous in the west. He was already an accomplished writer at twelve and had published several well recognized literary writings.

Chinese Clogs

Chinese clogs are still as popular today though not in a glamorous way. Chinese and non-Chinese alike in Asian countries find them useful especially when working in the wet kitchen. They are both comfortable and practical, keeping the feet from getting wet and the wearer from slipping. In the past, a pair of beautifully painted clog would usually be part of the dowry that accompany a new bride to her new home.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year, Spring Festival or Lunar New Year if you prefer to call it so, is the first day of the lunar calendar. It is said that Chinese started to celebrate Chinese New Year from about 2000 BC. Prior to the big day, Chinese clean and decorate the house and traditionally, decorations are highly symbolic with lots of lucky words and the lucky colour, red. They also prepare lots of food and shop for new clothes. Everyone will get a haircut to look new and fresh for the auspicious day. On Chinese New Year Eve, Everyone in the family makes a point to gather for dinner. As soon as the new year arrives, they set off firecrackers to get rid of the old and welcome the new. Some people will continue to play firecrackers occasionally throughout the fifteen day celebrations. Parents, grand parents, relatives, and even close neighbors and friends hand out red packets to the younger generation during Chinese New Year. These red packets are called Ang Pow, literally, meaning, “Red Packets” …