Showing posts from November, 2007

Shih Huang Di

I have heard of this man since I don't know when. The history book mentioned him. Television series and movies about him are so ever popular and just the other day, I saw and watched him again in YouTube. Shi Huangdi, the founder of the Chin dynasty and the man who united all China, had often been denounced as a tyrant who ordered the burning of books so as to impose his own beliefs on the population. In an account that explains his action and perhaps paints a kinder picture of him, a scholar by the name Shun-yu Yueh had been said to have advised him that he should take lessons from the past. When he sought the opinions of his ministers, the premier Li Sze had said, “Your Majesty had laid the foundations of imperial beyond what a stupid scholar can understand. The scholars do not learn the present but study antiquity. They condemn the present and lead the masses astray and to disorder. I pray that all records be burned excepting those of Ch’in. Let all those who dare to speak be…


Not too long ago, Myammar rocked the world with news and images of pro-democracy protests and bloody crackdown of saffron-robed monks in what was dubbed the saffron revolution. In a blog that I went to, I read that at least 400 saffron-robed monks, walking in rows of two and three and cheered on by thousands were locked out of Yangon's Shwedagon Pagoda. Talking about being locked out, there are Chinese there that are locked out of the world. Besides immigrant Chinese, Mymmar has its own indigenous Chinese minority. Kokangese are Chinese, living in Kokang on the Burmese side of the border with China. Kokang was a part of China for centuries. It was in fact the only BurmeseChinesefeudal state inMyanmar founded by the Yang dynasty, a Chinese military house that fled with the Ming Dynasty to Yunnan Province in the mid-1600s and later migrated to the Shan States in eastern Burma. The Anglo-Chinese Treaty of 1897 had incorporated it into part of British Burma.Hence, I said, locked out!�…

A Dance by the Mute and Deaf -Thousand Hand Guan Yin

The first time I saw this performance by some talented mute and deaf dancers from China was when Swee Lim forwarded a video clip to me through hotmail. Since then, I had caught a whole presentation in a DVD, complete with commentary. The troupe I understand was the vision of one great man who was inspired by Guan Yin, the Bodhisattva. If you are still wondering how the dancers can dance to the music when they are deaf, well, there are four other normal able-bodied teachers at the side of the stage, giving them visual instructions.

An Oversea Chinese Dilemma

Back to the days when I was in high school, there was this star student, a brilliant Chinese boy who was the son of a school principal. The boy had just got his examination results and when he was asked for his performance in his English paper, he blushed. He was so embarrassed that he did not get a distinction but really, he did not do that badly. He got a B and he was just embarrassed because he had spoken English his entire life, with both his family and friends alike and thus, had expected more. There is no doubt that languages play an important role in our lives. A human being learns to speak his native language and this native language accordingly gives him his identity. Oversea Chinese sometimes faces problems with languages. Besides having to grapple with the problem of mastering their own mother tongue, there are the national language and the International Language to think of. In the process of living in such a complex society, some oversea Chinese like the brilliant boy …

Green Post - Harmful Chemicals In Plastics

I wonder who the genius who invented the tiffin carrier was. Tiffin carriers used to be popular among the Chinese for carrying food. You can put plain white rice on a compartment, meat on another or soup too and carry them together like a bag without worrying that they get mixed. These days however, people prefer to use plastic or polystyrene containers to carry food. These are amazingly convenient. For one thing, they are light and you don’t have to wash them. You just throw them away but remember these though. Plastics especially are non-biodegradable. PCBs or polychlorinated biphenyls, the harmful chemicals in them are also released when you dump or burn plastics. These chemicals spread into the environment quickly but break down slowly and have been detected in the remotest lands and have even been found inside polar bears. So, beware the next time you use plastics. Don’t let the harmful chemicals get into you!

Journey To The West

Scenes from an old Shaw movie, Journey to the West

A TVB production starring Dicky Cheung as Monkey King

Monkey King as he appears in a Peking Opera

Monkey King - A 3D Animation thesis project byddnchen2

Literature - Journey to the West

Today, I logged in to Fossforus's blog just to say thanks for helping me with a meme which I had posted in Beautiful World. There is a little monkey king there that reminded me of the famous Monkey King or more popularly known as Sung Wu Kung to Chinese children, from Journey to the West(Traditional Chinese: 西遊記)which is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. Originally published anonymously in the 1590s during the Ming Dynasty, the authorship has been ascribed to the scholar Wú Chéng'ēn since the 20th century. Thestory is supposed to be a pseudo-historical account of a monk (Xuanzang) who went to India in the 7th century to seek Buddhist scriptures to bring back to China. In real life, Xuanzang (born c. 602 - 664) was a monk at Jingtu Temple in late-Sui Dynasty and early-Tang DynastyChang'an and he had left for India because of the poor quality of Chinese translations of Buddhist scripture at the time . In the novel, Xuanzang was assisted by his…

Chinese in Africa

Chinese in South Africa performing a dragon dance

The first time I heard that there are Chinese in Africa was when I watched a Hong Kong produced television program featuring Chinese from all over the world. I think it must be in an island, east of Africa, Magadascar perhaps, where an elderly Chinese man was featured living with his Negro wife. The man was from Canton, Southern China and he had a daughter who looked every bit a Negro. His daughter could not speak Chinese but managed to utter a line of Cantonese, saying I am a Chinese from Canton for the program and I did find that funny. I believe there are not many Chinese there in Africa. I have seen a Chinese Restaurant in Cairo and had in fact dined in one run by a Shanghainese woman. The fact that there are few Chinese there perhaps explained why Chinese in South Africa has been categorized as mixed, other or together with the Indian population in 1865. When the numbers are small, they get very little attention.

Feng Shui

Liudmila wrote about Feng Shui in her post Feng Shui in Sochi. Until then, I have not heard of Sochi which is actually a Russian resort city in Krasnodar Krai just north of the southern Russian border and I understand it is bidding to host the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Feng Shui, (風水) often pronounced in English as [fʊŋ'ʃweɪ] (fung shway), literally translated as wind-water, was known as Kan-Yu which means The Law of Heaven and Earth. It is actually the ancient Chinese practice of placement and arrangement of space to achieve harmony with the environment. Early feng shui relied on astronomy to find correlations between humans and the universe and today it is known that space, weather, astronomy and geomagnetism form the basic component of the discipline. Some people believe that feng shui has an effect on heallth, wealth and personal relationships and go to the extent of consulting a geomancer for advice. I believe the Rudus Svetlana whom Liudmila wrote about who i…

Lin Yu Tang

My first brush with Lin Yu Tang must be through his internationally renowned book The Art of Living. The book in which he alsoexpounded the joy of the simple life like taking walks, drinking tea, and having long talks with friends,reminding us all to enjoy life that’s all around us withoutneedless worry captured my heart and since then the author has been one of my favorite and the book too. Lin Yu Tang's original name is Lin Hele. I suppose, Hele here must be a Christian name, Henry since Lin Yu Tang is not only the son of a Chinese Presbyterian minister but he was also originally a very devoted Christian. The inventor of the Chinese typewriter was educated for the ministry but he had later renounced Christianity, the reason for which could be found in his The Art of Living.A prolific writer in both Chinese and English, Lin Yu Tang was a frequent nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature. He wa very active in popularizing classical Chinese literature and the general Chinese attit…

Green Snake - An updated version of Madam White Snake

Green Snake is a remake of Madam White Snake and is a lavish film by Tsui Hark, starring Margaret Cheung and Joey Wong.

Lin Dai

I remember browsing through Chinese movie magazines as a child. Dad, an avid Chinese movie fan, must have bought those bilingual magazines that publicize Shaw movies. In one of the magazines, I remember seeing for the first time, Lin Dai, the Movie Queen from Hong Kong as she appeared in Madam White Snakewhich happened to be one of my favorite Chinese movies of all time. Of course, I didn’t get to see the movie until years later when I was older and the movie was played as a rerun in the then popular Capitol theatre in Taiping. I have seen clips of the funeral of the movie queen in the same theatre when Lin Dai’s last movie, Blue and Black, a two parter was screened back to back. There was always a big crowd in theatres then.
Lin Dai was the unforgettable Movie Queen of Hong Kong. A four time winner, Lin Dai was first crowned the Movie Queen at the fourth Asian Film Festival for her outstanding performance in Golden Lotus in 1957 and then for Diau Charn in 1958. Later, she won the Bes…

Green Post - House Plants Clean The Air!

House plants remove pollutants! Chrysanthemums, for instance, which is prized by the Chinese and often used as offerings to deities and in religious ceremonies, remove benzene, formaldehyde and trichlorethylene. Chinese Evergreen and other plants like English Ivy, Golden Pathos and Peace Lily all remove benzene too just as Heartleaf and Corn Plant remove formaldehyde. Start planting today and green the world!

Tai Chi Chuan

Tai Chi Chuan

Liudmila expressed in her blog her surprise and curiosity in a Chinese couple’s slow motion routines. But that was Tai chi chuan! Tai chi chuan (traditional Chinese: 太極拳; simplified Chinese: 太极拳) is an internalChinese martial art often practiced with the aim of promoting health and longevity. For Chinese all over the world, this is something common and we really take it for granted. We see it in movies and every morning in the park too when a group of usually senior citizens practise together. Tai chi chuan is considered a soft style martial art — an art applied with internal power. There are many different styles of tai chi chuan, but most modern schools can trace their development to the system originally taught by the Chen family to the Yang family. Regardless of style,medical studies support its effectiveness as an alternative exercise and a form of martial arts therapy. In my hometown Taiping, senior citizens can be found practicing Tai chi Chuan very early in the morning in the …

Wang Lee Hom - Heroes of Earth

Wang Lee Hom

Four time Golden Melody Award-winning American singer-songwriter and actor , Wang Lee Hom, achieved highly recognized success in Taian, Mainland China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Thailand andthe rest of Southeast Asia. He introduced "chinked-out" music, a genre heavily influenced by traditional Chinese music. Although he did not begin learning Chinese until he was 18, Wang is now fluent in Chinese in both speaking and writing and has written many Chinese lyrics for his songs. He plays over 10 musical instruments and these include piano, drums, guitar, bass, violin, vibraphone, erhu and zun. While in Kuala Lumpur to promte his 12th album, Gai Bian Zhi Zi (Change Me), Wang Lee Hom had said that he wanted to spread the message of conserving the environment especially to youngsters through his latest album.

Wang Lee-Hom Wang had attended Jefferson Road Elementary School, Pittsford Middle School, then later Pittsford Sutherland High School in the town of Pittsford, USA…

Li Po

Li Po(701-706) is one of the greatest poets in China’s literary history. He loved liquor and often spouted his greatest poems while drunk. Li Po fell from his boat and drowned in the Yangtze River while trying to embrace the reflection of the moon in the water.

Friday Feast - Pig Throttle

Chinese cuisine (Chinese:中國菜) originated from different regions of China and has become widespread in many other parts of the world. There are regional cultural differences amongst the different regions of China and this has given rise to the different styles of food such as Anhui, Cantonese, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Szechuan, and Zhejiang cuisine. Chinese generally love to eat. There is a saying among the Chinese that anything with its back faces the sun could be eaten. That means human beings are out but snakes, monitor lizards even bears and tigers should be on the menu, that is if there are so many bears and tigers to go around!Anyway, since Chinese love to eat and could easily accept any dish, Chinese or otherwise, over here, I would love to invite bloggers to participate in a meme - Friday dish. Do post in your blog a photo of any dish you come across, even dishes from your own kitchen table which you deem too common. Do introduce to the world the food you eat. Leave…