Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Proverbs in Chinese and English

1.A bad thing never dies. 好人不长寿,祸害遗千年。
2.A bad workman always blames his tools.
笨工匠总是怪工具差。
3.A baited cat may grow as fierce as a lion.
人急悬梁,狗急跳墙。
4.A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
两鸟在林不如一鸟在手。
5.A bully is always a coward.
欺负弱小者永远是懦夫。
6.A burnt child dreads the fire.
一朝被蛇咬,十年怕井绳。
7.A cat has nine lives.
猫有九条命;吉人自有天相。
8.A cat may look at a king. 小人物也有些权利。
9.A clear conscience can bear any trouble.
平时不做亏心事,夜半敲门心不惊。
10.A cook is bold on his own dunghill. 狗仗人势。
11.A constant guest is never welcome.
常客难受欢迎。
12.A contented mind is a perpetual feast.
知足常乐。
13.A cracked bell can never sound well.
狗嘴里长不出象牙来。
14.A crooked stick will have a crooked shadow.
上梁不正下梁歪。
15.A deceitful peace is more hurtful than an open war. 明枪易躲,暗箭难防。
16.A door must be either shut or open.
门非关即开;二者择其一。
17.A drowning man will clutch at a straw.
溺水之人不放过一根稻草;病急乱投医。
18.A dwarf on a giant's shoulders sees the farther of the two.
巨人肩上的侏儒看得远;借重他人的经验好处多。
19.A fault confessed is half redressed.
知错能改,善莫大焉。
20.A fool and his money are soon parted.
笨人难聚财。
21.A fool's mouth is his destruction. 祸从口出。
22.A forced kindness deserves no thanks.
勉强的善行不值得感谢。
23.A fox may grow grey but never good.
江山易改,本性难移。
24.A friend in need is a friend indeed.
患难见真情。
25.A full purse never lacks friend.
有钱有酒,必有朋友。
26.A golden key opens every door. 钱能通神。
27.A good husband makes a good wife. 夫善则妻贤。
28.A good medicine tastes bitter. 良药苦口。
29.A good name is sooner lost than won.
美誉易失难得。
30.A good tale is none the worse for being told twice. 动人的故事令人百听不厌。
31.A hedge between keeps friendship green.
君子之交淡如水。
32.A honey tongue, a heart of gall.
嘴甜如蜜,心黑如漆。
33.A house divided against itself cannot stand. 不和之家难长存。
34.A Jack of all trades is master of none.
样样皆通者样样不精。
35.A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. 万丈高楼平地起。
36.A lazy youth, a lousy age.
少壮不努力,老大徒伤悲。
37.A leopard cannot change his spots.
江山易改,本性难移。
38.A liar is not believed when he tells the truth. 常说谎话的人就算是说真话也没人信。
39.A lion may come to be beholden to a mouse.
强者亦有求助于弱者的时候。
40.A little fire burns up a great deal of corn. 星星之火可以燎原。
41.A little gall spoils a great deal of honey. 一粒老鼠屎,坏了一锅粥。
42.A little leak will sink a great ship.
牵一发而动全身。
43.A little learning is a dangerous thing.
一知半解最危险。
44.A little neglect may breed great mischief.
一失足成千古恨,再回首已百年身。
45.A man apt to promise is apt to forget.
轻诺者,信必寡。
46.A man cannot spin and reel at the same time. 一心不可二用。
47.A man without a smiling face must not open a shop. 和气生财。
48.A miss is as good as a mile.
失之毫厘,谬之千里。
49.A near neighbor is better than a distant cousin. 远亲不如近邻。
50.A new broom sweeps clean. 新官上任三把火。
51.A rolling stone gathers no moss. 滚石不生苔。
52.A slow fire makes sweet malt. 慢工出细活。
53.A sound mind in a sound body.
有健全的身体,才有健全的心智。
54.A still tongue makes a wise head. 寡言为智。
55.A stitch in time saves nine.
及时行事,事半功倍。
56.A thing of beauty is a joy for ever.
美的事物是永恒的喜悦。
57.A word is enough to the wise. 聪明人一点就通。
58.A word spoken is past recalling.
一言既出,四马难追。
59.A young idler, an old beggar.
少壮不努力,老大徒伤悲。
60.A-day-old puppy doesn't know to be afraid of the tiger. 初生之犊不畏虎。
61.Able men are always busy. 能者多劳。
62.Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
小别塍新婚。
63.Accidents will happen in the best-regulated families. 家规再严也难免会出问题。
64.According to your purse govern your mouth.
量入为出。
65.Actions speak louder than words.
行动胜于空谈。
66.Advice when most needed is least heeded.
忠言逆耳。
67.After a storm comes a calm.
雨过天晴;否极泰来;苦尽甘来。
68.All are not thieves that dogs bark at.
狗所吠之人未必皆为贼;勿以貌取人。
69.All cats are grey in the dark.
所有的猫在黑暗中皆为灰色;美貌是不重要的。
70.All good things come to an end.
天下无不散的筵席。
71.All is vanity. 四大皆空。
72.All lay loads on a willing horse.
良驹负重担;马善被人骑。
73.All roads lead to Rome.
条条大路通罗马;行行出壮元。
74.All that glitters is not gold.
闪闪发光者未必都是金。
75.All the winning is in the first buying.
先下手为强。
76.All things are difficult before they are easy. 凡事必先难而后易。
77.All things are easy that are done willingly. 天下无难事,只怕有心人。
78.All things in their being are good for something. 天生我才必有用。
79.All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
只工作而不玩乐,会使人变得迟钝。
80.All's fair in love and war.
情场如战场,任何手段皆可行。
81.All's fish that comes to the net.
进网的无不是鱼;来者不拒。
82.All's well that ends well. 结局好的就算好。
83.An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.
以眼还眼,以牙还牙。
84.An old man's sayings are seldom untrue.
不听老人言,吃亏在眼前。
85.Any port is a good port in a storm.
暴风雨中,任何港口皆是好的避难所。
86.Anybody can make mistakes.
人非圣贤,熟能无过。
87.Appearances are deceptive.
外表欺人;勿以貌取人。
88.Art is long, life is short.
人生短暂,而学问无穹。
89.As well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb.
偷小羊与偷大羊同为绞刑;一不做,二不休。
90.As you brew, so you must drink. 自作自受。
As you make your bed, so you must lie on it.
自己做事,自己当。
91.As you sow, so shall you reap.
种瓜得瓜,种豆得豆。
92.Ask no questions and be told no lies.
不问问题就听不到假话;小孩有耳无嘴。
93.Avoid a questioner, for he is also a tattler. 避免与好探人隐私,搬弄是非之人在一起。
94.Bad news travels fast.
好事不出门,坏事传千里。
95.Barking dogs seldom bite. 会叫的狗不会咬人。
96.Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
情人眼里出西施。
97.Beauty is only skin deep.
美只是表面的;不可以貌取人。
98.Beggars can't be choosers.
乞丐绝无挑选的权利;有求于人者无权挑剔。
99.Best is cheapest. 最好的即是最划算的。
100.Better an egg today than a hen tomorrow.
今日一只鸡蛋胜过明日一支母鸡;把握现在。
101.Better be a fool than a knave.
宁为傻瓜,不做无赖。
102.Better be an old man's darling than a young man's slave. 宁为老头的爱人,也不愿成为小伙子的奴隶。
103.Better be sure than sorry.
宁求安全亦不做可能会陷于险境之事。
104.Better be the head of a dog than the tail of a lion. 宁为鸡首,不为牛后。
105.Better bend than break.
宁曲勿折;大丈夫能屈能伸。
106.Better late than never.
晚做总比不做好;亡羊捕牢,未为晚也。
107.Better master one than engage with ten.
学多不如学精。
108.Better one eye witness than two hearsay witnesses. 耳闻不如目见。
109.Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know. 明枪易躲,暗箭难防。
110.Better to ask the way than go astray.
问道于人总比迷失于途要强。
111.Between two stools you fall to the ground.
脚踏两条船,迟早会落水。
112.Birds in their little nests agree.
同巢之鸟相处好;家和万事兴。
113.Birds of a feather flock together. 物以类聚。
114.Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall @never be disappointed. 一无所求者无失望之虞。
115.Blood is thicker than water. 血浓于水。
116.Books and friends should be few but good.
书与朋友,贵精而不贵多。
117.Bread is the staff of life. 民以食为天。
118.Burn not your house to fright the mouse away.
莫为灭鼠而焚屋;勿小题大作。
119.Business is business. 公事公办。
120.Call a spade a spade. 称黑桃为黑桃;有话直说。
121.Care killed a cat. 烦恼能杀九命猫。
122.Cast never a clout till May is out.
五月前莫收冬衣;勿操之过急。
123.Cast not the first stone.
莫丢第一块石头;责人之前先自省。
124.Catch not at the shadow and lose the substance. 勿舍本逐末。
125.Catch your bear before you sell its skin.
卖熊皮前先捉熊;凡事宜按部就班,不要过于乐观。
126.Charity begins at home. 仁爱始于家。
127.Children should be seen and not heard.
大人说话,小孩别插嘴。
128.Christmas comes but once a year.
圣诞节一年才一次;好日子不能天天过。
130.Circumstances alter cases. 此一时,彼一时。
131.Clothes do not make the man.
衣冠楚楚者,未必就是正人君子。
132.Coming events cast their shadows before.
即来之事必有先兆。
133.Comparisons are odious. 人比人,气死人。
134.Conscience does make cowards of us all.
良心令人不敢为所欲为。
135.Constant dripping wears away the stone.
滴水可穿石。
136.Courtesy costs nothing. 礼多人不怪。
137Cross the stream where it is shallowest.
渡溪当自浅处过。
138.Custom makes all things easy.
习惯成自然;熟能生巧。
139.Custom reconciles us to everything.
习惯使人适应一切。
140.Cut your coat according to your cloth.量入为出。

141.  Dead men tell no tales. 死人不会泄秘。
142.  Death is the great leveler. 死亡使一切平等。
143.  Deeds, not words. 行动胜于空谈。
144.  Desert and reward seldom keep company.
功与赏绝少结伴而行;赏罚不明乃司空见惯。
145.  Desires are nourished by delays.
渴望越久的就越希望得到。
146.  Desperate diseases must have desperate remedies. 绝症须用烈药医。、
147.  Diamond cuts diamond. 势均力敌。
148.  Discontent is the first step in progress.
不满意是进步的开端。
149.  Discretion is the better part of valour.
勇敢贵乎审慎。
150.  Distance lends enchantment to the view.
距离让景色增添魅力。
151.  Do as I say, not as I do.
照我所说的做,别照我所做的来做。
152.  Do as most men do, then most men will speak well of you. 随俗而行,众人称颂。
153.  Do as you would be done by. 己所欲施于人。
154.  Do in Rome as the Romans do. 入乡随俗。
155.  Do not cast your pearls before swine.
莫把珍珠丢猪前;莫对牛弹琴。
156.  Do not halloo till you are out of the wood.
未真正脱离险境前,勿作脱险之庆。
157.  Do not kick against the pricks.
勿踢刺棍;勿以卵击石。
158.  Do not put new wine into old bottles.
莫用旧瓶装新酒。
159.  Do not wear out your welcome.
作客不久留;不要使人厌倦对你的欢迎。
160.  Dog does not eat dog. 同类不相残。
161.  Don't change horses in mid-stream.
河中勿换骑;临阵换将非上策。
162.  Don't count your chickens before they are hatched. 小鸡未孵出前,数也没用;别打如意算盘。
163.  Don't cross a bridge till you come to it.
勿杞人忧天;船到桥头自然直。
164.  Don't cry before you are hurt.
受伤前先别哭;祸未临头,别先屈服。
165.  Don't cry stinking fish.
不要叫卖臭鱼;别拆自己的台;不要自贬身价。
166.  Don't cut off your nose to spite your face.
不要因意气用事而伤害自己。
167.  Don't cut the bough you are standing on.
勿轻举妄动,自断生路。
168.  Don't empty the baby out with the bath water.
做事勿掉以轻心,把婴儿与洗澡水一起给倒了。
169.  Don't have too many irons in the fire.
勿操之过急。
170.  Don't make a mountain out of a molehill.
勿小题大作。
171.  Don't make a rod for your own back. 勿自讨苦吃。
172.  Don't make yourself a mouse, or the cat will eat you. 勿自贬身价;自辱者,人皆辱之。
173.  Don't meet trouble half-way. 别自找麻烦。
174.  Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
不要把蛋全放在一个篮子里;勿孤注一掷。
175.  Don't put the cart before the horse.
勿本末倒置。
176.  Don't quarrel with your bread and butter.
别跟自己的饭碗过不去。
177.  Don't ride the high horse.
不要摆臭架子;莫趾高气扬。
178.  Don't speak ill of others behind their backs.
不要在背后说人坏话。
179.  Don't take your harp to the party.
别旧调重弹;别对一事喋喋不休。
180.  Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs.
勿班门弄斧。
181.  Don't tell tales out of school.
莫搬弄是非,揭人隐私。
182.  Don't wash your dirty linen in public.
家丑不可外扬。
183.  Dying is as natural as living.
生死由命,富贵在天。
184.  Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. 早睡早起使人健康,富裕与聪明。
185.  Easier said than done. 说比做容易。
186.  East or west, home is best.
金窝银窝,不如自己的狗窝。
187.  Easy come, easy go. 来得容易去得快。
188.  Empty vessels make the most sound.
满瓶不会响,半瓶响叮当。
189.  Enough is as good as a feast.
知所节制,适可而止。
190.  Even a worm will turn. 人急悬梁,狗急跳墙。
191.  Even Homer sometimes nods. 智者千虑,必有一失。
192.  Every ass likes to hear himself bray.
马不知脸长,蠢人总是自鸣得意。
193.  Every bullet has its billet.
生死有命,富贵在天。
194.  Every cloud has a silver lining.
黑暗中总有一线光明。
195.  Every cock crows on his own dunghill.
公鸡总在自己草堆上称雄;在家一条龙,出外一条虫。
196.  Every dog has his day. 任何人都有风光的时候。
197.  Every family has a skeleton in the cupboard.
家家有本难念的经。
198.  Every flow must have its ebb.
潮水有涨有退;人生变幻无常。
199.  Every horse thinks its own pack heaviest.
人皆自认工作负担最重。
200.  Every law has a loophole. 每种法律皆有漏洞。
201.  Everything comes to him who waits.
耐心等待之人,必能如愿以偿。
202.  Everything must have a beginning. 凡事必有开端。
203.  Evil be to him who evil thinks.
存恶念者必遭恶报。
204.  Example is better than precept. 身教重于言教。
205.  Exchange is no robbery. 不公的交换并不算抢劫。
206.  Expectation is better than realization.
期待总比现实美。
207.  Experience is the mother of wisdom.
经验为智慧之母。
208.  Experience is the teacher of fools.
愚人自经验中获取教训。
209.  Extremes meet. 相对的事情通常是可互通的。
210.  Faint heart never won fair lady.
懦夫难得美人心。

Monday, August 8, 2011

Chinese Dumplings

China has been perfecting the art of dumpling making since the Sung dynasty. Chinese dumplings may be round or crescent-shaped, boiled or pan-fried. The filling may be sweet or savory; vegetarian or filled with meat and vegetables. Of course, all this variety can be confusing. Recreating homemade versions of dim sum favorites can be a challenge when you’re faced with recipes for “Jiaozi,” Har Gow,” and “Siu Mai,” with no pictures. Here is a description of different types of Chinese dumplings:

Jiaozi
These crescent shaped dumplings with pleated edges are normally filled with meat or vegetables, although you’ll occasionally find recipes calling for more unusual ingredients such as shrimp and even winter melon. The filling ingredients are enclosed in a flour and water dough that is thicker than a wonton wrapper. The dumplings are frequently boiled, although they may also be pan-fried. Serve with Ginger Dipping Sauce.

Potstickers (Guotie, Peking Ravioli)
The difference between jiaozi and potstickers comes down to how the dumpling is cooked. Potsticker dumplings are pan-fried on the bottom and then steamed. It’s traditional to flip them over before serving so that the browned, pan-fried side is on top.

Gow Gees
The words Gow gee and jiaozi mean one and the same: Gow gee is simply the Cantonese romanization (representation) of the Mandarin jiaozi. However, gow gee recipes normally call for the dumplings to be cooked by steaming or deep-frying instead of boiling. Wonton wrappers are an acceptable substitute for dumpling skins in most gow gee recipes.

Har Gow (Har Gau)
These plump snacks filled with shrimp and bamboo shoots are famous for a smooth, shiny skin that is nearly translucent. The secret to the dough is wheat starch, available in Asian markets – you won’t get the same result using a flour and water dough or wonton wrappers.

Siu Mai (pronounced “Shu My,” also called Cook and Sell Dumplings)
Mild tasting steamed dumplings recognizable by their cup or basket shape, with the filling sticking out at the top. One food writer compared eating Siu Mai to biting into a soufflé, because the dumpling is so soft and puffy. Traditionally they are filled with pork, although shrimp or prawns are also used. Siu Mai are normally made with round skins: use round (gyoza) wrappers or square wonton wrappers cut into circles.

Shanghai Steamed Buns
Not buns at all, but meat or seafood-filled dumplings famous for being very juicy and flavorful. Shanghai Steamed buns are recognizable for their unique design, as the filled wrapper is gather up into several folds prior to steaming.

Did You Know? In northern China, it is customary for families to spend New Year’s Eve preparing batches of Jiaozi dumplings. Families start eating the dumplings after midnight. And, just as nineteenth-century English cooks hid a silver thruppence inside each batch of Christmas pudding, one lucky family member may bite into something hard and discover a gold coin inside their dumpling.

Friday, August 5, 2011

China Cheongsam

The cheongsam is a body-hugging (modified in Shanghai) one-piece Chinese dress for women; the male version is the changshan. It is known in Mandarin Chinese as the qípáo (旗袍) Wade-Giles ch'i-p'ao, and is also known in English as a mandarin gown. The stylish and often tight-fitting cheongsam or qipao (chipao) that is most often associated with today was created in the 1920s in Shanghai and was made fashionable by socialites and upperclass women.

The English loanword cheongsam comes from chèuhngsàam, the Cantonese pronunciation of the Shanghainese term zǎnze or zansae (長衫, 'long shirt/dress'), by which the original tight-fitting form was first known. The Shanghainese name was somewhat in contrast with usage in Mandarin and other Chinese dialects, where chángshān (the Mandarin pronunciation of 長衫) refers to an exclusively male dress (see changshan) and the female version is known as a qipao.


In Hong Kong, where many Shanghai tailors fled to after the Communist takeover of the Mainland, the word chèuhngsàam may refer to either male or female garments. The word keipo (qipao) is either a more formal term for the female chèuhngsàam, or is used for the two-piece cheongsam variant that is popular in China. Traditionally, usage in Western countries mostly followed the original Shanghainese usage and applies the Cantonese-language name cheongsam to a garment worn by women.

When the Manchu ruled China during the Qing Dynasty, certain social strata emerged. Among them were the Banners (qí), mostly Manchu, who as a group were called Banner People (旗人 pinyin: qí rén). Manchu women typically wore a one-piece dress that retrospectively came to be known as the qípáo (旗袍 or banner gown). The generic term for both the male and the female forms of Manchu dress, essentially similar garments, was chángpáo (長袍). The qipao fitted loosely and hung straight down the body, or flared slightly in an A-line. Under the dynastic laws after 1636, all Han Chinese in the banner system were forced to wear a queue and dress in Manchurian qipao instead of traditional Han Chinese clothing (剃发易服), under penalty of death (along with the July 1645 edict (the "haircutting order") that forced all adult Han Chinese men to shave the front of their heads and comb the remaining hair into a queue, on pain of death). Until 1911, the changpao was required clothing for Chinese men of a certain class, but Han Chinese women continued to wear loose jacket and trousers, with an overskirt for formal occasions. The qipao was a new fashion item for Han Chinese women when they started wearing it around 1925.

A woman in the traditional loose fitting baggy qipao worn with an over jacketThe original qipao was wide and loose. It covered most of the woman's body, revealing only the head, hands, and the tips of the toes. The baggy nature of the clothing also served to conceal the figure of the wearer regardless of age. With time, though, the qipao were tailored to become more form fitting and revealing. The modern version, which is now recognized popularly in China as the "standard" qipao, was first developed in Shanghai in the 1920s, partly under the influence of Beijing styles. People eagerly sought a more modernized style of dress and transformed the old qipao to suit their tastes. Slender and form fitting with a high cut, it had great differences from the traditional qipao. However, it was high-class courtesans and celebrities in the city that would make these redesigned tight fitting qipao popular at that time.[2] In Shanghai it was first known as zansae or "long dress" (長衫 - Mandarin Chinese: chángshān, Shanghainese: zansae, Cantonese: chèuhngsàam), and it is this name that survives in English as the "cheongsam".

The modernized version is noted for accentuating the figures of women, and as such was popular as a dress for high society. As Western fashions changed, the basic cheongsam design changed too, introducing high-necked sleeveless dresses, bell-like sleeves, and the black lace frothing at the hem of a ball gown. By the 1940s, cheongsam came in a wide variety of fabrics with an equal variety of accessories.


The 1949 Communist Revolution curtailed the popularity of the cheongsam and other fashions in Shanghai, but the Shanghainese emigrants and refugees brought the fashion to Hong Kong where it has remained popular. Recently there has been a revival of the Shanghainese cheongsam in Shanghai and elsewhere in Mainland China; the Shanghainese style functions now mostly as a stylish party dress.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

China Cloth - Tangzhuang

Tangzhuang (Chinese: 唐装; pinyin: tángzhuāng; literally "Chinese suit") refers to the Chinese jacket that originated at the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911). Tangzhuang evolved from Magua (马褂), a Manchu clothing, which was in turn adopted by the Han Chinese during Qing Dynasty. At that time, only noblemen, aristocracy and government officials were wearing it, however, in modern times it was eventually adopted by common people. This kind of clothing is often seen as a national costume for men, although women wear it as well.


At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Shanghai, China in November 2001, the host presented its silk-embroided tangzhuang jackets as the Chinese traditional national costume.


Now in Chinese communities, the Mao suit, the western suit, and the Tang suit are main formal dressing for men in many occasions. Tangzhuang is made in different colors, most commonly red, dark blue, gold and black. One common design is the usage of Chinese characters (Hanzi, 汉字) as monogram such as Fu (福,'happiness' in Chinese) , Shou (寿, 'longevity' in Chinese) to spread good luck and wishes.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Chinese Name

Personal names in Chinese culture follow a number of conventions different from those of personal names in Western cultures. Most noticeably, a Chinese name is written with the family name first and the given name next, therefore "John-Paul Smith" as a Chinese name would be "Smith John-Paul". Chinese people commonly address each other with full names instead of given names (especially for names consisting of two characters in total). Family names are never used alone without any salutation. For instance, the basketball player Yao Ming should be formally addressed as "Mr. Yao", not "Mr. Ming", and informally addressed as "Yao Ming" instead of "Yao" or "Ming".

Some Chinese people who emigrate to, or do business with, Western countries sometimes adopt a Westernized name by simply reversing the "surname–given-name" order to "given-name–surname" ("Ming Yao", to follow the previous example), or with a Western first name together with their surname, which is then written in the usual Western order with the surname last ("Fred Yao"). Some Chinese people sometimes take a combined name. There are two main variations: Western name, surname, and Chinese given name, in that order ("Fred Yao Ming") or surname, Chinese given name, followed by Western name ("Yao Ming Fred").

Traditional naming schemes often followed a pattern of using generation names as part of a two-character given name. This is by no means the norm, however. An alternative tradition, stemming from a Han Dynasty law that forbade two-character given names, is to have a single character given name. Some contemporary given names do not follow either tradition, and may in some cases extend to three or more characters.

When generation names are used as part of a two-character given name, it is highly inappropriate and confusing to refer to someone by the first part of their given name only, which will generally be their generation name. Instead, the entire given name should be used. This should be the case regardless of whether the surname is used. For instance, referring to Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as Hsien or Hsien Lee would be confusing as this could just as easily refer to his brother. However, this does commonly occur in Western societies where the first part of the given name is frequently mistakenly used as the first name when the given name is not hyphenated or adjoined.

A majority of countries in Eastern Asia adopted the Chinese naming system. Today, there are over 700 different Chinese family names, but as few as twenty cover a majority of Chinese people. The variety in Chinese names therefore depends greatly on given names rather than family names. The great majority of Chinese family names have only one character, but there are a few with two; see Chinese compound surname for more information.

Chinese family names are written first, something which often causes confusion among those from cultures where the family name usually comes last. Thus, the family name of Mao Zedong is Mao (毛), and his given name is Zedong (traditional: 澤東, simplified: 泽东).

Traditionally, Chinese women usually retain their maiden names as their family name, rather than adopting their husband's. Children usually inherit the father's family name. However, some married women add the husband's surname to their full-name (this is popular in Hong Kong but rare in Mainland China), but rarely do they drop the maiden name altogether.

Historically, it was considered taboo to marry someone with the same family name — even if there is no direct relationship between those concerned — though in recent decades this has no longer been frowned upon.

Generally speaking, Chinese given names have one or two characters, and are written after the family name. When a baby is born, parents often give him or her a "milk name" (奶名) or "little name" (小名), such as Little Gem (小寶 / 小宝) or two characters that repeat "Ming Ming" (明明). The given name is then usually chosen later and is often chosen with consultation of the grandparents. In China, parents have a month before having to register the child. The parents may continue to use the nickname.

With a limited repertoire of family names, Chinese depend on using given names to introduce variety in naming. Almost any character with any meaning can be used. However, it is not considered appropriate to name a child after a famous figure and highly offensive to name one after an older member among the family, or even distant relatives.

Given names resonant of qualities which are perceived to be either masculine or feminine are frequently given, with males being linked with strength and firmness, and females with beauty and flowers. Females sometimes have names which repeat a character, for example Xiuxiu (秀秀) or Lili (麗麗, 丽丽). This is less common in males, although Yo-Yo Ma (馬友友 Mǎ Yǒuyǒu, 马友友) is a well-known exception.

In some families, one of the two characters in the personal name is shared by all members of a generation and these generational names are worked out long in advance, historically in a generation poem (banci lian 班次聯 or paizi ge 派字歌 in Chinese) listing the names.[1] Also, siblings' names are frequently related, for example, a boy may be named pine (松 Sōng, considered masculine) while his sister may be named plum (梅 Méi, considered feminine), both being primary elements of the traditional Chinese system of naturally symbolizing moral imperatives. Depending on region and family, female children may not be entered into the family tree, and thus will not be given a generation name. A frequent naming pattern for female offspring in this case could share the same last character in the given name while varying the first character (in place of the generation name). A well known example of such system can be found from the names of the main four sisters in the novel A Dream of Red Mansions, where they were named 元春 (yuan chun), 迎春 (ying chun), 探春 (tan chun), and 惜春 (xi chun).

Chinese personal names also may reflect periods of history. For example, many Chinese born after 1949 and during the Cultural Revolution have "revolutionary names" such as strong country (強國, 强国) or eastern wind (東風, 东风). In Taiwan, it used to be common to incorporate one of the four characters of the name "Republic of China" (中華民國) into masculine names.

People from the countryside may have names that reflect rural life, for example, large ox (大牛) and big pillar (大柱), but these names are becoming less common.

Also, some decades ago, due to the traditional Confucianism, when a family gives birth to a female baby, the parents may name her comes a little brother (來弟), invites a little brother (招弟) or hopes for a little brother (盼弟). Some other female names of this sort includes: 望弟 (hopes for a little brother), 牽弟 (brings along a little brother), 帶弟 (brings a little brother), 引弟 (attracts or leads along a little brother), 領弟 (receives a little brother), and even 也好 (it's all right, too (to have a girl first then a boy later)). The parents may feminize the character '弟' (younger brother) to '娣' with the same pronunciation, but different in meaning (it literally means "wife of a younger brother," but more recently it is used to transliterate western female names). These names show the traditional sexism or male chauvinism in the older Chinese society where having a boy (who can inherit the family name and continue the family line, which is an honour to the ancestors) is better than having a girl (who can only be another family's daughter-in-law, carrying on the family name of others).

A recent trend has swept through greater China to let fortune tellers change people's names years after they have been given. These fortune tellers claim that the name leads to a better future in the child according to principles such as Five elements (五行 wǔ xíng).

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Chinese Zodiac

The Shēngxiào (Chinese: 生肖), better known in English as the Chinese Zodiac, is a scheme that relates each year to an animal and its reputed attributes, according to a 12-year cycle. It has wide currency in several East Asian countries such as Korea and Japan.

Identifying this scheme using the term "zodiac" reflects several similarities to the Western zodiac: both have time cycles divided into 12 parts, each labels at least the majority of those parts with names of animals, and each is widely associated with a culture of attributing influence of a person's relationship to the cycle upon their personality and/or events in their life. Nevertheless, there are major differences: the "Chinese" 12-part cycle is divided into years rather than months; contrary to the association with animals implied in the Greek etymology of "zodiac", actually four of the Western "signs" or "houses" are represented by humans (one such sign being the twins "Gemini") and one is the inanimate balance scale "Libra"; the animals of the Chinese zodiac are not associated with constellations, let alone those spanned by the ecliptic plane.

The zodiac traditionally begins with the sign of the Rat, and there are many stories about the origins of the Chinese Zodiac which explain why this is so (see below). The following are the twelve zodiac signs (each with its associated Earthly branch) in order and their characteristics.[1]

   1. Rat – 鼠 (子) (Yang, 1st Trine, Fixed Element Water): Forthright, tenacious, intense, meticulous, charismatic, sensitive, intellectual, industrious, charming, eloquent, sociable, artistic, and shrewd. Can be manipulative, vindictive, self-destructive, envious, mendacious, venal, obstinate, critical, over-ambitious, ruthless, intolerant, and scheming.
   2. Ox  – 牛 (丑) (Water buffalo  in Vietnam) (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Water): Dependable, ambitious, calm, methodical, born leader, patient, hardworking, conventional, steady, modest, logical, resolute, tenacious. Can be stubborn, dogmatic, hot-tempered, narrow-minded, materialistic, rigid, demanding.
   3. Tiger  – 虎 (寅) (Yang, 3rd Trine, Fixed Element Wood): Unpredictable, rebellious, colorful, powerful, passionate, daring, impulsive, vigorous, stimulating, sincere, affectionate, humanitarian, generous. Can be restless, reckless, impatient, quick-tempered, obstinate, selfish, aggressive, moody.
   4. Rabbit  – 兔 or 兎 (卯) (Cat  in Vietnam) (Yin, 4th Trine, Fixed Element Wood): Gracious, good friend, kind, sensitive, soft-spoken, amiable, elegant, reserved, cautious, artistic, thorough, tender, self-assured, shy, astute, compassionate, lucky, flexible. Can be moody, detached, superficial, self-indulgent, opportunistic, stubborn.
   5. Dragon – 龍 / 龙 (辰) (Yang, 1st Trine, Fixed Element Wood): Magnanimous, stately, vigorous, strong, self-assured, proud, noble, direct, dignified, eccentric, intellectual, fiery, passionate, decisive, pioneering, artistic, generous, loyal. Can be tactless, arrogant, imperious, tyrannical, demanding, intolerant, dogmatic, violent, impetuous, brash.
   6. Snake – 蛇 (巳) (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Fire): Deep thinker, wise, mystic, graceful, soft-spoken, sensual, creative, prudent, shrewd, elegant, cautious, responsible, calm, strong, constant, purposeful. Can be loner, bad communicator, possessive, hedonistic, self-doubting, distrustful, mendacious, suffocating, cold.
   7. Horse – 馬 / 马 (午) (Yang, 3rd Trine, Fixed Element Fire): Cheerful, popular, quick-witted, changeable, earthy, perceptive, talkative, agile, magnetic, intelligent, astute, flexible, open-minded. Can be fickle, arrogant, childish, anxious, rude, gullible, stubborn.
   8. Goat – 羊 (未) (Yin, 4th Trine, Fixed Element Fire): Righteous, sincere, sympathetic, mild-mannered, shy, artistic, creative, gentle, compassionate, understanding, mothering, peaceful, generous, seeks security. Can be moody, indecisive, over-passive, worrier, pessimistic, over-sensitive, complainer, weak-willed.
   9. Monkey – 猴 (申) (Yang, 1st Trine, Fixed Element Metal): Inventor, motivator, improviser, quick-witted, inquisitive, flexible, innovative, problem solver, self-assured, sociable, artistic, polite, dignified, competitive, objective, factual, intellectual. Can be egotistical, vain, arrogant, selfish, reckless, snobbish, deceptive, manipulative, cunning, jealous, suspicious.
  10. Rooster  – 雞 / 鸡 (酉) (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Metal): Acute, neat, meticulous, organized, self-assured, decisive, conservative, critical, perfectionist, alert, zealous, practical, scientific, responsible. Can be over zealous and critical, puritanical, egotistical, abrasive, proud, opinionated, given to empty bravado.
  11. Dog – 狗 / 犬 (戌) (Yang, 3rd Trine, Fixed Element Metal): Honest, intelligent, straightforward, loyal, sense of justice and fair play, attractive, amicable, unpretentious, sociable, open-minded, idealistic, moralistic, practical, affectionate, sensitive, easy going. Can be cynical, lazy, cold, judgmental, pessimistic, worrier, stubborn, quarrelsome.
  12. Pig  – 豬 / 猪 (亥) (Boar in Japan and Elephant  in Northern Thailand) (Yin, 4th Trine, Fixed Element Water): Honest, gallant, sturdy, sociable, peace-loving, patient, loyal, hard-working, trusting, sincere, calm, understanding, thoughtful, scrupulous, passionate, intelligent. Can be naïve, over-reliant, self-indulgent, gullible, fatalistic, materialistic.

In Chinese astrology the animal signs assigned by year represent what others perceive you as being or how you present yourself. It is a common misconception that the animals assigned by year are the only signs, and many western descriptions of Chinese astrology draw solely on this system. In fact, there are also animal signs assigned by month (called inner animals) and hours of the day (called secret animals).

To sum it up, while a person might appear to be a Dragon because they were born in the year of the Dragon, they might also be a Snake internally and an Ox secretively. In total, this makes for 8,640 possible combinations (60 year cycle (5 elements × 12 animals) × 12 months × 12 times of the day) that a person might be. These are all considered critical for the proper use of Chinese astrology.

Due to confusion with synonyms during translation, some of the animals depicted by the English words did not exist in ancient China. For example, 羊 can mean Ram, Goat or Sheep. Similarly, 鼠 (Rat) can also be translated as Mouse, as there are no distinctive words for the two genera in Chinese. Further, 豬 (Pig) is sometimes translated to Boar after its Japanese name, and 牛 plainly means Cow or Ox, and not Water Buffalo. Water Buffalo is 水牛。

Within the Four Pillars, the year is the pillar representing information about the person's family background and society or relationship with their grandparents. The person's age can also be easily deducted by comparing the sign of the person, the current sign of the year and the person's perceived age (teens,mid 20's, 40's and so on). For example, a person under the Tiger is either 12, 24, 36 or 48 years old in 2010 Tiger year, in 2011 Rabbit year, that person is one year older.

The following table shows the 60-year cycle matched up to the Western calendar for the years 1924–2043 (see Sexagenary cycle article for years 1804–2043). The sexagenary cycle begins at lichun 'about February 4' according to some astrological sources.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Top Ten Foreigners’ Favorite Chinese Dishes


Among all palatable Chinese dishes, there are ten being appraised as the favorite dishes of foreigners.


Top 1 Sweet and Sour Chicken
There is no wonder that Sweet and Sour Chicken ranks first among the favorites dishes for its sweet and sour taste as well as bright color any one couldn’t resist.

Top 2 Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken is an authentic Chinese local dish and popular among foreigners. It is mentioned by all many people from different countries. In China, it is also a must-order dish on menu.

Top 3 Spring Roll

Spring Roll is also called spring pancake and thin pancake, popular in all parts of China, especially in South China. Apart from being eaten by the folk households as daily food, the Spring Roll is also for receiving guests. Be means of delicious taste and dainty appearance, Spring Roll is listed as foreigners’ favorable food.


Top 4 Fry Rice

It was said that in a state visit, Li Hongzhang who was a major official during the late Qing Dynasty ordered his chef to cook a food catering to Chinese and the foreigners. The clever chef chose to cook the fry rice. This dish suiting both refined and popular tastes was praised by all diplomats.

Top 5 Mapo Beancurd
In China, no other cuisine could compare with Sichuan Cuisine in the use of pepper. As mentioning Sichuan Cuisine, people might think of the word “Spicy”. Among all typical spicy dishes of Sichuan Cuisine, Mapo Beancurd has to be referred. It is popular among Chinese and foreigners.

Top 6 Dumpling
In the eyes of Chinese people, dumping is a rather tasty dish and plays an important role in Chinese food. The fillings for dumpling range differently and nearly reflect the essence of Chinese culture. When visiting China, the foreign visitors are always offered with dumpling. Gradually, dumpling becomes a food able to represent China. Similar to dumpling, fried dumpling is also welcomed in other countries.


Top 7 Dumpling Soup
From the name of Dumpling soup, we know that the dish is closely related to dumpling. The difference between them is the appearance. The dumpling that has less fillings and more wrapper and is placed in soup is called dumpling soup.

Top 8 Roast Duck
Roast Duck has outstanding reputation and long history. Nearly each foreign visitor to Beijing might taste the Roast Duck. In China, the Quanjude Roast Duck may be the most popular. The visitors could eat it in travelling Beijing.

Top 9 Chow Mein
Comparing to other foods mentioned above, Chow Mein is less known by the foreigners. Nevertheless, under the influence of Cantonese in China, lots of foreigners know Chow Mein and begin to love this kind of local Chinese food. The Cantonese makes great contribution to changing the traditional food to cater to the foreigners’ tastes.

Top 10 Fried Shrimps with Cashew Nuts
Shrimps have rich nutrition and soft meat as well as are easily to be digested. Fried with cashew nuts, shrimps are helpful for protecting people’s cardiovascular system and prevent angiocardiopathy. Thus, the fried shrimps with cashew nuts become the hot choices of the foreign travelers.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Take a Look at Chinese Folk Cloth Shoes

Folk cloth shoes are significant in the history of shoes. Because the main material is cloth, the shoes are casual, comfortable, environmentally-friendly and lightweight. They have won warm praise from customers and have become needful clothing. There are several representative brands of cloth shoes including Buyingzhai and Neiliansheng.

History of Cloth Shoes

Chinese cloth shoes have a history of more than 3,000 years. In Houma Shi city, Shanxi province, it was warrior from the West Zhou Dynasty (11th century BC-771 BC) was unearthed at it was discovered he wore cloth shoes; the earliest known handicraft cloth shoes. The cloth shoes were mainly handmade before the People's Republic of China was proclaimed. After 1949, the Chinese cloth shoes reached its peak period. There were many cloth shoes factories in the country which produced a large amount of cloth shoes at the time.

Old Beijing cloth shoes are a representative of Chinese cloth shoes bearing rich history and culture. It is recorded that they began in Pingyao city, Shanxi province, where shoemakers learned and combined their exquisite craft.

Craftsmanship of Cloth Shoes

The craftsmanship of Chinese cloth shoes is exquisite and fastidious. The process of manufacturing the shoes involves making the sole, vamp, insole and stitching the sole to the upper part of each. The process also includes designing the shape, preparing the materials and tailoring. The whole manufacture process requires rich experience.

The procedures of manufacturing a pair of ordinary cloth shoes

(1) Designing the shape

The first step in making a pair of comfortable shoes is to measure the foot. According to the older generation, measuring the foot of someone is impolite and treated as a symbol of inability. It even more frowned upon when a daughter-in-law makes shoes for her husband’s parents or girls make shoes for their lovers. These ideals lead to women acquiring the ability to know the size of a person’s foot with a glimpse. It is hard for the beginner to predict the exact size so they have to wait for a rainy day to secretly find a person’s footprints on a muddy road to measure the size of the footprints.

(2) Preparing the materials

When making cloth shoes, the materials can be divided into items for the vamp and the sole. They can also be divided into outside and inside fabrics through the makeup of the shoes. Aside from the cloth, the threads are also necessary. The inside fabric is always either old cloth that has not been worn out, or the leftover materials after tailoring new cloth. The shoemakers then paste multilayer fabrics into one piece of thick cloth called “Jiangcengbu”. This kind of cloth is needed for both the sole and the vamp. The “Jiangcengbu” used in one pair of shoes can be laid open on the ground for more than 10 square meters. The outside fabric is new cloth that will be used on the upper part and the sole of shoes. The threads are mainly used in the sole so they need to be as strong as No.2 steel wire. The threads used in the sole are polished with wax several times before use to ensure it can be threaded.

(3) Sewing the fabrics

Sole

Sewing the materials of cloth shoes almost always begins from the sole, perhaps the most important part in the manufacture process. Shoemakers cut out most of the sole with sole fabric based on a paper sample or a toasted asparagus cortex sample of a sole. They will then paste the soles into one until the whole sole is about 1 or 2 centimeters thick.

It’s said the sole of cloth shoes has thousands of layers, but there are actually only about five layers. The term, “sole of one thousand layers” is exaggerated to describe the sole’s many layers and the complicated manufacturing process. After pasting, a tailor will sew “the sole of one thousand layers”, which is called the “Na” sole. It should begin along the edge and be kept one centimeter away. It should use back stitches to sew and circle the sole twice while keep the line neat and tight. The knots and uncovered threads should look like a queue of ants. After sewing the edge, tailors can sew the part into a loop. There are many stitches included in the process such as parallel stitching and herringbone stitching. Only after observation or with the guidance of a teacher can beginners work it out.

Vamp

The manufacture of the vamp can be divided based on the height of the upper portion of the shoes. High cut shoes should be sewed while the front and back of the shoes are not sewn to make it convenient to operate during the process of sewing other parts. Modern shoes are mainly low cut shoes. The vamps of low cut shoes are U-shaped before the heel parts are sewn, making the front part wide and the two sides narrow. The whole vamp is symmetrical.

Suture

The vamp and sole can be sutured after the vamp is finished. The suture is the most difficult step for it decides whether the shoe is artistic and comfortable. The curve of the sole edge increases the hardship of suture, but women only use an awl to finish this procedure flawlessly and perfectly.

The Ex Factory Inspiration

There are rigorous ex factory inspiration in shoe manufacturing.

1. The detection requires visual examination in suitable light conditions.

2. Testing tools include calipers of 40mm, multi-purpose locator, dividers, measuring tape, steel rulers and steel measure tape with scale of 1mm.

3. Appearance examination is based on eyeballing and touching with testing tools.

Artistic Characteristics

Cloth shoes win lots of praise from users not only for its comfort, but also for its artistic characteristics. Their beautiful appearance involves the traditional art of paper-cut and embroidering, always taking colors and shapes into consideration. Cloth shoes are considered to be folk art in its shape, patterns and colors.

Shape

The view of a cloth shoe from above should be symmetrical. The sole and vamp of a pair of shoes are sheared at one time so one pattern can take advantage of another by turning it over. Making use of both sides of a pattern to make symmetry is a distinct characteristic of cloth shoes.

Pattern

The patterns of cloth shoes are first shown through paper-cut art. The embroidering on the top cap of shoes extrudes decorative designs through paper-cut art.

The paper-cut patterns designed for embroidering are distinctively U-shaped and are seldom recorded. These patterns are symmetrical and can be embroidered around the center by similar patterns in similar or diverse colors.

The contents of embroidering almost always include flowers and birds. Moreover, patterns of a butterfly or a phoenix are also popular. Fruits that are popular locally are also welcome.

It’s said the goddess of the Zhuang ethnic group was born in flowers so the people of Zhuang pray for birth by worshiping the goddess of flora or putting flowers at the bedside. Embroidering flowers on the top cap of cloth shoes is also a way to show worship. The patterns are always made up by a string of a single colors except patters of fish and flowers.

Colors
Personalized colors

The colors of cloth shoes are frequently geared toward personalization, depending on age and gender. Cloth shoes for the older generations are always black, while the younger people like white. Girls usually choose light blue.

Sharp color contrast

Most cloth shoes are black with a white sole to have a strong color contrast. A small area of white complements the large area of black. The white also appears in the way of a line, which combines with the black into a perfect artistic effect.

Rich color

Women of Zhuang buy colorful silk thread and arrange them to show what they want to express. No matter what the color of the plants or animals, they can express a subtle change in the color that shows a lot of women’s ability in color matching and aesthetic interests. Embroidering with a thread of a color on the background of another color can enrich the picture performance. Using specific colors to express infinite colors is a characteristic of color matching that is similar to painting.

Development of cloth shoes

Today, folk cloth shoes have big changes that are no longer stereotyped but combine the leather shoe craft and modern design. Cloth shoes have become a combination of classicality and modern fashion. There have been a lot of shoe series involving Beijing amorous feelings. They also include top ten styles such as Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai styles. Old Beijing cloth shoes are more than a show of ethnic customs; people buy cloth shoes as souvenirs and gifts.

The development of craft denotes the beauty of returning to the ancient styles will become fashion. The development of the cloth shoes industry will also drive economic growth and obtain employment growth. In respect of history and culture, developing cloth shoes is necessary.

The art of cloth shoes, which used to be an almost necessary handicraft, are an integral part of folk arts. But cloth shoes have been fading out of the market since the 21st century. At the same time, concepts of nature, health and nostalgia become a pure feeling in people’ hearts when they recall cloth shoes. To inherit and develop the cloth shoe is a crucial task that urges further action and optimal use.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Peking Duck

Most people would agree that Peking (or Beijing) duck is the capital’s most famous dish. Once imperial cuisine, now the legendary duck dish is served at restaurants around the world.

The culinary history of Peking duck goes as far back as the Yuan dynasty, where it was listed in royal cookbooks as an imperial food. The Qing poet Yuan Mei once wrote in a cookbook, “Roast duck is prepared by revolving a young duckling on a spit in an oven.  The chief inspector Fang’s family excel in preparing this dish”. When the Qing dynasty fell in 1911, former palace chefs set up restaurants around Beijing and brought the dish to the public.

To prepare the duck, chefs go through a lengthy process. First the ducks are inflated by blowing air between the skin and body. The skin is then pricked and boiling water poured all over the duck. Sometimes the skin is rubbed with malt sugar to give it an amber colour and is then hung up to air dry before roasting in the oven. When roasted, the skin becomes crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The bird is meticulously cut into 120 slices and served with fermented bean paste, light pancakes, sliced cucumbers and green onions.

Perhaps the best Peking duck restaurant in Beijing is Liqun Roast Duck Restarant. The duck here is so popular that you need to call in advance to order one (or arrive after 2:30pm and be prepared to wait). The restaurant itself is a little ramshackle, but the sublime duck makes it a culinary experience to savour. With development crashing through the hutong, this is a restaurant to visit sooner rather than later.

The most famous restaurants that serve Peking duck though, are part of the Quanjude Restaurant chain, which first opened in 1864. There are six branches around Beijing, but the flagship of the empire is at Qianmen Dajie. This place is geared to the tourist hordes (both domestic and foreign) – check out the photos of Fidel Castro and Zhang Yimou. Ducks here are roasted with fruit-tree wood, giving the dish a special fragrance. If the crowds are too much, there is another location just off Wangfujing Dajie.

Another well-known roast duck restaurant is Bianyifang, founded in 1855. Instead of fruit-tree wood, the ducks here are cooked in an oven with straw as fuel. On a budget? Make sure you get the cheaper menlu-style half duck with pancakes, scallions and sauce which some say is more tender. The more expensive Huaxiangsu style is available for those willing to spend the yuan. If Peking duck is not your style, the restaurant has many other duck variants on their English menu.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Must-See Sceneries in Autumn Beijing

The notable Chinese writer Lao She once said, “You must live in Beiping (Now Beijing) in autumn for the scenery in this season here are so fascinating.” Anyone who has stayed in this city might have the same feeling with Lao She. Only Beijing in autumn could be called an imperial endowed with good weather and favorable geographical position. All sights become brilliant against bright sunshine and the blue sky. If you tour Beijing first time, the classic attractions such as Imperial Place, Great Wall and Summer Palace can’t be missed. However, apart from the landmark places of interest, you may try to experience its autumn scenery after a little rest.

Gingko Avenue
The Gingko Avenue, located near the famous Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, is renowned in Beijing as an enchanting sight. As the autumn comes, the scenery of Gingko Avenue could be as grand and beautiful as the red leaves of the Fragrant Hill. When seeing the golden gingko leaves in deep autumn scatter over the avenue, you may feel surprised to find that the fallen leaves could be so glorious.

From middle October, the leaves of gingko gradually grow golden. An autumn wind could blow off the beautiful golden scenery.

Beside the two sides of the Gingko Avenue, there are two rows of fences. At the middle of the avenue, there is an entrance for the visitors to enter the avenue.

Jingshan Park
The Imperial Palace is well-known but its back garden, the Jingshan Park is less-visited. In this imperial park, there is a Wanchun Pavilion, which is the highest point of the imperial city Beijing, and from which the visitors could overlook the panorama of the Imperial Palace.

At the autumn dusk, when ascending the steps in the night breeze, your heart may feel quiet. The green filled with your eyes could bring you some interest you never known in normal times.

The ticket price of the Jingshan Park is CNY 2. Walking out of the northern entrance of the Imperial Palace and crossing the road, you could get to the southern entrance of the Jingshan Park. At a sunshine day, after strolling around the Imperial Palace, you could come to the Jingshan Park to admire the dusk of Beijing in autumn.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tips and Common Knowledge to Know When Traveling in Plateau Area

For patients with altitude disease, the most effective first-aid treatment is to supply oxygen and move to low area. Once some with shock, they should be treated first and other complication should be also noticed. The patients should be moved to calm zone and stay in bed at once. Meanwhile, they should keep warm, protect from upper respiratory tract infection and avoid drinking too much water.

If the patients feel more painful, they should take analgesic or move to the low region. Generally, the patients with altitude stress become recovery after moving to the low regions. Nevertheless, the serious patients should see a doctor.

Here are some common questions travelers might face when traveling in the plateau areas and the matching answers.
1.    What should we do if we feel out of breath when sleeping on the plateau area at night?
Due to lack of oxygen in plateau area, commonly person’s breath will become hard and couldn’t sleep at night. Thus the travelers are recommended to put head on a higher pillow or just sit to sleep.

2.    It is good for people to absorb oxygen as soon as arriving at the plateau area?
First, people are recommended not to absorb oxygen as soon as they arrive at the plateau because that might influence people’s suitability for the altitude climate.

3.    Is it feasible to wear contact lens?
Yes. But the lens should be clean. If come to a windy and sandy area, you are suggested no to wear them. Actually, contact lenses are not influenced by the altitude.

4.    Is having a fever or becoming hard of hearing right for those who have just arrived at the plateau area?
Yes. Normally, the blood pressure of a person is higher in plateau than in the plain area, so it is normal that a person’s temperature in plateau is 0.5 – 1℃ higher than in plain. Apart from having a fever, if you still have other uncomfortable symptoms, you should go to the local hospital to see a doctor. If the fever is caused by cold, you should leave the plateau to accept treatment. Additionally, becoming hard of hearing is normal in plateau area for it is caused by lack of oxygen.

5.    Is drinking wine feasible?
Travelers, more so people above 40 years old, are recommended not to drink wine in plateau area because wine will increase the load of heart and vassal, aggravate the altitude stress as well as cause heart cerebrovascular.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Best Time to Visit Tibet

Tibet is a magical place, where the star-studded alpine lakes are clear and intense blue, as smooth as mirror, the lofty snow-capped peaks and year round not-melting glaciers spread all over, and the elegant hada-like white clouds always wrap the mountain waists. Here the desolate and magnificent natural landscapes, pure and fresh air, quite and vast Gobi desert, boundless prairie with flocks of cattle and sheep, luxuriant virgin forest, rich and honest simple ethnic customs, and resplendent millenary-old temple together prove to be reasons for Tibet becoming the holy land of travelers.

From each May, Tibet gets into the best traveling season, until golden autumn October. So, don’t hesitate and now head for Tibet to discover the wonderful legends.

Lhasa

Existing for 1,300 years, Lhasa is located at a land of 3,650 meters above sea level, serving as the world’s highest city. In Tibetan language, “Lhasa” means holy land or Buddhist land. Entering Lhasa, unfolding before you are the fluttering Fengma flags (or called prayer flags) in the wind, incense-curling up platform, pilgrims in a hurry to walk, and unceasing prayer wheel. Not matter when it is, Lhasa seems to start from chanting sutras, circling the ritual walk path, praying and blessing.



The Potala Palace is known as “Palace in Heaven”. Scaling the zigzagging granite steps in the front of hill, for those of better altitude acclimation, needs several stops on the way before reaching the Potala Palace. When taking off hats and sunglasses as well as turning off the camera, and then ascending a steep wooden ladder, your pilgrimage just begins.

The group visitors can only linger in the Potala Palace for one hour, thus they have to glance at the magnificent Buddha hall, Stupa, and imperial sleeping place. The winding corridors lighted by remote lights, drooping curtains, and taste of butter pervading every corner give you a feeling as if you fall into a old, dark and gloomy dream and are lost in the scriptures, Buddha statues, frescoes and old legends. While walking out of the palace gate and looking back, you can see the blinding palace walls tier upon tier as high as clouds. Various solemn colors like the blue of sky, gold of gilding roofs and black of Sutra Pillars are combined to produce a scared sense.

Namtso is described as a tear of lover in snowy region

In Tibetan, Namtso means “Heavenly Lake”, located in Damxung County, about 100 kilometers from downtown Lhasa. As the highest and second biggest salt water lake in China, Namtso together with Yandrok Lake and Manasarova  Lake is counted as the Three Holy Lakes in Tibet.

Departing from Lhasa and proceeding along Qinghai-Tibet Highway, you can overlook the imposing Nyainqntanglha Mountains a thousand miles away, and admire the prairie stretching to the horizon as well as herds of yaks. Occasionally several Tibetan locals kowtowing may fall into your eyes. After passing Yangbajing, uninhabited area and crossing Tanggula Mountain Pass, you get close to the Namtso bank. Although in summer, you can still feel the cool wind blow gently. When standing near the lakeside, before your eyes is just a picture, the year-round snow-covered main peak of Nyainqntanglha Mountains in southeast, the rolling plateau and hill in north, vast prairie around the lake, and huge-mirror like lake embedded in the grassland of north Tibet.

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Mount Qomolangma
Mount Qomolangma

Shigatse with not only Mount Qomolangma

If you are not a real traveler, you will regret your decision on the way from Lhasa to Shigatse since it spends too much time on road and the scenery along the way is boring. However, when getting to Gyantse and beholding at a distance the Tsong Burg standing on the mountain, you will feel glad about your wise choice.

Not very high, Mount Tsong is only over 100 meters in height but rises sharply from the ground, lofty and steepy. Built against mountain, the Tsong Burg looks tier on tier and blends with the precipitous rocks. As for the Tashihunpo Monastery in urban Shigatse, it is constructed against mountain. The golden roofs of the splendid monastery complex are shining in the sun, creating a feeling of warmness.

If you come to Shigatse, one must-do thing is admiring the Mount Qomolangma., which has huge pyramid-like appearance, and towers into the sky. The snowy peaks seem the crystal ornaments of Goddess, and are flickering in the sun. If you continue to the Qomolangma base camp, you have to drive for additional 7 hours.
Tips of Traveling Tibet

    * The hard altitude reaction: One reason for it is the shortage of oxygen. If you have strong altitude reaction, you are recommended to buy one oxygen container. Generally, you may try the following ways to overcome the problems of altitude reaction: first, relaxing mentally, not eating and drinking too much and not smoking but having more vegetables and fruits; second, not to walk rapidly, run and do hard works but drink more water; third, be sure to keep warm to head off a cold, which may cause acute pulmonary edema in plateau.

    * The necessaries to prepare before entering into Tibet: warm clothing, sleeping bag, camera, sunglasses, sun hat, sunscreen, passport and more.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon Boat Festival - local customs in different areas of China

The 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar year is an important day for the Chinese people. The day is called Duan Wu Festival, or Dragon Boat Festival, celebrated everywhere in China. This festival dates back to about 2,000 years ago with a number of legends explaining its origin. The best-known story centers on a great patriotic poet named Qu Yuan.

The customs vary a lot in different areas of the country, but most of the families would hang the picture of Zhong Kui (a ghost that can exorcise), calamus and moxa in their houses. People have Dragon Boat Races, eat Zong Zi (dumpling made of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves) and carry a spice bag around with them.

Zhong Kui

Zhong Kui is the exorcist par excellence. His picture, a fierce-looking male brandishing a magic sword, used to be hung up in Chinese houses in order to scare away evil spirits and demons, especially in the time of Dragon Boat Festival.

Hanging Calamus and Moxa

On this day, most of the families would also hang calamus and moxa (oriental plants) on the front door. This is also to ward off evil.

Dragon Boat Race

The main event of the festivities is the Dragon Boat Race. These boats are long and thin with dragon heads on the bow of the ships. The boat races are said to represent the search for Qu??s body, with racing boats in a forward rowing motion, to the rhythm of beating drums.

Zong Zi

Qu Yuan drowned on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in 277 BC. Since ancient times, Chinese people threw into the water dumpling made of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves on the day. Therefore the fish would eat the rice rather than the hero poet. This later on turned into the custom of eating Zong Zi.

Realgar Wine

It is a very popular practice to drink this kind of Chinese liquor seasoned with realgar at the Dragon Boat Festival. This is for protection from evil and disease for the rest of the year.

Spice Bag

It's believed that if you carry the small spice bag around with you, it not only drives away evil spirits but also brings fortune and happiness to those who wear it. The small bags are hand-made by local craftsmen. They're made with red, yellow, green and blue silk, fine satin or cotton. Figures of animals, flowers and fruits are often embroidered onto the bags and inside are mixed Chinese herbal medicines. (Editor Benny)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Free Bus Service Between Scenic Areas in Xian China

Xi’an Datang Furong Garden-Baoji Famen Temple
As long as you buy the ticket or the set ticket of Famen Temple, you can take the bus free of charge from Xi’an to Famen Temple. Located in the flank of Xi’an Great Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi’an Datang Furong Garden is the first large cultural theme park with imperial garden style in China, which fully displays the splendid civilization in the thriving period of Tang Dynasty.

Famen Temple with more than 1700 years history is located in Famen Town of Fufeng County of Baoji city in Shannxi province and 110 kilometers east from Xi’an city.

The free tourist bus departs from the west gate of Datang Furong Garden, and stops at the north plaza of Great Wild Goose Pagoda, and then goes directly to Famen Temple. The departure time is from 8 am to 11am, total 4 times. The return time is from 14:30 to 16:00, total 4 times. You can buy the ticket at the west gate of Datang Furong Garden and the east side of the north plaza of Great Wild Goose Pagoda. 120 Yuan is available for Famen Temple tour and free bus to Famen Temple, and 150 Yuan is available for Famen Temple, Datang Furong Garden tour and free round trip bus.