Understanding China

agentperry

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bharat means busy in enlightening. if you do sandhi-vicheed and then go on with hindi dictionary.
its moto ised to be protecting weaks and respecting wise. we hear this happening since ages, be it ashoka's time when kalinga offered asylum to weak brothers off ashoka or king offering his seat to scholars on their visit to king.

but now its not even opposite of what it was used to be, also the might of India is nowhere near to what it was used to be
 

ice berg

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China is too big and diversive to be known through news and books alone.

Most of them full of stereotype and ignorance.
The easiest way of getting know China is actually visiting her.

Just like the easiest way of getting know India is visiting her and not through watching Bollywood movies.
 

W.G.Ewald

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China is too big and diversive to be known through news and books alone.

Most of them full of stereotype and ignorance.
The easiest way of getting know China is actually visiting her.

Just like the easiest way of getting know India is visiting her and not through watching Bollywood movies.
America is just like in the movies. :-D
 
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Ray

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China is too big and diversive to be known through news and books alone.

Most of them full of stereotype and ignorance.
The easiest way of getting know China is actually visiting her.

Just like the easiest way of getting know India is visiting her and not through watching Bollywood movies.
India can be also realised by books and documentaries.

Maybe that is not feasible for China, since everything will be censored!

Read Jung Chang's Wild Swans and you get a good idea of China through its modern history.
 

Ray

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Illusive

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Yi Quan or the mentality Chuan, also called Da cheng Quan, was created by Wang Xiangzhai during the reign of Emperor Guangxu (1875-1908) of the Qing Dynasty. Wang (1885-1963) was born in Shenxian County in Hebei Province. From a young age, he followed Xingyi Quan master, Guo Yunshen to learn the art. After years of hard practice, Wang mastered the art of Xingyi Quan, got its gist, and ventured off the track to create Yi Quan by absorbing the suppleness of Tai Chi Quan, and the agility of Bagua Zhang.

Yi Quan centers on standing stances and uses the mind to guide the movements and actions in order to achieve the coordination and cooperation between the mind, the body and the external world. It stresses the development of energy and potential of the human body. The mentality boxers believe that looseness and tightness form the basic contradiction of the movements of the human body. The physical qualities-power, speed, agility, coordination and endurance-are all conditioned by the looseness and tightness of the muscles. Yi Quan, therefore, is intended to solve the question of how to correctly control and use looseness and tightness through practice. When we talk of looseness or tightness, we talk not only of loose or tight muscles but also of a loose or tight mind. The latter is in fact more significant. Therefore, this style of Chuan came to be called the mentality Chuan (Yi Quan).
The major features of mentality Chuan lie in the fact that it does not have fixed routines and that it stresses mental function. It requires relaxation, concentration and calmness-its movements are like running water, while its standstills are like floating air. It passes explosive forces throughout the body. Mentality boxers do not expose their bodies to the attacks of the opponent during a fight, nor do they display their thoughts. They seldom generate power but when they do they do it completely and thoroughly and often benefit from the force of the opponent.
 
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Ray

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HOMES IN CHINA



According to the Guinness Book of Records, China has the world's most houses: 276,947,962 in 1990. In the north, where wood is scarce, dwellings and walls have traditionally been made of stone, tamped mud or sun-dried bricks reinforced with straw. In the south homes have traditionally been made with wood, brick or woven bamboo.

A traditional large, upper-class house has a single story, tile roof, a courtyard, fluted roof tiles, and stone carvings. Some have ornate lattice windows, deep red painted pillars, carved dragons and courtyard fish ponds. Old homes had paper windows and coal stoves and smelly latrines in the backyard. There were no indoor toilets, Coal was burned for heat.

In century-old communal homes the grandparents sleep in one area, aunts and uncles in another. Sometimes children sleep in a converted barn above the pig pens and the parents sleep over the open pit that serves as a communal toilet.

In the Mao era, families were moved into concrete apartment blocks or were jammed into courtyard dwelling--built for a single family--with several other families. The central courtyard was filled with crude brick compounds. In some cases courtyard houses was razed and replaced with "work compounds," where housing and factories were combined within walled enclaves. Most of the concrete apartment buildings built in the 1950s and 60s were four to six stories tall. Ones built today are much higher.

On his experiences entering houses in Shanghai's oldest neighborhoods, Howard French wrote: "Typically, I enter their world by climbing up a rickety, twisting wooden staircase, ducking to avoid bumping my head in the near-total darkness." [Source: Howard W. French, New York Times, August 28, 2009]

Between the 1980s and today the average living space per person has increased from 80 square feet to almost 300 square feet. Even so Western visitors to Chinese homes are often surprised by how little personal space people have. An American visitor to a family in Shanghai told the China Daily, "Here in China people are always right next to each other, but in the United States , everyone tries to keep away as much as possible."

Five to six 6 billion square feet of commercial and residential floor space is added every year.The average lifespan of recent constructions in China is 30 about years, according to Chinese media reports.

Good Websites and Sources: Book: Houses of China by Bonne Shemie ; Yin Yu Tang pem.org ; House Architecure washington.edu ; House Interiors washington.edu; Cave Dwellings in Shanxi chinavista.com ; Old House in A traditional Chinese house is a compound with walls and dwellings organized around a courtyard. Walls and courtyards are built for privacy and protection from fierce winds. Inside the courtyard, whose size depends on the wealth of the family, are open spaces, trees, plants and ponds. In the inner courtyards of rural homes, chickens are often kept in coops and pigs are allowed to roam inside small enclosures. Covered verandas connect the rooms and dwelling.

Rural homes are typically built on one, two, three or four sides of an enclosed courtyard. Sometimes one family owns all the units around the courtyard, sometimes different families do. Most houses have peaked tile roofs although slate roofs are common and thatch is still used in some places. In high density areas multistory houses built in rows along streets predominate. They have a courtyard in the front or the back and have a flat roof. In commercial areas families often live upstairs and have a shop or business or animals or storage in the bottom floor.

Many urban homes are one-story courtyard homes too. A typical courtyard house in a hutong in Beijing has an entrance on the south wall. Outside the front door are two flat stones, sometimes carved like lions, for mounting horses and showing off a family's wealth and status. Inside the front door there is freestanding wall to block the entrance of evil spirits, which only travel in straight lines Behind it is the outer courtyard, with servant's quarters to the right and left. The family traditionally lived in the inner courtyard towards the back of the north wall. Painted pillars are polished to a high sheen by builders who had first apply several layers of pigs' blood.

Restoring Traditional Chinese Homes

The traditional lanes of Shanghai are known as lilongs. Traditional houses are called shikumen. Shikumen, which literally means '"stone door frame" were developed in the early 1900s to meet the housing demands of booming old Shanghai. The houses are urban Western adaptations of traditional Chinese courtyard houses and were once described as "Chinese houses with a Parisian sensibility."

A siheyuan is or traditional one-story courtyard home. Liu Heung Shing, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist who lives in $1 million restored hutong house told the New York Times,Chinese believe that in a siheyuan you can feel the spirit of the earth, he said on a recent afternoon, because unlike in a high-rise apartment, you step on it every day.

Chinese, tend to have uncomprehending attitude toward Western preservationist sensipbilities. bent. One Australian man told the New York Times his Chinese friends were flabbergasted by his desire to reuse old bricks, doors and wooden beams in the renovation of the 200-year-old building. My neighbors would come in and say, "You're spending so much money on your place but can't afford new materials?"The problem is the workers all want to use everything new because it's easier and the Chinese don't appreciate the old, he said.

Rooms, Central Heating and Kangs in ChinaWuxi China Vista : Links in this Website: ARCHITECTURE IN CHINA

Chinese homes typically have one large space rather than separate rooms. Parents often share rooms with their children and some people spend hours in the bathroom because it is the only place where they can get some privacy. Homes generally don't have yards. People often don't even know what they are and few people have ever seen one.

Older houses often times don't have a kitchen and bathroom. People wash in basin and relieve themselves in chamber pots. The cooking is done on iron stoves in the living room, in separate shack outside the main house, or a "wall kitchen," small cubicle with a window, stove-top burners and a powerful fan to soak up odors. Even Western-style suburban homes often have an outside shack or "wall kitchen." One Chinese developer told the Los Angeles Times, "Chinese people are used to stir-frying, and the smell of oil and smoke is heavy. It can get into the furniture."

Many Chinese houses are quite cold in the winters. It is not unusual for people to wear thermal underwear and heavy coats inside their houses throughout the winter. Many people in northern China sleep on or around a kang, a traditional brick bed or concrete platform, built over a stove, oven or fireplace which is heated with coal, wood or animal dung and provides warmth in the winter. Kangs are usually covered with cotton mattresses and colorfully embroidered quilts. Houses south of the Yangtze generally don't have kangs or central heating. Although not as severe as the north the winters there can be cold and damp.

In Beijing many apartments built in the Mao era have central heating but it isn't turned on until November 15 even though temperatures often drop into the 30s F before that time. People stay warm before teh heat is turned on by wearing layers of clothes inside their homes and snuggling with each other in bed at night. A German resident in one of these apartments told the Los Angeles Times, "Every day I rush into the shower, have a hot cup of coffee and get out of my apartment as fast as I can." He said he often stays late at work because there is heating there. In northern China the heat is often turned on earlier. In Beijing the heat last until March 15. But even when it on it often produces a minimal amount of warmth and shuts off at midnight.

Homes of the Poor in China

Poor rural families often live in bamboo frame houses or mud-and-straw bricks homes with packed earth floors. Thatch-roof mud-wall houses found in some parts of Sichuan, Hunan and Yunnan provinces look like African huts. Houses with more than two story are rare. Progress and wealth means a family can move out of their mud and stone hut into a concrete house.

A typical rural family of nine in the Yunnan with a per annual capita income of $364 lives in 600-square-foot house with a living room, 3 bedrooms, kitchen and 5 storage rooms. Peasant houses often have little furniture other than a table, chairs and makeshift beds. A blackened shed serves as a kitchen. These days many have electricity and color or black and white televisions.

Describing a mud brick home on he edge of the Gobi desert in poor Gansu province, Sheryl Wudunn wrote in the New York Times magazine: "The shack had two rooms, each dominated by a kang...The dirt floor was swept clean and the furniture consisted of three rickety wooden chairs set around a crude wooden table, the mud walls were papered with newspapers, with pictures from old calendars providing a bit of color." [Source: Sheryl Wudunn, the New York Times magazine, September 4, 1994]

See Minorities.

Cave Homes in China



Some 35 million Chinese still live in caves and over a 100 million people reside in houses with one or more walls built in a hillside. Many of the cave and hill dwellings are in the Shanxi, Henan and Gansu provinces.

Caves are cool in the summer, warm in the winter and generally utilize land that can not be used for farming. On the down side, they are generally dark and have poor ventilation. Modern caves with improved designs have large windows, skylights and better ventilation. Some larger cave have over 40 rooms. Others are rented out as three-bedroom apartments.

Many cave homes consist of a large dug-out square pit with a well in the middle of the pit to prevent flooding. Other caves are chiseled out of the sides of cliff faces comprised of loess—a thick, hard, yellow rocklike soil that is ideal for making caves. Rooms chiseled into hard loess usually have an arched ceilings. Those made in softer loess have pointed or supported ceilings. Depending on what materials are available, the front of a cave is often made of wood, concrete or mud bricks.

Sometimes the cave homes are unsafe. In September 2003, 12 people were killed when a landslide buried a group of cave houses in the village of Liangjiagou in Shaanxi Province. Most of the dead were in one cave house that was hosting a party for family members after the birth of a son.

Urban Homes in China



Most urban dwellers live in rundown state-owned apartments doled out by the Chinese Communist Party through work units. Beijing apartments tend to have a balcony, relatively large bedrooms and a relatively small living room. Many apartments don't have elevators. Even those that do the elevators are often turned off and residents have have to use the stairs.

Many urban families live in apartments, where each person has an average of 12 square feet of space (the size of a small Western closet), and four generations live together. The living space for an average person in Shanghai is 70 square feet. A typical two-room apartment with a large hallway, a kitchen and bathroom is occupied by five adults and two children. Residents in lilong houses in Shanghai still carry their chamber pots down the street to collection points. In some apartments it is not unusual to hear rats scampering around behind the walls.

William Ellis of National Geographic magazine visited a Shanghai apartment, where a man, his wife, and his son and daughter-in-law all lived in one room with a bed, six chairs, several stools, two dressers, a TV, and clothes hung from hangers around the room. The apartment was reached through a communal kitchen and a hallway covered with grease from cooking fires. [Source: William Ellis, National Geographic, March 1994]

The housing market took off soon after the communist government gave the green light to private property development in 1998. Since then, the amount of new urban residential space unveiled each year has doubled.

These days Beijing, Shanghai and other cities are filling up with newly built apartment complexes and condominiums. Many newer homes have blue glass and pink tile walls. Some sell for millions of dollars.

Most apartments are delivered bare, meaning buyers have to outfit them with basics such as bathroom fixtures. About 70 percent of the new residential projects in China are sold with nothing on the floors or walls. Buyers are required to buy wallpaper, tiles, fittings, paint and flooring to make their concrete boxes livable.

Housing in Beijing

"On average, apartments in Beijing rent for the equivalent of $500 per month, about as much as many ordinary workers in the city earn," Andreas Lorenz, Der Spiegel. "And prices are rising. At the start of the year, tenants paid around $450 . A year earlier, it was $375. One reason for the high prices is that demand outstrips supply. There are relatively few apartments available for rent in Beijing. Over two-thirds are privately owned, of which a large share were in the past sold cheaply by authorities or factories to their employees." [Source: Andreas Lorenz, Der Spiegel, December 24, 2010]

"Social housing, moveover, has only begun to develop. Last year 8,000 rental properties were built for those on minimal incomes, and this year there should be 10,000 — a mere drop in the ocean for Beijing. Even those with enough money to buy their own homes are not necessarily fortunate. New housing developments keep springing up, and the amount of new property available is growing, but prices have also shot sky-high in the past few months. Buyers are currently paying $3,750 per square meter on average." [Ibid]

"For rich Chinese, like the wealthy coal barons from the Shanxi province, Beijing apartments are investments worthy of speculation, like stock market shares or gold. These speculators don't think about renting the apartments out. They simply aim for properties with rising prices, so they can sell them on and turn a profit. Recently experts have talked about a real estate bubble which threatens to burst. As discontentment grows among those citizens who earn good money but still can't afford their own apartments, the Chinese government wants to curb speculation with new taxes and rules." [Ibid]

"Beijing's officials pride themselves on the fact that the city has no slums like those in, say, Nairobi or Bangkok. The areas of brick hovels without so much as a toilet, which used to shape the cityscape in many districts, have begun to vanish. What the city fathers don't admit, though, is a still-unresolved problem — that many millions cannot afford a normal apartment in Beijing. The city's housing market in some ways symbolizes the new communist China — a society in which the gap between rich and poor continues to widen." [Ibid]

Housing in the Mao Era



In the Mao and Deng eras the government provided housing. Rents were extremely low, often less than $5 a month. The negative side of this was there wasn't enough money for maintenance or modernization or the construction of new homes, which meant there were housing shortages and apartments themselves were drab and poorly built. People were placed on waiting lists to get apartments and often waited for years for apartments that were wrecks when one finally moved in.

In the pre-Mao-era, many courtyard homes in Beijing were occupied by single extended family units and had spacious open air courtyards. But after Communists came to power the houses were divided and occupied by several families and the courtyards were filled with shanties. In many cases a house occupied by one family became occupied by six or seven.

In the Mao-era many urban people lived in apartments with closet-size kitchens off a communal hall and outdoor public restroom. People could build and finance their own homes but few people had enough money to do that. In some places the state got involved, providing loans but also adding surcharges that in some cases doubled the cost.

Citizens were theoretically supposed to be allowed to live where they wanted but in reality they were required to be registered with the government and have a residency permits to live where they did. Those that didn't have permits could be evicted.

Many urban Chinese lived in dreary pre-fab apartment complexes built from concrete panels constructed in assembly lines and put together with cranes. A typical apartment was sold as a shell with no cabinets, appliances, closets, bathroom vanities or even molding or electrical fixtures. The owners were expected to supply these things for themselves. The interior walls of many homes were brick covered with plaster, which is very cold in the winter. Toilets were often outside the apartments. Many of the Soviet-style apartments in Beijing have been torn down.

Young married couples often had no choice but to move in with their parents. New parents were given priority on scarce apartments and loans were given according to how many children they had. In some places, the government gave $2000 in credit to start a home, and owners paid the loan back in decreasing amounts as children were born.

Image Sources: University of Washington except cave homes, Beifan.com China Pictures Of Chinese People, Chinese Dragons, Great Wall Of China., and Beijing suburb, Ian Patterson; Asia Obscura AsiaObscura | Weird and Awesome Across the East ;

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, Lonely Planet Guides, Compton's Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

HOMES, TRADITIONAL HOMES AND CAVES HOMES IN CHINA - China | Facts and Details
 

Ray

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Just see Chinese home now





Now that is what I call Progress!
 

Ray

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Chinese cuisine is any of several styles originating in the regions of China, some of which have become increasingly popular in other parts of the world – from Asia to the Americas, Australia, Western Europe and Southern Africa.

The history of Chinese cuisine stretches back for many centuries and produced both change from period to period and variety in what could be called traditional Chinese food, leading Chinese to pride themselves on eating a wide range of foods.

Major traditions include Anhui, Cantonese, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Szechuan, and Zhejiang cuisines.
 

Ray

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We keep seeing Chinese using the Chinese script when the are angry.

Check this out, if they use it:

Chinese Swear Words

 
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Tianshan

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haha, those videos will not help you recognize if we swear, since we will do it in a way which only other chinese can understand.

the second video is in cantonese, and does not give the chinese character. so it is only helpful if you can actually hear them speaking it.

on topic: i think only an outsider who is "politically neutral", can hope to really understand china.. and that will take a long time as well. on a defence site, this is nearly impossible, since everyone will look at it through a political lens.
 

no smoking

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Don's worry, Tianshan, in this forum, almost every indian member "knows" more about china than any chinese.

If you don't agree with them, either you are "CCP propaganda" or you are "brainwahsed".
 

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