Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for January 11th, 2010

North east of Dawanglu Soho

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 11, 2010


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We Have the Book of Job, they have the Book of Songs

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 11, 2010


This from NBC here. One thing that I have noticed while in China is that a country without recognized religion can share very little in terms of ethics and morality in comparison to Christian countries. All of my working life, I have had the pleasure of working in Christian countries where there was always a seedling of commonalities in terms of beliefs- in regards to a higher power, the preciousness of life and other things. What I have found here, although the people are great, is a real sink hole in terms of understanding the true goodness of mankind and why we are here. For instance, in Christianity, we are all God’s children and thus precious, but a look at a book of ancient Chinese wisdom sheds light on their perspective of boys and girls.

The traditional thinking is best described in the ancient "Book of Songs" (1000-700 B.C.):

"When a son is born,
Let him sleep on the bed,
Clothe him with fine clothes,
And give him jade to play…
When a daughter is born,
Let her sleep on the ground,
Wrap her in common wrappings,
And give broken tiles to play…"

today this feeling or thinking has not changed much, the disparity in the rate birth in boys and girls dramatically points out. The key has to be education, as a country develops, it typically eschews this type of belief for more humane ones. In this case, one can only hope.

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Woo is that Legal in China- Marriage Sites With Ads of 12 and 13 year olds

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 11, 2010


With approximately 120 males being born for every 100 women, you would think that they wouldn’t have to resort to this, but check out this website (it is in Chinese so use google translator), it is a Chinese marriage and dating agency- seems to focus on women. Some interesting things are that the women will always say how much the man must make (this is par for the course in China) but alarmingly it also has many underage women advertising (Chinese netizens are understandably pissed). To check it out in Chinese just touch the button that looks like a square with legs.
The disturbing thing is that if true, this is awful, the good thing is that the typical Chinese is upset that it is happening.

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Chinese 50 cent- More Influence of the Government in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 11, 2010


You cant always believe what you read, not even in China. In China, the government takes the theorhetical pulse on the populace via the internet and other forums. For the most part, the educated have access to the ‘net and thus, from time-to-time, some interesting issues come up which the government feels it must monitor. Chat rooms are open forums for discussion, for a time at least, and anything too offensive appears, it is simply removed (this is is the power of the government in modern day China.).

But an interesting phenomenon called the 50 cent group has also been introduced into this supposedly open forum.

Wikipedia reference:

50 Cent Party (五毛党, pinyin: wǔmáodǎng), also called 50 Cent Army, is the name for paid astroturfing bloggers operating since 2005 from People’s Republic of China, whose role is posting comments favorable towards the government policies to skew the public opinion on various Internet message boards. They are named by the 50 Chinese cents, or 5 mao, they are paid per such post,…many are volunteers; other names …red vests, red vanguard and the Five Mao Party… estimates say the 50 Cents Army employs tens of thousands of bloggers, some estimates say as many as 280,000–300,000. Their activities were described by Chinese President Hu Jintao as "a new pattern of public-opinion guidance".

Okay lets analyze this. but first, did Hu Jintao say "public opinion guidance". Mr. Hu runs the country and thus is the big Kahuna, and this guy is legitimizing manipulation of public opinion to form policy… damn, GWB would be proud. But really, for him to legitimate it so openly speaks volumes. But back to the question at hand. In the west we may have people shanghai’ing or jacking forums and posting off color or remarks made to instigate certain behaviors. But, for the governement to condone this level of deceit seems frightful. I remember when it was said that GWB had done it, and some are saying the same of BHO, but at least they had the decorum to hide it.

In the end, I guess we have our 50 cent, an ex crack sales man accused of using human growth hormone and they have theirs.

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Mei Guanxi- No Relationship, Saying You are Sorry in Chinese

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 11, 2010


“Mei” in Chinese pinyin, means “no” (which is the Chinese form of spelling that uses letters as opposed to characters- here), guanxi in pinyin is relationships, it is a well known and partially understood term to westerners.

So, in china, why is it that they say Mei Guanxi ( 没关系) to say ‘no problem’ or ‘its alright’? This would seem as if they are saying, “No relationship, or the opposite. For instance, in china if you make a mistake you may say ‘ bu hao yise’ (or bad this- I am sorry), and I will respond- mei guanxi, or no relationship.  As I began to learn Chinese ( I still haven’t) this notion perplexed.

For one thing, it shows the power of guanxi in China, in terms of it is a form of saying no problem, and its true meaning per wiki is

meiyou guanxi (沒有關係 ) which literally translated to “doesn’t have guanxi [implications]”

Problem solved. So in China, instead of saying no problem, or it is ok, one basically is stating that whatever thing has transpired between you and another, if not too bad, has not damaged the ever precious relationship.

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Ha! That is their Secret- Poor translation in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 11, 2010


Whew, now I know how they do it, both the men and women- how they maintain those frail bodies. The secret, you see, is all in the “Fat Throwing Instrument” pictured below (double click on the  images if you cannot see the wording  clearly). I came across this machine at the gym to which I currently belong. There are actually two of these devices, neither of which works at present. I cannot verify the veracity of the claim that it truly does, throw fat, or just what throwing fat contains- as every time I have gone to the gym, approx 2 weeks, this elusive ‘fat throwing’ device has been out of service, thus I have not used it and cannot explain how the mysterious device even works.

One look at my Chinese counterparts, however may tell the tale. Alothough they are not nearly as tall as westerners- but not as short as some my think- they do have some unexplained force that allows them to maintain the body fat of a Chihuahua, all the while steadily chomping on bird seed and the like. (Chinese love to snack, they snack on seeds, fruits, everything but Snickers bars).

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