Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

North and South China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 21, 2011

This was written 120 years ago, but still seems relevant today.

from The Civilization of China (Herbert Allen Giles)

The inhabitants of the coast provinces are distinguished from the dwellers in the north and in the far interior by a marked alertness of mind and general temperament. The Chinese themselves declare that virtue is associated with mountains, wisdom with water, cynically implying that no one is both virtuous and wise. Between the inhabitants of the various provinces there is little love lost. Northerners fear and hate southerners, and the latter hold the former in infinite scorn and contempt. Thus, when in 1860 the Franco-British force made for Peking, it was easy enough to secure the services of any number of Cantonese, who remained as faithful as though the attack had been directed against some third nationality.


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