Happiness is not something that can be measured by money

     One of even if a person has a lot of money, his/her spiritual world can be empty, or his/her life is not free. I think that he would never be truly happy, and sometimes will be hurting, too. Some people hold this point of view, “it is better to cry sitting in your Porsche than on your bike”.So, there have been many things in today's society, for example, 20-year-old girl to marry 40-year-old rich man. In “A Dream of Red Mansions” by Xueqin Cao, the hero Baoyu Jia grows up in a prominent and wealthy feudal bureaucratic family. He lives the life of others people’s envy; it stands to reason that he is happy. But that is not the case; he is imprisoned by the feudal ethical code. He has no real freedom. Therefore, he is not happy. Finally, he has to run away from home. We always complain about not having enough money to spend. We also have more arguments with our family because of money, and we have an irrepressible impulse to be shopaholics. Are we happier when we have a lot of money? I do not think so.


A Bit of China

When this documentary was broadcast, it has a huge impact in China; a lot of people become very enthusiastic about Chinese food. Unlike other food TV shows, this documentary is full of humanistic concern and traditional Chinese culture.


Chinese Clothing

As a vital part of Chinese civilization, traditional costumes play an important role in the country’s history and culture. Their basic features are cross-collar, wrapping the right lapel over the left, tying with sash and a form of blouse plus skirt or long gown. These features have been preserved for thousands of years till the time of the Republic of China (1912 – 1949AD), when Chinese Tunic Suit (Mao Suit) and cheongsam prevailed. Nowadays, however, most Chinese wear modern clothes in their daily lives, not much difference from their western counterparts. Traditional attires are only worn during certain festivals, ceremonies or religious occasions. However, they are often seen in Chinese television serials and movies. Many of the country’s ethnic minorities also wear their traditional costumes in their daily lives and they played an important role in the traditional Chinese clothing. 

Traditional Chinese Suit
Traditional Chinese Suit
Based on historical discoveries, Chinese clothes dates back to the later era of Paleolithic Times (1.7 million years ago - the 21st century BC). Materials used were of animal skins and decorations were of small stones and animal teeth. The “real” clothes were not invented until about 5,000 years ago by the Yellow Emperor. By the Shang Dynasty (17th century BC - 1046 BC), the basic features of traditional Chinese attire were created, as well as the general pattern of blouse plus skirt. Later, the long gown appeared during the Zhou Dynasty (1046 - 256 BC) and it co-existed with the blouse-skirt combinations for thousands of years, improving further as time passed. Then a great change occurred with the formation of the Republic of China, when Mao Suit became popular among the males and cheongsam among the females. In the early period of the People’s Republic of China, Mao Suit stayed popular among not only males, but also females. Later in the 1970’s, when the country implemented reform and opening policy, the masses gradually turned to western-style attire. 

In addition to the basic features and patterns, traditional Chinese attires have many other features like appearance, cutting, decoration, color and design, etc, all of which changed over the various dynasties. For example, black is the most dignified color in the Xia Dynasty (21st - 17th century BC), white in the Shang Dynasty and red in the Zhou Dynasty. They also vary based on one’s political position, social status, occupation and gender, etc. For instance, dragon embroideries and bright yellow can only be used by emperors most of the time; in the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 AD), purple official costumes are for the fifth or higher rank officials; in the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911 AD), the higher a person’s social rank or the richer one was, the more embroideries and borders there were on his attires.

 Well-known Fashion
Chinese Cheongsam
Although the fashion trend changes over time, there are several types that are popular till today both at home and abroad.
 Traditional Han Chinese Clothing (Han Fu): It refers to the attire worn by the Han people from the enthronement of the Yellow Emperor (about 2698 BC) till the late Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644 AD). It became known as the Han Fu (“fu” means “clothes” in Chinese) because the fashion was improved and popularized during the Han Dynasty. It is usually in the form of long gown, cross collar, wrapping the right lapel over the left, loose wide sleeves and no buttons but a sash. Although simple in design, it gives different feelings to different wearers.  
 Chinese Suit (Tang Zhuang): It is a combination of the Manchu male jacket of the Qing Dynasty and the western style suit. It is usually straight collared, with coiled buttons down the front. Its color and design are in traditional Chinese style but tailoring is western.
 Cheongsam (Qi Pao): Originated from the Manchu female clothes, it evolved by merging with western patterns that show off the beauty of a female body. Its features are straight collar, strain on the waist, coiled buttons and slits on both sides of the dress. Materials used are usually silk, cotton and linen. Cheongsam is the most popular Chinese attire in the world today. 
 Chinese Tunic Suit (Zhongshan Zhuang): Also called the Yat-sen Suit, it is designed by Dr. Sun Yat-sen by combining the western-style suit and Chinese attire. It has a turn-down collar and four pockets with flaps. As Chairman Mao Zedong worn it quite frequently, it is also called the Mao Suit by westerners. It is the main attire from the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 till 1980’s. The country’s leaders still wear it today when attending important occasions, such as military parades.

 Other Types
 Traditional Manchu Clothing: It is the traditional dress of the Manchu ethnic nationality, usually in the form of long gown and sometimes with a jacket or waistcoat outside. Since Manchu is the leading class of the Qing Dynasty and their dresses were strongly promoted, this kind of clothes was very popular in that period. The characteristics are round or straight collar, fasten with buttons from the right collar and a sash on the waist, two or four slits, and tight sleeves with cuffs shaped like horse hoofs.
 Traditional Clothing of the Other Ethnic Minorities: In addition to Manchu, the country has 54 ethnic minorities and each of them has their own unique costumes. Unlike the traditional Han Chinese costumes, these costumes are still widely worn today. Basically, they can be divided into two types: long gown and short coat with pants or skirt. They usually wear long gowns with hats and boots; others prefer short coat and generally wrap their head with cloth and wear shoes.  People wearing the same type of clothes can be further distinguished by the costume details like the structure, craft and style, etc. Take the long gown for instance.  The Mongolian and Tu nationalities prefer high collared gown with buttons down the front; theTibet and Monba groups wear collarless gown with buttons on one side and the Uygur love those with buttons on the right.
Clothing of Miao Ethnic Minority
Clothing of Miao Ethnic Minority
Clothing of Uygur Ethnic Minority
Clothing of Uygur People
 Dragon Robe: It is so named because of the embroidered dragons on it.  It can only be worn by the emperor, who was considered a dragon from heaven in the ancient times. Other characteristics of a dragon robe are round collar, buttons on the right and most of the time in bright yellow. 
 Officials’ Uniform: Unlike modern China, almost all kinds of officials in ancient times had uniforms. They are strictly distinguished by colors, embroidered patterns and hats, etc. For instance, in the Ming Dynasty, the embroidered pattern on a first rank civil officer’s uniform was a crane, second rank a golden pheasant, third rank a peacock, fourth rank a wild goose, fifth rank a silver pheasant, sixth rank an egret, seventh rank a “purple mandarin duck”, eighth rank an oriole and ninth rank a quail. 
 Traditional Wedding Costumes: Chinese traditional wedding costumes vary in different dynasties and time periods. However, they are red most of the time as red is considered lucky, happy and auspicious in the country’s culture. The most well-known are red chaplet and official robes, which are still widely worn today by newly wed in traditional style wedding ceremonies or for taking wedding photos.


Chinese Martial Arts

     China became the center of the martial arts universe in 2600 B.C. In 2000 B.C., Emperor Huang Di was noted to be a shuai jiao (wrestling) and pole-fighting expert and had his troops learn martial arts. Mongolian tribesmen introduced a violent style of skull-bashing wrestling to China around 770 B.C.; this art is believed to be the progenitor of sumo. During the Han and Qin dynasties (256 B.C.-A.D. 220), this wrestling style was combined with kemari (a kicking game designed to strengthen one’s feet for war) to create shubaku. Sun Tsu (544-496 B.C.) wrote The Art of War, emphasizing the importance of martial arts for living and fighting. Early records also indicate that Chinese martial arts spread into Europe, India and Asia Minor (Middle East) via the Silk Road in 500 B.C.
     Yet the origin of today’s martial arts began in 527 A.D. when Indian monk Ta Mo arrived at the Shaolin Temple in the Henan province and taught the monks the 18 Buddhist Fists, which evolved into the Five Animal Styles of Shaolin. While Tao Mo’s influence has inspired many Chinese and non-Chinese martial arts, others have evolved independently.


Top 10 Must See Places in China

1. Beijing

Beijing TourBeijing is the capital of the People's Republic of China, the center of the nation's politics, culture and international exchanges and a moden metropolis full of vitality. Beijing is one of the six ancient cities in China together with Xian, Luoyang, Kaifeng, Nanjing and Hangzhou. It had served as the capital for the dynasties such as Jin (1115 AD - 1234 AD), Yuan (1279 AD -1368 AD), Ming (1368 AD -1644 A D) and Qin (1644 AD - 1911 AD).
Top attractions in Beijing:
Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, the Great Wall, Ming Tomb, Hutong, Lama Temple, Beihai Park, Beijing Capital Museum, Yashow Market and more... top

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

2. Xian

Xian TourXi'an, also called Changan is the largest city in north-west China. It had served as the nation's capital for 13 dynasties such as Western Zhou (11th century BC - 771 BC), Qin (221 BC - 206 BC), Western Han (206 BC - 24 AD) and Tang (618 - 907) for more than 1000 years. It is famous for historical importance.
Top attractions in Xian:
Terra-cotta Army, Banpo Museum, Huaqing Hotspring, City Wall, Big Goose Pagoda, Shaanxi Provincial Museum, Xian Great Mosque, Forest of Stone Steles Museum and more... top

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Shanghai TourAs the largest city in China, Shanghai is located in central-eastern China, confronting the East China Sea. Shanghai is mainly sectioned into two parts: Pudong (east of the Huangpu River) and Puxi (west of the Huangpu River). Pudong is the new development zone. Shanghai has two airports - Shanghai Pudong International Airport ( PVG ) and Shanghai Hongqiao Airport. Shanghai Pudong International Airport caters for international flights while Hongqiao for domestic flights.
Top attractions in Shanghai:
Shanghai Bund, Shanghai Jade Buddha Temple, Shanghai Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Xin Tian Di, Shanghai Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Shanghai Huangpu River and more... top

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

4. Guilin

Guilin TourLocated by the banks of the Li River, Guilin has gained fame both at home and abroad for its featuring scenery: verdant mountians, unique rockeries, crystal water, various caves, stones of numerous shapes. The many ethnic minorities live here that include the Zhuang, Yao, Hui, Miao, Mulao, Maonan and Dong. They add the much colour to the cultural life of the city.
Top attractions in Guilin:
The Li River, The Reed Flute Cave, Elephant Trunk Hill, Seven Star Park, Guilin Folded Brocade Hil, Fubo Hill, Solitary Beauty Hill, Longji Terraced Field in Longsheng, Fengyu Cave in Lipu County Guilin. top

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Yangtze River TourYangtze River cruising should be on the list for those who seek for romantic escape and travel with their family or friends. Yangtze River is winding through the mountains and the cities from the west to the east entering the East China Sea near Shanghai with a total length of over 6300 km, ranking the third in the world, only shorter than the Nile and Amazon.
Top Attractions along Yangtze River:
Chongqing City, Fengdu, Baoshizhai, Wanxian, Shennong Streem, Lesser Three Gorges, Three Gorges, Three Gorges Dam and Yichang City, Wuhan City. top

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Lhasa Tibet TourTibet is a place lonely from the rest of the world with the winding hills of the high plateau and the amazing Himalayas. Today in the age of information, people can easily get to the mysterious place with jet aircraft, highways, now even trains! Lhasa is the political and cultural capital of Tibet. Lhasa means in Tibetan "The land of gods". There are numerous scenic spots and historical sites in Lhasa Tibet.
Top Attractions in Tibet:
Potala Palace, Nobulingka, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Ganden Monastery and Jokhang Temple being the most worth visiting. Shigatse is the second biggest city in Tibet. Shigatse means in Tibetan "The Estate that materializes one's Dream ". Tashilhunpo Monastery is its main historic attraction. Mt. Kailash, in western Tibet is holy to both Hinduism and Buddhism. top

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Jiuzhaigou Sichuan TourSituated in the depths of the mountains in the border area of Nanping, Songpan and Pingwu counties in Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in the northwestern Sichuan Province, Jiuzhaigou is a fairyland named after the Nine-Village Valley, which is the living place of nine Tibetan villages. The valley is about 50 kilometers long. In 1992, It was listed as the world natural heritage list of UNESCO.
Top attractions in Jiuzhaigou Sichuan:
Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, Qingchengshan & Dujiangyan Irrigation System, Emei Mountain and Giant Buddha of Leshan, Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area, Huanglong. top

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Lijiang Yunnan TourLijiang is situated in Yunnan Province of south China. It is on UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage list. It has the history of over 1,300 years. Lijiang is inhabited by Naxi people. It is under the administration of the Naxi Autonomous County. It stands on a plateau at 2,600m above sea level. It is well known for its natural scenery and green vegetation. It has the Jade Dragon Mountain as its backdrop. The old town blends naturally with the natural scenery. Thel local Naxi people has developed a culture called "Dong Ba Culture". Classical Naxi music is considered as the "living musical fossil" due to its long history.
Top atractions in Lijiang Yunnan:
Ancient Town Lijiang, Yulong Snow Mountain, Tiger Leaping Gorge. top

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Zhangjiajie Hunan TourZhangjiajie City is located on the west mountians of Hunan Province. Under the administration of Zhangjiajie City, there is a district called Wulingyuan District where the Wulingyuan Scenic Area is located. The Wulingyuan Scenic Area is sectioned into 3 parts: Zhangjiajie National Forest Park; Tianzi Mountain and Suoxi Valley. Most of the visitors stay at the Wulingyuan area instead of the city center of Zhangjiajie City. In December of 1992, Wulingyuan was included in the World Heritage List by UNESCO.
Top attractions in Zhangjiajie Hunan:
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Tianzi Mountain, Suoxi Valley Nature Reserve. top

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Silk Road in China TourThe Silk Road has a history of more than 2,000 years. It actually started from Chang'an ( the present Xian, Shaanxi Province ) in the east and stretched to Rome, Italy in the west. The ancient silk road went through Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai provinces, Ningxia Hui and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous regions and then extended over the Pamirs, further extending to Central and West Asia. And finally the silk road met the east bank of the Mediterranean Sea and Eastern Europe. The Silk Road had the total length of over 2,485 miles and over half of which is within China.
Top attractions along the Silk Road in China:
Lanzhou, Wuwei, Zhangye, Jiayuguan Pass, Dunhuang, Hami, Turpan, Urumqi, Loulan, Korla, Kuqa (Kucha), Aksu, Kashgar (Kashi), Hotan. top



Alibaba Plans U.S. Listing

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., China’s biggest e-commerce company, plans to hold its initial public offering in the U.S. after failing to agree with Hong Kong’s stock exchange over a listing in the city, according to two people familiar with the situation. The deal, which analysts say could value the company at $70 billion or more, would be the biggest in the technology sector since Facebook IPO last year and would test global investor appetite for China’s fast-growing consumer market.
(http://online.wsj.com /article)
     This is a challenge and opportunity for the Alibaba Group, e-Commerce giant’s IPO could spark contest between Nasdaq and NYSE. The loss of the Alibaba IPO would be a blow to Hong Kong’s stock exchange, which has struggled in the last couple of years to regain its 2011 status of being the world’s top venue for new listings. Alibaba has given up on listing in Hong Kong and is moving toward a New York IPO.

“Dead Poets’ Society”

     This story is about seeking freedom and intense resist to the established norms. Mr. Keating fights against the old traditional education system, with his full passion because he wants to help students understand the value of life. I admired his behavior, and also approved of his idea, “seize the day”. He is not only the students’ English teacher, but also motivates them to grow their spirits. 
     Neil Perry is a student of Mr. Keating, he fights against his father. Neil Perry is under the thumb of his overbearing father. He likes acting, so he insists on it. At last he gets success in acting as a clown. But, at the end of the film we see that he commits suicide. When he faces the cold language of his father, who tramples his self-esteem, he loses hope. His father robs him of his survival, which is based on following Neil’s own dream. Death for Neil, is freedom. Mr. Keating is framed for Neal's death, and as a result, he is leave. I got revved up by the tragic ending of the film, which cruel reality gives the hopeful youth a heavy blow.
      I don’t want too much description about who was right. Everyone hold the self point of view, with the time and the environment is different, we are not sure who is right and who is wrong. I just want to say that I admired Mr. Keating. When he packed his luggage, and went walks out the door. The students collectively stood up onto the table saying: “Oh, Captain, my captain!” After this the screen went silent. This is silent screen, but significant, because I saw the flame of youth.

Eight Major Cuisines of China

1)        Shandong cuisine
With a long history and wide influence, Shandong cuisine is an important ingredient of China’s dietary culture. Shandong cuisine is salty, crispy and tender, and delicious. All the dishes are precisely made. The cuisine is famous for using shallots in flavoring its signature dishes such as Stir Fried Prawns, Fried Sea Cucumbers with Onions, Sweet and Sour Carp, Large Jiaodong Chicken Wings, Taishan Fish with Red Scales.
2)        Sichuan Cuisine
Sichuan cuisine consists of many famous and special dishes with local flavors in Chongqing, Chengdu, north Sichuan and south Sichuan. With more than 3,000 approaches in nearly 40 categories of cooking, such as Stir-fried Diced Chicken with Chilli and Peanuts, Stir-fried Bean Curd in Hot Sauce, Fish-flavored Shredded Pork, Rice Crusts and Sliced Pork, Stir-fried Sliced Beef.

3)        Guangdong Cuisine
Guangdong cuisine mainly consists of three sub-cuisines from Guangzhou, Chaozhou and Dongjiang. Its famous dishes include: Fried Bean Curd and Fresh Shrimps, Baiyun Pig’s Trotters, Roast Piglet with Crisp Skin, Dongjiang Salted Chicken, Refreshing Beef Balls, Taiye Chicken, and Fried Jelly Fish.
4)        Fujian Cuisine
Fujian Cuisine was formed gradually through integration and exchanges between the Han culture of the central plains and ancient local Yue culture. Consisting of three distinct flavors of Fuzhou, Minnan and Minxi local dishes, Fujian Cuisine features light taste and tenderness, with sour and sweet tastes. Dishes such as Monk Jumps over Wall, sea clams in Chicken Soup, Glossy Ganoderma and Jade Cicadas, Litchi Pulp, Fragrant Sliced Snails with a Faint Smell of Distillers.

5)        Jiangsu Cuisine
Jiangsu cuisine is famous for its seafood and features fine cutting and slicing skills and cooking duration. Jiangsu chefs employ slow-cooking and smoking to great effect to produce a salty and sweet flavor. The representative dishes include Butterfish in Creamy Juice, Santao Duck, Steamed Large Meatballs, Fragrant and Soft Silverfish, Crystal Pig‘s Trotters, Steamed Hilsa Herring, King Bids Farewell to His Consort, etc.

6)        Zhejiang Cuisine
Precisely made, Zhejiang Cuisine boasts great variety, and favors quick-frying, frying, braising, and deep-frying; Ningbo Cuisine is salty and tasty, mainly cooked through steaming, roasting, and braising. The dishes are delicious, tender, soft and smooth; Shaoxing Cuisine is famous for river food. The dishes are tasty, crispy and soft and the soups are delicious and thick with rural flavors. The representative dishes are West Lake Sour Fish, Dongpo Pork, Longjing Shrimp Meat, Jiaohua Young Chickens, Steam Rice Flower and Pork Wrapped by Lotus Leaves, Braised Bamboo Shoots and Whitefish with Fermented Glutinous Rice.

7)        Hunan Cuisine
Hunan Cuisine boasts great variety with unique tastes and local characteristics. Many famous cooks have made the cuisine independent from others. Beef omasum is sliced hair-thin, sometimes cut into the shape of a comb, and sauteed beef tenderloin is sliced as thin as a piece of paper. There are some innovative dishes such as Spicy Young Chicken, Fried Fish Slices, Steamed Soft-Shell Turtle, Steamed Cured Meat, Huofang Whitebait, Dongting Fat Fish Maw, Jishou Sour Meat, Oily and Spicy Tender Bamboo Shoots, and Chinese Chestnuts and Hearts of Cabbages.

8)        Anhui Cuisine
Anhui Cuisine is famous for its delicacies from mountain and sea with cooking methods including braising and boiling, with stress on precise cooking duration. Starch and oil are heavily used. Many of the dishes are slow-roasted over charcoal. Representative dishes include Milky Fat Fish King, Stewed Mati Soft-shelled Turtle in Clear Soup, Guest Welcoming Pine, Crucian Carp in Earthen Pot, Fuliji Chicken, Red Bayberry and Glutinous Rice Balls, etc.