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Jan 17

Hakka Tulou in Fujian Province

Written by: Steve | Filed under:culture, education, Environment, General, technology | 71 Comments » newest 2010-08-18 09:28:24

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Huaiyuan Lou Tulou; built in 1907

We’ve had discussions about Hakka culture in the past with several of our commenters being of Hakka ancestry, so I wanted to show some photos taken by Ted of tulou (土楼; 土樓) in Fujian province. 60% of Hakka are from the Xingning/Meixian area of Guangdong province and over 95% of overseas Hakka were originally from that region, but tulou exist only in Fujian.

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Dec 26

China’s Charter 08

Written by: Steve | Filed under:culture, education, General, media, News, politics | 408 Comments » newest 2016-02-10 05:30:51

Recently, over 2000 Chinese citizens signed the document below, released on December 10th, calling for human rights and democracy with an eventual end to one party rule. I’ve used the translation from the New York Review of Books with sections of their Postscript included. This document was signed by Chinese citizens living inside China, not expat dissidents living abroad. The Postscript gives some information concerning the status of a few of the 303 intellectuals who had signed the document. The blog Global Voices  also has an in-depth look at the current status of the more prominent signatories.


What do you think of this document? Should it be discussed or dismissed? Should the signers be arrested and jailed? Is there room in the current China for this type of discussion? Continue reading »

Dec 15

The Princess Tai Ping Crosses the Pacific Ocean

Written by: Steve | Filed under:culture, education, Environment, technology | 30 Comments » newest 2009-08-01 20:06:57

And now for something completely different!

After sailing across the Pacific Ocean in a 15th century Chinese junk, Captain Nelson Liu and his crew of seven on the Princess Tai Ping spent their last few days at the San Diego Maritime Museum before making their way to Hawaii and eventually back to Japan and Taipei.

The 54 foot, 35 ton Fujian style warship, built and launched from Xiamen using the same materials as their ancestors, is following the conjectured route of 15th century Chinese admiral Zheng He who, according to some theories, may have arrived on the North American West Coast long before Cabrillo.

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Nov 06

minipost-Is China An Inclusive Society?

Written by: Steve | Filed under:-mini-posts, culture, education, politics, religion | 233 Comments » newest 2008-11-23 14:49:02

With its recent election of an African American president, the United States has continued to evolve into a more inclusive society. One of the reasons is that being “American” means buying into a set of ideas rather than belonging to a particular race, creed or color. What was once a society of European immigrants is now a culture with roots from around the world; a culture that celebrates and is proud of its multicultural heritage. Continue reading »

Sep 09

The recent political turmoils have received relatively scant coverage in the Western Press.  Nevertheless, many of us here at Foolsmountain think the events in Thailand are important and interesting because they touch upon so many interesting issues – including the rule of law, democracy, class warfare, public education, and the role of military – all of which are also pertinent to China. Continue reading »

Jul 24

(Letter) Tibet officials issued with Dalai school ultimatum

Written by: guest | Filed under:education, News | Tags:, ,
49 Comments » newest 2008-09-19 23:59:02

Here is a piece of news on CD.

Party members and public servants working in the Tibet autonomous region were given an ultimatum on July 14 to call back their children within two months from overseas schools and monasteries run by the “Dalai clique”, the International Herald Leader (IHL), owned by the Xinhua News Agency, said Wednesday.

Under a regulation drawn up by the regional Party and government disciplinary inspection commissions, which was released last week, those who fail to do so will be expelled from the Party and removed from their posts, the IHL report said.

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Jul 04

Today, without too much fuss, regular direct flights between mainland China and Taiwan began, fulfilling a campaign pledge of Ma Yingjiu. The flights run Friday-to-Monday between Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Xiamen, Guangzhou and Taipei. As you can see from the maps (from Sina & Chinanews) below, all flights still route near Hong Kong airspace so they are “direct” only in the sense of not having to actually stop in Hong Kong or somewhere else. Still it’s the start of something new — the “direct” flights put major mainland cities within a one- to two-hour radius of Taiwan, make it possible for day trips back and forth, for business or leisure. This is a popular move. Why has it taken so long and why is this significant?

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Jun 16

“Two Million Minutes” – High school in US/China/India

Written by: Buxi | Filed under:education | Tags:
8 Comments » newest 2008-06-19 15:41:20

This seems like a thought-provoking movie.

This LA Times articles provides the basic details:

But one faculty member, Compton recalled, told him that “we have nothing to learn from Third World education.” Another, renowned education theorist Howard Gardner, took him to task for comparing the U.S. with China.

“His point was: How can you have a great educational system when you don’t have freedom of speech?” Compton said. Compton saw the remark as missing the point: America may not have anything to learn from China’s one-party political system, but it might want to know why Chinese students do better in math and science.

The full story on this situation isn’t quite so simple; there are many in China deeply unsatisfied with the Chinese education system.  But the topic is certainly worthy of debate (see earlier thread on 50 years of gaokao).

Jun 10

Essay topics: 50 years of Gaokao

Written by: Buxi | Filed under:education | Tags:
38 Comments » newest 2013-08-07 22:59:57

As many might know, this weekend was the 3-day university admissions test (gaokao). For decades, all Chinese children have studied for this test as if their life depended on it… and for decades, it really did. For those living in a culture that has long treasured the value of academic study, and a country with a planned economy, receiving a university degree has meant literally everything. If we look back even further in history, ever since the Tang dynasty (700 AD), education has been the primary method for advancing yourself in society.

With the help of a post from Tianya (原贴, originally from Xinhua), here are the national essay topics used over the last 50 years. Read the questions and the years carefully enough, and you’ll get a hint of Chinese society as it has dramatically changed over the last 60 years:

1951: My work outside of the classroom; discuss advantages of increasing production and conservation.
1952: Remember a new person’s new event; throwing myself into the motherland’s embrace.
1953: Write about a revolutionary cadre you’re familiar with; remembering the person I’m most familiar with.
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Jun 02

“Communist-inspired” Chinese language teaching

Written by: Buxi | Filed under:education | Tags:,
13 Comments » newest 2008-11-19 11:44:08

Many Chinese speak of “anti-China” sentiment being behind some of the criticism that China receives.  Many Western critics, in turn, argue that Chinese are being too sensitive.  Articles like this column published in the Vancouver Sun, however, will go to reinforcing the opinion of many Chinese that the West is still gripped by anti-China fervor.

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May 22

A Canadian professor and his Tsinghua students

Written by: admin | Filed under:culture, education | Tags:, , ,
6 Comments » newest 2008-05-23 02:36:11

Tsinghua University is one of the most prominent universities in China. Current President Hu Jintao and former premier Zhu Rongji are both Tsinghua alumni. So it’s naturally intriguing to know what current Tsinghua students are like, since they are probably China’s future leaders. Daniel Bell, a Professor of Political Philosophy and Ethics at Tsinghua University in Beijing, provided an insider’s view today at The New York Times.

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