Traditional Chinese Festivals: An Infographic

Last week I made an infographic on Traditional Chinese Festivals. It’s the first time I make this sort of things and I’m already in love with it. Infographics are straightforward in showing ideas using numbers and pictures. Unlike blog posts, infographics are easier to read; and unlike tweets, infographics can contain a lot of information. In a way infographics are similar to fruit salad: you like it because it tastes good, and it’s good for you because it supplies you a log of nutrition; plus, you never get bored with it since it comes in various combinations!

So here’s the infographic I made, probably not the best one you’ve ever seen though. But shut up and I’m working on getting it better! 🙂 Continue reading

A glimpse of Japan

Chinese always have a mild hatred for Japanese: in TV series, movies, advertisements, Japanese are usually depicted as stupid, cruel, lustful and unruly. I didn’t see any movies that shows Japan and Japanese people positively. In fact, China has a term calling Japan and Japanese people: “Xiao Riben”, literally “Little Japanese”. Chinese often talk about Japanese people with contempt. However, based on 10-day visit in Japan, I think Chinese should not be that proud.

The first impression of Japan: neat and clean. You do not see any trash bins in the streets; you do not see any trash either. In Japan you have to bring your garbage back home. You clean up your own mess. And back home, you have to categorize the trash. Japan is a country keen of recycling resources. Plastic bottles have their own bins. In some small places in Japan, only trash in a certain category will be received, i.e., on Monday you can only take your plastic bottles out but not bio trash; on Tuesday you may throw away bio trash but not glass bottles.

It’s quiet. People don’t talk to each other on the bus or subway; if they do, no one hears them. On buses and subway carts, no-talk-on-the-phone signs are quite common. On the road no cars honk. People walk as fast as people in China, but you can feel the difference: it’s more peaceful in Japan.

Everything is in order. People obey rules. No one crosses the red light, be there traffic or not. We went to a city name Takayama and early in the morning  we took a walk around the city. The streets are almost empty, with a few pedestrians, no cars on the street. However, people still wait until traffic lights turn green. On elevators people stand on one side and leave space for those in a hurry. In bus stops people line up and nobody jumps a queue.

People are polite, most are friendly. You may not get used to it when people bow you all the time: in supermarkets, in shops, even on the street. Still in Takayama, a girl tries to cross the road when she noticed a car is approaching; she paused; the driver signals her to go first; the girl bowed to the driver and crossed the road; the car continues moving. You will never see this in China. The car won’t stop in the first place. On the contrary to movie depictions, I found most Japanese friendly. On the streets if you ask for directions, many will take you to your destination if it’s not far away. When my girlfriend is moving out from her student apartment, it was raining. The apartment administrator offered to drive us and our luggage to the metro station by his own car. I doubt this happens in China.

Of course we met a lady who discriminated us in Shirakawa-Go. We ordered food and she asked us to pay first. All others pay after they had food. She might have encountered customers not paying for food. What happened to her may not be pleasant, but how she treated us made us unpleasant as well. But the experience in Japan was extremely positive. I’d encourage every Chinese to go visit Japan. Things will be better if we understand each other better. People should learn from each other and treat each other as equal parties. I believe people in China and Japan are both nice, they are just taken advantage of by those asshole politicians. Well, screw them!

Henry Kissinger On China

The uniqueness of China lies in the long history and profound culture and traditions developed within the long period. Thanks to this uniqueness, we are born with a innate proudness. We think we are the best and in fact we are, at least for most of the time. We have been invaded but never been conquered. The strategy has always been sample as this: we are never afraid of the rest of the world because we are the best; if you want to fight us, welcome; we will fight you and beat you; if we fail we will assimilate you until you become you as one of us, sooner or later. This strategy makes me believe that even if aliens invade China and assume we are beaten, we will not stop trying feed aliens with our values and culture. We will even try to make new species with aliens and make the offsprings behave in Chinese manners. Anyway, we didn’t invite them. They asked for it!

This strategy comes with side effects. One of the most serious is the willingness to sacrifice people in order to save the nation, the history and the pride. Chinese are OK with loosing a few battles but will surely stand up against the trying of eliminate the culture. If you understand this, you will hopefully understand why Mao claims “[T]he death of ten to twenty million people is nothing to be afraid of” when talking about nuclear wars, because nuclear weapons cannot eliminate Chinese (since we have many) and Chinese will eventually win the war by making more offsprings and continue its fight.

Another fact is that Chinese have always been interested in maters under our own dome and have cared only about ourselves. We do everything for our own good and do not force others to think or act like us. In a way Chinese are quite tolerant with ideas and lifestyles — as long as you don’t force us to share your beliefs. China has a long history of been united and independent; and that’s why Chinese do not want to be preached about what we should do to keep it up running. Chinese want to focus on our own matters — for example, poverty — but if you ask us for help, we are willing to do that — in a way to show off our superiority.

So that’s Chinese: we are the best and do not try to teach us anything; instead if you want we can teach you something; otherwise just leave us alone and mind your own business.