Ping Tracker

Friday, September 30, 2011

UPDATES and Umbrellas and More!

***First, I just want to say thank you for everyone who has been reading - you guys are great. I have changed the design of the site as you can see as well as how to comment. You no longer have to subscribe to comment - anyone can do it! I didn't realize how much of a turn-off that was until I had to sign-up, etc. to comment on other China blogs. Also, this new layout is called "Dynamic Views" and you can change the look of it if you don't like what I have picked out. You can change back to the classic if you like :)

A question to you readers in other countries. I know I have YouTube videos that may not be accessible in your country. Which sites should I upload them on so everyone can see them? ***

Anyway, enjoy!


I was reading through the China Daily and saw a couple of interesting things and thought I'd expand on them. The first is about umbrellas:

Chinese Paper Umbrellas

When it comes to China, nothing screams Chinese culture more than their production of paper umbrellas. Today, they are mostly collected by art enthusiasts who prize their delicate aesthetic beauty.

It's not hard to see why people want to collect these - they really are beautiful and reflect the Chinese spirit in art. 

As the article says, the Chinese character for umbrella is what's called a pictographic character, 伞, which means that it is a literal picture of its meaning. I learned something from this article - China makes 80% of the world's umbrellas (paper and normal umbrellas)! As Peter Boyle would put it, "Holy crap!"

It makes sense. Everywhere you go in China on a sunny day, you will see a parade of umbrellas - they are everywhere! Not because it's raining, but because Chinese women want to have beautiful white skin. You always want what you don't have - Chinese want white skin, White girls want dark skin.

These paper umbrellas will not be seen on the streets because of their relatively expensive price and their delicate nature, but they can be seen in the homes of some Chinese. But they are more popular with foreigners, of course. Every tourist wants a little piece of China to bring back home, and a paper umbrella really is a good one to have!

Chinese Shuttle Launches

This article is about China's launching of a new space shuttle. It's pretty much self-explanatory, but it is reflective of China's development in ALL areas, not just economics and manufacturing.

I also thought it was interesting because the shuttle was launched from Jiuquan, not Jinchang, which was where the launches used to take place. They are both in Gansu Province and I have been to Jinchang, although I did not go to the launch site because it is in a very remote area and I don't even know if people can even go there.

Article on China's Social Media Concerns

China is well-known throughout the world in regards to its internet censorship. The article above gives a very typical example of the vocabulary the Party uses to defend its actions. "Abuse of these networks...violent morality...fraud, porn, and violence are frequently found on these sites."

The government has had some very serious 'management' (censorship) problems as of late, particularly in regards to the Zhejiang Bullet Train crash and the more recent Subway crash in Shanghai. Chinese youth have taken to Renren (Chinese Facebook), QQ (Myspace/AIM), and Weibo (Twitter) in storms bashing the Communist Party for various things in pretty harsh language.

As more and more Chinese college students and young people get around the Great Firewall of China and see the freedom of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, it's pretty much impossible for them to go back to the censored Chinese networks. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few years as still more Chinese use these networks and the Party expends more effort to stop them. 

In the next 5 to 10 years, internet freedom will become an even greater issue and there will be a big intellectual stand-off between the Party and the people of China. When people do not know they are being severely limited to the education and fun that is available through unlimited internet access, it's okay. But now people are beginning to see how limited they are in China, and many are not happy about it.

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