In a hutong area of Liulichang in the south of Beijing, the smell of ink dominates thanks to the stationery stores and shops selling traditional Chinese paintings and calligraphy. Rongbaozhai, which stands out in a lane with facades reflecting ancient architecture, is a sanctuary for the capital's literary fans.
Zhao Huiping, 54, who has been with Rongbaozhai for more than 30 years, finishes the process of printing while duplicating an artwork. Founded in 1672 as a paper store, Rongbaozhai took its current name - which means "a room with glorious treasures" - in 1894.
He spreads several sheets of papers in front of him like one does when one is doing animation.
But he is not doing animation, but preparing a facsimile of painting guru Qi Baishi's (1864-1957) work. For color printing, registration is used to correlate overlapping colors on one single image. Xiao is in charge of the first step of a months long process to duplicate a small-size masterpiece. The number of registrations is based on the number of colors used in the original painting. When Rongbaozhai printed the 10th-century masterpiece Night Revels of Han Xizai in 1979, as many as 1,667 registrations were needed. Xiao has been working in Rongbaozhai's printing studio since 1978 and his daily work is almost the same.
He feels fortunate to have had the chance to make facsimiles of original masterpieces housed in the Palace Museum for four years after he entered the workshop. Woodblock printing by Rongbaozhai was among the first to be picked as a national-level intangible cultural heritage in 2006. Earlier this month, during a UNESCO training program in Shenzhen, in Guangdong province, the Rongbaozhai techniques were chosen as an example of sustainable development of intangible cultural heritage. Meanwhile, Zhao Huiping, 54, who has also been with Rongbaozhai for more than 30 years, is in charge of the final printing process. Though silk is a commonly used material in ancient Chinese painting, she rarely takes such jobs. For instance, the older generation of printers used to make use of several registration panels to express gradually-changing colors, but today's printers can use just one registration to print two or three similar colors due to their fine art education. Though everyone interviewed in Rongbaozhai says hand printing, which preserves the water and ink flavor of Chinese paintings, cannot be replaced by machines, their workshop has adopted ideas of the modern assembly line. There are more than 40 professionals in the studio, but each one is in charge of just one step: tracing, carving, or printing. Lu Min, a 47-year-old carver, says: "In Japan, an Ukiyo-e practitioner may take part in every step. Separately, Wang Yunxiao, the deputy directing manager of the printing studio, says: "Certain artistic tastes remain unchanged, no matter how the market changes. She says each set of registrations is used only a few dozen times mostly due to wear and tear.
If there are many thin lines in the painting, then life of the registrations is even shorter. With great attention, Shu Ji, 83, observes a life-size wax statue of Peking Opera guru Mei Lanfang (1894-1961). The attire is similar as what Mei wore for his meeting with Charlie Chaplin in 1930, in Los Angeles, one of the six US cities that Mei and his Peking Opera troupe toured.
Xu Qingping (second right), son of Xu Beihong, and Lyu Zhangshen (right), director of National Museumof China, pose with wax figures of Qi Baishi (left) and Xu Beihong.
Shu was speaking to the staff of the National Museum of China during a preview of the Beijing museum's new wax gallery on May 24. Dozens of family members were invited to the preview and for a final check of the completed figures. Chen Lyusheng, the museum's deputy director, says NMC needed to finalize security measures and the ticket price before the opening. The museum launched in 2011 the wax gallery project to pay tribute to modern Chinese intellectuals. No living personality is included, and the most recent chosen to be featured is Ba Jin, the author, who died in 2005. Chen says that although the world has many wax museums, a great majority of them are commercial and oriented for entertainment. He says the NMC gallery is unique because it "offers a historical perspective, drawing public attention to the inheritance of cultural traditions and the humanistic spirit of 20th-century China". As not many images and documents were available for some figures, it was time consuming but necessary to communicate with their offspring to get details, says Chen. For instance, when the museum staff visited Shu, she suggested that they copy her thick and short eyebrows and snub nose, which resemble her father's. At the preview, Pan Gongkai, son of master painter Pan Tianshou (1897-1971) and former head of Beijing's Central Academy of Fine Arts, found his father's figure with a pair of leather shoes and said that in real life his father mostly wore cloth shoes made in the traditional style. For instance, the display of renowned essayist Zhu Ziqing (1898-1948) includes his wax figure placed in a scene based on his widely-read essay Beiying (retreating figure).
Another display shows two wax figures, Hua Tian-you (1901-86) and Liu Kaiqu (1904-93), creating reliefs on the Monument to the People's Heroes at Tian'anmen Square in 1952-53.
The statues of Qi Baishi (1864-1957) and Xu Beihong (1895-1953), two masters of modern Chinese art who were close friends, stand side by side at the gate of a siheyuan-style courtyard in old Beijing.
Xu, by then already a prominent painter, had just accepted a position to head the fine arts college of Bei-ping University.
Xu appreciated Qi's talent, and visited Qi's home three times, inviting him to teach at the college. Chen says that NMC will enrich the display by adding items from its collections that are related to the figures featured, including their manuscripts and belongings. A one-woman effort gets underway to re-create Beijing's glorious city wall and watchtowers that have long disappeared, writes Raymond Zhou.
When the sun was barely over the horizon on May 6, a crowd had already gathered outside the gate of the Red Sandalwood Museum on Beijing's east side. Covering the front compound was a structure that is 18 meters by 17.2 meters and 5 meters tall.
Chan Laiwa (right) visits the craftspeople working on a red sandalwood piece at a workshop of the Red Sandalwood Museum in Beijing.
As a matter of fact, the watchtower of Zhengyang Gate still stands to the south of Tian'anmen Square, but the surrounding structures, including an arrow tower and a barbican with two sluice gates, have long vanished. It was not just one city gate that Chan Laiwa (Chen Lihua) and her red sandalwood museum had recreated, but all 16 of them that form both the inner circle and outer circle of the old Beijing wall. American architect Edmond Bacon once described the city wall as "man's greatest single architectural achievement on the face of the Earth". Unfortunately, much of the city wall was dismantled in the 20th century, especially during the political turmoil of 1950s-70s.
Attending the unveiling ceremony, Shan Jixiang, curator of the Palace Museum (popularly known as the Forbidden City), gave a vivid summary of the city's history and the importance of the wall in public imagination: Human habitation of the place that would grow to be Beijing started as early as half a million years ago.
Lyu compared the city wall model to one of the all-wood Buddha tower in Yingxian county, Shanxi province. The national museum has already selected Anding Gate (Gate of Secured Peace) and watchtower and the Prayer Hall of the Temple of Heaven for display.
Liu Dake, a top scholar in ancient architecture and preservation, offered his in-depth analysis: "There are different ways of building models. When Liu was first consulted on this project, he asked that it possess the value absent from most models, that is, it should be backed up with scholarly research and achieve the potential to be collectibles with historical significance. Yan Chongnian, a renowned historian specializing in Qing Dynasty study who was also consulted on the project, explained the choice of the scale.
As much of the real structures were destroyed only in the last century, graphic records were in abundance. On top of that, everything was hand-crafted - and by those who have the best experience in the field. Shan, curator of the Palace Museum, explains that although his world-renowned museum has the largest collection of furniture from the Ming and Qing dynasties, the 6,200 pieces are stored in 30 warehouses and rarely see the light of day or the appreciative eyes of visitors. Shan has arranged for some of Chan's pieces to be showcased in exhibitions in the Palace Museum, where people could bid on them.
Chan's decision to create the city wall replicas with red sandalwood and Yinchen wood raised the stakes significantly, because these two timbers are rare and expensive. Yan the historian reveals that the cost for just one watchtower runs up to 100 million yuan ($15.4 million). The building of the actual architecture started from 1403 and took 20 years, and Madam Chan's lasted six years, he compared. Chan is negotiating with the government to build another museum, to be located in Beijing's eastern suburb of Tongzhou, a facility where each watchtower could be brought to view in its own hall. In a typically inspiring story, William Chak has evolved from an apprentice to a connoisseur.
Antique collector and dealer William Chak has a hectic schedule of traveling between Hong Kong, where he lives, and the mainland that connects him with a growing base of buyers. A few weeks ago, the 58-year-old also made trips to auction previews in cities like Xiamen in East China's Fujian province, and Shanghai, to advise local collectors.
A blue-and-white porcelain vase, dating to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), offered by Chak's at this year's antiques fair.
The annual International Antiques Fair, organized by his outfit, Chak's Company Ltd, an antique gallery and advisory firm, is being held through May 31 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, gathering dozens of antique galleries and auction houses worldwide. As an associated project of the annual Le French May Arts Festival, this year's International Antiques Fair includes classical and decorative European art catering to Asian buyers. Chak will be back in Beijing at the weekend to deliver a lecture on Tang Ying, a ceramic artist of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) who oversaw official kilns.
Chak became a television personality in 2006, when he appeared as a regular guest for about six years in Tianxia Shoucang (the world of collecting), the high-rated weekly show on Beijing Satellite Television.
His cheerful face and easy explanations of art made him popular with viewers, helping him to reach out to an increasing population of collectors on the mainland.
A middle school dropout, Chak has accumulated a wealth of knowledge on antique appraisal through the years, evolving from an apprentice to a connoisseur. Chak's earliest memories about antiques are those of his father selling his own collections to support the family, after his textile business failed. It was not until Chak worked at an antique store in 1973 that he became interested in ceramics. Chak's intelligence and industrious spirit persuaded his boss and store owner Wong Ying-ho to teach him how to tell one ware from another.
To improve his knowledge, Chak then sat in on classes of ceramic courses at the School of Archaeology and Museology, Peking University, from 1999 to 2004.
Through the classes, he formed close connections with researchers at the school, which enabled him to follow them to archaeological excavations and field studies in the years afterward.
Combining practical experience with academic learning is something that he often suggests to people whether they are serious collectors or buyers for investment purposes.
A responsible dealer not only profits from his clients' consignments, but befriends them, studies antiques with them and helps them find their direction in the world of collecting, he says. Although he now spends more time in the mainland where the market is booming, Chak remains optimistic about the role of Hong Kong as an Asian art hub. Last week, the Ministry of Culture released the updated list of key ancient texts in Beijing. In China, ancient books are defined as those published before the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), including written records on various types of materials like oracle bones and bamboo slips.
A scripture housed in a Tibetan monastery is one of the new entries added to the list of key ancient Chinese books. The first list of national-level ancient books was released in 2007, when the National Center for Preservation and Conservation of Ancient Books was established in Beijing.
He cites the examples of bamboo slips of Warring States Period (475-221 BC) housed at Tsinghua University and those from the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) collected by Hunan University in Central China's Changsha city, which are among highlights this time for being "incomparable". The updated list includes three stone rubbing facsimiles from the Song Dynasty (960-1279) on Lanting Xu, a 4th-century calligraphy work, commonly seen as among the best in Chinese fine art. Forty-three copies of chronological recordings of Qing Dynasty emperors and a compilation of their edicts from Northeast China's Liaoning Provincial Archive were also included in the latest list.
According to Zhang Zhiqing, deputy director of the National Center for Preservation and Conservation of Ancient Books, there are 50 million sets of ancient books in China.
Compared with rescuing or restoring them later, it is better to preserve them in the first place, he adds.
Changes in temperature, humidity and safety conditions must be monitored when it comes to housing key ancient texts.
Fourteen more libraries and institutions were also named "national key protection units of ancient books" last week, which take the number of such registered institutions to 180. Tibetan Buddhist monasteries house a large number of ancient scriptures and about 100 monasteries applied for their collections to be listed this time. He also expects more ancient books from non-Han ethnic groups to be added to the list in the future. Meanwhile, ancient Chinese books that were taken abroad are now being bought back to China, he says. Zhang also says that a two-month exhibition displaying some of the newly listed books is scheduled to begin at the National Library of China in June.
How to serve people better is a central message of the China pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale, which opened to the public on Saturday. The Venice Architecture Biennale is directed this year by Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, known for his pioneering social housing projects in Latin America. It is themed "Reporting from the front" to show the complexity and diversity of the challenges currently faced by architecture.
Liang Jingyu, the curator of China's national pavilion, says he joined hands with a team of architects and designers to tackle the issue of the "ignored front" of modernization, namely the "dignity, welfare and equality" of all citizens.
Called Daily Design, Daily Tao, the pavilion has more than 10 projects reproducing the traditional values and way of life lost in today's globalized world, Chinese Vice-Minister of Culture Yang Zhijin said at the pavilion's opening. In fact, the exhibition is about things and designs that satisfy people not by introducing a new future to replace the past, but by polishing the past and integrating it into daily lives, contradictory to modern architecture that focuses on futuristic and spectacular projects, says Yang. Another Chinese pavilion in Venice called Across Chinese Cities - China House Vision explores the future of living by taking the "house" as a prism for rethinking of the larger systems of production that traverse it, from environmental and energy consumption to mobility and distribution. The project, Italian curator Beatrice Leanza explains, involved a team of China-based architects including Liang, to address the wider cultural and historic implications affecting architecture practice in today's China. Five thematic clusters, one of which features a project dedicated to the 2016 Across Chinese Cities guest city Chengdu, present to visitors installations integrating research data, visual and material archives. The Venice Architecture Biennale is a major event, and China is among the participating countries. Teen sensation Dou Jingtong is bringing the house down with her debut album, Chen Nan reports. In her tight blue jeans and a loose white blouse, Dou, 19, smiles shyly and waves at people. Success has come early for the soft-spoken musician, who released her debut album, Stone Cafe, in April. Released in digital format on QQ Music, a platform of Chinese internet giant Tencent, the album has been heard more than 40 million times within three weeks, setting a record for Chinese musicians.
The daughter of pop star Faye Wong and rock veteran Dou Wei, she has been living under the limelight since childhood.

Her mother, a Beijing-born singer who rose to fame after moving to Hong Kong in the late 1980s, is one of the country's best-selling female artists. Her father, a former lead vocalist of legendary Beijing rock band Black Panther, is a musical genius to China's rock lovers. Stone Cafe has songs, such as May Rain, My Days and Chimes, which she wrote while studying songwriting in the United States.
She has dedicated the song Lola to her younger sister, Li Yan, who is the daughter of Faye Wong and her second husband, Chinese actor-turned-entrepreneur Li Yapeng. Dou Jingtong also delivers her take on individuality in the song, Blue Flamingo, where she says, "Pink is good, pink is well, but I got my eyes on my blue flamingo". Growing up with her grandmother in Beijing, Dou Jingtong has been exposed to a variety of music, thanks also to her aunt, Dou Ying, her father's younger sister and a singer.
People backing her career include Katie Chan, Wong's longtime agent, who helps sharpen not just Dou Jingtong's market moves but also her wardrobe. In contrast to singers of her parents' generation, who were inspired by limited sources of Western music in the 1980s, and launched their career by signing contracts with record companies, Dou Jingtong and many other young Chinese musicians grew up listening to music of international musicians and use the internet to spread their music. When she released her first guitar-driven song, With You, on the Web in 2012, the videos attracted millions of views. At every performance given by Dou Jingtong, including her debut show in Tokyo in 2015, her charisma has also reminded her fans of her parents' legacy.
With several tattoos, frequent changes of hair color and gender-neutral dressing, Dou Jingtong, by most people's standards, looks rebellious. Outside the building, her fans are still waiting to get a glimpse of the teen sensation who is considered a long-awaited milestone in China's pop world. From young women in their 20s to grandmas in their 80s, thousands of yoga lovers from across China went to Kunming in Yunnan province on May 19 for the China India Yoga Festival, paying thousands of yuan to learn from 18 Indian yoga gurus at a four-day course.
She booked a hotel room near the building that was used for the yoga course to save time and learn more from the Indian teachers, although her home is only a 30-minute drive from the venue. In Kunming, yoga clubs have mushroomed during the past five years - a trend also sweeping other cities in China. Hao, who has just opened her second club in Beijing, says her outlets typically have around 3,000 members, mainly office workers who want to ease stress and housewives who want to look good. Due to the growing yoga craze in China, Deepika Mehta, 38, a yoga teacher from India, has visited China frequently since 2014. Before coming to the festival, Mehta taught yoga in Rishikesh, the "yoga capital of the world", in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India. About 40 percent of yoga practitioners in her class are from China, says Mehta, who began practicing the ancient regimen 17 years ago to help her walk after a bad accident. Om Prakash Tiwari, the secretary-general of the Kaival-yadhama Yoga Institute, says that compared with Western practitioners, the Chinese learn and accept yoga more easily because China and India share the culture of Buddhism, which is the philosophy behind yoga. The 84-year-old yoga guru started visiting China 10 years ago, and now visits many times a year.
Referring to the problems being caused due to yoga's popularity in China, he points to the problem that many yoga teachers in China do not know how to teach properly.
For instance, he says, they do not know how to advise people on who should practice yoga and who should not, and which posture should be taught and which should not. Hao, the yoga club owner, says many Chinese still think that yoga is done to enable one's body to perform difficult postures, such as putting one's leg on one's neck.
Hao says that setting up a yoga club in China is very easy - a person who receives one month of training rents an apartment or even uses his or her sitting room to provide yoga classes. It's also not unusual to hear of yoga lovers hurting themselves because of wrong teaching methods, she says. Last year, the China-India Yoga College, the first yoga college in China, was established in Kunming when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited China and signed an agreement with Premier Li Keqiang.
According to Li Zhigong, deputy mayor of Kunming, the college will provide graduate and postgraduate students as yoga teachers.
He also plans to hold the China India Yoga Festival in Kunming annually to support China's "One Belt and One Road" initiative.
Although many small cities in China have yoga clubs now, China is still in an early phase with regard to the development of yoga, says Hao. Compared with the development of yoga in the West, which began more than 40 years ago, China got its first yoga club just 13 years ago. Thirty-three families have lived in relative seclusion in Yuejiazhai village in northern China for hundreds of years. Top and above: Villagers of Yuejiazhai, descendants of Southern Song Dynasty hero Yue Fei, have lived reclusive lives for hundreds of years on the Thaihang mountain ridge in Pingshun, Shanxi province.
Yue Fei was a general who led the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) forces against the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) from northeastern China. The villagers say Yue Lin took 33 families with him, mostly relatives, servants and guards.
During their journey, they camped under a big tree in the remote Thaihang mountains in what is now Pingshun, Shanxi province.
The next morning, he decided to follow the instruction and the group began to build stone houses there. The number of families has not changed much over 800 years; plus, they still eat what they plant and hunt, they wear what they make and find, and they speak Chinese in a dialect that can be traced to the Song Dynasty.
For more than 800 years, the village has operated its own school, clinic, temple and committees. The local government started building a 20-kilometer mountain path connecting the village to the closest town in 1996, and the road, which includes a 50-meter tunnel, was completed several years later.
Even the Mongolians, Manchurians, and Japanese - the three main invaders and occupiers in northern China after the 12th century - did not manage to get to the village. If their ancestors had learned about Yue Fei's rehabilitation 27 years after they settled there and left the area, many families would have become victims of the later wars, the villagers say. His son adds: "We started learning about what had happened over the past 800 years only in the late 1990s. When the first visitors came to the village about 15 years ago, they were interested in learning about the village, and vice versa. As environmental adviser to Britain's Prince Philip, 62-year-old Martin Palmer notes that Queen Elizabeth, who has just celebrated her 90th birthday, has reigned longer than he has been alive. It's that longevity that has allowed Palmer, who also is a Sinologist, to help interpret the richness of Chinese cultures for the royal family for three decades.
Martin Palmer has been working with the Taoists of China for years, and says Prince Philip and the Queen Elizabeth have both shown enormous interest in Taoism. Palmer meets with Philip, who is 94, three or four times a year and talks with the queen once every two or three years.
For the queen's 90th birthday, celebrated twice this year, he links longevity to Chinese values. Palmer has been working with the Taoists of China for years, and Prince Philip and the Queen Elizabeth have both shown enormous interest in Taoism, Palmer says, ever since he took Taoist masters to Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. The royal couple have asked how the religion shapes China, and what are the traditions of meditation and the core philosophical concepts of heaven, earth and humanity. Palmer recalls the queen also asked why there were no wars between religions, intrigued as to how the different traditions of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism work side by side in China.
Palmer once took a senior Taoist master, the 65th direct descendant of Zhang Daoling - a venerated Taoist - to meet the queen and Prince Philip, who were fascinated to know someone who could trace their family back even further than she could.
In 1985, Palmer met the royal family for the first time when he was invited to talk to Prince Philip, who at that time was the international president of the World Wildlife Fund. Palmer was following the same cultural path as President Xi Jinping did in his speech to UNESCO in March 2014, when he was visiting France.
According to Palmer, Xi spoke powerfully about China's cultures, traditions and civilizations, which should be part of a recipe to bring China out of the dilemmas it faces. Palmer says "the ecological civilization", a phrase often used in Chinese policy, is a fascinating expression that he first came across in 2006 when he was working with the Taoists in China on protecting their sacred mountains and on their moral and spiritual influence on China, which he has been doing since 1995. This is a concept, he says, which reflects the notion that the Chinese have begun to care not just for themselves, but also for people who are less fortunate than themselves, and for the forests, the rivers and the fish, after the rapid development of the past three decades. The old Confucian phrase of benevolence, or renli, is rooted in what it is to be a good human being, he says.
Palmer says the idea of having phases of ecological civilization - which has become one of the overriding developmental components of the Communist Party of China since 2012 - should be given global recognition. Now one of the problems is that the West has so devalued its own notion of civilization that it doesn't quite get it when a country says it wants civilization, Palmer says.
Palmer says he is in talks with different organizations in China, including the Party's cultural and communication units, about making a six-part TV series tied to the Silk Road. For years, as a Christian, Palmer has led a simple life, and also has benefited from Chinese wisdom, which is about enjoying what one can legitimately enjoy, as written in the ancient Chinese classics. Few historians receive the rock-star treatment when they give a talk on their latest book - but Yuval Noah Harari did.
The 40-year-old Israeli enthralled an audience of about 2,700 at Beijing Expo Theater for almost four hours in late April when he spoke on Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. Yuval Noah Harari shares his insight into human evolution during the Beijing leg of his book tour. The book, currently No 74 on the Amazon best-seller list, is available in 43 languages, while high-profile fans include Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Shu Ting, editor of China CITIC Press and the show's organizer, says Harari's idea that early Homo sapiens differed from other animals due to their ability to create and believe in fictional realities has inspired many in China, including business leaders, scientists and young people. Harari, a history professor with Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is himself a wonderful storyteller.
Gao Yi, a history professor at Peking University, says she is absorbed by Harari's listing of historical events, but what impresses her most is his crossover on many subjects and realms of knowledge. The book, which was initially turned down by five publishers in Israel, looks at human history over a period of 2 million years, covering three key revolutions - cognitive, agricultural and scientific - and one phase of human unification.
It was first published in Hebrew in 2011, and then in English three years later, when it received the China National Library's Wenjin Book Award.
To cover 2 million years in no more than 500 pages, Harari engages and connects ideas from biology, archaeology, politics, economy, genetics and artificial intelligence.
He also devotes a chapter to the subject of happiness, arguing that humans today are less happy than our ancestors, as we are filled with more desires. His next book, History of Tomorrow, will be available in English soon and later in Chinese. Born in 1976 to an engineer father and secretary mother, Harari received his PhD from the University of Oxford in 2002. I'm not a pessimist, and I'm trying to be realistic about the condition of the world and what we're to face. But there are also problematic developments, like climate change and new technology that may get out of control, like artificial intelligence. I'm afraid there is not enough attention given to these issues by government and the public. Another positive development in China is that it's thinking in global terms instead of local terms.
My paternal grandfather was a stern scholarly merchant who retired early from business and spent the rest of his life on culinary pursuits. Their common love for sweet things was manifested in many suppers that consisted of mainly sweet soups - a particular style of cooking desserts that originated primarily from South China.
Most folks from Fujian province, like my maternal grandpa, grew up eating a lot of sweet potatoes. Even congee, cooked in plenty of water, often had large pieces of sweet potato added as fillers. Perhaps it was because he missed home, but grandpa's favorite sweet soup was sweet potatoes in rock sugar syrup, flavored with large pieces of ginger. It could be a sweet soup of double-boiled papaya with snow fungus and crushed fritillary bulbs, or a red-bean soup boiled long and slow so all the beans would have dissolved. Fritillary bulbs are known to cure coughs and chronic inflammation of the bronchial tubes, and so are meant to sooth those nasty summer coughs and colds. Smooth velvety congee-like soups can also be made from powdered peanuts, sweet almonds, walnuts and black sesame.
There are also the famous milky custards from my grandfather's hometown, Daliang in Shunde county, Guangdong province.
Barley water may be the bane of some Western children, but barley water brewed the Chinese way is both delicious and nutritious.
Pearl barley is boiled with ginkgo nuts and dried bean curd sticks to produce a smooth, milky sweet soup. Sometimes, if the cook is feeling generous, whole eggs are dropped into the boiling broth to poach. In the beautiful lake districts of Hangzhou, Suzhou and Yangzhou, they fill little glutinous rice balls with sweet fillings like red bean or sesame paste and cook them in a sweet soup flavored by half-fermented rice, the byproduct of making rice wine. Of course, Chinese chefs are always on the lookout for new recipes, and one extremely popular sweet soup these days is the beautifully named heavenly ambrosia, yangzhi ganlu.
Its ingredients reflect a departure from tradition, with imported and rare ingredients like mango, grapefruit and sago. You can hardly eat a wedding banquet these days without finishing the meal with this colorful, sweet soup, considered both delicious and auspicious.
For many Chinese, sugar is still a rare treat, and the luxury of making and having dessert is an indulgence.
This is especially popular in summer as almonds are considered good for the lungs and may act as protection against summer sniffles. Place filtered solution in pot and start cooking, stirring as mixture thickens, adding water till you get desired consistency. When Zhang Lingxin was studying at Hunan Golf and Tourism College in Changde, in Central China's Hunan province, his coach gave him a tip that changed his game: focus on the ball and aim long, but at the target, or the hole, not the ball. However, last year, when the 23-year-old finished school and started looking for a job, he did the exact opposite. Having spent a few months working as a caddie at a golf club in Guangzhou in South China's Guangdong province, carrying clubs and collecting balls for some of the country's richest businessmen, Zhang decided to change the focus of his career and aim for a most unlikely group: the youngest golfers. His decision to concentrate on teaching juniors came on the back of arguably the most dramatic change China's golf industry has experienced in the three decades since the game was revitalized by business executives from Hong Kong and Macao.
Since late 2013, golf, along with extravagant wining and dining, has been a major casualty of the country's anti-corruption campaign.
China's golf industry last year saw a significant decline for the first time since the 1980s, according to a white paper published in March by the Forward Group, a specialist golf management company based in Shenzhen, Guangdong. The company estimated that there were approximately 390,000 "core golfers" - defined as those who play at least eight times a year - in China last year, a decline of almost 5 percent from 2014. More than 100 of the country's 600 or so golf courses have closed, and about 50 percent of those that remained are in debt, the paper said.
Despite the bleak overall picture, one man in Shanghai plans to use his 10-year-old son and the boy's millions of peers to rescue the sport.
Mi is not the first person in China to attempt to make a business out of teaching children golf, but the 36-year-old Shanghai native is definitely the first to join with public primary schools in the city to make the game more accessible, if not free, to children from "non-superrich families", as he puts it. He has convinced the principals of 11 schools to put the game on their syllabuses as an option for PE lessons or after-school exercise. She noted that there has been a shift in attitude toward sports among the new generation of parents. Now, though, sports - especially Western sports - are considered a plus to make a resume look better when students apply to schools overseas.

Peng Keng, an event manager at IMG China, the agency that manages junior golf games organized by HSBC, has witnessed rising interest in the game among Chinese parents. He recalls that when his staff first helped start the HSBC games in 2006, they traveled around the country to find children who could swing a club, but only managed to find 30. A report by Dazheng Golf, a golf services and marketing agency that's part of Beijing Dazheng Chengping Culture Communication Co, shows that by the end of last year there were 3,381 registered junior golfers in China. The number of junior golfers, especially those younger than 12, is rising by 30 to 40 every year. Government intervention and a nationwide passion to get out of the house for daily exercise are believed to be major drivers of the growth of affordable golf and other sports. In October 2014, the State Council issued a guideline to accelerate the development of the domestic sports industry. This popular team game - especially the sevens version - is a growing presence in Chinese schools, where parents regard it as a positive way of developing children's physical and mental toughness. A number of amateur junior clubs have been founded in at least eight cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Qingdao in Shandong province, where children practice sevens and touch rugby (which involves minimal physical contact).
The National University Rugby Sevens Championship has been played annually since 2013, with last year's event attracting 12 male and eight female college teams from across the country.
Inspired by the gold-winning feats of Chinese fencers at recent Olympics, the sport is gaining a foothold in schools, despite its combative nature and the expensive equipment required. The Primary and Secondary Schools Fencing Championships have been held in Beijing since 2014, and last year's event attracted about 1,000 participants from 30 schools. As the location of the sailing events at the 2008 Olympic Games, the coastal city of Qingdao introduced the sport as an extracurricular PE program in local schools in 2006 to raise public awareness. Mai Jia (e?¦a®¶)'s genre-bending debut novel, Decoded, is a page turner; often brilliant, sometimes confused, but always daring. It is a pity that it took until 2014 before an English version was published, when the Chinese version came out in 2002.
Decoded tells the story of how Rong Jinzhen, an abandoned autistic savant who becomes a mathematical genius, is recruited by the Chinese government as a top secret cryptographer, and whose own brilliance eventually sees him descend into madness. There are many different styles and types of registration, many of which use the alignment of specific marks. The figure is clad in a blue satin changpao, or traditional Chinese long gown for men, and a black satin magua, a riding jacket. Her father is also among the 35 culturally important people of 20th century China whose wax models are on display at NMC's south wing. Their feedback will help the staff fine-tune the display before the gallery is officially opened to visitors in early June. The final lineup has celebrities from three areas - guoxue or studies of Chinese cultural traditions, literature and arts - since the New Culture Movement of the 1910s and the 1920s. He was a good friend with Qi, a self-taught painter who was rejected by the art circles because of his humble background and low-profile personality. Commuters who were rushing downtown might be unaware, but they were passing witnesses to the unveiling of a project that can be traced back some 600 years. Instead of bricks and stones, the replicas are made of red sandalwood for the main buildings and Yinchen wood for the wall section, precious materials used mainly for collectible furniture and pricey artifacts. It is a project that took six years, a hundred top craftsmen and an untold amount of money. We wanted to absorb and reflect their sense of awe and longing when they recall their experiences with the original structures. The inner city wall was 24 kilometers long and 15 meters high, with a thickness of 20 meters at ground level and 12 meters at the top. It is a fond memory that I'd never forget," recalls Chan, from an aristocratic family that had become impoverished after the downfall of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
The tower was built in 1056 and is now a world heritage site, but the model is from the 1950s.
The sceneries used for movies and television drama may look good, but they usually cannot stand closer inspection. For those details that were undocumented, Liu says they could be easily inferred because the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing eras followed convoluted but strict protocols for the building of the capital city. Chan was heartbroken when she saw some of the furniture made from this lumber destroyed in political movements and has committed to restoring many of the royal pieces.
But after they saw what she had done, they gave her a hug, a rare gesture in Chinese culture, and offered her a pass into the Forbidden City warehouses where she could make copies right from the originals. Red sandalwood tends to become hollow as it grows; and Yinchen wood, or a half-carbonized Salix mongolica wood buried underground for thousands of years, was chosen for its matching color with the wall bricks.
He sat on a judging panel with experts from academic institutions who examined the authenticity and evaluated antiques brought by common people. His Sina Weibo account has more than 420,000 followers, and he replies to people who post photos of recently purchased wares or family heirlooms discovered in their storerooms. He cleaned more than 20 porcelain pieces a day - his major duty at the store - for nine years. Sensitive to the emerging mainland art market in the late 1990s, he turned his eyes in that direction.
He took the first flight of the day, rushed directly from the airport to the classes, and took the evening flight back.
The extensive trips across the country widely opened his eyes to the varieties of ancient Chinese ceramics. He also advises buyers to focus on specific areas of collecting that best suit one's personality, lifestyle and financial status. The past decades have seen the rise of Hong Kong art collectors to international prominence, not only because they have formed a stable collective but also because their tastes have become diversified.
It includes more than 900 new sets of books - 754 in Mandarin, 166 in non-Han languages and 14 in foreign languages - taking the existing list to a total of 12,274 sets. The works are now housed in Chinese University of Hong Kong, also becoming the first ancient books from Hong Kong to be inscribed in the list. Singer-songwriter Dou Jingtong emerges from a coffee shop next to a live-house venue, where she has just performed.
Fans are impressed by her silky voice and singing style that mixes electronic, alternative rock and other elements. At age 1, her voice was featured in her mother's song Tong, which her parents wrote for her birth. Dou Jingtong contributed her voice in his 2014 album Shan He Diao, which also features Dou Wei's father, Dou Shaoru, playing traditional Chinese instruments.
While recording Stone Cafe by collaborating with producers from the United States and Britain, she flew to London and Los Angeles by herself.
Physically I will grow up but I want to keep my curiosity and passion for music just like a kid," says Dou Jingtong, who has already started writing songs for her next album. Otherwise I would have planned a visit to India to study yoga," says Lu Jinnan, 38, a resident of Kunming. It only takes me a few minutes to sell a membership of my yoga club," says Hao Yuhui, who owns five yoga clubs in China.
In recent years, the chances of her seeing Chinese tourists in India with yoga mats have increased, she says. We want to have more cooperation with India in building up yoga facilities to attract visitors from home and abroad," Li Zhigong tells China Daily. He was put to death along with his eldest son, Yue Yun, in 1142 by the Song ruler after being accused of plotting a rebellion. That night, Yue Lin had a dream, in which the tree told him to settle under it and promised to protect his people. The tree is worshipped as the guardian angel of the village, and the spring is still a vital resource.
This was because there was a cliff on the way, so if we wanted to go to the town we had to go past the cliff," Yue Xianlai says. Taoism, Confucianism, and the introduction of Chinese values in dealing with challenges of environmental protection and global warming are among their talking points.
He credits, first, "a tremendous sense of duty, which in her case is very much founded upon filial duty - a great Confucian virtue". Palmer had written a book for the WWF, looking at how different religions view the natural world, depending on what they believed about its origins. He called Xi's speech one of the most interesting speeches by a Chinese president in recent years. So I think that the significance of ecological civilization is that it is a profound challenge to a Western, materialistic world," says Palmer.
It would look at the way ideas, stories, beliefs, religions and philosophies traveled back and forth along the Silk Road and shaped the great religions of the world. I suppose they don't meet many Westerners who know as many stories from Chinese history as I do," he says.
To really understand it, you need to look at it from many angles at the same time and use multiple measurements," he says. But with experience and a secure professional position, he decided to be bolder and look at the bigger questions. Food is the indestructible bond that holds the whole social fabric together and it is also one of the last strong visages of community and culture. I was always fed the best bits from their bowls, and when they had special treats delivered to the house they would holler and I would scamper as quickly as I could to answer their calls. My mother's father was a self-made man, a dockworker who built his fortune running a fleet of bumboats, which were small cargo boats, when Singapore still needed bumboats on the river.
The land was poor and mountainous and rice was a luxury while sweet potatoes could grow in rocky nooks and crannies. In addition to giving the syrup a pleasant bite, the sharpness of the ginger also prevented flatulence.
In Hong Kong, Guangzhou and even the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, night birds on the prowl in summer stop by specialized dessert shops selling sweet soups. Even the aged citrus peel used to flavor the dessert would have disappeared in the long cooking.
Pieces of dried kelp are added to the soup and there is also a pungent herb that traditional cooks add. In Hong Kong, some shops offer you a yuanyang, or paired option, in which you can have two choices in the same bowl.
Here, rich water buffalo milk is mixed with ginger juice so it miraculously becomes a soft sweet curd. Once to create a chewy skin, and then beaten egg white is added so the milk turns into a soft, white custard in the second steaming. It is a popular homemade concoction for hot summer days and eagerly drunk by the entire family, young and old. In summer, especially, a bowl of sweet soup with all its curative properties is simply love in a bowl, to be slowly savored and enjoyed. The best thing about eating this is hunting for golden gingko nuts hiding among the barley grains.
Depending on quality, bean curd sticks may dissolve and disappear, coloring soup milky white.
And I didn't want their fears to come true," says Zhang, a native of Huaihua, about three hours from Changde by train.
It has been wrongly associated with aristocrats and corruption for too long," says Mi Yao, founder of the Yao Shine Golf School, where Zhang is now employed to coach juniors.
He estimates that 2,000 students have taken their first swing with a golf club because of his program, which started in September. When they were at school, sports usually was the province of academically poor students who hoped their sporting skills would enable them to earn a living.
However, for the 2016 tournament, the first round of which kicked off in Guangzhou in March, they had to raise the threshold for participants. Peng estimates that around 100 games are tailored for junior golfers in China, but that still doesn't meet the surging demand. But there is a high dropout rate among teens ages 15 to 17, who are unable to combine golf with their increasingly heavy academic workload, Peng says.
Some local education authorities, such as those in Jiangsu province, have worked with commercial fencing clubs to provide on-campus training for students and PE teachers. More than 20,000 primary and secondary students have now received on-campus and offshore training in the sport's history, equipment, and the physical and technical requirements. It leaps between being historical saga, metafiction, magical realism and postmodernism, all while being a literary spy thriller.
Western publishers should take more risks with Chinese fiction, and reading this one certainly leaves you wanting to explore the rest of his work. I shook his hand once and his skin felt rather fine and smooth," says Shu, the daughter of Lao She (1899-1966), the pseudonym of noted Chinese novelist and dramatist Shu Qingchun who befriended Mei. We wanted to capture that collective memory," says Chan, founder and curator of China Red Sandalwood Museum, and as ranked by Forbes in 2014, the 10th-richest mainland Chinese, the richest woman in China and one of only 19 self-made female billionaires in the world.
Most people got to learn about its history through the Forbidden City and the old city wall.
For her, it is a labor of love - actually two passions fused into one, the love of rare wood and that of her home city. Some of the rich love to flaunt their wealth through vulgar means, but she uses hers for this purpose.
After he returned home at midnight, he reviewed the course with the aid of a recorder because he couldn't follow the teachers' Mandarin accents at the time.
In Chinese tradition, everybody must honor their parents, and she "absolutely adored her father and he was her hero".
The biggest question in politics and economics in the 21st century is what to do with all those masses of "useless" people.
And it's the duty of historians and philosophers to understand present-day technologies, think about them in broader terms, and warn people of their risks.
If we're to judge, the question is not whether something is natural, but its impact on happiness and misery of living beings. Often, it feels like Mai is trying to do too much (as is common in a debut), and it did take him 11 years to write.
Instead, the book is more of a deep psychological portrait of Jinzhen's interior, full of what are attempts at profound musing.
Most old Beijingers have tender and affectionate memories of the wall and now the replicas are a reminder of their cultural history. Previously, 10 percent of mortality was caused by human violence; today it is less than 1 percent.
These ingredients are added because the Cantonese chef firmly believes that food is medicine, and even that decadent bowl of sweet stuff must have some health benefits.
At other times his disparate storytelling techniques meld together well, and you think China might just have a very, very fine writer on its roster.

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  1. 06.12.2013 at 10:38:33

    Really feel like deliberate attraction six/54 are.

    Author: P_R_I_Z_R_A_K
  2. 06.12.2013 at 15:27:16

    You will be amazed how eager this will break up the list match.

    Author: PANCHO
  3. 06.12.2013 at 16:48:30

    Metaphor: Say your pal tells you people who have accomplished what.

    Author: LOVE_SEVGI