China Inside View

Local news and insights about China and Chinese language and culture
  • Chinese Myth of the Creation of the World and Mankind

    April 20, 2011 | Posted by Elisa

    According to Chinese legend, the mighty Pangu, above, broke through the chaos with his strength and axe to create the world as we know it.

    It may seem that every culture has its own tale about the creation of the world and the beginnings of mankind -- and China is no different. The ancient Chinese story of the beginning of the universe is replete with chaos and mythic heroes who rise above it to create order and the world as we know it.

    Pangu Created the World

    Accordint to Chinese lore, in the beginning there was nothing in the universe but a dark, formless chaos. The mythic hero Pangu, who had been sleepin ...

  • Face in Chinese culture: winning, losing and giving it

    April 11, 2011 | Posted by Elisa

    Face in Chinese culture can be given, lost, or won. Above, an Olympic gold medalist has just won face for himself, his family, and China.

    Face (脸 liǎn or 面子 miànzi) is one of the most crucial and subtle concepts in Chinese culture. For outsiders, however, the notion of face and its applications in daily life can be confusing -- but this need not be so.

    Chinese people believe that "face" reflects their dignity, reputation and social status. They can lose face (丢脸 diū liǎn) if they encounter something embarrassing or awkward; they can offer face to others (赏脸 shǎng liǎn) when they go out of their ...

  • Soymilk and you tiao, the most popular breakfast in China

    March 31, 2011 | Posted by Elisa

    With thousands of years of tradition, you tiao and soymilk, above, are perhaps the most popular breakfast meal in China.

    On the streets of any Chinese city early in the morning, you'll see all kinds of foods served as breakfast in stores or vendor's stands. Today let's take a look at one of the most popular Chinese breakfasts, soy milk and the Chinese yóu tiáo (油条), which is a twisted cruller or type of doughnut.

    One of the most famous foods around, soy milk is made from soy beans. Chinese people began to drink soy milk about 1,900 years ago during the Eastern Han Dynasty. Chinese tradi ...

  • The story of Wu Zetian, China's only crowned female empress

    March 23, 2011 | Posted by Elisa

    The only crowned female empress in Chinese history, Wu Zetian ruled from 655-683 during one of China's golden ages.

    China's Tang Dynasty (618–907) is regarded as one of the golden ages of Chinese history. A time of invention and advancements in civil government and literature, the Tang Dynasty saw China's only crowned female empress ascend to the throne, Wu Zetian.

    Her crowning as the first and only emperor in the history of China contradicts traditional Chinese Confucian attitudes about women, who are thought to belong at home doing housework and taking care of the family, and so her example h ...

  • The fairy tale world of China's Jiuzhai Valley

    March 11, 2011 | Posted by Chris

    Jiuzhai Valley, above, in China's Sichuan Province is one of the country's greatest natural treasures

    Deep China's hinterland wilderness, in northern Sichuan Province, lies one of China's great natural treasures. Called Jiuzhai Valley -- also known as Jiuzhaigou National Park -- it is a nature reserve known for its many multi-level waterfalls and colorful lakes. In popular Chinese imagination and among promoters, the park is given the reputation as a "fairy tale world." In 1992 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


    Jiuzhai Valley is found at the souther ...

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