Making the Hajj from China: Part 2/2

May 28, 2013

Another devout Chinese Muslim in Xian is proudly transcribing the Quran into Chinese using traditional Chinese brush calligraphy. He says it took him over a year to transcribe the entire Quran this way. Now he is working on a second copy.

He has also taught his son and his grandsons how to write with the Chinese brush wanting to pass down this tradition to the next generation.

His son says that every generation should try their best to transcribe the Quran with the Chinese brush, as it is also a good way to reinforce our faith.

The original copy of the Quran in this family is over four hundred years old, a priceless relic transcribed by the Chinese imams. There are only a few remaining copies left in the world.

Jia Wen Yi, a Hajj pilgrim, says the trip to Mecca is important to him and his wife, an elderly couple. They have done a lot of preparation for the hajj. Mr. Jia goes into detail about the planning.

Going on the hajj for Yi and his wife, Jia Wang Yi, has been a dream for over two decades as they saved to have enough money.

Mr. and Mrs. Jia will be part of a group of 250 pilgrims leaving for the hajj from the city of Xian. It was a matter of saving most of their lives until they could afford the trip.

Since these Muslims are considered a minority in China, they are not restricted by the one-child policy, as you would see in the video when the family and friends gather to say goodbye before Mr. and Mrs. Jia leave on the long journey to Mecca.

There is no direct flight from Xian to Mecca, so the pilgrims will take a train to Beijing where they will board a flight to Saudi Arabia.

Whenever pilgrims leave Xian to go on the hajj to Mecca, thousands of Chinese Muslims show up at the railway station to say goodbye. This is the first time Mr. and Mrs. Jia have left China. They have never been apart from their family before.

Return to Making the Hajj from China: Part 1

_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Family Roots run Deep in Israel and China

March 25, 2013

In 1967, I was stationed at Camp Pendleton, California. Between June 5 – 10, six months after I returned from Vietnam, Israel fought the Six-Day War defeating several Islamic nations that had twice the troops Israel had, more combat aircraft and many more tanks.

It was Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Kuwait, Tunisia, Sudan and the PLO against Israel.

Israel’s had a total of 264,000 troops with only 100,000 deployed. The Islamic nations had a total of 547,000 troops with 240,000 deployed. Israel had 800 tanks to 2,504, and 300 combat aircraft to 957.

After Israel’s victory, I remember saying, “We should let Israel fight the Vietnam War for us.  At least Israel’s leaders know how to fight.”

The Jews and the Chinese have four things in common—loyalty to family, a high respect for education, a willingness to work long hours for low pay, and a canny acumen for business. Because of these similarities, the Chinese have even been called the Jews of Asia.

The Jews have a long history with China. In China: A New Promised Land, by R. E. Prindle, an interview with David Grossman, Israel’s leading novelist talks about the Jews moving to China.

When a father goes to work in China, he works for his family—not himself. After the children grow up, they must care for their parents—not the other way around like in America.  In America, many parents tell their children to do whatever they want and be anything they want. Most children follow that advice even if it means getting a degree to become an artist or skipping college to chase dreams of acting, singing or sports fame while attending parties or visiting theme parks like Disneyland because mom and dad said, “We want you to be happy—to have fun.”

It’s different for many Jews and Chinese. Working hard and earning an education are important to both cultures.  A close friend of mine and his wife, both Jewish, took out a loan on their home so their son could become a doctor and their daughter a lawyer. They bought a condominium near the university their children attended as a place to live. Both the mother and father were teachers, who did not earn much, which shows that Jewish parents, like the Chinese, are willing to sacrifice for their children in ways many American parents would find unacceptable in the age of credit cards and instant gratification.

This willingness to sacrifice for the family and nation may have been the reason the Jews won the Six-Day War against overwhelming odds. Although the Chinese have the same values and are willing to make the same sacrifices for family, they did not know how to fight like the Jews—something the surviving Jews must have learned due to Nazi atrocities.


Will the changing China also change family values?

After Mao won China, he caused much suffering with the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution where the goal may have been to root out the weaknesses that caused China to become a victim to Western Imperialism in the 19th century and then Japan during World War II.

I wonder if the Chinese learned the lessons Mao taught them through suffering similar to what the Jews experienced from Hitler.  I wonder if China will fight like Israel if threatened again. Before Mao, China was a country of poets and artists who painted watercolors on rice paper.  Even Mao and his generals wrote poems. I do not believe the Chinese are a military threat to anyone who does not threaten them.

Like Israel, China may only respond if they feel they are going to be attacked, and if Mao left them ready to defend themselves against aggressors, then the horrors that caused so much suffering and death during the 27 years he ruled China might have been worth the sacrifice for the survival of this family focused culture.

Most America families were like that once before the industrial revolution and the self-esteem movement made the individual more important than the family. Back then, 95% of the population lived on small family farms near towns and hamlets instead of bulging cities dominated by corporate cultures and sexy advertisements. Today, most family roots in the United States do not run deep—not like the Chinese and Jews.

See The First of all Virtues

_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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No Link for Misguided Misinformation – Part 3/5

September 24, 2011

Kier is correct about censorship in China, but China does not have a freedom of the press clause in its Constitution, and Saudi Arabia is even more repressive but that doesn’t stop the US from buying Saudi oil. In addition, the major media in China is owned by the government.

How many that read this post know that freedom of expression in the United States only applies to criticisms of the American government, and workers do not have freedom of expression in the private sector? In America, it is highly possible to get fired for saying something that is forbidden or unacceptable by a company one works for.

In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that students attending America’s public schools do not have freedom of expression in the classroom if it disrupts the learning environment.

In China, there is censorship of the media and of the Internet, but it is a leaky bucket.  Books that are banned are only banned in Mandarin but that does not mean they are not available to the general population.

Bookstores, both state and private owned, often have banned titles available in English or other languages and since learning English is mandatory in the public schools, many in China may buy and read banned books without a problem.

In addition, there is an active black market in Mandarin translations of banned books as there is a black market for pirated DVDs of Western movies and TV series (some of which are banned in China). The Chinese people are notorious for finding ways to get around government rules.

As for censorship of the Internet, that is a joke.  I have friends in China that often use proxy servers daily to log onto the Internet and bypass the censors to access information in the West that China’s censors fail to block.  It takes a few minutes of effort for those that want to access censored sites on the Internet, but millions do it daily. At its worst, censorship in China is a nuisance.

In addition, there are more Blogs in China than any other country, and those Blogs are actively expressing themselves regardless of the censors, which has led to reversals of laws and government policies unpopular with millions of people.

In fact, my Blog is a WordPress Blog and WordPress is censored in China, but I have readers from China logging in daily to read my posts.

Continued on September 25, 2011 in No Link for Misguided Misinformation – Part 4 or return to Part 2

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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A Road to the Hajj from China – Part 2/2

November 30, 2010

Another devout Chinese Muslim in Xian is proudly transcribing the Quran into Chinese using traditional Chinese brush calligraphy. He says it took him over a year to transcribe the entire Quran this way. Now he is working on a second copy.

He has also taught his son and his grandsons how to write with the Chinese brush wanting to pass down this tradition to the next generation.

His son says that every generation should try their best to transcribe the Quran with the Chinese brush, as it is also a good way to reinforce our faith.

The original copy of the Quran in this family is over four hundred years old, a priceless relic transcribed by the Chinese imams. There are only a few remaining copies left in the world.

Jia Wen Yi, a Hajj pilgrim, says the trip to Mecca is important to him and his wife, an elderly couple. They have done a lot of preparation for the hajj. Mr. Jia goes into detail about the planning.

Going on the hajj for Yi and his wife, Jia Wang Yi, has been a dream for over two decades as they saved to have enough money.

Mr. and Mrs. Jia will be part of a group of 250 pilgrims leaving for the hajj from the city of Xian. It was a matter of saving most of their lives until they could afford the trip.

Since these Muslims are considered a minority in China, they are not restricted by the one-child policy, as you would see in the video when the family and friends gather to say goodbye before Mr. and Mrs. Jia leave on the long journey to Mecca.

There is no direct flight from Xian to Mecca, so the pilgrims will take a train to Beijing where they will board a flight to Saudi Arabia.

Whenever pilgrims leave Xian to go on the hajj to Mecca, thousands of Chinese Muslims show up at the railway station to say goodbye. This is the first time Mr. and Mrs. Jia have left China. They have never been apart from their family before.

Return to A Road to the Hajj from China – Part 1 and/or discover The Kaifeng Jews

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


Similar “Oily” Interests

February 24, 2010

China’s hunger for oil is not equal to America’s gluttony but it is getting there. Meanwhile, America and its allies blame China for the stalemate over stopping Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

This is my confession. I’m seeking God’s forgiveness for my sins. Every American who drives a car is an accessory to a crime—9/11.  The more oil, gas or diesel consumed, the more guilt.

There are two parts to this sin.

The first stage for this crime took place during America’s Cold War with Communism. If you haven’t seen Charlie Wilson’s War, rent it.  Americans were the mad scientists who created the Frankenstein, the metamorphosis of the wolf men—the demons we call al-Qaida.

The Taliban, who supported al-Qaida’s goal to eliminate all Western Cultures and create a Caliphate—a throwback to another era, learned their Islamic Fundamentalism from Saudi Arabia’s dominant faith, Wahhabism. Oil money paid for the Wahabi schools that Saudi Arabia built around the world.  These schools teach fundamentalist Islamic principles that grow future terrorists recruited by al-Qaida and the Taliban.

Saudi Oil Wells

And who feeds Saudi oil to their SUVs, cars, trucks, eighteen-wheelers and coast to coast freight trains and jet planes?

When China blocks action against Iran’s nuclear ambitions, because the Chinese people love American food and buy GM, Ford, Volkswagen and Toyota, isn’t their hunger the same?

See America Doing Business in China