Renewing Pride One Win at a Time

June 10, 2011

Recently a Chinese friend was proud to announce that Li Na won the French Open in Tennis on June 6.

Li Na is the first Chinese woman ever to win an Open Tennis women’s final title and become a world champion.

My friend watched it on a Chinese language cable news station the morning Li Na won, and said, “I bet the American media will not report this, and we won’t see it on the evening sports news.”  The Chinese news anchor said that all of China would have been watching the game even if they had to give up sleep.

However, my Chinese friend was wrong. I Googled “Li Na wins the French Open” and discovered that ESPN, Yahoo Sports, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Huffington Post, the Wall Street Journal, CBS News, Fox Sports, CNN, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, ABC News, etc. had reported Li Na’s win. The comment my friend made reflects an attitude among many in China.

In fact, there may be a little truth to what the said. After I searched the first two pages of Google hits, I still hadn’t seen the New York Times and I’m not surprised. Over time, I have discovered that the New York Times along with The Economist in the UK seems to be particularly antagonistic toward mainland China in the way the news is reported about The Middle Kingdom.

The morning before Li Na won the French Open, I heard from the same Chinese language news source that Chinese military and police snipers had won four out of five events at the 10th Military and Police Sniper World Cup in Budapest. The Chinese snipers placed first in four of the five events winning four gold medals. Source: The Firearm Blog

For those that watched the 2008 Beijing Olympics, you may remember that although America won the most medals at 110, the Chinese were a close second at 100 and China won 51 gold medals to America’s 36.

What Li Na accomplished at the French Open and what the Chinese military and police snipers won is a sign that the Chinese are regaining confidence and rebuilding the pride that was lost after Western imperial powers won two Opium Wars, destroyed the emperor’s Summer Palace in 1860, the failure of the Boxer Rebellion by Chinese peasant in 1900, the collapse of the Qing Dynasty and the anarchy that followed, the invasion by Japan during World War II, the loss of Taiwan to an American supported dictator, and the fact that the Western media won’t stop criticizing China over Tibet or let the world forget 1989 and what happened in Tiananmen Square.

What angers most Chinese is the Western media criticizing China over Tibet and Tiananmen Square based on falsehoods (you know—half lies).  Most Chinese know the whole truth but many Westerners don’t and do not care to know.

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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.

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Modern Chinese Parents and Children – Part 2/3

May 30, 2011

Guest post from Hannah in China

In addition, modern Chinese are also having many new chances but this still won’t change the way most Chinese parents raise children, because China now has the “Gaokao”, which is the high school examination to get into a university or college.

Because of the competition, parents can’t afford or wouldn’t dare to let the child just play and have fun. Children don’t know what is best for them.

Parents must force them to study but spoil them at the same time. When the child gets the great score, that means everything to parents. The kids don’t have to do anything else in life but study. Therefore, the story is the boy went into a famous college but didn’t know how to peal the eggshell.

Note from Blog host: Another review from Amazon.UK supports what Hanna is saying. The reviewer wrote, “I know how appalling some of those things sound to many. Not me, since I am Chinese myself and I have been brought up that same way, if not more strict.…. However when I grow up (now 40), I see the vast difference of parenting among other people in different countries (I live in UK now with my English husband), and what repercussions it has on the kids when they grow up. I am glad I was brought up the way I was.”

Hanna says, “Chinese parenting is not about ‘feelings’, but it’s not to say that the parents do not care.”

The child has to finish the school homework to 10 pm at night five days a week. Then after school, the child goes to the special training to develop other skills such as piano. This is not about what the the child is interested but it’s what the parents decided based on what they believe is necessary. What we learn in China is that the children have to attend eight different hobbies classes. There’s no free time.

Continued on May 31, 2011 with Modern Chinese Parents and Children – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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Discover Hannah’s review of Red Mansion, a Chinese TV series, or visit her Blogs at Hannah Travel Adventure (Chinese) or Hannah China Backpacker (English)

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Modern Chinese Parents and Children – Part 1/3

May 29, 2011

A Guest post from Hannah in China

Before I start to talking about Chinese parents and children, first let us have a look of the currently pretty hot arguing book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, which is a Chinese-American Yale law professor mom that wrote about how she was strict with her two daughters by making a lot of can’t doing rules, and she was acting like a wicked witch to push them to study.

I will not comment on which parenting method is better, Chinese or Western.

What I want to say is the book’s author Amy Chua’s way of parenting is typically Chinese though she is 4th-generation American.

Note from Blog host: Evidence of this may be found among reviews and comments on Amazon.UK. Rosie in the UK wrote, “I am Chinese now living in the UK and I admit I was outraged when I first read the WSJ excerpt of her (Amy Chua’s) book. My first thoughts were I can’t believe anyone would do something like that to their children. However, as I thought more about it and I guess living out here in the UK I’ve been so used to the numbing and dummying of our children’s perceived fragile self esteem and always making sure that their feelings and wants are met for fear of damaging them emotionally, I forgot that, hey, I was brought up pretty much the same way.”

Hanna says, “We Chinese have a long history of parents being strict with their children. From old days, the Ke Ju Kaoshi (official examination) was the only chance for people to change their fate and life.

“To achieve this, they must study really hard. We have an old saying about this “Shi Nian Han Chuang Ku Du Ri, Jin Chao Jin Bang Ti Ming Shi”, which means “Ten years of study at a cold window only for the day of passing the examination.”

“To study, students must be pushed even by using the stick.”

Continued on May 30, 2011 with Modern Chinese Parents and Children – Part 2

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Discover Hannah’s review of Red Mansion, a Chinese TV series, or visit her Blogs at Hannah Travel Adventure (Chinese) or Hannah China Backpacker (English)

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Chinese Crossbow and other Inventions (1/4)

July 31, 2010

The Chinese invented the forerunner to the modern machine gun—a repeating crossbow. If you watch the video, you will see that firing the repeating crossbow takes the pull of one lever.  The arrows are in a clip above the firing mechanism.

Then the Chinese invented the stirrup. Prior to that, all of the ancient people on earth rode horses without stirrups and staying on horseback and fighting was difficult without the stirrup.

Thanks to stirrups, the horse became a more stable platform for war. Prior to the stirrup, it was common for a man to ride about seven miles a day. After the stirrup, that distance was extended to as much as 70 miles a day.

The invention of the stirrup along with the repeating crossbow created a powerful weapon. The Chinese could also manufacture items in mass, quickly and efficiently. The Chinese used pottery molds to accomplish this—even to build the advanced trigger mechanism for the crossbow. When it came to cast iron, the Chinese were a thousand years ahead of the world.

However, by the time of the Sung Dynasty, the world was catching up—meaning China’s enemies were stealing their technology.  It’s ironic that today, many in the West accuse the Chinese of stealing innovations. If so, China is only doing what was done to them centuries ago.

Go to Chinese Crossbow and other Inventions – Part 2 or learn more about The Accidental Discovery of Gunpowder

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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.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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Marriage and Money

July 16, 2010

I worked in a meat market once in the early 1980s.  I was the maitre d in a nightclub called the Red Onion in Southern California.  The kind of meat I’m talking about is the two-legged kind where men are looking for women.

Danwei has an interesting post about a similar meat market in China without the nightclub.   In China, marriage is often based on how much a man earns.  Since there is a growing shortage of women in China, men have to compete.  The winner is usually the one who earns the most. Danwei posted a letter from a university student in China, who is attracted to a beautiful girl in one of his classes, but he has nothing to offer and is ready to give up before asking her for a date.

This Video emphasizes that fact.  A Chinese laborer who doesn’t earn much and doesn’t own a home wants a wife but he can’t find one because men who earn more than him are getting all the available women.

Even if a girl likes a guy, the parents are going to get involved at some point to make sure the man earns enough to provide for their daughter. If the parents are against the marriage, the odds are it will not happen.

Don’t forget, the biggest reason for divorce in the US is due to money problems—something Chinese women want to avoid.  This is a case where love loses to money.

See Banning Virtual Love for the Troops

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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.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


Banning Virtual Love for the Troops

July 5, 2010

Tragedy has struck before with online dating like Krista Elizabeth Merry, a 15-year-girl, who vanished after meeting someone on the Internet. Love Fraud.com even offers 7 points to remember about dating and predators.

Knowing how dangerous looking for love can be on the Internet, it should come as no surprise to learn that the People’s Daily announced that China’s military leaders are taking online dating as a serious threat to national security and banned online dating for the troops.

Traditional Chinese Wedding

However, young military men are not in the army to become monks, so China’s officers have had matchmaking added to their duties. Source: IBN Live

Becoming a military matchmaker may not be so easy, because there is a growing shortage of women in China. CNN reported that some 24 million Chinese men of marrying age will find themselves without a wife by 2020.  In that case, being in the military might be an advantage since patriotic Chinese women could move military men to the front of the line—that is if enough women are ready to marry.

Discover You’ve Come a Long Ways, Babe

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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.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


Not One Less (1999)

May 8, 2010

In the movie Not One Less, a thirteen-year-old girl is asked to be the substitute teacher in a small Chinese village.  The teacher tells her that when he returns, if he finds all the students there, he will pay her ten yuan—less than two American dollars.

Although money is involved, it isn’t much. When one student, Zhang Huike, stops coming to school, Wei Minzhim, the thirteen-year-old substitute, follows him to the city.

There are several themes in this movie. The most powerful to me were the value of an education and not losing face. If Wei loses Zhang, she will fail the responsibility the teacher gave her. To succeed, she must keep all the students and teach them.

Confucius taught the Chinese that an education was the great equalizer and the key to leaving poverty behind. Most Chinese believe this with a passion.

Zhang Yimou was the director. He says, “Chinese culture is still rooted in the countryside. If you don’t know the peasant, you don’t know China.” Because of this, there is a strong message in this movie about the urban–rural divide, which is being addressed as China sews the nation together with high-speed rail and electricity.

This a powerful movie about children, education, and poverty that shows the challenges China faces in lifting the lifestyles of almost eight hundred million Chinese, who don’t live in the cities. The challenge is to do this without losing the values that made China what it is.

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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.

His latest novel, Running with the Enemy, was awarded an honorable mention in general fiction at the 2013 San Francisco Book Festival.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China