Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Doctored photo draws international attention and amusement!

 Somewhere in South West China three officials are inspecting a road - or are coming out of the road - or are floating above the road - it depends on how you look at it really! This terribly altered photograph of these three men supposedly inspecting a new road in Sichuan province is now a global sensation.  It is already being nominated as one of the worst doctored images in history, so-much-so that jokers are already trying their hands at placing the three men in other important places!

The new intergalactic highway is finished at last! A bit dusty though...

 With a little drainage a road could be built here.

Get up! We've got planning permission you know! 

This road is not complete! AND its got a huge bump in it!! This is a total disaster!!!

Traffic-slowing measures are of a huge importance to public safety.  Let us inspect closely...

But with all this great artistry what I really want to know is - what is the original photograph where these three guys were taken and added into the road? Anybody know this??
I am sure that the truth will be stranger than the fiction!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Insulting yourself

I was a follower of a certain BBC celebrity on Twitter.  Recently, or at least from when I had started to follow them, they had been using the word "chink" or "chinky" to describe themselves in their tweets.  The first time I saw this I was taken aback; to my knowledge the word "chink" is a racially abusive term for us Chinese.  Now here is a well known British Chinese individual, who themselves have been subject to discrimination, labelling themselves with the same word!

It is known that some people in other ethnic groups use racist words to address one another to communicate comradeship and affection, but it does not appear to me that the celebrity is using these words in this way; it is as if they are trying to making an outward statement, publicising their heritage in an audacious manner that also smacks of indifference and avengment.  To brand yourself with the words of your antagoniser, is this not an admission of inferiority? A proud, bold display to everyone that you, and others like you, deserve to be discriminated against and that your antagonisers are justified in their actions?

I'm not sure how many other BBCs refer to themselves in this way, but if one is indeed proud of ones heritage, shouldn't one refer to oneself with a little more dignity?  In my opinion, to do otherwise is not only self-defeating and letting your antagonisers gain the upper hand; it also harms and brings down an entire population, many of whom wish to live their lives harmoniously in this multicultural society that is the UK.


Sunday, 19 June 2011

Sweet potato dessert (蕃薯糖水)

A most favourite dessert that we have after dinner (way after dinner!) is sweet potato served in sugar water (蕃薯糖水 fan sui tong suy).  This is usually consumed in the evenings as it is believed that having a sugary, watery snack before bed is good for the throat and lungs in that they are not so dry (this is based on the hot weather in Asia).  This is a simple, lovely, healthy snack that is high in fibre and is suitable for vegetarians.
To make this for four people you will need:

A couple of slices of ginger
One or two sweet potatoes, skinned and chopped into chunks
a stick of cane sugar

Heat up three tablespoons of oil and fry the slices of ginger for two minutes.

 Add the chunks of sweet potato and fry these well for 5-10 minutes.

Add a water, enough to cover the sweet potato.  Break up a stick of cane sugar and add this in.  Cover and cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes.  Stir every now and then.

 Serve into bowls and enjoy!

Thank goodness for weekends! ;)


Saturday, 4 June 2011

Dragon Boat Festival

June the 6th is the Dragon Boat Festival ( 端午節 Tuen Ng Jit). This is a day that is observed and celebrated in many parts of East Asia, and in the Motherland it is a public holiday.  Like other traditional festivals, the Dragon Boat Festival follows the lunar calendar (the fifth day of the fifth month) and therefore in the Gregorian calender it changes from year to year.  In the UK the Dragon Boat Festival will be celebrated on many a river.  The competition takes the form of charity races, racing associations and corporate events.  All in all it promotes team work and community and is a fun day out for all the family.

The festival is thought to originate from a folk story based on the Chinese scholar, poet and minister Qu Yuan   (屈原) who lived during China's warring states period.  As a loyal adviser to the King and his state, he was a champion of peace, truth and justice.  However the King, under the influence of jealous and corrupt ministers, banished him from the court.  Not long after, the state was attacked and the King was captured.  Qu Yuan, upon hearing of the demise of his country and the King's fate, was overcome by sorrow and despair.  He then threw himself in the Miluo river.

 Qu Yuan (屈原)

It is said that the ordinary citizens, who knew and respected the good minister, rushed out to rescue him.  Unable to find him in the water, they resorted to throwing packages of rice into the river and beating drums in an attempt to scare away the fish so that they would leave Qu Yuan's body alone.  To this day, this tradition is repeated to commemorate Qu Yuan's death: the rice packages are now known as zongzi  (粽子) which are rice dumplings consisting of glutinous rice with various fillings that are wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves.  The boats are now long boats, decorated with the head and tail of a dragon and are raced with a drummer on board.

  Zongzi (粽子) with meat filling

Dragon Boat race