Thursday, 27 August 2015

Another Great Civil Engineering in China!

To avoid destroying a forest, authorities have built a 10.9-kilometer road linking Gufu to Zhaojunqiao in Xingshan county, Central China's Hubei province, that completely bypasses the nearby mountain. Two stretches of the project are two bridges, altogether 4.4km, built over two rivers. Photo taken on Aug 9, 2015.

It has been dubbed "road on water", Aug 9, 2015.

With beautiful landscape around it, the project is also called "the most beautiful road on water", Aug 9, 2015.

The road has made the journey easier in Xingshan county, which is located in the Three Gorges Reservoir region, in Central China's Hubei province, Aug 9, 2015.[Photos/]





Explore in China - Miao People Celebrate Coming Autumn

With a population of 8,940,116, the Miao people form one of the largest ethnic minorities in southwest China. They are mainly distributed across Guizhou, Yunnan, Hunan and Sichuan provinces and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and a small number live on Hainan Island in Guangdong Province and in southwest Hubei Province. Most of them live in tightly-knit communities, with a few living in areas inhabited by several other ethnic groups. (Read - 56 official recognized ethnic groups in mainland China)

On the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau and in some remote mountainous areas, Miao villages are comprised of a few families, and are scattered on mountain slopes and plains with easy access to transport links.

Much of the Miao area is hilly or mountainous, and is drained by several big rivers. The weather is mild with a generous rainfall, and the area is rich in natural resources. Major crops include paddy rice, maize, potatoes, Chinese sorghum, beans, rape, peanuts, tobacco, ramie, sugar cane, cotton, oil-tea camellia and tung tree. Hainan Island is abundant in tropical fruits.


As early as the Qin and Han dynasties 2,000 years ago, the ancestors of the Miao people lived in the western part of present-day Hunan and the eastern part of present-day Guizhou. They were referred to as the Miaos in Chinese documents of the Tang and Song period (A.D. 618-1279).

In the third century A.D., the ancestors of the Miaos went west to present-day northwest Guizhou and south Sichuan along the Wujiang River. In the fifth century, some Miao groups moved to east Sichuan and west Guizhou. In the ninth century, some were taken to Yunnan as captives. In the 16th century, some Miaos settled on Hainan Island. As a result of these large-scale migrations over many centuries the Miaos became widely dispersed.

Such a wide distribution and the influence of different environments has resulted in marked differences in dialect, names and clothes. Some Miao people from different areas have great difficulty in communicating with each other. Their art and festivals also differ between areas.

Below are photos of people of Miao ethnic group hold a celebration for the coming of autumn in Paibi Township of Huayuan County in the Tujia-Miao Autonomous Prefecture of Xiangxi, central China's Hunan Province, Aug. 8, 2015. (Xinhua/Long Yuanbin).






More reading:
  1. Miao people celebrate New Year in Anshun City, SW China
  2. Ethnic Miao people celebrate Festival of King Bamboo in Guizhou
  3. Miao people celebrate Sisters Festival
  4. Miao People Celebrate 'Girls' Day'
  5. Miao people celebrate traditional Fish-catching Festival

Explore China Culture - 9 things you may not know about Start of Autumn

File Photo
The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms. Start of Autumn, (Chinese: 立秋), the 13th solar term of the year, begins this year on Aug 8 and ends on Aug 22.
Start of Autumn reflects the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. The fruitful season is approaching.
In China, the 24 solar terms were created thousands of years ago to guide agricultural production. But solar term culture is still useful today to guide people's lives through special foods, cultural ceremonies and even healthy living tips that correspond with each term.
The following are 9 things you should know about Start of Autumn.
File Photo
"Autumn Tiger"
Although Start of Autumn indicates the beginning of autumn, hot weather will not come to an end. The period of hot days after Start of Autumn, usually lasting for 30 days, is called "Autumn Tiger" or "Indian Summer." Because of decreasing precipitation, it is even more sweltering during this period than during Major Heat (July 23-August 7).

Steamed buns[File Photo]
Fleshing out in autumn
On the first day of the Start of Autumn, usually people will weigh themselves and compare their weight to what it was at the Start of Summer. If one has lost weight during the summer, then at the beginning of autumn, he or she needs to flesh out by eating many different kinds of delicious food, especially meat.

A vehicle helps villagers in Shimen village,Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region during the rush to harvest the early rice crop. [Photo by Meng Zengshi/]
Gathering crops
Start of Autumn is a big solar term for farmers. It is time to gather crops. There is a saying: "If it rains on the day of the Start of Autumn, a good harvest is expected."
Peaches. [Photo/IC]
Eating peaches
In Hangzhou, people eat peaches on the Start of Autumn day. The peach stones are kept until New Year's Eve and thrown into the stove, burned into ash. People believed that in this way, plagues could be prevented for the whole year.
Longans.[File Photo]
Eating longans
The Start of Autumn period is harvest time for Taiwan longan. People believe that eating longan will help their descendants become senior officials.

Dumplings.[File photo]
Eating dumplings
In Shandong province, people make dumplings during the Start of Autumn, and they call it "Eating the Autumn". On the day of Start of Autumn, senior members of the family will stand in the middle of the hall, worshiping a bowl of cereal, and praying for the harvest in autumn. Most of the families will eat dumplings together after Start of Autumn day.

Red beans.[File Photo]
Eating red beans
Starting from the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and the Song Dynasty (960-1279), people in Yiwu, Zhejiang province, have eaten red beans on Start of Autumn day. They take seven to 14 little beans, swallowing them with well water. When taking the beans, one must face west, it is said, so as not to get dysentery during the autumn.

Towel gourds.[File Photo]
Eating gourds
During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), people would put gourds outside for a day before the Start of Autumn, and eat them on Start of Autumn day to drive off the summer heat. Today people in Tianjing still keep this custom, believing that eating melons such as towel gourd, white gourd and bitter gourd can prevent diarrhea in autumn and the coming winter and spring.

"Touching Autumn". [Photo by Yang Lanzhen/]
"Touching Autumn"
There is the custom of "Touching Autumn" in the northern part of Yancheng, Jiangsu province. On the eve of Start of Autumn, people can touch and take for free all kinds of fruits as they like in private or public gardens, and the owners will not be angry, no matter how much they lose. Many gardeners even leave some mellow fruits in the field on purpose for the guests during the night.

The 24 solar terms are determined by changes in the sun's position in the zodiac during the year. They were first used in China and now are followed in many other parts of the world. In China, the 24 solar terms were created thousands of years ago to guide agricultural production. They also reflect China’s rich history through the seasonal festivals, special foods, cultural ceremonies, family gatherings and even healthy living tips that correspond with each solar term.
Here is a peek into the 24 terms in 2015.
Solar Terms
Feb. 4
Spring begins.
Rain Water(雨水)
It begins to rain.
Mar. 6
Hibernating animals awaken.
Day and night are equally long.
Apr. 5
It is warm and bright.
Grain Rain(谷雨)
Apr. 20
Rainfall increases for grain to grow.
May 6
Summer begins.
Grain Buds(小满)
May 21
Seeds of summer crops begin to plump.
Jun. 6
Wheat grows ripe.
Jun. 22
The longest daylight hours and the shortest night of the year.
Minor Heat(小暑)
Jul. 7
Heat sets in.
Major Heat(大暑)
Jul. 23
The hottest time of the of year begins.
Aug 8
Autumn begins.
End of Heat(处暑)
Aug 23
Heat recedes.
White Dew(白露)
Sep. 8
Dew forms.
Sep. 23
The middle of autumn comes.
Cold Dew(寒露)
Oct. 8
Dew is very cold.
Oct. 24
Frost descends.
Nov. 8
Winter begins.
Minor Snow(小雪)
Nov. 22
It begins to snow.
Major Snow(大雪)
Dec. 7
It snows heavily.
Dec. 22
It has the shortest day light hours and the longest night of a year.
Minor Cold(小寒)
Jan 6
It is rather cold.
Major Cold(大寒)
Jan 20
The coldest time of the year begins.

Source -

Explore in China - Forbidden City in the First Day of Autumn

August 8 is this year’s “Liqiu” (立秋), literally “the establishment of autumn”, in China’s lunar calendar. 
The Forbidden City’s official social media account shares a group of photos taken this very day, and wins applause from netizens. “I am changing my lock screen.” One says. “You just cannot take a bad picture about the Forbidden City. Snap it, and there you go.” Another comments.
Forbidden City is the royal palace in the center of Beijing. Below are the photos taken on 8 Aug 2015 at the imperial palace. (source -








The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty—the years 1420 to 1912. It is located in the centre of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum. It served as the home of emperors and their households as well as the ceremonial and political centre of Chinese government for almost 500 years.
Built in 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 72 ha (180 acres). The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture,[2] and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. (More about the Chinese imperial palace)




More about Autumn in China:

  1. Culture Insider: 8 things you may not know about Autumn Equinox
  2. Top 10 most beautiful autumn sceneries in China
  3. Scenery of red autumnal leaves at Great Wall

Young Chinese Remain Unfazed by Slower Economic Growth Despite Record Graduates

Photo: Chinese graduates pose in front of a statue of late Chinese leader Mao Zedong in Shanghai (Reuters: Aly Song)
Chinese graduates are not too concerned by the slower economic growth that the country is experiencing.
Over the past four years, Zhou Yueliang has employed 15 final year university students as part of his company's graduate intake program in Changsha, Hunan.
Hunan is a major rice producing province in south central China.
Mr Zhou's company Hengniu is in the business of researching and selling high-yielding rice varieties.
They are currently trialling the production of this rice in more than 10 countries including Cambodia, Laos and the Philippines.
Exports are expected to begin to at least two markets next year.
However, Mr Zhou finds it difficult to attract and retain these new employees despite the prospects and the abundance of fresh graduates — nearly 7.5 million this year.
The study and development of rice seeds requires expertise in areas such as soil and plant protection.
It also needs patience that many do not have because sometimes years of research yields little.
There is also a perception that agriculture belongs to the history books of Hunan and the rest of China.
"Most of the students who major in agriculture at university come from the countryside," he said.
"Their parents send them to university in the hope they leave this industry. Many people object if these students remain in the sector."
Changing priorities among younger Chinese
The record number of graduates entering the workforce of the world's second largest economy represents almost a third of Australia's population.
This year's figure is an increase of 220,000 from last year.
Given the huge pressure the added supply places on jobs, there are worries the class of 2015 will find it more difficult gaining employment as the economy slows.
State media reports said companies had reduced their graduate intake because the good times are fading.
But rising unemployment does not seem to be a problem in Changsha.
Official unemployment figures around the country are a touch over 4 per cent, well below the target of 4.5 per cent.
"I was hired at a campus recruitment fair. My classmates and I are all employed because it's easier with our major in finance," said one recent graduate.
"It's more difficult for others like those who major in music and the arts."

If you keep doing a job you do not like then I think there's no meaning to life.
Recent graduate, Mr Liu

What was noticeable is that the priorities of this latest generation of young Chinese workers have changed. They value job satisfaction over job security.
A 22-year-old finance graduate present at a career fair in Changsha was on the hunt for a new job after working in his current position for only two months.
The man who would only identify himself as Mr Liu draws a monthly salary of around $661, what most people in Changsha get at an entry level.
The graduates said it is enough to live on in a small city like Changsha, where the cost of living is significantly lower than in Beijing.
An apartment in Changsha costs about a fifth of one in the Chinese capital.
"You have to do something you are interested in because time flies," Mr Liu said. "If you keep doing a job you do not like then I think there's no meaning to life."
Even those pursuing careers in sectors affected by the global economic downturn like energy and commodities don't always jump at the first opportunity.
Li Yanlong, 26, majored in mining and rejected one offer before finally saying yes six months later.
He was offered the same starting salary as those who graduated a few years ago.
"I didn't like the idea of joining that company and believed I could do better," Mr Li said. "But I became increasingly anxious as I continued looking. My job search took me to many cities including Beijing."
The stage could be set for a clash of generations between younger Chinese workers and their bosses to be as priorities and expectations change.
Employers like Mr Zhou complain local universities are not equipping graduates with practical skills and lament that the current generation of workers lacks direction and drive.
"After these students graduate they must recognise they should contribute to society before they get something in return," he said while urging them to change their perspective.
"They cannot depend on handouts from the boss."
Source -