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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pandas bear hopes for China, Taiwan

Pandas bear hopes for China, Taiwan
Amber Wang, Taipei
December 23, 2008
The Age

TWO giant pandas are about to make their long-anticipated and highly scrutinised trip from China to Taiwan, sealing a year of blossoming diplomatic ties between the two arch rivals.

The move of the four-year-old pair, whose names together symbolise unity, comes amid hopes that the goodwill gesture will be matched by an increased willingness to work towards warmer cross-strait relations.

A delegation of Taiwanese officials, animal experts and journalists flew to the pandas' home in south-west China's Sichuan province yesterday and were due to return to Taiwan with them today.

The pandas, named "Tuan Tuan" and "Yuan Yuan," are at a research centre in Ya'an. "Tuanyuan" — a combination of the pandas' names — means "reunion" or "unity" in Chinese...

For full article, go here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Romance of Three Kingdoms and Facial Hair

Just a passing thought - all these images from the Romance of Three Kingdoms (or go watch Red Cliff) show the Chinese in abundance with massive amounts of facial hair. Well that was almost 2000 years ago.

Just think Guan Yu and Zhang Fei. But we're all quite well known as to be comparatively hair-less creatures, when we think of say our European friends, if we look around the Chinese today. Granted we're all well geared with Gillette and the like, but I doubt we had that good facial hair growing power. Or do we? Or has society so decided we must look clean cut?

Something worth finding out more about. I feel like letting the hair flow.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Friends from the mainland.

Bob has graduated! Nice graduation photo to come soon. So yes, that means I've somewhat accomplished what I've set out for. I've passed the Masters program with a distinction average. And the dissertation did the job.

Of late, I have been questioning myself of what should have been painfully obvious. My recently acquired passion for all things China has overwhelmed most of what I read and reflect on - but the big question really - why then do i not have a single friend from China I would call a best friend, yet? I could wax lyrical and contextualize great a many Chinese stories, but in a nutshell, it's all really second-hand if my impressions all stem from just imagery in my head isn't it? The pictures in comic books, the cut scenes from movies, but what about first hand experience?

Perhaps, it's time to search for one. A few classmates/coursemates have come close, but they've left since graduation. I've made some twenty odd friends from various parts of the mainland throughout my stay in Australia thus far. The ones I click better with are from the South-east. The folk from Canton have been massively easy to get along with because we eat the same things (Teochews come from the same province as the Cantonese. My 'closest' buddy hails from Sichuan, and we spent a fair bit of time hanging out, but other than pursuit of good food in Melbourne together, we never made it to the we should meet up weekly stage.

So. Let's see. What's to come!