Proud to be Chinese

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EVERYTHING is BIG in CHINA e.g. The Great Wall of China
EVERYTHING is BIG in CHINA e.g. The Great Wall of China


With 1.3 billion Chinese in China, mathematically speaking one out of every five people is a Chinese in the world. It is said that wherever the ocean touches land, there the Chinese be. Wherever the Chinese is he survives, in fact more than survive, often making indelible contributions to the community where he lives. He could well be in isolation, but his resources know no bound . . . his initiatives no less . . . his resilience, diligence, dignity & pride second to none. The Chinese people are the most unique “natural resources” of the Chinese nation.


The Chinese as a race, I always contend, are the most assiduous in their economic pursuit, totally self-reliant, resourceful, diligent, resilient and smiling even under threat. In a word, Chinese are great survivors!

The latest book “One Man’s View” by LKY, Spore’s Minister Mentor covering similar themes about the Chinese has been receiving good worldwide commendations. There’s no basis of it being “racist” as facts bespeak the gospel truth. – Paul Chong

Here below Chan-Lui Lee presents some very basic plain truth of the Chinese.

Address by Chan-Lui Lee, Ph.D. Honorary Life Member & Past President, AFS
 Melbourne, Australia.

Proud to be born an Overseas Chinese

Proud to be born a Chinese. Each and every race has their own Pride and so long as they do not infringe into others’ right, I don’t see any problem of them taking their own PRIDE, wonder why some Malaysian politicians are so taboo about this?

Why do Chinese people work so hard to succeed in life? Here is the plain truth.

#1. There are over 1 billion of us on this earth. We are like photostat copies of each other. You get rid of one,5magically appears (like ballot boxes). Yes, it is scary, especially for us. We acknowledge that we are replaceable, thus we are not particularly ‘special’. If you think you are smart, there are a few thousand more people smarter than you. If you think you are strong, there are a few thousand people stronger than you.

#2. We have been crawling all over this earth for far more centuries that most civilizations. Our DNA is designed for survival. We are like cockroaches. Put us anywhere on earth and we will make a colony and thrive. We survive on anything around us and make the best of it. Some keep migrating but others will stay and multiply.

#3. NOBODY cares if we succeed as individuals or not. But our families take pride in knowing we have succeeded. Yes, some will fail. We take nothing for granted. We don’t expect privileges to fall on our laps. No one owes us anything.

#4. We know we have nothing to lose if we try to succeed. Thus, we have no fear trying. That is why Chinese are addicted to gambling.We thrive on taking risks. All or nothing.

#5. From young we are taught to count every cent. What we take for granted like money management, I have found out recently, is not something other cultures practice at home with their children. It surprised me. But truth is not all societies or cultures teach their young this set of skills because it is rude to them. Yes, most of us can count because we are forced to and the logic of money is pounded into us from the beginning of time (when mama tells us how much she has spent on our milk and diapers)


#6. We acknowledge life cycles. We accept that wealth in a family stays for three generations (urban myth?). Thus, every 4th generation will have to work from scratch.I.e. the first generation earns the money from scratch, second generation spends the money on education, third generation gets spoiled and wastes all the inheritance. Then we are back to square one. Some families hang on to their wealth a little longer than most.

#7. It is our culture to push our next generation to do better than the last. Be smarter. Be stronger. Be faster. Be more righteous. Be more pious. Be more innovative. Be more creative. Be richer. Be everything that you can be in this lifetime. Be KIASU.

#8. Our society judges us by our achievements… and we have no choice but to do something worthwhile because Chinese New Year comes around every year and Chinese relatives have no qualms about asking you straight in your face – how much are you making? When was your last promotion? How big is your office? What car do you drive? Where do you stay? You have boyfriend? You have girlfriend? When are you getting married? When are you having children? When is the next child? When you getting a boy? Got maid yet? Does your company send you overseas? etc etc etc. It NEVER ENDS… so, we can’t stop chasing the illusive train – we are damned to a materialistic society. If you are not Chinese, consider yourself lucky!

#9. We have been taught from young – if you have two hands, two feet, two eyes, and a mouth, what are you doing with it? 

People with no hands can do better than you (and the OKU artists do put us to shame)

#10. Ironically, the Chinese also believe in giving back to save their wretched materialistic souls. Balance is needed. 

The more their children succeed in life, the more our parents will give back to society (not for profit) as gratitude for the good fortune bestowed on their children. Yes. That is true. And that is why our society progresses forward in all conditions.
 Nobody pities us. We accept that.
 No one owes us anything. We know that.
There are too many of us for charity to reach all of us. We acknowledge that.
 But that does not stop us from making a better life. This lifetime 
Opportunity is as we make of it.
So, pardon us if we feel obliged to make a better place for ourselves in this country we call home. 

It is in our DNA to progress forward for a more comfortable life.

But if history were to be our teacher, look around this globe. 
Every country has a Chinatown (seriously) but how many government/countries are ‘taken’ over by the Chinese people.
 Don’t be afraid of us overwhelming your majority, we are not looking to conquer. If we have moved away from China and Chinese governed countries, we are NOT looking for another country to administer. Our representatives are only there to look after our collective welfare. They are duty bound. We prefer to blend in and enjoy the fruits of our labor. We enjoy the company of like minded people of all races. After all, we are only passing through a small period in the history of time . . . so, use our skills and we can all progress forward together.

The Future of China
The Future of China

Chan-Lui Lee,  Ph.D.
, a marine biologist, Senior Lecturer, Northern Territory University and Chinese migrant, Honorary Life Member & Past President, AFS
 Melbourne, Australia.


Jujube Fruit (Chinese Date) – Health Benefits

Widely cultivated in China and India, ziziphus zizyphus(syn. Ziziphus jujuba and Ziziphus vulgaris) is a species of small deciduous spreading tree in the buckthorn family Rhamnaceae. It is native to warm temperate and subtropical regions throughout the world, and is commonly known as Jujube, red date, or Chinese date. Ziziphus zizyphusis can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and rainfall. It requires hot summers and sufficient water for fruiting.

English: Ziziphus mauritiana fruit and foliage...
English: Ziziphus mauritiana fruit and foliage, Mount Archer National Park, Rockhampton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nutritional Value: 

Jujubes are high in nutritional value (The Herbs 2011) and a good source of: Vitamins, Minerals & Antioxidants.

Medical Benefits: Jujubes are widely used in Chinese Medicine as a mild sedative (Sisyphus 2011) and for relieving anxiety, insomnia, apprehension, nervous exhaustion, palpitations, nerve excess, night sweats and hot spells and irritability.

Varieties: 1. CHICO and LI are the best Fresh varieties 2. TA-JAN is an ideal drying fruit 3. SUIMEN is an all-rounder, suitable for drying and can be eaten fresh.

Originally from China, it is now grown throughout the world. The Chinese discovered the health benefits of Jujube fruit more than 2000 years ago and it has been used as a herbal remedy ever since. Modern research has enabled the Chinese and Koreans to use this fruit in many medicines and studies continue in the western world on the properties the Jujube fruit contains.

jujube_juice (Photo credit: BlogMama)

In Vietnam, the fruit is taken fresh & used as a healthy fruit drink.

The jujube fruits can be eaten fresh or dried. They are available in either red or black, with the latter being smoked to enhance flavor. They are used in Chinese and Korean traditional medicine. Dried fruits are usually used in Chinese delicacies, tea, or sweetened tea syrup.

The most common health benefits of the Jujube fruit:

  • to soothe injured or inflamed skin.
  • also used as a demulcent in this way.
  • used for treating boils, scratches and sores and
  • can also treat internal inflammation and discomfort.
  • Used for many cough drops and sore throat lozenges.

 Similarly, several known digestive complaints can be treated effectively by Jujube fruit including loss of appetite and diarrhoea because it destroys bacteria in the intestines. In fact, the Chinese use it in the treatment of hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver simply because Jujube fruit is known to strengthen the liver. It also serves another purpose by aiding the spleens daily function ensuring that the health benefits of Jujube fruit are used to their full potential.

As well as assisting with many bodily functions, Jujube fruit is known to help mental health conditions by having an overall calming effect, when ingested. Therefore irritable, nervous people can take advantage of the health benefits of Jujube fruit. Further benefits include increased stamina and strength, increased energy levels, improvement to the metabolism and a reduction in allergies.

The high content of botulinus acid found in Jujube fruit is being used in experiments aiding modern medical research in the quest to find cures for cancer, leukaemia and HIV. In addition, K562 leukaemia cells in the body have been proven to be reduced by extracts from Jujube fruit which again verifies the health benefits of Jujube fruit.

All in all, the Jujube fruit is an invaluable natural source, one that will probably continue to be in use for many years to come.

Chinese Style of Celebration



English: Traditional Chinese wedding attire


Contemporary red envelopes
Contemporary red envelopes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


There is something to be said about the Chinese when it comes to the question of celebration. And celebration not quite in the sense as generally observed by most people. Being a Chinese myself and having been largely Western educated with the benefits of having lived one score & ten years of my life in Australia, I can safely tell you that the Chinese are the most assiduous economic seekers.


They work both hard & smart without really ever taking a break or a holiday.


Before the introduction of modern way of business & labour operation, the Chinese as I know them work 24/7. Their holidays mean work & more work, as I would always say “Hard work will not a person kill, but sheer idleness will.”


My own grandfather & father lived by this philosophy, and in all the years of my father’s natural life, who raised up the nine of us siblings literally with the skills of his two hands, he had only been to Singapore and once to India with a cousin of mine. Needless to say, my grandfather known as “Mopeng Kaya” by the local Malays, never went anyway for holidays.


From thew womb to the tomb, the Chinese will never fail to celebrate the great & memorable occasions of birth, wedding & death.


Baby’s Full-Moon Celebration


30 days after being born, a Chinese baby is held in high esteem & will celebrate the occasion known as the “Full Moon” with red eggs, yellow rice & chicken curry, distributed far & near among all relatives & some close friends. It’s a real big thing.



Character represents “Longevity”


The other question of birth has to do with birthdays and not just any birthday. It is mandatory to celebrate the 60th & the 80th birthdays. These two great days are significant in the life of the Chinese. Red is the colour to go by in all the celebrations as in the distribution of red packets containing even sum of money known as “Ang Pow”.


Chinese “Ang Pow”


Chinese wedding celebration knows no limit too. The grandeur of its celebration spells the status & wealth of the people concerned. Rolls-Royce limousines as bridal vehicles & other luxurious imported vehicles make the scene.



Chinese wedding traditions



In life as in death, celebration goes on. Celebration mean eating. Food is the medium of celebration. The size of the banquet depends upon the economic status of the celebrants & also upon the significance of the day. There is also the question of “saving face” or as in Singapore they would express the notion of “Kian Soo” (not to lose out). In the Western world, it’s worthy in keeping up with the Joneses but for the Chinese it’s more by outdoing your relatives, friends & neighbours. Of late it was reported of a wedding banquet for 808 tables held at Liede Village, Guangzhou,


That is how celebration takes on the progressiveness of immensity.As a nation, there are other great festival celebrations such as Autumn Spring Festival or known abroad among the Chinese folks simply as Chinese New Year celebration, an occasion to match Christmas, or if not to outmatch it.


National holiday such as this create great havoc as great problems arise out of the need to cater transport for mass movement of people – a MUST-GO-HOME kind of thing to celebrate. But these days,the Chinese are beginning to take holiday trips locally to places of interest or abroad for their holidays. With millions on the move, that itself create the atmosphere of celebration.


With redness prominent everywhere & the ding & the bang of “noise” fill the air. It’s more “noise” than “music” with the classic display of lion dance & dragon dance for bigger occasions. These dances are performed with great kung-fu skills & artistry – nothing short of great gymnastic performances.


A picture is greater than ten thousand words. Here’s a slideshow to depict the colour, size & immensity of Chinese celebrations:


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Canton Tower (Guangzhou TV Tower)

‪中文(简体)‬: 在建中的广州电视观光塔(2008年)
‪中文(简体)‬: 在建中的广州电视观光塔(2008年) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


When I first visited Guangzhou in May 1989, it was like an “gigantic village” – dirty, ugly & teeming only with people & bicycles. It wasn’t a pretty sight except for White Swan Hotel, a five-star splendour, where we stayed. To attract foreign tourists five-star hotels were being first built.

Then what greeted me in the late 1990s and 2000s is staggering & beyond my widest imagination. Simply unbelievable!

There weren’t many places of interest in the old days except the Five Rams’ Statue, Dr Sun Yat Sen‘s Memorial, the zoo which housed some Panda bears & shopping mainly at Friendship Store. However, we had the taste of the famous Guangzhou cuisine & it was good. In a word, we were totally unimpressed as first time visitors.

Today, Guangzhou is different!

In line with the Stratosphere Casino Hotel Tower in Las Vegas, the world’s ‘highest’ Ferris wheel‘ is set to open for business on top of a 1,480ft tower in Guangzhou China – with passengers riding in see-through pods. As compared, this development may not be as daring & adrenaline-pumping as with the Stratosphere’s. (Refer: Stratosphere Casino Hotel Tower, Las Vegas on Wed. 19 Sept. 2012).

Built on the 450-meter-high Canton Tower, known as the Guangzhou TV Tower, the amazing wheel consists of 16 pods holding a total of 96 fearless thrill-seekers.

Each capsule is just over three meters wide, and built using a special macromolecule material which allows a 360-degree crystal clear view.

Just think about this – 15 years ago some of the leading business journals scoffed when Coca-cola announced they were going into China and one remarked “How can the Chinese afford to drink Coke when a can of Coke would cost the equivalent of a week’s salary?”

Chinese companies are now competing with the likes of GE, Westinghouse, ABB etc to build power plants and massively sophisticated infrastructure – and beating ALL of them hands down!!


Countries and companies that align with Chinese companies will become super powerful as China and Chinese companies have a long tradition of “Guan-Xi”. In Australia, BHP-Billiton is one such company that is laughing all the way to the bank, for China is building one Sydney-sized city every five days. Did you know that by the year 2025, China will have 219 cities with more than one million inhabitants, compared with 35 in Europe today and 24 cities with more than five million people. Also, 40 billion square meters of floor space will be built – in five million buildings. 50,000 of these buildings could be skyscrapers – the equivalent of ten New York Cities.

Slideshow of more images:   

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China’s Luxurious Floating Aircraft-Carrier Hotel


The Kiev, a 1,000 foot vessel, once the pride of the flagship of the mighty Soviet navy’s Pacific fleet (first began December 1972), serving them well for almost twenty years, as well as being able to hold more than a thousand crewmen, she could be loaded with dozens of missiles – some nuclear-tipped.

But now the Kiev is leading a much more sedate & humble life . . . available for business retreats, intimate getaways or simple relaxation (without actually getting away). That’s because the Chinese have bought the aircraft carrier and transformed her into a floating luxury hotel, the world’s first luxury aircraft carrier hotel, costing $15 Million.

It’s strange to think that a ship that was once a weapon of war is now a place of relaxation and fine dining.

The Kiev will stay permanently docked at theTianjin Binhai Aircraft Carrier Theme Park. Much as a Soviet-era sailor might resent the indignity, Kiev won’t go back out to sea. She’ll entertain guests and clients at anchor, a bizarre museum to a different country’s naval power. Guests will relax with Western-style cuisine in ornate luxury suites, dreaming of Chinese seapower.

Sold to Tianjin International Recreation Port in 2000, the Kiev has been refitted, furbished & transformed into a world-class floating hotel with 148 room – including two presidential suites, three VIP guest rooms and 137 standard rooms. Since it was purchased over a decade ago, the Kiev has also been upgraded with a luxury restaurant – something the original crew would have no doubt killed for.

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Source: China Daily

Photos: DWP/WENN/All Over Press

China’s First Lady-in-Waiting

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Peng Liyuan, celebrated folk singer of China

Jackie Kennedy got to be US First Lady through her camera.

Peng Liyuan, the celebrated folk singer, is becoming China’s First Lady through her microphone. Whereas Jackie was a lesser known figure prior to her meeting up with President John Kennedy, Peng Liyuan is a celebrity in her own right. She’s glamorous, cultured, well educated with a master degree in folk music. It was her voice & singing that first wooed the heart of Xi Jinping, the next President-to-be of China.

She’s totally different from all the First Ladies you’ve ever known or heard of.

She’s China’s own & absolutely exceptional.


Until 2007, when Xi Jinping was promoted to top Party leader in Shanghai, his wife Peng Liyuan was a fixture at government-sponsored events, CCTV Festival Extravaganza which are the country’s largest and most conspicuously events watched by hundreds of millions. Ms. Peng was admired as much for her soprano vocal as she was for the way she exercised them in “shimmering chiffon gowns, with crimson-glossed lips.

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Her profile is summarily mentioned here:

* Ms. Peng, whose name means “Beauteous Beauty” in Chinese, has been known as a faithful “soldier of the arts.” in a state news agency profile page.

* She is China’s first folk-song master-degree recipient; youngest civilian general in the Chinese army’s musical troupe; honorary professor at Shanghai Teachers’ College.

* Her travels include trips to “various revolutionary districts, impoverished mountainous regions, and minority neighborhoods.”

* Ms. Peng has also been put forward as a celebrity ambassador for issues of public health including AIDS,requiring her to lobby foreign governments to help cure such dreadful disease & others.

* A friend and photographer once took pity on young Peng and snapped her first picture, immortalizing the young star for whom camera lenses would, soon enough, become a constant companion. That was late 60s or early 70s when she first set her eyes on a camera.

* The glamorous starlet initially dismissed the future President as a xiang ba lao, a country bumpkin with coarse skin who wasn’t much to look at, an impression that isn’t entirely unfounded, according to an article in the Zhanjiang Evening News in 2007 that was widely copied on the Chinese Internet but has since been mostly deleted.

* Even her final verdict came with honest qualifiers: “Isn’t [he] the one I’ve been looking for? Unsophisticated but really intelligent.” As for Mr. Xi, he was quoted as telling her that he knew she would be his wife within 40 minutes of meeting her.

She has also described how she was introduced to Mr. Xi through a mutual friend when he was working as the deputy mayor of the eastern port of Xiamen in 1986. Mr. Xi had been married once before, to the daughter of a Chinese ambassador to Britain, but that only lasted three years when her own desire to study abroad overtook Xi’s political ambition, and they had no children.

Political analysts say Ms. Peng, who is now 49, is already helping to bolster and soften Mr. Xi’s public image in a country that, stimulated by social media, has become increasingly hungry for news about its leaders and their personal lives.

She has already broken the mould by talking about her relationship with Mr. Xi prior to his promotion to the Politburo Standing Committee in 2007.

When he comes home, I’ve never thought of it as though there’s some leader in the house,” she once told a state-run magazine. “In my eyes, he’s just my husband. When I get home, he doesn’t think of me as some famous star. In his eyes, I’m simply his wife.”

She has however taken a few tentative steps into the limelight again in recent years, fuelling expectations that she will be the first spouse of a Chinese leader to play an active “first lady” role after her husband takes power in October or November.

Last year, as mentioned, she became a Goodwill Ambassador for Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS for the World Health Organization – a job that requires her to help lobby governments around the world to take action to prevent and cure the two diseases.

And after the devastating earthquake in Wenchuan, Sichuan Province in May 2008, she staged special performances in affected areas and announced publicly that their daughter, Xi Mingze, who was then 16 at the time, had volunteered to help relief efforts – another first for a Chinese leader’s family.

Come this fall, when Peng’s First Lady identity eclipses her superstar status, we must await to see the transformation in our dazzling star. Would she remain a noble, dignified mother only & a faithful wife?

The question is “Will she do anything exceptional to further boost the image of China? Or like her three other predecessors retreat into the background & remain a mystery?”

The Chinese Tradition of Marriage

By P Chong                                                                               Sat. 4 September 2010

The Chinese Character for Double Happiness

There are three events in life that the Chinese really celebrate:

  • marriage celebration
  • the birth of a child (full moon celebration)
  • Spring Festival (Chinese New Year)
  • Birthday celebrations are not a norm, except the landmark ages of 60, 70, 80 & all that . . . Celebration on the negative side will be in the event of “untimely” demise of the dear departed including Qingming Festival (All Souls’Day).

Red is Auspicious

Without order chaos exists. Even mechanical things work on a system, from a simple clock to the planetary system of the universe. If any part of the system should break down, the whole mechanism stops to function.

By the same token, it is true to say of the human society. It can only function properly with a system or order, otherwise chaos will prevail. This is a verified truism as exemplified by the way Chinese society is structured & conducted with particular reference to the question of marriage, which reflects the great importance attached to the concept of the family unit. The way the Chinese address their nation as their “national family” bespeaks the significance of the basic family as its core. Thus the way the individuals conduct themselves can make or break the hierarchy.

There is much to be said about arranged marriages in those days. Whatever your modern misgivings with ideals of love & romance, these marriages did come with problematic packages. The go-in-between and both the in-laws first investigated all details of the young man and lady in respect of compatibility with particular reference to their “animals” of birth, as whether it’s the year of the rat, cow, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat monkey, chicken dog and pig. It’s astrology of an unique kind. The West would refer it as consulting the stars. There is much truth in that the characteristics of the personality do spell out clearly by the animal year of birth. Taking such precautionary steps avoid the pitfalls of marriage.

Talking of surprised or problematic packages in marriages, brings me to mind of a fictional story. It could well be true beyond your wildest imagination . . . it’s so funny, ridiculous & amazingly laughable.

This is seriously Funny . . .

Two men met at a bus stop and struck up a conversation. One of them kept complaining of family problems. Finally, the other man said: “You think you have family problems? Listen to my situation.”

“A few years ago I met a young widow with a grown-up daughter. We got married and got myself a stepdaughter. Later, my father married my stepdaughter. That made my stepdaughter, my stepmother. And my father became my stepson. Also, my wife became mother-in-law of her father-in-law.”

Much later the daughter of my wife, my stepmother, had a son. This boy was my half-brother because he was my father’s son. But he was also the son of my wife’s daughter which made him my wife’s grand-son. That made me the grand-father of my half-brother.”

This was nothing until my wife and I had a son. Now the half-sister of my son, my stepmother, is also the Grandmother. This makes my father, the brother-in-law of my child, whose stepsister is my father’s wife, I am my stepmother’s brother-in-law, my wife is her own child’s aunt, my son is my father’s nephew, and I AM MY OWN GRANDFATHER!”

And you think you have FAMILY PROBLEMS!!!”

Moral: Order prevails, otherwise chaos assails.

Li River Cruise, Guilin

This is really transporting to an era of simpler times

and an environment of natural beauty

Guilin – it’s heaven on earth

It’s one of those places

That makes your heart yearn to return!

Guilin - Li River

Fishermen Aided by Cormorants – Special Fishing Birds

Below: Slideshow of Guilin’s paradise with characteristic Chinese music
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A cruise down the Li River to Yangshuo is one of the highlights of a holiday in Guilin, China.Among the Chinese, the saying, “Guilin has the most beautiful scenery in China, and Yangshuo is the most beautiful part of Guilin.”

The riverside karst hilly landscape, reminiscences of those limestone hills of Ipoh, Malaysia, & calm pristine waters with fishermen at work all fill an air with awe & refreshing wonder.

Li River meanders its wayLiRiver_map

through 52 miles of beautiful countryside, with

bamboo forests, dense reed-beds,

and incredibly bizarre rock formations

Li River - Boarding

Pictures Below:

1.Boarding the boat for the cruise.

2. A seafood lunch was provided on board the cruise – delicious & sumptuous.

3. On the deck cruising along calm pristine waters.

Li River  Cruise

4. Beautiful scenery at every turn.

5. Just enjoying the refreshing cold wind of the month of June 1989 on the open deck.

6. Shops & souvenirs galore after                       disembarking at Yangshuo.