Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mahjong culture

Mahjong has been a common culture of China, Hong Kong, Japan, and other Asian regions. It shows a high degree of influence from Chinese culture.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, Mahjong is not only a popular game, it is the most common social activity. For example:

*During a , guests play Mahjong during the waiting time.
*A count-down Mahjong before the Chinese New Year or the New Year is a typical practice for many Hong Kong families.
*While most people have a Mahjong set at home, most Chinese restaurants offer sets of Mahjong equipment for their customers.
*Officially, casinos are illegal in Hong Kong. However, there are legal Mahjong schools, where gamblers can play Mahjong.
*Elders are encouraged to play Mahjong as brain exercise.
*To invite a person to a Mahjong game is an indication of friendlyness in Chinese Culture.

Cantopop singer Sam Hui's famous song ''The Mahjong Heroes'' is talking about somebody playing mahjong.

There are two movies on Mahjongs in Hong Kong, one of them feature the ''The Mahjong Heroes'' song.

However, Mahjong games also create problems. Addiction to Mahjong is a common type of problem gambling. Mahjong is also a favourite medium for bribery - the person giving the bribe will intentionally lose large sums of money to the person being bribed. Recent studies also suggest Mahjong can cause epilepsy

Magic Boy Kitchener

Magic Boy Kitchener is a cartoon series currently broadcast on .

The series takes place in the late Qing Dynasty, during the era of the Empress Dowager Cixi. After a convoy accident in which the imperial kitchener perishes, Cixi orders the search for a new kitchener from the region. She sends her to a nearby town, where they find a small tavern with a skilled elderly chef - the grandfather of the series protagonist, Fugui, a young aspiring chef himself. His grandfather is taken away by the eunuchs, leaving only one option for Fugui - becoming the imperial kitchener, thereby saving the life of his grandfather. Fugui eventually finds a friend for life, Feidie, while searching for his grandfather, and he also befriends eunuch Xiao Lizi - despite him leading the capture of his grandfather at the town tavern, and dispatching Fugui rather harshly during the capture.


The character Xiao Lizi is a much younger version of Li Lianying, who was a real-life servant of the Empress Dowager Cixi until her death in 1908; Li Lianying passed away three years later in 1911, at the age of 62.

Lotus Gait

Lotus Gait is a term referring to the type of gait produced by the Chinese custom of foot binding. Women with such deformed feet avoided placing weight on the front of the foot and tended to walk predominantly on their heels. As a result, women who underwent foot binding walked in a careful, cautious and unsteady manner.


A lithophane is an etched or molded artwork in thin very translucent porcelain that can only be seen clearly when back lit with a light source. It is a design or scene in intaglio that appears "en grisaille" tones. Many times historians credit Baron Paul de Bourging with inventing the process "email ombrant" of lithophanes in 1827 in France. Sometimes the carving table was near a window and had a mirror below the table to provide constant light for carving. Lithophanes by the hundreds of thousands were made in the middle of the eighteen hundreds by such firms as Wedgwood in England, Meissen in Dresden, and Belleek in Ireland. They were also in fireplace screens, night lights, tea warmers, and match boxes. Colt probably got the idea from the 1851 Great Exhibition in London or the New York Great Exhibition of 1853 or in a Prussia visit in 1854. Scenic views and portraits were for the public and private rooms of Colt's wife. Inspirational panes were for the windows of Colt's upstairs bedroom. Lithophanes of humorous nature were put in the windows of Colt's billiard room of his new home. One of particular interest was of the Battle of Trafalgar. Others were of Stolzenfels Castle on the Rhine River and a view of Koblenz. Barnard described the lithophanes as "a veritable art gallery." A photograph of Armsmear taken between 1857 and 1861 shows over one hundred lithophanes. A photograph of 1907 shows the lithophanes of Armsmear still in place. Many of Colts surviving lithophanes are currently at the .

Samuel Colt had 111 lithophanes made of his likeness from a photograph for wide distribution in 1855. In this lithophane portrait he is sitting at a small desk holding a "Belt Pistol" in his right hand and has a directional compass in his left hand. One of these he sent to Senator Thomas J. Rusk who responded in a letter of 3 January 1856 when he received it,


* Carney, Margaret, ''Lithophanes'', Schiffer Publishing 2007, ISBN 9780764330193

* Houze, Herbert G., ''Samuel Colt: Arms, Art, and Invention'', Yale University Press 2006, ISBN 0-3001113-3-9

* Jean-Baptiste-Ambroise-Marcellin Jobard, ''Les nouvelles inventions aux expositions universelles'' , volume 2.

* Jean-Baptiste-Ambroise-Marcellin Jobard, ''C'interniediaie des chercheurs et curieux,'' vol. 17, no. 597 .

* Lise Baer et al, ''Along the Royal Road: Berlin and Potsdam'', 1848. Original at Library of Congress.

*''Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations'' , vol. 3. Original at Library of Congress.

* ''Official Catalogue of the New-York Exhibition of the Industry of all Nations'', rev. ed. . Original at Library of Congress.

* Savage, George et al, ''An Illustrated Dictionary of Ceramics'', Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York 1974, ISBN 0-442-27364-9


Additional reference pertaining to Samuel Colts lithophanes are located at the Connecticut Historical Society - Samuel Colt papers, in particular box 7.

List of Hong Kong poets

This is a list of poets from or based in Hong Kong

Chinese-language poets

English-language poets

*Sayed Gouda
*Alan Jefferies

La Jeunesse

La Jeunesse, or New Youth was an influential magazine in the 1920s that played an important role during the May Fourth Movement.

The magazine was started by Chen Duxiu in Shanghai on 15 September 1915. Its headquarters were moved to Beijing in January 1917. Editors included Chen Duxiu, Qian Xuantong, Gao Yihan, Hu Shih, Li Dazhao, Shen Yinmo, and Lu Xun. It initiated the New Culture Movement, promoting science, democracy, and Vernacular Chinese literature.

Being influenced by the 1917 Russian October Revolution, ''La Jeunesse'' also began to promote Marxism and its philosophy. From September 1920, ''La Jeunesse'' became a propaganda tool of the Communist Party of China. It was shut down in 1926. In the early days, ''La Jeunesse'' had influenced thousands of Chinese youngsters including many leaders of the Chinese Communist Party.


Kuso is the term used in East Asia for the internet culture that generally includes all types of and parody. The Mandarin Chinese word ''ègǎo'' is often used as a synonym or description of its meaning. In , means shit, and is often uttered as an interjection. It is also used to describe outrageous matters and objects of poor quality. This definition of kuso was brought into Taiwan in around 2000 by young people who frequent Japanese websites and quickly became an internet phenomenon, spreading to Hong Kong and subsequently the rest of China.


The roots of Taiwanese "kuso" was ''kuso-ge'''s from Japan. The word ''kuso-ge'' is a portmanteau of ''kuso'' and ''game'', which means, quite literally, "shitty games". The introduction of such a category is to teach gamers how to appreciate and enjoy a game of poor quality - such as appreciating the games' outrageous flaws instead of getting frustrated at them. This philosophy soon spread to Taiwan, where people would share the games and their comments on es. Games generally branded as kuso in Taiwan include ''Hong Kong 97'' and the ''Death Crimson'' series.

Because ''kuso-ge''s were often unintentionally funny, soon the definition of kuso in Taiwan shifted to "anything hilarious", and people started to brand anything outrageous and funny as kuso. Parodies, such as the Chinese robot Xianxingzhe ridiculed by a Japanese website, were marked as kuso. Mo lei tau films by Stephen Chow are often said to be kuso as well. The Cultural Revolution is often a subject of parody too, with songs such as ''I Love Beijing Tiananmen'' spread around the internet for laughs.

Some, however, limit the definition of kuso to "humour limited to those about Hong Kong comics or Japanese anime, manga, and games". Kuso by those definitions are mostly doujins or fanfictions. Fictional crossovers are common media for kuso, such as re-drawing certain bishōjo anime in the style of ''Fist of the North Star'', or blending elements of two different items together.

Original content plays a big part in kuso, with various webmasters encouraging people to "take part in creating Taiwan's kuso miracle". One famous example, ''Iron Fist Invincible Sun Yat-sen'', places Sun Yat-sen, Chiang Kai-Shek, Mao Zedong, and other influential historical figures of the time as martial artists in a wuxia setting.

The kuso culture runs deep in Taiwan, as some call it a remedy from stressful times. Many forums in Taiwan have discussion boards dedicated to the making and sharing of kuso. People engaging in a kuso conversation on the internet would refer specifically to various items of kuso, and often mimicking how characters in Hong Kong comics would talk. Flash mobs in Taiwan are often generated by this culture.

List of items generally accepted to be kuso

*Back Dorm Boys
*''Cho Aniki''
*''Circus Action''
*''Death Crimson'' series
*''Fist of the North Star
*''Grandpa You're Back''
*''Hong Kong 97''
*Hong Kong comics
*Hong Konger Front
*''Iron Fist Invincible Sun Yat-sen''
*Mo lei tau
*Stephen Chow movies, such as:
**''A Chinese Odyssey''
**''From Beijing With Love
**''God of Cookery''
**''Shaolin Soccer''


Kowtow is the act of deep respect shown by kneeling and bowing so low as to touch the head to the ground. While the phrase Kē tóu is often used in lieu of the former in , the meaning is somewhat altered: kòu originally meant "knock with reverence", whereas kē has the general meaning of "touch upon ".

In protocol, the kowtow was performed before the Emperor of China. Current Chinese etiquette does not contain any situations in which the kowtow is regularly performed in front of a living human being, although it may occur in rare and extreme cases where one is begging for forgiveness or offering an extreme apology, or showing respect in traditional funerals. Traditional Chinese martial arts schools employ the ritual in their discipleship ceremonies.

Confucius believed there was a natural harmony between the body and mind and therefore, whatever actions were expressed through the body would be transferred over to the mind. Because the body is placed in a low position in the kowtow, the idea is that you will naturally convert to your mind a feeling of respect. What you do to your body has an impact on your mind. It is important to remember that respect was needed to have a good society according to the confucian philosophy. That is why bowing was so important.

The kowtow is often performed in groups of three before Buddhist statues and images or tombs of the dead. In Buddhism it is more commonly termed either "worship with the crown " or "casting the five limbs to the earth" - referring to the two arms, two legs and forehead. For example, in certain ceremonies, a person would perform a sequence of three sets of three kowtows - stand up and kneel down again between each set - as an extreme gesture of respect; hence the term ''three kneelings and nine head knockings'' . Also, some Buddhist would kowtow once for every three steps made during their long journeys. Often the number three referring to the Triple Gem of Buddhism, the , Dharma, and Sangha.

Kowtow came into in the early 19th century to describe the bow itself, but its meaning soon shifted to describe any abject submission or grovelling. Many who first encountered the practice believed it was a sign of worship, but kowtowing does not necessarily have religious overtones in traditional Chinese culture.

Kowtow was very important in the diplomacy of China with European powers, since it was required to come into the presence of the Emperor of China, but it meant submission before him. traders, such as had no problem with kowtowing since they represented only themselves, but the embassies of George Macartney, 1st Earl Macartney and William Pitt Amherst, 1st Earl Amherst were foiled since kowtowing would mean acknowledging their King as a subject of the .

The kowtow was often performed in diplomatic relations as well. According to Annals of Joseon Dynasty, in 1596, Japanese Daimyo Toyotomi Hideyoshi who unified Japan had to kneel 5 times on the ground and hit his head 3 times on the ground , to show his vassal status to the Chinese Ming Dynasty. In 1636, who king of the Korean Joseon Dynasty had to kneel 3 times on the ground and hit his head 9 times on the ground , to show his vassal status to Huang Taiji who the first Emperor of the Qing Dynasty in China.The Samjeondo Monument is a monument marking Korea's submission to China's Qing Dynasty in 1636.


Kongsi or "clan halls", are benevolent organizations of popular origin found among overseas Chinese communities for individuals with the same surname. This type of social practice arose, it is held, several centuries ago in China. The Chinese word ''Kongsi'' is used in modern Chinese to mean a commercial "company".

The system of ''kongsi'' was utilized by Chinese throughout the diaspora to overcome economic difficulty, social ostracism, and oppression. In today's overseas Chinese communities throughout the world, this approach has been adapted to the modern environment, including political and legal factors. The kongsi is similar to modern business partnerships, but also draws on a deeper spirit of cooperation and consideration of mutual welfare.

It has been stated by some that the development and thriving of Chinese communities worldwide are the direct result of the kongsi concept. A vast number of Chinese-run firms and businesses were born as ''kongsi''--many ending up as multinational conglomerates. In the Chinese spirit, derived in large part from Confucian ideals, these kongsi members or their descendants prefer not to boast so much of their wealth but to take pride in earning worldly and financial success through their work ethic and the combined efforts of many individuals devoted to group welfare.

Among the largest Kongsi was the Kongsi, which organised the mostly Hakka Chinese miners who had settled in western Borneo and established a republic, the Lanfang Republic, in what is now the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan.


Jiayou is a Chinese figure of speech or idiom. "Jia" means add, "You" means oil or fuel. So it literally means "add oil," "add fuel." "fuel energy". When people say "Zhongguo , Jiayou", it can be loosely translated as "Go, go, China." It is mainly used during sporting events, games, competitions, or just to encourage someone. For example, "Sichuan jiayou!" is used to encourge those victims after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.It has the meaning of
"be stronger!" or "be more strong-minded!". When it is used for sports, it encourages the athletes to do better.




Huawaizhidi is a collective term for the land outward of Chinese culture, which literally means ''outer fringe of Chinese civilization''. ''Hua'' is from Chinese character for culture . The people in this area were called ''Huawaizhimin'' , means ''uncivilized people''.

These two words are sometime used together in Chinese documents as '''', mean ''uncivilized people in outer fringes of civilization''. Taiwan was presumable as Huawaizhidi in Chinese history and the Qing dynasty of China used this term for Taiwan.

Homosexuality in China

The situation of homosexuality in Chinese culture is relatively ambiguous in the contemporary context, although many instances have been recorded in the dynastic histories.

Terminology in China

In the old days, terms for homosexuality included "the passion of the cut sleeve" , and "the bitten peach" . Other, less obscure terms have included "male trend" , "allied brothers" , and "the passion of Longyang" , referencing a homoerotic anecdote about the Duke of Longyang in the Warring States.

The formal word for "homosexuality/homosexual" is ''tongxinglian'' or ''tongxinglian zhe'' . Instead of this formal word, "" , simply a head-rhyme word, is more commonly used in the gay community. ''Tongzhi'' which was first adopted by Hong Kong researchers in Gender Studies, is used as slang in Mandarin Chinese referring to homosexuals, while in ''gei1'' , adopted from English ''gay'', is used. "Gay" is sometimes considered to be offensive when used by heterosexuals or even by homosexuals in certain situations. Another slang term is ''boli'' , which is not so commonly used. Among gay university students, the neologism "''datong''" is becoming popular. "''datong''" is short for "daxuesheng tongzhi''" .

Lesbians usually call themselves ''lazi'' or ''lala'' . These two terms are abbreviations of the transliteration of the English term "lesbian". These slang terms are also commonly used in Mainland China now.

Traditional views towards homosexuality in China's society

All major religions in ancient China have some sort of codex, which have traditionally been interpreted as being against exclusive homosexuality when it interferes with continuation of the family lineage. For example the have the codex that a man should behave according to somewhat traditional male gender roles and a woman likewise. So, for example, crossdressing is a deed that is against the Confucian natural law.

There were some historical accounts of emperors who used to dress themselves in women's clothes, and this was always interpreted as an ill omen; and to beget children is a very important duty for a man in traditional Chinese society. So a man who only has male lovers is not dutiful. Taoism emphasizes maintaining the balance between ''Yin'' and ''Yang''. A man-man relation is thought to be a Yang-Yang relation and so is imbalanced and destructive.

But on the other hand, none of the major Chinese religions consider homosexual acts as sin as many do. Compared to sin in Christian culture, the list of sinful deeds in the codex of Confucianism does not include homosexuality. As long as a man does his duty and sires children, it is his private affair to have other male lovers.

This is also true in Taoism. Although each man is regarded as ''yang'' , every man also has some ''yin'' in him. Some men can have much ''yin'' in them. So the presence of some feminine behavior is not viewed as unnatural for men. In this view, homosexuals can even be regarded as something very natural, according to the natural balance of ''yin'' and ''yang''. It is also remarkable that many Taoist gods and goddesses live alone or together with some equal deities of the same sex. The very common example is ''Shanshen'' and '''' . Every place has its ''Shanshen'' and ''Tudigong'', and they sometimes live together. ''Shanshen'' and ''Tudigong'' are often both males . More intriguingly, they sometimes manifest themselves as an old man and an old woman. . On top of this, the philosophy of Zhuangzi emphasises on freedom and carefreeness, so anything that is seen as 'out of the ordinary' is really 'ordinary' according to the natural way of things.

Same-sex love in literature

Another remarkable thing is the prominence of friendship between men and women in the ancient Chinese culture. There are many examples in the classic novels, especially in ''Water Margin'', a book about very deep and long lasting male friendships. These bonds were based on revolutionary comradeship in war, instead of homosexual tendencies. However, other works depict less Platonic relationships. In the seminal novel ''Dream of the Red Chamber'', there are examples of males engaging in both same-sex and opposite-sex acts. A good deal of ancient Chinese poetry was written in the female voice and portrayed semi-sexual relationships between teen-aged girls, before they were pulled apart by marriage. Male poets would also use the female narrative voice to lament being abandoned by a male comrade or king.

There is also a tradition of erotic literature, which is less known as it is supposed that most such works have been purged in the periodic book burnings that have been a feature of Chinese history. However, isolated manuscripts have survived. Chief among these is the anthology "Bian er Zhai", ''Cap but Pin'', or ''A Lady's Pin under a Man's Cap'', a series of four short stories in five chapters each, of passion and seduction. The first short story, ''Chronicle of a Loyal Love'', involves a twenty-year-old academician chasing a fifteen-year-old scholar and a bevy of adolescent valets. In another, "Qing Xia Ji" ''Record of the Passionate Hero'', the protagonist, Zhang, a valiant soldier with two warrior wives, is seduced by his younger friend Zhong, an unusual arrangement as it is usually the older man who takes the initiative with a boy. The work appeared in a single edition some time between 1630 and 1640.

More recently, Ding Ling, an author of the 1920s in China, was a prominent and controversial feminist author, and it is generally agreed that she had lesbian content in her stories. Her most famous piece is "Miss Sophia's Diary", a seminal work in the development of a voice for women's sexuality and sexual desire. A contemporary author, Huang Biyun , writes from the lesbian perspective in her story "She's a Young Woman and So Am I".


Ancient China

Homosexuality has been documented in China since ancient times. Two notable royal examples come from a ''formulaic expression'', ''yútáo duànxiù'' . ''Yútáo'', or "the leftover peach", recorded in ''Hanfeizi'', speaks of Mi Zixia , a beautiful youth cherished by Duke Ling of Wei who once shared an already bitten but very delicious peach with the duke, who appreciated the gesture . ''Duànxiù'', or "breaking the sleeve", refers to Emperor Ai of Han's act of cutting his sleeve, on which his adored male concubine Dongxian was sleeping, in order not to wake him.

Scholar Pan Guangdan came to the conclusion that nearly every emperor in the Han Dynasty had one or more male sex partners. There are also descriptions of lesbians in some history books. It is believed homosexuality was popular in the , and dynasties. Chinese homosexuals did not experience high-profile persecution compared to homosexuals in Christian Europe during the Middle Ages.

In some areas, same sex love was particularly appreciated. There was a running joke in the late Ming Dynasty that the province of Fujian was the only place where high class gentry and merchant love for male courtesans was prominent. However, writers from Fujian protested this stereotype; Xie Zhaozhe wrote that "from Jiangnan and Zhejiang to Beijing and Shanxi, there is none that does not know of this fondness." The historian Timothy Brook writes that this was not the only concern of the Jesuits, since "the Jesuits were rich food for sexual speculation among the Chinese." It is known that some of these men , since some of them pursued their female maids as often as they did their serving boys.

The Qing official Zhu Gui , a grain tax circuit intendant of Fujian in 1765, intending to improve the moral shortcomings of the people under his jurisdiction, promulgated a "Prohibition of Licentious Cults," criticizing the respect the people of Fujian paid to such cults . One cult which he found particularly troublesome was the cult of Hu Tianbao. As he reports,

The image is of two men embracing one another; the face of one is somewhat hoary with age, the other tender and pale. is commonly called the small official temple. All those debauched and shameless rascals who on seeing youths or young men desire to have illicit intercourse with them pray for assistance from the plaster idol. Then they make plans to entice and obtain the objects of their desire. This is known as the secret assistance of Hu Tianbao. Afterwards they smear the idol's mouth with pork intestine and sugar in thanks.

Same-sex love was also celebrated in Chinese art, many examples of which have survived the various traumatic political events in recent Chinese history. Though no large statues are known to still exist, many hand scrolls and paintings on silk can be found in private collections.

In the year 1944, the scholar Sun Cizhou published a work stated that one of the most famous ancient Chinese poets, Qu Yuan, was a lover of his King. Sun cited the poetry of Qu Yuan to prove his claim. In Qu Yuan's most important work ''Li Sao'' , Qu Yuan called himself a beautiful man . A word he used to describe his king was used at that time by women to characterize their lovers.

The first law against homosexuals in China went into effect in 1740. There was no record in the history as to how effectively the law was enforced. The more devastating event for Chinese homosexuals was, ironically, the enlightenment that came after the Self-Strengthening Movement, when homophobia was imported to China along with Western science and philosophy.

Modern China

Homosexuality went underground after the formation of the People's Republic of China. The Communist regime persecuted homosexuals, especially during the Cultural Revolution, when many homosexuals were punished with long prison terms and sometimes execution. Social tolerance of homosexuality declined.

Since the policy of in 1979, the Communist Party has been loosening its control over this kind of behavior.

A notable change occurred during the late 1990s and early 2000s, when sodomy was decriminalized in 1997, and the new ''Chinese Classification and Diagnostic Criteria of Mental Disorders'' removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses on April 20, 2001. The situation has continued to evolve.

An Internet survey in 2000 showed that Chinese people are becoming more tolerant towards homosexuality: among the 10,792 surveyed, 48.15% were in favor, 30.9% disapproved, 14.46% were uncertain, and 7.26% were indifferent. Gay-bashing is rare in modern China. But some scholars complain that the government is too indifferent on this issue, doing nothing to promote the situation of homosexuality in China. During the 2002 Gay Games, only 2 persons from the mainland were sent to take part, and apart from gay websites the media gave little coverage to the event. The authorities still refuse to promote either gay issues or gay rights in China. Although there is no explicit law against homosexuality or same-sex acts between consenting adults, neither are there laws protecting gays from discrimination, nor are there any gay rights organizations in China. It is believed that the Chinese policy towards the gay issue remains the "Three nos": no approval, no disapproval, and no promotion . Author Justin Barr now of San Francisco wrote of his famous troubles seeking acceptance as a homosexual Chinese male in his 2005 novel "Song of Forgotten Sorrows".

A 2008 survey by sexologist Li Yinhe shows a mixed picture of public attitudes towards gays and lesbians in China. 91% of respondents said they agreed with homosexuals having equal employment rights, while over 80% of respondents agreed that heterosexuals and homosexuals were "equal individuals". On the other hand, a slight majority disagreed with the proposition that an openly-gay person should be a school teacher, and 40% of respondents said that homosexuality was "completely wrong".

The number of homosexuals in China remains unclear. One statement based on Chinese government documents and academic studies states that the figure is 15 million. An official statistics, as quoted in a news report in ''China Daily'', put the figure for mainland China at "approximately 30 million". Compared to the higher proportions of homosexuals in other countries, many find these figures unconvincing.

The loosening of restrictions on Internet use has resulted in a blossoming of gay websites in mainland China, even though the police sometimes intervene and shut down such websites. The Internet has been very important to the mainland Chinese gay community. Although there are no gay organizations in mainland China, there are some organized Internet sites that function as advisory institutions.

The mainstream media sometimes cover notable gay events abroad, such as pride parades. But some critics charge that the purpose of the media is mostly to smear homosexuality. Lacking a , the Chinese government forbids gay movies to be shown on TV or in theaters because they are "inappropriate". Despite having received much attention in Taiwan, Hong Kong and other places, the gay-themed movie '''' is still forbidden in the mainland China although the actors are all Mainlanders, and the story is based on a quite popular Internet story written by a mainland netizen . New Western films like ''Brokeback Mountain'' in 2006, was denied release in the mainland, even though there was an overall public interest as the film was directed by Ang Lee.

Although more prominent in first-tier Chinese cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, gay clubs, bars, tea houses, saunas and support centers are also becoming more widespread in second-tier cities like Xi'an, Dalian, and Kunming. Occasionally, these locations are subject to police harassment. Similar to the development of the gay scene in other countries, other less formal 'cruising spots' exist in parks, public washrooms, malls, and public shower centers. Being gay is particularly difficult in the countryside; in China this is especially severe as the vast majority of people live in the countryside with no Internet access and no possibility to move to a city. Country dwellers do not often speak of homosexuality, and when they do, it is usually considered a disease.

Many cases show that gay people still have to endure prejudice from the justice system and harassment from police, including detention and arrest. In October 1999, a Beijing court ruled that homosexuality was "abnormal and unacceptable to the Chinese public" , which was the first time this official attitude was stated openly. Another notable case happened in July 2001, when at least 37 gay men were detained in Guangdong Province. In late April of 2004, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television has initiated a campaign to clear violence and sexual content from the media. Programmes related to homosexual topic, scene or language are considered to be "going against the healthy way of life in China", and are banned.

As early as 2004 and having seen rapid rises in HIV infection among gay and bisexual men in other Asian countries, provinical and city level health departments began HIV related research among men who have sex with men . In January, 2006 the State Council of the People's Republic of China issued Regulations on AIDS Prevention and Treatment. The document specifically mentioned MSM as a population that is vulnerable to HIV infection and directed officials and organizations on every level to include MSM in HIV prevention activities. In April, 2008, under the direction of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, 61 cities in China initiated community based studies of MSM and their potential risk for becoming infected with HIV. Concurrent to these studies, HIV prevention programs were intiated in those same cities using a peer led intervention model. It would appear that the Chinese government is earnest in making an investment in the health of gay and bisexual men.

Same-sex marriage in China

During the evaluation of the amendment of the marriage law in the Chinese mainland in 2003, there was the first discussion about same-sex marriage. Though this issue was rejected, this was the first time that an item of gay rights was discussed in China. However, just not long before the new marriage law went into effect, an officer stated in a press conference that same-sex marriage is still forbidden in China, on August 19, 2003.

Li Yinhe , a well-known sexology scholar among the mainland Chinese gay community, has tried to legalize same-sex marriage during the National People's Congress in 2000 and 2004 . According to Chinese law, 35 delegates' signatures are needed to make an issue a bill to be discussed in the Congress. Her efforts failed due to lack of support from the delegates. Many scholars as well as gay and lesbians believe it will be difficult to pass such a law in China in the near future.

For the 2006 National People's Congress, Li proposed the same-sex marriage bill again. Some gay web sites called for their members to sign petitions in support of this bill. But as expected, this bill was dismissed again.

Hong Kong

Male homosexual behaviour was illegal before 1991 in Hong Kong, the maximum sentence being life imprisonment. The agreed to decriminalize buggery after the public debate that arose in 1980. Nevertheless, two other attempts at introducing anti-discrimination legislation failed in 1993 and 1997.

There are several gay-rights organizations in Hong Kong, such as Rainbow Action and Tongzhi Culture Society. In 2003, the Catholic Church of Hong Kong released an article condemning same-sex marriage. In response to this, a group of protesters rushed into a church and interrupted the service.

Before 2005 - In Hong Kong, all sex acts between two consenting males were illegal for those under age 21. Homosexual sex committed otherwise in public under all ages was also illegal. In 2005, a Hong Kong High Court case brought by William Roy Leung triggered debate within the Hong Kong community regarding this law. The government lost the case, with Judge Hartmann finding that the existing legislation was discriminatory towards gay men and unconstitutional under the "bill of rights in Hong Kong" .

From 2006 the age of consent is now 16 for all - The court decided not to appeal, pronouncing the "Buggery" law "dead."

However, on 2007-10-18, a 17-year-old male was adjudicated guilty for sodomizing with a 15-year-old male . In 11/15/2007, the former was sentenced to 20 months in jail on 4 charges of homosexual buggery with or by man under 21 & indecent assault . Although the judge did mention that all sex acts with whatever gender under 16 was already illegal, the case was judged under Sect 118C. As of September 2006, no revision has been made to the deemed unconstitutional laws.

On 2006-09-07, RTHK broadcasted a programme called ” Gay. Lovers”. It was criticized and accused of promoting homosexuality, and generated significant controversy in Hong Kong. On one hand, people believed that RTHK should speak for the minority and it was objective enough in that program. On the other hand, some people believed that the program was encouraging people to be gay.

In Jan 2007, the Broadcasting Authority ruled that the RTHK-produced programme ” Gay. Lovers” was "unfair, partial and biased towards homosexuality, and having the effect of promoting the acceptance of homosexual marriage." On 2008-05-08, Justice Michael Hartmann overturned the ruling of the Broadcasting Authority that ” Gay. Lovers”'s discussion on same sex marriage was deemed to have breached broadcasting guidelines for not including anti-gay views.


In Macau, according to , committing anal coitus with anyone under the age of 17 is a crime and shall be punished by imprisonment of up to 10 years and 4 years respectively. Nevertheless, there is no legal discrimination based on the gender of those involved. Moreover, all forms of sexual acts involving minors are considered criminal acts on exactly the same grounds and with the same penalties. Same sex marriage is not legal in Macau, but otherwise homosexuality is not addressed by law.



The following are prominent Mainland Chinese and Taiwanese people who have come out to the public or are actively working to improve gay rights in Mainland China and Taiwan:

*Leslie Cheung
*Pai Hsien-yung
*Li Yinhe
*Josephine Ho
*Siu Cho

Movies and TV series

Many gay movies or TV series have been made in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China, including:
*''Crystal Boys''
*''East Palace, West Palace''
*''Eternal Summer''
*''Fleeing by Night''
*''Formula 17''
*''I Am Not What You Want''
*''Tongzhi in Love''
*''The Wedding Banquet''


*Bret Hinsch, ''Passions of the Cut Sleeve: The Male Homosexual Tradition in China'', The University of California Press, 1990, ISBN 0-520-06720-7.

He Shi Bi

The He Shi Bi is a piece of jade which plays an important part in many historical stories in Ancient China. Found in the State of Chu by a man named Bian He, it was first made into a jade disc, then into the Imperial Seal of China by Qinshihuang.


The piece of jade was discovered as a piece of stone in the hills of Chu by Bian He, who was so excited about his discovery that he hastened to show it to the ruler, King Li of Chu; yet, King Li did not believe that the stone contained valuable jade, and had one of the man's legs cut off for deceiving the ruler. When King Li died, the throne was then passed on to King Wu, and Bian He presented the stone again; King Wu, again, did not believe the man, and had his other leg amputated as well. Only when the next King, King Wen of Chu, ascended the throne, did he believe Bian He and have his sculptors work on the stone; to their astonishment they found a piece of incomparable white jade, which was made into a jade disc that was named in honour of its discoverer .

"Returning the Jade Intact to Zhao"

The jade disc, unfortunately, was stolen from Chu and eventually sold to ; in 283 BC, King Zhaoxiang of offered 15 cities to Zhao in exchange for the jade . Zhao Minister Lin Xiangru was dispatched to send the jade to Qin; but when it became clear that Qin would not uphold its side of the bargain, he threatened to smash the jade and subsequently stole back to Zhao with the He Shi Bi intact. Thus giving birth to another Chinese idiom, 完璧歸趙, meaning 'Returning the Jade Intact to Zhao'.

The Imperial Seal

In 221 BC, Qin conquered the other six Warring States and founded the Qin Dynasty; the He Shi Bi thus fell into the hands of Qinshihuang, who ordered it made into his . The words, "Having received the , may lead a long and prosperous life." were written by Prime Minister Li Si, and carved onto the seal by Sun Shou. This seal was to be passed on even as the dynasties rose and fell, but was lost about 1500 years later.

Harvard-Yenching Classification

Alfred Kaiming Chiu was a pioneer of establishing a library classification system for Chinese language materials in the United States of America. The system devised by him was known as Harvard-Yenching Classification System. The system was primarily created for the classification of Chinese language materials in the Harvard-Yenching Institute Library which was founded in 1927.

During that early period other systems, such as the early edition of the Library of Congress Classification, did not consist of appropriate subject headings to classify the Chinese language materials, particularly the ancient published materials. As many American libraries started to collect the ancient and contemporary published materials from China, a number of American libraries subsequently followed Harvard University to adopt Harvard-Yenching Classification system, such as the East Asian Library of the University of California in Berkeley, Columbia University, The University of Chicago, Washington University in St. Louis etc.

In addition to American libraries, the libraries of other universities in the world including England, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore etc. also followed Harvard University to adopt the system. During the period from 1930s to 1970s, the use of the system became popular for classifying not only Chinese language materials but also other East Asian materials including Korean and Japanese language materials.

During the period from 1970s to 1980s, a comprehensive subset of subject headings for Chinese language materials was graduately established in the Library of Congress Classification System so that almost a full spectrum of ancient and contemporary Chinese topics can be widely covered. As a result of this, the Library of Congress Classification System eventually replaced the Harvard-Yenching Classification System for all Chinese language materials acquired after 1970s in many American Libraries.

Notwithstanding the system was graduately replaced, the system is still being used for the Chinese language materials acquired prior to the replacement. Such previously acquired books are normally stored in separate stacks in libraries. However nowadays some of the university libraries in the Commonwealth countries of the United Kingdom such as England, Australia and New Zealand currently still continue to use the system, they are, for instance, the Institute for Chinese Studies Library of the University of Oxford, University of Sydney, University of Melbourne and University of Auckland etc.

The Harvard-Yenching Classification System

The key classes of the system are listed as follows:

Key classes

** 0100–0999 Chinese Classics
** 1000–1999 Philosophy and Religion
** 2000–3999 Historical Sciences
** 4000–4999 Social Sciences
** 5000–5999 Language and Literature
** 6000–6999 Fine and Recreative Arts
** 7000–7999 Natural Sciences
** 8000–8999 Agriculture and Technology
** 9000–9999 Generalia and Bibliography

Subjects of sub-classes

0100 to 0999 Chinese Classics

** 0100–0199 Chinese classics in general
** 0200–0299 I Ching
** 0300–0399 Shu Ching
** 0400–0499 Shih Ching
** 0500–0669 San Li
** 0680–0799 Ch’un Ch’iu
** 0800–0849 Hsiao Ching
** 0850–0999 Ssu Shu

1000 to 1999 Philosophy and Religion

** 1000–1008 Philosophy & religion in general
** 1010–1429 Chinese philosophy
** 1470–1499 Hindu philosophy
** 1500–1539 Occident philosophy
** 1540–1569 Philosophical problems and systems
** 1570–1609 Logic
** 1610–1649 Metaphysics
** 1650–1699 Ethics
** 1700–1729 Religion in general
** 1730–1738 Mythology
** 1739–1749 Occultism numerology
** 1750–1779 History of religions
** 1780–1799 Chinese state cults
** 1800–1919 Buddhism
** 1920–1939 Taoism
** 1975–1987 Christianity
** 1988–1999 Other religions

2000 to 3999 Historical Sciences

** 2000–2049 Archaeology, Antiquities in general
** 2060–2159 China archaeology
** 2200–2249 Ethnology, ethnography
** 2250–2299 Genealogy and biography
** 2300–2349 World history
** 2350–2399 World geography
** 2400–2440 Asian history and geography
** 2450–2459 History of China in general
** 2461–2469 Chinese historiography
** 2470–2479 History of Chinese civilisation
** 2480–2509 Diplomatic history of China
** 2510–2519 General China history
** 2520–2533 Ancient history of China in general
** 2535 Ch’in, Han and 3 Kingdom in general
** 2536–2543 Ch’in Dynasty
** 2545–2559 Han Dynasty
** 2560–2567 The Three Kingdom
** 2570 Chin Dynasty and the Southern / Northern Dynasties
** 2571–2578 Chin Dynasty
** 2581–2588 The Southern Dynasties
** 2590–2599 The Northern Dynasties
** 2605–2618 Sui, T’ang & the Five Dynasties in general
** 2605–2619 Sui Dynasty
** 2620–2639 T’ang Dynasty
** 2640–2649 Epoch of the Five Dynasties
** 2650–2660 The Ten Kingdoms
** 2662 Sung, Liao, Chin and Yuan Dynasties in general
** 2665–2684 Sung Dynasty
** 2685–2688 The Liao Kingdom
** 2690 The Chin Kindgom
** 2695 The Hsi Hsia Kingdom
** 2700–2713 Yuan Dynasty
** 2718 Ming and Ching Dynasties in general
** 2720–2739 Ming Dynasty
** 2740–2969 Ch’ing Dynasty
** 2970 Period of Republic, 1912
** 3000–3019 China: geography & history in general
** 3020–3031 General system treatises
** 3032–3049 Special works of geography: China
** 3507–3079 China: local description and travel
** 3080–3109 Maps, Atlas of China
** 3110–3299 Gazetteers of China
** 3300–3479 Japanese history
** 3400–3479 Japanese geography
** 3480–3489 Korean history
** 3490–3499 Hong Kong, Macau history and geography
** 3500–3599 Other counties in Asia: history and geography
** 3600–3799 Europe: history and geography
** 3800–3899 America: history and geography
** 3900–3999 Africa, Oceania: history and geography

4000 to 4999 Social Sciences

** 4000–4019 Social sciences in general
** 4020–4099 Statistics
** 4100–4299 Sociology
** 4300–4599 Economics
** 4600–4899 Politics and Law
** 4900–4999 Education

5000 to 5999 Language and Literature

** 5000–5039 Linguistics in general
** 5040–5059 Literature in general
** 5060–5069 Chinese language in general
** 5070–5089 Semantic studies
** 5090–5119 Graphic studies
** 5120–5139 Phonological Studies
** 5140–5149 Grammar
** 5150–5159 Dialects
** 5160–5169 Texts: learning the language
** 5170–5199 Lexicography dictionaries
** 5200–5209 Chinese literature in general
** 5210–5217 Chinese literature: literary criticism
** 5218–5229 Chinese literature: history & biography
** 5230–5235 Chinese literature: collection of individual complete works
** 5236–5241 Chinese literature: general anothlogies
** 5242–5569 Collected Chinese literart works of individual authors
** 5570–5649 Tz’u
** 5650–5730 Lyrical works and drama
** 5731–5769 Chinese Fiction
** 5770–5779 Letters
** 5780–5799 Miscellany: proverbs, fables, juv. lit.
** 5800–5809 Minor languages in China
** 5810–5859 Japanese language
** 5860–5959 Japanese literature
** 5973 Korean language and literature
** 5975–5993 Indo-European language and literature
** 5994–5999 Other language and literature

6000 to 6999 Fine and Recreative Arts

** 6000–6019 Fine and recreative arts in general
** 6020–6029 Aesthetics
** 6030–6069 History of arts
** 6070–6289 Chinese & Japanese Calligraphy and painting
** 6290–6299 Materials & instruments
** 6300–6349 Western painting
** 6350–6359 Engraving Prints
** 6360–6399 Photography
** 6400–6499 Sculpture
** 6500–6599 Architecture
** 6600–6699 Industrial arts
** 6700–6799 Music
** 6800–6899 Amusements & games
** 6900–6999 Physical training & sports

7000 to 7999 Natural Sciences

** 7000–7019 Natural science in general
** 7020–7099 Mathematics
** 7100–7199 Astronomy
** 7200–7299 Physics
** 7300–7399 Chemistry
** 7400–7499 Geological science
** 7500–7599 Natural history
** 7600–7699 Botany
** 7700–7799 Zoology
** 7800–7869 Anthropology
** 7870–7899 Psychology
** 7900–7999 Medical science

8000 to 8999 Agriculture and Technology

** 8000–8009 Agriculture & technology in general
** 8020–8239 Agriculture
** 8240–8289 Home economics
** 8290–8299 Technology in general
** 8300–8349 Handicrafts & artisan trades
** 8400–8499 Manufactures
** 8500–8599 Chemical technology
** 8600–8699 Mining & Metallurgy
** 8700–8899 Engineering
** 8900–8999 Military & Naval science

9000 to 9999 Generalia and Bibliography

** 9000–9007 Generalia and bibliography in general
** 9100 Chinese general series of composite nature
** 9101–9109 Chinese general series of a special type
** 9110 Chinese series of particular locality
** 9111–9120 Chinese family & individual author
** 9130–9163 Sinology
** 9164–9179 Japanese general series
** 9180–9199 Japanese individual polygraphic books
** 9200–9229 General periodicals & society publications
** 9230–9289 General congresses & museums
** 9290–9339 General encyclopedias and reference books
** 9401–9409 Bibliography in general
** 9410–9510 Bibliography
** 9511–9519 Subject bibliographies
** 9520–9539 Chinese collective bibliographies
** 9540–9549 Other general bibliographies of various countries
** 9550–9559 Reading lists & best books, periodical index
** 9562–9569 Special bibliographies
** 9570–9579 Bibliographies of critical reviews
** 9600–9629 Library catalogues
** 9630–9639 Dealers’ & publishers’ catalogues
** 9640–9684 Japanese bibliographies
** 9696–9699 Bibliographies of Western countries
** 9700–9929 Librarianship
** 9930–9999 Journalism, newspapers

Hanlin Academy

The Hanlin Academy was founded in China by in the 8th century during the Tang dynasty.

It was an institution meant to perform, among others, secretarial and literary tasks for the court. Only the most elite scholars were allowed to join the academy. One of its main tasks was to decide on an interpretation of the . This formed the basis of examinations that gave access to the higher levels of bureaucracy.

Among the academicians of Hanlin were
*Li Bai
*Bai Juyi
*Ouyang Xiu
*Shen Kuo , in a position of the leading chancellor
*Cai Yuanpei

The Academy and its library were severely damaged in a fire started by during the in Beijing in 1900. Many ancient texts were either destroyed by the flames or looted/rescued in their wake, including the last surviving volumes of the Yongle Encyclopedia.

The Academy operated continuously until its closure during the 1911 Xinhai Revolution.


The Guozijian , the School of the Sons of State sometimes called the Imperial Central School, Imperial Academy or Imperial College was the national central institute of learning in Chinese dynasties after the . It was the highest institute of learning in China's traditional educational system. Formerly it was called the Taixue, while Taixue for Gongsheng from the populace was still part of Guozijian, along with Guozixue for noble students. The central schools of taixue were established as far back as 3 CE, when a standard nationwide school system was established and funded during the reign of Emperor Ping of Han. When disbanded during the 1898 reform of the Qing Dynasty, the Guozijian was replaced by the Imperial Capital Academy, later renamed as Peking University.

Guozijian were located in the national capital of each dynasty -- Chang'an, Luoyang, Kaifeng, and Nanjing. In there were two capitals; thus there were two Guozijian, one in Nanjing and one in Beijing. The Guozijian, located in the Guozijian Street in Dongcheng District, Beijing, the imperial college during the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties was the last ''Guozijian'' in China and is an important national cultural asset.


Guānxi describes the basic dynamic in the complex nature of personalized of influence and social relationships, and is a central concept in society. In Western media, the pinyin romanization of this Chinese word is becoming more widely used instead of the two common translations—"connections" and "relationships"—as neither of those terms sufficiently reflect the wide cultural implications that ''guānxi'' describes.

Closely related concepts include that of , a measure which reflects the depth of feeling within an interpersonal relationship, , the moral obligation to maintain the relationship, and "", divided into the concepts of "mian" meaning social status and prestige, and , the idea of being perceived as a morally correct actor within society.


At its most basic, ''guānxi'' describes a personal connection between two people in which one is able to prevail upon another to perform a favor or service, or be prevailed upon. The two people need not to be of equal social status. ''Guānxi'' can also be used to describe a network of contacts, which an individual can call upon when something needs to be done, and through which he or she can exert influence on behalf of another. In addition, ''guānxi'' can describe a state of general understanding between two people: "he/she is aware of my wants/needs and will take them into account when deciding her/his course of future actions which concern or could concern me without any specific discussion or request".

The term is not generally used to describe relationships within a family, although ''guānxi'' obligations can sometimes be described in terms of an extended family. The term is also not generally used to describe relationships that fall within other well-defined societal norms . The relationships formed by ''guānxi'' are personal and not transferable.

When a ''guānxi'' network violates bureaucratic norms, it can lead to corruption, and ''guānxi'' can also form the basis of .

Usage examples

Someone is described as having ''good guānxi'' if their particular network of influence could assist in the resolution of the problem currently being spoken about.

The most common response to indicate acceptance of an apology in Standard Mandarin is ''méi guānxi'' which literally translated means "doesn't have ''guānxi'' ".

''Guānxi'' is most often used in the press when ''guānxi'' obligations take precedence over civic duties, leading to nepotism and cronyism

Similar concepts in other cultures

Sociologists have linked ''guanxi'' with the concept of social capital , and it has been exhaustively described in studies of Chinese economic and political behavior, including those listed below.

In Middle Eastern culture, "wasta" is a similar concept; in Italy, "raccomandato" and "raccomandazione" are similar concepts.

* by Ying Fan International Business Review, 11:5, 543-561, 2002.
*, scientific study on Guanxi in relation to business.
*, BBC article discussing the role of Guanxi in the modern governance of China.
* Wiki discussion about definitions of guanxi, developed by the publishers of .
*''Guanxi, The art of relationships'', by Robert Buderi, Gregory T. Huang, ISBN 0-7432-7322-2.


Guan Li

The Guan Li is the coming of age ceremony. The name Guan Li refers to the ceremony for men, while the Ji Li refers to the one for women.

The age of the person is usually 20 and during the ceremony, the person obtains a style name. These ceremonies are now rarely practiced in China, but there has been a recent resurgence, especially from those who are sympatheic to the Hanfu movement.

Genealogy book

A genealogy book or register is used in Asia, and Europe to record the family history of ancestors. It is the Chinese tradition to record family members in a book, including every male born in the family, who they are married to, etc. Traditionally, only males' names are recorded in the books. In India, the Hindu genealogy registers at Haridwar has been a subject of study for many years and have been microfilmed by Genealogical Society of Utah USA .

During the Cultural revolution, many of the books were forcefully destroyed or burned to ashes, because they were considered by the Chinese communist party as among the to be eschewed. Therefore much valuable cultural history was destroyed forever. Fortunately in Taiwan many people still keep their genealogy books, some of which are even a few thousand years old.

Irish genealogical books

Genealogy has been a fundamental part of Irish culture since prehistory. Of the many surviving manuscripts, a large number are devoted to genealogy, either for a single family, or many. It was practised in both and Anglo-Norman Ireland. A number of the more notable books include:

* Leabhar na nGenealach (The Great Book of Irish Genealogies]]
* The ? Cléirigh Book of Genealogies
* The Book of the Burkes
* Leabhar Adhamh ? Cianáin
* An Leabhar Muimhneach
* Leabhar Donn

Families who were professional historians inlcuded Clan ? Duibhgeannáin, ? Cléirigh, Clan MacFhirbhisigh, ? Maolconaire.


Gǎnqíng is an important concept in which is loosely translated as "feeling" and is related to the concept of '''' . ''Gǎnqíng'' reflects the tenor of a social relationship between two people or two groups. One can speak of having good ''gǎnqíng,'' meaning that two people have a good rapport, or deep ''gǎnqíng,'' meaning that there is considerable feeling within a social relationship.

The term ''gǎnqíng'' is often used in comments by the , and is often mistranslated when used in this context. Often one will see a statement that an action "hurts the feelings of the Chinese people." This statement is better translated as an action "disturbs the relationship with the Chinese people." When used in this context the statement is actually implicitly threatening that should the action continue, cooperation would not be forthcoming in the future.