“Naked marriage” challenges Chinese marriage traditions \xinhua news

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2011-08/06/c_131033495.htm

by Xinhua writers Wang Ruoyao and Ren Liying

SHIJIAZHUANG, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) — Without expensive preparation and rituals, Wang Shaowei and Zhang Xin tied the knot at a cost of nine yuan (1.4 U.S. dollars), which was used to obtain the marriage certificate.

The couple, who just entered the work force and had learned to be self-reliant, did away with nearly all the traditional “must-haves” for a Chinese wedding: owning an apartment, a car, wedding rings as well as holding an expensive ceremony.

“We had a big dinner in our two-bedroom rented apartment to celebrate the start of our married life, and nothing else,” said the 26-year-old Wang, who lives with his wife in Shijiazhuang, capital city of the northern Hebei Province.

However, their frugal wedding, conducted behind the back of their parents, upset their families’ older generation.

The newlyweds were forced by their parents to hold a delayed, but grand wedding ceremony, and later moved into an apartment purchased by Wang’s family and began using a car bought by Zhang’s parents.

“My parents can’t accept a wedding without a new apartment or rituals. My mother says, ‘It’s ridiculous to marry a woman with nine yuan!'” Zhang said.

In recent years, an increasing number of Chinese young people have chosen a “naked marriage.” The term refers to a couple who get hitched without any major assets and who spend little on their wedding ceremony.

Some do so due to their eagerness for independence, while others simply have no option.

The “naked marriage” is in sharp contradiction with China’s established marriage customs, which encourage parents to help lay the material foundation for their children’s marriage.

Generally, getting married may cost years of savings of the bridegroom’s family, which is supposed to pay for a house, or at least the down payment, and a red carpet ceremony, as well as decent betrothal gifts to the bride’s family.

The bride’s family may consider funding the home decorating, or purchasing a car if the couple live in a big city, depending on their financial position.

The “naked marriage” phenomenon, which was coined in 2008 by Internet users, has drawn much discussion after a popular TV series called “Naked Marriage Age” struck a chord with the Chinese youth, especially those born in the 1980s.

The drama depicts the bittersweet life of a young couple who had a “naked marriage” and fought for a better life. They get divorced due to misunderstandings and heavy life pressures, but finally made peace.

According to a poll conducted by the social investigation center of the China Youth Daily prior to this year’s Chinese Valentine’s Day, Qixi Festival that fell on Saturday, nearly 48 percent of 3,214 respondents said they supported the idea of “naked marriages,” while about 23 percent opposed it.

The vote also showed that about 55 percent of the respondents viewed courage as essential when engaging in a “naked marriage” and 43 percent of them agreed that married life of the couple who had a “naked marriage” would be much tougher than their peers with better financial status.

“Compared with my peers who had everything when being married, my marriage seems a bit of ‘shabby.’ But we’ve been together for eight years, and I think the foundation of marriage is love, rather than money,” said one of the approvers, Wang Haimin, a PhD candidate in Beijing.

Wang and her husband, an employee with a foreign company, are still living in a rented home two years after getting married.

“If a couple has had everything when they get married, what should they expect in the future? I think the most joyful part about marriage is that two people work hard to achieve every goal of life together,” read a post on the BBS of the popular web portal of Sina.

Nevertheless, some objectors believe, as the Chinese proverb goes, “Everything goes wrong for the poor couple.”

“Frictions will be generated if the newlyweds have to struggle to make ends meet every day,” posted Sina user “Wolongcha.”

“The ideal life for Chinese is to live and work in peace and contentment. The marriage without a solid material foundation is unstable,” said Wang Shuqin, a 50-year-old resident of Shijiazhuang.

Although the traditional marital values are still deep-rooted in Chinese people‘s mind, experts said the increasing acceptance of “naked marriage” showed a more open-minded attitude of the youth.

“Nowadays, more and more young couples like Wang Shaowei and Zhang Xin realize they should share the burden of life and strive for happiness together, instead of reaping without sowing,” said Zhu Pingyan, a sociologist with the Central China Normal University. (Xinhua interns Liu Tong, Wu Chao, Yan Yujie and Zheng Mengshu also contributed to the story)

MusicDish*China Launches Music Video Competition For Chinese Bands| online PR

http://www.onlineprnews.com/news/159546-1312552588-musicdishchina-launches-music-video-competition-for-chinese-bands.html

Online PR News – 06-August-2011 –MusicDish*China announced the launch of a new music video competition for independent Chinese artists and bands. Open to bands from the mainland, Hong Kong/Macau as well as Taiwan and Singapore, the competition will offer them the opportunity to have their videos promoted on the MusicDishTV platform as well as by Chinese music portal Sohu (http://tv.sohu.com/music/). Bands can enter the competition at http://china.musicdish.com/musicdishtv/

“I originally launched MusicDish*China after having been exposed to the vibrant indie music scene in China, particularly Beijing,” said MusicDish*CHina founder Eric de Fontenay. “Now we have an opportunity to share the best of that talent with music fans across the world with this competition.”

Running between August 2-24, four winning music videos will be selected for online promotion campaign through MusicDishTV, which has promoted over 300 music videos through video sharing platforms, social networks, web communities and blogs, as well as featured and promoted on Sohu’s music video portal.

MusicDish*China is proud to be working with Sohu.com, China’s premier online brand that has built one of the most comprehensive matrices of Chinese language web properties and proprietary search engines, consisting of seven leading web properties. Niurenku (www.niurenku.com) will also be promoting the competition through its online video network that produces original short form content for the smart, hip and web savvy China youth.

About MusicDish*China
Launched at MIDEM 2010 in Cannes, France, MusicDish*China is the latest online brand from MusicDish LLC, a digital music company, providing a unique insight into China’s emerging music industry. Focused on Greater China, MusicDish*China is building its brand as well as that of its artists and partners through partnerships with major stakeholders such as festivals, promoters and producers as well as its in-house social media marketing.
http://china.musicdish.com

Contact

Info:
Eric de Fontenay
chinasounds@musicdish.com
+1-718-278-0662
skype: musicdish

Hong Huang’s Beijing Boutique, Brand New China (BNC) Signs First In-House Fashion Designer by Jing Daily

 

Hong: “There Is Hope For China’s Fashion Industry

Young designer Xiang Yaodong

Hong Huang, publisher of the influential lifestyle magazine iLook, tireless promoter of home-grown Chinese fashion design, and proprietress of the “designed in China” boutique Brand New China (BNC), has signed the fresh ESMOD Beijing graduate Xiang Yaodong (项耀东) as the first in-house designer for her new BNC house line. As Hong said this week, “although the original idea of BNC was to stock works by individual designers, after a year of operation, now BNC is going to develop its own brand, ‘Designer for BNC.’” Reflecting her regular championing of ESMOD Beijing — the China outpost of the French fashion school l’Ecole Supérieure des Arts et techniques de la Mode — Hong announced an additional partnership with the institution, the new iLook/BNC scholarship, aimed at supporting financially challenged, yet talented, aspiring fashion students.

As BNC’s first signed designer, Xiang Yaodong will create clothing for his personal brand, “MOH,” as well as additional collections exclusively for the new “MOH for BNC” line. Remarking on her store’s shift from focusing solely on scouting (and stocking) new talent, Hong Huang said, “When we first opened [BNC], we had no retail experience. The goal of BNC is to serve as a place for young designers to display and sell their pieces, so we didn’t choose particular designers, we figured anyone should be welcome to sell his or her work here. But after a year, we’ve recognized that the commercial appeal of home-grown Chinese fashion design is becoming more and more popular, and a lot of young designers have since opened their own stores. Some of them still value us and send pieces to be sold at BNC, but the sizes and styles are increasingly limited.”

“Also,” Hong added, “some designers aren’t sending their work on time like they used to. So our collaborations with ESMOD Beijing and Xiang Yaodong have become very important to us, especially at this time.”

In addition to Xiang’s “MOH for BNC” line, Hong Huang plans to broaden the in-house line to include more young talent in the “Designer for BNC” collection. According to Hong, Xiang Yaodong’s classmates show a great deal of potential. “I learned a lot from [this year’s] ESMOD Beijing graduation fashion show,” Hong noted.

“Now there is hope for China’s fashion industry.”

A favorite of Jiang Ming, young design graduate Ye Song (叶谦)

The speed at which young independent Chinese fashion designers have hit the scene over the past couple of years has been a key trend in the nascent China fashion industry. Along with designers previously profiled by Jing Daily, such as Vega Zaishi Wang and Xander Zhou, cutting-edge couturiers like Chi Zhang, Ye Qian, and Bo Kewen have caught the eye of Chinese taste-makers. The well-known fashion buyer, Jiang Mingming (姜铭明), recently told People’s Daily that the gap between Western and Japanese designers and young Chinese talent is starting to narrow, yet “Western designers have a better overall environment than their Chinese counterparts, and the maturity of their industry is also very important to designers.”

Jiang added that he recently bought out the entire collection of Ye Song (叶嵩), a recent fashion school graduate, saying, “I hope we’ll have a long-term collaboration. I’m not too picky about his craftsmanship, since he just graduated from school, but what I really value is his design. We can adjust details based on the needs of the market later on. But I find his designs make an impact on me, and I think that’s the soul of a designer.”

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The Arts as Inquiry | Asia Society

The Arts as Inquiry | Asia Society.

When students of Chinese explore art in conjunction with language, they not only have fun, they unravel abstract concepts, deepen cultural understanding, and build their language proficiency. There are many ways to enliven lessons, whether by encouraging students to create their own masterpieces, or by helping them investigate and analyze artworks in museums or online collections.

Kathleen Wang, founder and principal of the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School in Massachusetts advocates infusing the arts throughout the curriculum, explaining, “Many subjects or concepts are so abstract and packed with content that it is difficult for students to retain and effectively use. Students must smell, taste, hear, touch, or see abstract subjects and concepts so that the curriculum is more meaningful and more connected to students personally.” Wang and her faculty blend the arts into all subject areas to create what Wang calls “an environment that is full of sensory experiences.” In their K–8 classrooms, language and culture go hand-in-hand through storytelling, poetry, movement, the visual arts, drama, and music.

China: ills with capitalist characteristics

http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2011/07/26/chinese-ills-with-capitalistic-characteristics/#axzz1TDvB4XA3

July 26, 2011 1:55 pm by Patti Waldmeir

Everyone knows China is good at copying things Western – like handbags and iPods and even whole Apple stores – but increasingly, the Chinese are aping the worst aspects of Western culture, along with jeans and electronics. Increasingly China is copying the diseases of capitalism, like heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and diabetes.

According to a report today from the World Bank, the Chinese Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation, “Toward a Healthy and Harmonious Life in China: Stemming the Rising Tide of Non-Communicable Diseases”, China is experiencing an “epidemic” of non-communicable diseases – the kind that the third world poor (with their malaria and malnutrition) can only dream about.

The report says the number of cases of cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, diabetes and lung cancer among Chinese people over 40 will double or even triple over the next two decades – unless Beijing does something to prevent it.

According to the report:

This trend is rooted in the social, economic, and environmental changes the country has experienced in recent decades, in particular, the rapid aging of the population and exposure to health risk factors such as high smoking rates among males, growing obesity due to increased consumption of fast foods rich in fat and salt, sugar-rich soft drinks and decreased physical activity in cities.

In other words, these are diseases of wealth creation.

China’s exploding health problem will strain the economy and could cause serious social problems, the report says – whereas tackling it could save the country a lot of money.

Reducing cardiovascular diseases by one percent per year from 2010-1040 could generate an economic value equivalent to 68 percent of China’s real GDP in 2010, more than US$10.7 trillion, the report says. It is the kind of statistic familiar from healthcare debates worldwide: every society on earth could save money if its citizens would just jog more.

But in China, there could be an added impact on wealth creation: it seems that rich entrepreneurs – the kind who generate a lot of China’s wealth — die even earlier than poorer Chinese. According to figures published in state media last week, since 2003, some 72 renminbi billionaires have died earlier than they ought to have done – from accidents, murder, suicide or illness. (An unususually high number were also executed for getting rich illegally, the report notes).

When it comes to electronics or entertainment, China is trying hard to cast off its image as a copycat culture – but when it comes to the diseases of capitalism, it seems China is getting better and better at duplication.

 

72 Chinese Millionaires Died Premature Deaths

According to:http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report_72-chinese-millionaires-died-premature-deaths_1568987

As many as 72 multi-millionaires in China have either died since 2003 of unnatural causes or have died young, a media report said on Sunday. They all had personal assets exceeding 100 million yuan ($15.51 million).

Fifteen were murdered, 17 killed themselves, seven died in accidents, 14 were executed and the other 19 died at an early age due to illness, Shanghai Daily quoted New Culture View newspaper as reporting.

The average age of the super rich who died from sickness was 48. Cardiovascular ailments and cancer were the biggest killers.

The media report said that anxiety over a long period of time coupled with high work pressure and excessive social activities contributed to their sickness.

“Chinese people live on average more than 70 years. The millionaires obviously died earlier than average,” Ding Chunsheng, director of the health education center in Changchun city, was quoted as saying.

Fifteen of them were done to death for their wealth by either a friend, partner or competitor.

China opens 1st rescue center for endangered white dolphins CCTV News – CNTV English

China opens 1st rescue center for endangered white dolphins CCTV News – CNTV English.

A rescue and breeding base for endangered Chinese white dolphins started a trial operational period on Saturday in the southeastern seaside resort of Xiamen. The base is the first of its kind in the country.

 

The base, located on the city’s Huoshaoyu Islet, includes a rescue center and a breeding area and can accommodate up to four to six white dolphins, said Pan Shijian, vice mayor of Xiamen.

 

Previously, rescuers had to return injured white dolphins back to the sea after giving them simple medical treatment due to the lack of a rescue base, Pan said.

 

“From now on, the base will be a hospital for injured or stranded dolphins,” he said.

 

The base will also be used as a rehabilitation center for children with infantile autism and brain paralysis, with the dolphins acting as “doctors” during the children’s recovery period, he added.

 

The Chinese white dolphin mainly lives in the seas around Xiamen and the Pearl River estuary in south China. The dolphins are under first-class state protection.

 

The Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences estimates that about 2,000 of the dolphins are living in China’s seas.

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