Tag Archives: Chinese

Chinese Space Walk Mission

Few hours ago, China has successfully launched it’s rocket – the Shenzhou 7 up into space for the coming 3-days project. This will be the first time to have Chinese space walking. Although it is not something new to the world (where the US and Russia was its predecessor), but it is an anticipated “goal” for China.

This is a historical moment in Chinese history. Millions will be watching the mission as it broadcast. Does this reminds you of something? Doesn’t this feels like how it was 30 years ago for American?

Well, if you never had the chance of witnessing it 30 years ago (like me), you have another chance!

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Chicken Soup: Good or Bad for Sickness?

As you have notice I haven’t been writing as much lately, this is largely due to the fever, cold, flu that I been having for the week. While I was lying on my bed, some questions came to my head. Thinking back, when I was still a kid and living with my parents, I was always told to avoid eating chickens, seafood, fried foods, fast foods, etc. when I am sick. I was told that it would make my sickness last long!

Question is, is it true? So with this curiousity in mind, I searched through the Internet to find an answer for myself (since I kind of want to eat chicken, although my mom told me not to).

After hours of reading and searching, I found out (well actually I knew) chicken was good for your health. Many people make chicken soup for cold remedies. Although we still don’t really know why, but research have shown it does help in some way.

Irwin Ziment, M.D., pulmonary specialist and professor at the UCLA School for Medicine, says chicken soup contains drug-like agents similar to those in modern cold medicines. For example, an amino acid released from chicken during cooking chemically resembles the drug acetylcysteine, prescribed for bronchitis and other respiratory problems.

Spices that are often added to chicken soup, such as garlic and pepper (all ancient treatments for respiratory diseases), work the same way as modern cough medicines, thinning mucus and making breathing easier.

Another theory, put forth by Stephen Rennard, M.D., chief of pulmonary medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, is that chicken soup acts as an anti-inflammatory. The soup, he says, keeps a check on inflammatory white blood cells (neutrophils). Cold symptoms, such as coughs and congestion, are often caused by inflammation produced when neutrophils migrate to the bronchial tubes and accumulate there. — from Chet’s Day

As for why Chinese are saying it was bad for you… I guess it was some kind of “old wives’ tales”. There are many beliefs or superstition in the Chinese cultures, probably this was one of it? However, it might have to do with the ancient way of Chinese medicine? Probably it might have gone against some of the properties of the Chinese medicine and might affect it in some way?

But, it is widely proven that chicken is not bad to eat during sickness. I recommend trying some chicken soup when you are having a cold, it really does help! Some other food that is good too: ginger, garlic, lemon, and miso. These are recommended by Chinese too! Chinese congee is good too! Another one: Chinese said don’t drink cold stuff when coughing – don’t know whether it is true or not. Probably another topic for another time.

Sources:

Chet’s Day
myDr.com.au

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

Today is the Chinese’s Mid-Autumn Festival! This is the day where Chinese have family reunion and celebrate the traditional harvest day.

This event have been celebrated by Chinese for over 3000 years – started in the Shang Dynasty. It became popular and was spread throughout many parts of Asia (East Asia to be exact). We usually eat mooncakes, lit up lanterns, and watch the moon at this time of the year. If you live in a city full of Chinese, you will usually see dragon dances going around and in the past with firecracker and fireworks – before it was banned.

Chinese traditional mooncakes looks like this:

It has a somewhat thick skin containing salt duck egg yolks lotus seed paste. For me, it is kind of greasy, which I don’t really like. Despite that I am Chinese, I don’t really like eating it at all. Well tradition is tradition, I still usually take 1/4 of it.

In other countries, it may be referred as the Moon Festival or Lantern Festival. Lanterns are another aspect of the festival. When I was a kid, we usually buy those paper folded lanterns and place a tiny candle inside litting it up. It comes with many varieties of patterns and design. Some are big and some are small, while others have unique and unusual shapes.

The festival is actually a moon worshipping event for us. Because the moon is the main attraction of the event, many of the legends that we have about it are always retold during this day. We have tales of the Houyi, the archer that shot down nine suns and his wife Chang’e – where she was eventually “floated” to the moon when she ate the pills (like Pandora in Greek mythology). The Jade Rabbit that lives on the moon making elixirs (also found in Japanese and Korean culture), and the woodcutter Wu Gan – who was punished to the moon and was to cut down the Cherry tree with his axe. However, ever chop he make, the tree recovers and spring back to life instantly.

Back in China, this day will be celebrated with fireworks and lanterns (floating on the water, in people’s hand, and floating in mid-air). This is a big day – only second to Chinese New Year! So head out and enjoy!

Rice lovers: Should We Wash Our Rice?

“Should we wash our rice?” or “How many times do we need to wash it?”. Many of us rice lovers might have wonder about similar questions some point in life. On the process of finding information, I came across many different opinions on washing rice. Some say you do not need to, others say you do. There are even some that it is needed to wash multiple times!

Here are some views from different sources I came across – people I know, Internet, and reading materials – on the subject:

The YES:

Since my first time for cooking rice, I was taught that I should wash the rice thoroughly. Not just once, twice, but three times. I was told that those particles in the cloudy water are “chemicals” to make the rice look white. Some said it was fertilizer. It was said that by washing rice, you would get the dirt, chemicals, and unwanted things from your rice.

The NO:

After few years of washing rice, I started to wonder myself. Is it really necessary to wash my rice? First, I asked around the people that I know. Most of them told me that I should not wash it too thoroughly. Just a rinse is enough. They said: “by over washing it, you will wash away the proteins, minerals, and the good stuffs that are in it.”

So is there a correct answers to these questions? No. In fact, each methods of cooking rice is your own choice. Everybody has their own ways of doing things and own belief. Asian tends to tell people to wash rice, whereas it is different for others.

Another piece of information was about people adding nutrients back onto the rice in North America. These contain starch. This is probably why if you don’t wash your rice, the textures becomes stickier.

Chinese? Japanese? Korean? How to Tell the Differences?

If you are Asian like myself, I am sure that there was some point in your life you were mistaken as one of the three cultures – Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. Caucasian friends of mine have always told me that we look, talk, speak, and think the same. Aside from that, sometimes our similarity in traditions and cultures could confuse people too. There might be some truth to that, but apparently, we’re different in ways. The following are some differences that you can take note of. Some does not apply to ALL Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, but however, I hope it can help you a little for distinguishing.


(Chinese Korean, Korean Chinese, Japanese)

  1. The Language. All I hear is Ching Chong Chung.
    This really made me laugh when my housemate told me that. That’s all the sounds he hears from my entire conversation (which was in Cantonese – a dialect of Chinese). However Ching Chong Chung does resembles Cantonese, but it does not apply to Japanese, Korean, or Mandarin. Languages of the oriental nations does derives from a single or similar origin, but throughout millenniums it has diversified. Here’s some example in phonetic for saying “How are you” in each language respectively:

    Chinese (Cantonese) – Nay Ho Ma?
    Chinese (Mandarin) – Ni Hao Ma?
    Japanese ——— Ogenki desu ka?
    Korean ———– Ahn-nyong-ha-se-yo?

  2. Bowing as a Custom.
    The Japanese might have been known for bowing more than any other Asian countries. Although not as formal as the Japanese, the Chinese and Korean also bow – either for respect, death, or apologies. In modern China, handshake is more likely to be used than bowing. However, the opposite for Japanese. Korean also bow as a greet to upperclassmen or elders.
  3. Eating Rice.
    One interesting that I learned from my Japanese and Korean friends were that we “eat” rice differently. I don’t mean we cook it differently, we make it all the same – with a rice cooker! 🙂 What I meant was how we put it in our mouth. The Chinese usually picks up the rice bowl and scoop rice into their mouth with a chopstick (used like a spoon). The Japanese picks up their bowl and “picks” rice bit by bit with their chopsticks, without having their mouth on their bowls. They find “scooping” to be impolite. The Korean “pick” rice like the Japanese, but does not lift up their bowl. I am not sure if this is true, but I am sure there is some truth to it.
  4. Chinese has Slanted Eyes, Korean has Rounder Faces, and Japanese are shorter.
    Although some of it might apply, but I have to say this is a stereotype for years. Eyes varies from different people, so the Chinese can’t possibly be all slanted eyes. There are long faces Korean that I know of. The average height of Japanese have rose over the years. Haha.. However I do find some are true.
  5. Cultures.
    In my opinion, Chinese have lost their cultural heritage since decades ago. You won’t see us Chinese wearing any traditional “Han” clothes anymore, you see jeans! However, this is not the case for the Japanese and Korean as they have their Kimono and Jeogori. As Asia becomes more in connect with the West, this perception is tend to change. Today, we see Japanese fashion becoming more Westernized. So is the Korean – in movies, songs, arts and pop cultures.

The points above are what I see and not really any indication of how to separate the 3 people apart. If you ask me whether I can distinguish between the 3, I would say no either. It is just like asking, “can you distinguish between English, Scottish, or Welsh? Or even American and Canadian? Not really. Well, hope I didn’t bored you! Enjoy!

Websites That Might Interest You:

All Look Same

Godson-3: Microprocessor Made “by” China

With the technological level on the rise, the slumbering dragon – China, is awakening itself onto the microprocessor industry. Heading into rivalry against Intel and AMD? Recently, the Chinese had announce that they have successfully manufactured their own CPU chips – one named Loongson 3 – direct translation would mean Dragon Chip. (See photo below)


(image taken from: XinHuaNet.com)

During the Hot Chips conference earlier in California, the Chinese have announce that they will be producing Quad-cores later on this year, whereas the 8-cores would scheduled somewhere in 2009. With the technology available, the Chinese hope to use their new CPU chip, implementing them onto computers, bringing the usage of computers to ordinary people throughout the country by 2010.

NOTE: “Godson” is the codename of the chips for internal developers. The word “Dragon”, which Chinese have always identifies themselves as the “sons of Dragon”, was different from the dragon of the West. Dragons were known as mythical beings that brings peace, good luck, and fortunes, while the dragons of the West contradicts it as destruction, fear, and evil. With that in mind, the Chinese changed it to “Godson”.

Sources:

XinHuaNet.com
Sina.com
Technology Review