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Confucian’s Portrait

24 September 2006

September 28, 2006, is to be observed as the 2,557th birth anniversary of Confucian, and the followers of the Confucius teachings at home and from abroad will once again congregate at his home town Qufu county, in Shandong Province, for a public memorial service.

On Friday, the Qufu-based China Confucius Foundation published the so-called "standard portrait of Confucian" that is said will be the official representation of the sage.

The statue is made of bronze and measured 2.557 metres tall to commemorate his 2557 birthday. It features a square face, a broad nose, a wide mouth, thick eyebrows and long beards, and is in classic Chinese costume of flowing gown. The creation of the image is said to be largely based on a portrait by Tang artist Wu Daozi (吴道子).

A Renewed Summer Palace

After more than two months of maintenance work, three major sightseeing spots in the Summer Palace in Beijing were reportedly reopened yesterday to the public.

The trio are often associated with three most commonly used blessing characters in Chinese: the Terrace of Fragrance (佛香阁) represents Fortune (福), the Hall of Rolling Clouds (排云殿) stands for Wealth (禄), and the Long Corridor (长廊) symbolises Longevity (寿).

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Sex Topics in China

Rolling advertisements on the back of bus seats in Guangzhou are reportedly full of jokes containing sexual references. As children are puzzled and curious, and parents horrified and angry, many people think the ads are rather entertaining and amusing. While in Chongqing city, a hospital has 20 ancient sex images on its official website, some viewers complain and protest, but many others support the hospital’s decision of not to take the pics down.

Before China came under the rule of the Manchurians (1648 – 1911) who were obsessed with rigid and empty rituals than anything else, it was a society amazingly open to virtually everything, and sex was just seen as a normal part of life. Confucian himself once said, "Eating and sex, the primary cravings of man" ((饮食男女,人之大欲存焉). But the classic Chinese culture was mummified and distorted in Manchurian’s Qing dynasty, then smashed and mocked by the Western culture and ideologies, first extreme right capitalism, then extreme left Marxism, and then confusingly mixed right and left.

Now as China begins to rediscover its classic past, open attitude regarding sex seems to be one of the first things, if not THE first thing, to be revived, with a modern twist – the glorified label of "sex education".


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