• 1
  • 2
  • 3

Search CHINAINSIGHT.info

Language
This language corner is a new series designed for people who are interested in learning Mandarin.
Taiwan Business
Taiwanese trade officials and business leaders signed a letter of intent to purchase millions of metric tons of soybeans from farmers in Minnesota and Iowa over the next two years.
Greatest
“The Greatest Spirit” presented poetry, music and dance in mural-like story scenes, telling the tale of the Chinese spirits (liquor) culture, and highlights the grandeur of traditional Chinese operas, the exquisite beauty of the costumes of past Chinese dynasties and the unique styles of Chinese ancient architecture.
Pavillion
Not quite, but this new pavillion is going up by the lake. Which lake? Whose pavillion?
K.Y. Kwok exhibit
Traffic Zone Center for Visual Arts, Studio 120, 250 Third Avenue North, Minneapolis
Chinese Street Food
Next time you visit China or any other country, make sure you seek out the street foods. Keep Bourdain’s street food spirit alive!
Lauren's Journey To The Ordway
Lauren’s first exposure in the spotlight occurred when she was only 2 years old!
Hmong
One of five Peanuts characters that will be sent to the City of Changsha, Hunan Province, China.
Congressional Gold Medal
On May 4, 2017, bills were introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate for the award of the Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, to the Chinese American veterans of World War II.
Chinese Garden at Arboretum
The first-ever Chinese Garden in Minnesota opened officially to great international fanfare and a watery welcome on Sept. 18, at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chanhassen.
Judge Tony Leung
The biggest distinction he made was that when on duty in state criminal court, he was asked a lot about what the police officer can and cannot do in a situation.
Communist Party
The communist takeover of China in 1949 saw a significant achievement of a comprehensive government.
Solar Plant
The innovative project was constructed by China Three Gorges Corporation (CTGC) with a total investment of 1 billion RMB.
Starbucks
Shanghai now lays claim to the world’s biggest Starbucks!
Chinese Americans continue to contribute
In the Twin Cities, there are many Chinese Americans who have contributed to the fabric of American society.

Congressional Gold Medal for WWII Chinese American Veterans Initiative

Learn More and Get Involved

Although the Chinese American community has always strived to be good citizens, history has shown that they have not been treated fairly and need to let their Congressional leaders know that their service to our country needs to be recognized. Like many minorities, Chinese Americans overcame discrimination to serve their country bravely and honorably and we need to encourage the Congress to act favorably on this proposal to commemorate the service of these Chinese American veterans.  

Production Editor Needed

MN Disaggregation Of Ethnic Data

By Elaine Dunn


     Last month’s “Story” column dealt with China’s version of the creation of heaven and earth by Pangu (盤古). The story ended on the premise that we human beings came from mites off Pangu’s hairy body. Not exactly a pleasant thought.  So this month, I’ll offer up an alternate, and I hope, a more palatable version of how human beings were created according to Chinese mythology - the story of Nüwa.

The myths of human creation
     In the west, there’s Darwin’s evolution theory. For Christians, it started with God creating Adam and Eve. In Chinese mythology, Nüwa takes credit for origin of the species. And there are quite a few versions of the Nüwa story. I will include two of the best-known ones.

Version one
     After Pangu created heaven and earth, the kind goddess Nüwa visited the earth. She found the environment pleasing and attractive.  However, she thought earth lacked life. She thought, “The sky has stars; the ocean has fish; the earth has animals, but I have nothing.” She felt lonely and yearned for some company.

      While strolling along the river, she caught sight of her own reflection in the water. An idea came to her and she excitedly sat down and went to work. She scooped out a handful of clay and started making dolls modeled after herself – with one modification.  Nüwa is supposed to have the head and torso of a woman, but her bottom half is that of a snake! Thus, the modification to the mud dolls she made was they all had feet so they could stand erect. 

     Then she breathed air into the mud dolls and put them down on the ground. The ones she breathed masculine air into became males and the ones she breathed feminine air into became females. They sang and danced and Nüwa found them quite amusing and enjoyed watching them. She was so taken by her handiwork that she diligently made more mud dolls  day and night. Then she breathed life into them so they could enjoy each other and to entertain during her stay on earth. However, making the mud dolls proved painstaking and her hands and fingers soon started hurting. Yet, as there was still not enough “dolls” to populate the earth,  she had to figure out how to create more dolls in a more efficient way.

     One day, she dipped a cord into the mud and then swished it in the air. Droplets of mud fell to the ground and turned into little people! Delighted with the outcome, she continued with the dip-cord-and- swish method, splashing mud droplets all over until the mountains and plains in all corners of the earth were fully populated.

     In order that she never had to hand-make mud dolls or dip and swish a cord again, Nüwa set up a marriage system so males and females would get married and procreate. This would ensure earth would be forever populated.

     Satisfied with bringing life to the beautiful earth, she returned to heaven.

     One day, Nüwa heard a loud noise. The gods of water and fire were fighting. The god of water was losing the fight and angry. He bumped his head on one of the mountain pillars that supported the sky. The pillar collapsed and half the sky caved in. Thunder and lightning followed. The earth was getting flooded by torrential rain. Part of the earth split open and giant flames burst through! People were dying; crops and animals were scorched.

     Nüwa could not bear to see “her children” suffer so she tried to block the hole in the sky with a huge boulder. Unfortunately, the heavy rain washed away the boulder in no time. Nüwa returned to earth, selected five colored stones from the river and put them into a boiling cauldron where they melted into a dense liquid. She proceeded to patch the hole in the sky with this liquid. It took her nine days to complete the task. Finally, the sky was mended and the sun shone again. She did not want to risk the sky falling again, so she found a giant sea turtle from the East Sea. She used its four legs to hold up the sky. She also took the ashes from the burnt crops to dam up the flooding banks and restored peace to “her children” on earth. And she once again returned to heaven.

     Legend has it that the hand-made dolls became aristocrats and learned scholars. The mud droplets became peasants and common folks.

Version two 
     Nüwa has various roles in Chinese mythology: goddess, creator, repairer, sister, wife … In this Han version of the creation of humankind story, Nüwa is both sister and wife of Fuxi (伏羲).

     There was a great flood on earth and Nüwa and her brother Fuxi were the only two survivors left. They knew they had to procreate to keep the human race going, but were afraid and ashamed of the incestuous act. Unable to resolve the hard choice with which they were faced, they went to Mount Kunlun to seek the gods’ advice. They asked the gods to send a signal. If the gods give permission for brother and sister to marry, they asked the gods to let smoke hang above their prayer offering. Smoke indeed hung over the offering, so brother and sister married. To cover her embarrassment on wedding night, Nüwa covered her face with a fan she had woven from grass. Therefore, to this day, Chinese brides often hold a fan on their wedding night!

     Mud dolls or mites, take your pick.






Terms Of Use

Terms of Use All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without prior written permission of the publisher. For permission requests, contact the publisher, Terms of Use All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without prior written permission of the publisher. For permission requests, contact [email protected] with subject line “Permission request.”

About

CHINAINSIGHT (CI) is published monthly ((except July/August and November/December are combined) by China Insight, Inc., an independent, privately owned company started in 2001 and headquartered in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.

CHINAINSIGHT is the only English-language American newspaper to focus exclusively on connections between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Our goal is to develop a mutual understanding of each other’s cultures and business environments and to foster U.S.-China cultural and business harmony.