December 30, 2009

These Are the People Who Made China Cry

Each year, pictures like this cycle through the internet, with newer ones added in.

Title: These Are the People Who Made China Cry...A Hundred Times Better Than the List Compiled by CCTV

1. He kneels in front of the tomb of his wife and child
This man, Liangshan Zhang (张良善), is a member of the transportation corps in Tibet, and each medal signifies the contribution he made to China. Perhaps the greatest sacrifice he has ever made to the country is that in fulfilling duties as a soldier, he was not able to accompany his wife who underwent a difficult childbirth and died.


2. The life of an old women in the Chinese country side
Comments:
1. There are many old people like this where we live. Interested reporters and editors can come and take a look. There is one old man in particular who has not bathed in 10 years. I sometimes wonder how he makes a living for himself.

2. Too many similar cases in the villages. Some farmer became homeless in his old age because he gave the house to his sons!


3. Another elder striving to make ends meet
4. Let's look at the blossoms of our motherland ("blossoms of motherland" is an typical expression to mean children)

The Chinese in the picture translates to:
One day, an English teacher came to our village and taught us our first English sentence: "I want go to school."

Do you hear their plea? It's the most shocking.



5. A retired professor organizes an one-man protest against charging tuition for k-12 education.

He wrote:
"No school should view its students as profit-generating objects. No country should extort its students. They are not commodities and sources for money."

6. Contrast

In this Xi'an restaurant, somebody spent 30,000 yuan on one meal,

...while some children must have their lessons outdoors
7. Another contrast

In a promotion event, a female celebrity sold lamb kabobs on the street. One man bought her charred kabob for an astounding 17,888 yuan, turned around, and gave the bad-tasting meat to a kid.

Here two children dropped out of school because they could not afford a few hundred yuan of tuition. They must now take care of the farm and feed their families.

To them, 100 yuan is an astronomical number...
Another appalling classroom
8. Two classes
8. They were just trying to claim their wages...

Each year, similar incidents take place across China, some even make the news. A separate report for example: http://www.wangchao.net.cn/junshi/detail_28349.html
9.City urban administrators left this old man sobbing. They cut both the front wheel and chain, so he no longer can use this vehicle to sell baked potatoes.
But before being so thorough in performing their duties, perhaps the administrators should consider how else the old man can make a living? No construction site wants a weak old man. No brothel wants an old man.

10. Respect the old; love the young

11. Have you ever eaten what they are eating? Would you ever want to eat what they are eating?
12. In many Chinese news reports, it is the old who are still giving.
13. Just for a few yuan

14. Imagine walking more than 1km with a 200kg load on your back. This 17 year old mine worker has done that many times. Each trip only earns him 1 yuan.
15. Boat trackers
16. Mother and scavenger. This is how she grew old.
17. When we asked to take her picture, she borrowed this backpack. It used to be a 400g detergent box
18. To live..
19. One of the government slogans--the old will enjoy a good life.

Source(s):
http://www.greatwuyi.com/forum/viewthread.php?tid=650&extra=&page=1
http://web.wenxuecity.com/BBSView.php?SubID=mychina&MsgID=432901

December 24, 2009

Court Upholds Original Verdict on the First Case of "Human Flesh Search"

The dust has finally settled on the first lawsuit ever concerning the controversial "human flesh search." In the end, Beijing Second Intermediate People's Court upheld the original ruling. One of the defendants Leyi Zhang (张乐奕) is found guilty of defamation against Fei Wang (王菲). All infringing articles are to be deleted. Furthermore, Zhang must formally apologize to Wang on his website and pay the plaintiff 5684 yuan to coverage litigation costs and any harm to the man's mental well-being.

On December 29, 2007, 31 year old white-collar Yan Jiang (姜岩) jumped from her 24 storied apartment because her husband Fei Wang betrayed their marriage. Two months prior to her suicide, Jiang had written about her inner journey on MSN space, where a photo of the straying husband with his mistress was also uploaded. To commemorate the dead and to criticize Wang's infidelity, Jiang's college classmate Leyi Zhang built the website "The Migrant Bird That Flies North" to host articles that Jiang's relatives, friends, and Mr. Zhang himself wrote in memoriam. A few days later, Daqi dedicated a section of its website to the tragedy, exposing the real names and photos of Fei Wang and the mistress Dong Fang [Note: both of which were already on Jiang's MSN Space].

In the next month, Fei Wang was searched by human flesh, hassled by Netizens, fired by his company, unable to obtain new employment, and even his parent's apartments were plastered with condemnatory messages. After 4 months of living like a frightened bird, Wang decided to sue Daqi, Tianya, and Leyi Zhang, asking for 135,000 yuan for his troubles. The Beijing Chaoyang Court convicted Daqi Website and Zhang, but Zhang decided to appeal the decision at Beijing Second Intermediate People's Court.

Beijing Second Intermediate People's Court acknowledged the undesirability of Fei Wang's infidelity, stating that adultery upsets the social order and breaks the moral code. However, by posting Wang's information on orionchris.cn and allowing the World Wide Web to disseminate this information, Zhang has essentially abetted the "human flesh search," causing disruptions to Wang and his parents' lives. This behavior damaged Wang's reputation.

Reaction to the Verdict

As before, Fei Wang failed to appear at court. His lawyer in proxy told the reporter that Wang has already found a new job but claimed ignorance to his dating status. "Fei Wang would like the public to forget him. After all, he has played a disgraceful role in this affair."

Leyi Zhang's lawyer stated that the wisdom of this court ruling remains to be seen. "I believe that not every one agrees with this verdict."

Timeline of Events

  • February 22, 2006, Fei Wang and Yan Jiang married.
  • Yan Jiang created an account in MSN Space [before her marriage]. In July, 2007 Jiang cut off access to her personal blog but continued writing.
  • December 27, 2007 was the date of Yan Jiang's first attempt to commit suicide by swallowing sleeping pills. Prior to that day, she revealed the password of her blog to an on-line friend, requesting that her blog to be made public again after 12 hours. Jiang was found in time and revived.
  • December 29, 2007, Jiang jumped down from her apartment located on the 24th floor.
  • January 11, 2008, Leyi Zhang created the not-for-profit website "The Migrant Bird That Flies North." Friends and relatives of Jiang wrote several articles to commemorate her. Its link was posted on both Tianya and Sina.
  • January 14, 2008, Daqi Website published "The Last Blog Entries Written By the MM Who Jumped to Her Death from 24th Floor." The article included real names and photos obtained from Jiang's blog. Fei was consequently human flesh searched. Some Netizens even spray painted "Wife Killer", "Blood Debt Needs to be Paid in Blood" outside his home.
  • March 3, 2008, Fei Wang sued Zhang, Daqi, and Tianya for defamation of character.
What Netizens Think

coming home [to Leyi Zhang]
December 24th, 2009 at 1:20 am
I thought I would be angry, but I am not. I am just sad. Deeply. When a legal system cannot reflect the people’s needs and protect the moral goodness, something is seriously wrong. Wait, maybe that is a reflection of the current society - who cares what you have done, shameless people win. It is a festival for people having no shame and bottom line.

Does that mean you have to delete the three articles? Is there any way to put this website on an overseas server so it is out of China’s jurisdiction? I know very little of computer/network.

Also, what are the consequences if you don’t follow the judgment? If there will only be civil penalty, I will donate if you want to keep fighting. But no pressure, please, you have done a lot.

2009-12-24 06:45:34 Sina Guangdong Mobilephone User
You cheated on your wife. Your reputation was already in tatters. If you didn't love her, why not divorce her. She died because of you, and her blog only spoke the truth. The court judges were retarded to think that your reputation was damaged by others!

2009-12-24 09:48:38 Sina Sichuan Mobilephone User
The law failed to support morality. A person who has done inmoral things relies on the law to protect his laughable reputation. Tragedy.

2009-12-24 09:59:15 Sina Beijing Mobilephone User
The law was never intended for the protection of the weak.

2009-12-24 09:28:47 Sina Guangdou Mobilephone User
Support the verdict. Everyone of us can become a victim of human flesh search. Who dares to say he never did anything inmoral in his life? Protecting Fei Wang's right is protecting our right!

2009-12-24 11:49:01 Sina Guizhou Mobilephone User
A SB committed suicide. Her lover created a lot of fuss over her. A bunch of resentful wives cheered him on.

2009-12-24 19:51:51 Sina Guangdou Mobilephone User
Why are people mixing the two up? The court said that human flesh search is legal; that doesn't mean it supports xiao san! If Fei Wang had something to do with Yan Jiang's death, her relatives can separately sue!

2009-12-24 17:21:35 Zhejiang Hangzhou Big Pand
Xiao sans have become strong!
Source(s)
人肉搜索第一案终审维持原判:大旗网等被判侵权 http://tech.sina.com.cn/i/2009-12-24/02493705327.shtml
还快乐吧 http://orionchris.cn/archives/68.html

Has it come to this?

Social satirist and blogger hecaitou twittered:

In the past 10 years, the World Wide Web has provided countless news tips, writers, content and articles to the traditional media. Today, the World Wide Web is facing the coldest spells in ten years, teetering on the brink of obliteration. We earnestly request friends from paper media to speak out on behalf of the internet. If we go extinct, your days will be numbered too.

在过去十年,互联网为平媒提供了无数新闻线索、专栏作家、内容文字。如今,互联网正在遭受十年来最大的寒流,覆亡在即。恳请平媒的朋友为网络说点什么,我们如果死光了,你们的日子也不会长了。
I had noticed SINA, among others, began requiring real-name registration, and any comments on the news report takes at least five minutes to clear moderation/censors.

I had noticed that CCTV recently published an article titled "Internet Triad in Control of Public Opinion: Five Million yuan Bribe Can Influence Court Decision (网络黑社会操控舆论:花五万元可左右法院判决)." In it, CCTV "exposed" a thriving industry "bent on" harming the Chinese businesses, the Chinese people, and indirectly the Chinese government. Given how the state-media operate, I knew this has to be either the harbinger of some new Net policy or paving the way for one.

At the websites I visits, there are many exasperatingly restrictive measures, and this is when my personal use just consists of personal entertainment and information gathering (I mean, I would understand being censored if I expressing anti-government sentiments).

But hecaitou's plea still came as a shock.

Many Netizens often jokingly say that the internet is the only venue where pi min (a derogatory term for people who expose any wrongdoing) can at least talk about the injustices without fear of swift retaliation. What happens when internet likewise becomes sanitized? I can't wait to see the formulaic 3-step reporting of "1. Chinese people are happy; 2. Chinese leaders are busy looking into the welfare of the Chinese people; 3. People everywhere else are living in hell" on the web too.

Related Post(s)
Comparison Between Chinese and Western Blogs
Inside the Great Firewall: Censorship 2009

December 23, 2009

Foxit Reader

When searching for an alternative to Adobe Reader, I discovered Foxit Reader, which is also free. As far as I see, it has several advantages:
  • Occupies less space. Foxit 5MB vs. Adobe Reader 38MB
  • Allows the user to comment any PDF
  • Faster start-up than Adobe, which might or might not make a difference to users
  • Opens up files in tabs rather than separate windows (This is a relief because the separate window feature used to be one of my pet peeves)
  • And I think it crashes less too--need to experiment with this
There is one flaw, however, which is
  • The Foxit plugin doesn't work so well with Firefox. Internet Explorer has no problem.
In my case, the reason I have to use Foxit Reader is its commenting/highlighting feature, which comes in handy when having to read many PDF documents. Paying for Adobe Professional can also solve the problem, but since I have little use for Professional's other features, buying it would be an overkill.

Depending on what your needs are, you might find Foxit to be a better option than Adobe Reader. Just letting whoever stumbles upon this blog know that there is a choice.

Oh, and to everyone, Happy Holidays!

December 22, 2009

Boy Froze to Death Outside His Dorm

School teacher said: He was lying there, comfortably and in peace

Student dorm (and the gutter) at Wujing Middle School
Jixing Zhang

Newsreport 1

14-year-old Boy Froze to Death Outside His Dorm


Original Source: Luzhong (Middle Shandong) Morning News

Reporter: Yinfeng Sun (孙银峰)

A few days ago, one seventh grade student from Linqu County in Weifang, Shandong (潍坊临朐县) "unexpectedly" died in the ditch located behind his dorm. His school insisted that the death was an accident. However, according to insiders, the child was in reality sent to stand outside in subzero temperature as punishment. The teacher later forgot about him. In the end, the student passed away due to hypothermia.

Several newspapers in Shandong province reported on commotion in Linqu County, resulting from the student Jixin Zhang's (张继鑫) sudden death. Jixin's Bewildered parents are in a state of shock: their son has always been an honest and obedient child; furthermore he was in good health. How did he end up dying in a ditch then? An informed source told the reporter that father Benyong Zhang (张本勇) received a phone call on December 18 from Wujing Middle School (五井初中), asking him to come. Mr. Zhang instinctively knew something was awry when they arrived at the school and his son was nowhere to be seen. After they were informed of their loss, Mr. Zhang almost fainted, while his wife broke down in tears.

School officials from Wujing Middle School told the media, "When we found the child, he was lying on his back inside the ditch, head facing east and feet facing west...He died quite comfortably." After assessing the scene, the school ruled it to be an accident.

Mr Zhang did not believe the official explanation that Jixin "passed away very peacefully." After some inquiry, Jixin classmates divulged shocking information.

On the night of December 17, an eighth grade student ordered Jixin to buy a few things for him. As Jixin was leaving school, one teacher on duty caught him. Because this was a breach of school code of conduct, the teacher punched Jixin several times and ordered him to stand outside of the dorm. The same night, Jixin bid this world good bye in the -10oC temperature.

-----------------------------------------------------

Newsreport 2 (This version has been deleted, which implies that it was untrue and has been called out on the fact)


Out Buying Things for Dormmate, 14-year-old Boy Died in Gutter

Original Source: Weifang Nightly News

There is a separate but less popular news report telling a different story--this is the version that appeared on government mouthpiece Xinhuanet. Key points have been summarized below:
  • Jixin Zhang was a very obedient and honest child.
  • Jixin was bullied by an upperclassman. According to a dormmate, the older student who live in the same room asked Jixin to buy him instant noodles. Jixin had to go to the store twice because the first time, the older student did not feel full.
  • Dormmates suggested looking for Jixin since he did not return after going out the second time. But the older student stopped them: "No need. He is probably being punished by the teachers on duty."
  • When Jixin died, he was clutching two packs of instant noodles to his chest.
  • The teachers patrolling that night denied imbibing alcohol
  • Video footage shows Jixin climbing the campus wall at 8:21PM on December 17th.
  • Around 9:20 two teachers patrolled the school roads and buildings but did not notice anything out of order.
  • The gutter was 90 cm deep and 50 cm wide. It hid the body well.
  • Police said the death appeared "accidental"
  • School expressed their willingness to accept responsibilities pending results of police investigation.
-----------------------------------------------------

Differences in the articles beg the question "how can the reports be so different as if they are talking about two separate incidents?"
  • The claim "passed away very peacefully" was previously captured on TV but was not mentioned at all in the second article. Instead, in the Xinhuanet version, the school was appropriately empathic.
  • Based on pictures of the dorm, it appears that the school conditions are primitive. Indeed, how common is it for a middle school in a small town/village, where the teachers cannot even speak mandarin perfectly, to install security cameras?
  • A newscast mentioned that none of the teachers on duty could be reached by phone. Yet, they were very cooperative in the second article.
  • The second article, however, sounds more objective and less "inflammatory" than the first.


Source(s)
山东学生被老师罚站冻死,老师称其死得很安详 http://dailynews.sina.com/gb/news/int/phoenixtv/20091221/2357982348.html
帮高年级舍友买东西 14岁男生死在校内排水沟 http://www.sd.xinhuanet.com/wq/2009-12/22/content_18560694.htm (link alive at 1PM, deleted around 9PM the same day)
Newscast http://news.iqilu.com/shandong/yuanchuang/2009/1222/147092.html

December 20, 2009

Watched: Daily Show on December 15

Click here to view

John Hodgman proposes several smart ways to pay back the $800 billion U.S. owes China:
  • transforming lead to gold,
  • "pandsom", and
  • faking death

December 18, 2009

Animal Celebrities that Took the Internet By Storm in 2009

As the end of the year draws near, Chinese Netizens count off the most famous animals of 2009.

The loneliest panda: "brother is looking not at the sky but at loneliness"


"Beida cat": he likes to engage people in long soulful stares, though no one could fathom what lay behind the face marked by the vicissitudes of life. Occasionally becomes friendlier if the person is someone he likes.

The cat possesses superb taste in courses, favoring philosophy and art over others. Once during a lecture on Thoreau's Transcendentalism, he gently shook his head. This old cat with stubby tail is a long time resident of Beijing University, appearing as early as 2004.


He is indifferent towards petting and very tolerant of us the youngsters. Independent and hard working, he even remembers to turn off faucets after every use. Nevertheless, he is quite old, with a body like plump chicken. Among the numerous cats roaming the Beida campus, this one has to be the most knowledgeable. He has often been sighted in computer and science classes.


Pant-less panda: The panda acquired a broken leg during brawls. To help with treatment, his behind was shaved bald. Picture of his naked butt catapulted this naughty boy to stardom.


Keeping vigil: he belonged to a homeless person, who died under Huangshi Interchange Highway in Guangzhou (黄石立交桥底). The dog tried to follow his owner when workers from a funeral parlor came to remove the body. After the crowd dispersed, the dog returned to the man's sleeping mat with an expression unspeakably sad.

A dog with career aspirations: this photo was taken by a citizen of Yueyang (岳阳), Hunan. The dog works daily alongside his owner who happens to be a traffic director. His impeccably erect posture won the dog many hearts.


A close-up.


The saddest dog: the name of this wrinkled, melancholic-looking pug is Newman, thus called by his owner to commemorate the late Paul Newman. Picture below shows the depressed Mr. Newman outside of Cafe Trieste in San Francisco.


Chris Michel the photographer wrote: "He was hanging around looking for somebody to love him. I tried to cheer him up – he seemed happy to me." One Netizen said: "I really want to give him a hug to make him feel better."


The most faithful (like the Butterfly Lovers): when one dog got hit, his companion try to heave the injured to the side of the street and away from danger. Rather than hiding from the on-coming traffic, he fearlessly shielded his friend.


One citizen commented: "What a touching picture!...[Selfish] humans should be ashamed of themselves."


Source(s):
盘点09红遍网络的动物 http://photo.xinzhou.org/2009/1216/picture_1570.html

December 17, 2009

Orphans Homeless Again Because of Unwelcoming Neighbors

Innocent child oblivious to troubles

Orphans temporarily accommodated in the home of one volunteer
One child waiting to receive surgery

More than 10 orphans with congenital disorders were scheduled to move into their new home in Shanghai, Minhang District last Thursday, where the spacious townhouse was expected to provide them with a more comfortable environment. However, when they arrived in the area, local residents as well as security guards denied them entrance. The throng had formed a human wall to block off passage to the house, refusing to let the orphans and their caretakers enter. The stand-off lasted almost the entire day under a rainy sky. Finally, the children had to be temporarily placed inside the home of one Aixin Mama (爱心妈妈, a woman who volunteers to take care of orphans). Her husband left their apartment that evening to make room for the young guests.

Were the property managers and local residents of Shengtaosha (圣淘沙) too cruel, or did they actually have to right to turn away the orphans, who would supposedly disrupt quiet living in the district? In the absence of laws and regulations, how should these spontaneous "grassroot" charity organizations continue to operate?

Flashback

At 8:15AM last Thursday, Mother Doudou went to Shengtaosha to make the last moving-in arrangements and to prepare the house for her charges. What greeted her instead was destruction in the front yard. The fence which had been put up earlier was razed to the ground.

"The lease of our old orphan home just terminated. We rented this townhouse because we wanted to provide a more spacious environment to the children...But the new neighbors protested as soon as they learned that handicapped orphans were moving in next door." Mother Doudou said that to mitigate the neighbors' fears, they created some informational pamphlets about Aixin Mama organization and placed them in nearby mailboxes. They had hoped that these pamphlets would create a better understanding. Unfortunately, the plan backfired.

Even on the night preceding last Thursday, neighbors filed complaints with property managers and called security when they saw volunteers setting up furniture in the townhouse.

After Mother Doudou saw the mutilated fence, she sought answers from neighbors, who strongly denied any involvement.

"The management remained silent regarding the sabotage of our home. Meanwhile, the neighbors insisted that the townhouse was only meant for a family of 3. The number of children under our care allegedly exceeds its capacity." The confrontation became physical when Aixin Mamas tried to put their suitcases in the house. One white-collar female volunteer was spitted upon by a male neighbor and could not stop crying. The man also stretched out his leg to trip her. A local resident fell amidst the scuffle and later claimed bodily injury.

"There were 4 or 5 security personnel guarding the door," resident Mrs. Sun recalled. 20 guards and 3 managers came to ensure peace in the residential area, but once the volunteers started the fight, said Mrs. Sun, the situation quickly deteriorated. Police were summoned twice.

It began to rain quite hard around 10AM. While the neighbors found refuge in their personal garages, Aixin Mamas and other volunteers had no place to go. One worried Aixin Mama wanted to take the children inside so that they might be shielded from the downpour. Two neighbors immediately rushed out to toss the children's blankets to the ground.

When the reporter arrived at 3PM, he saw vigilant security guards hiding under large umbrellas and neighbors in their respective garages. None of the volunteers were able to enter the house.

Exhausted Volunteer Give Up

"We give up." Aixin Mamas said with tired resignation. "We fear for the children's safety, now that we know what kind of lowlife live here." However, because it is terminating the lease early, the organization cannot recuperate the 3000 yuan deposit or the 4000 yuan rent that was paid in advance. After accounting for the destroyed furniture and apartment decorations, the orphanage had lost a sum of 20,000 yuan. "It really hurts to see the money going to waste this way. Our funding comes from personal donations."

An even more imminent problem pressed: since the new house is off limits, will the children live on streets?

Because of congenital disorders such as hydrocephalus, urinary system malformations, congenital heart disease, neonatal pneumonia, and cleft lip, the children were all abandoned at birth. To ensure that they receive quality care, "Aixin Mamas" take them all to Shanghai, where after one year of medical treatment they will be adopted by willing families. All surgery fees and living expenses come from grassroot donations.

One simple operation costs 10,000 to 20,000 yuan. Treatment for hydrocephalus and other more serious illnesses could amount to more than 80,000 yuan. The money come from the volunteers' personal funds, accumulated through 20 and 50 yuan donations. In addition, the organization hired 1 cook and 3 nannies to care for the children. Fortunately, enough clothes were donated so that Aixin Mamas didn't have to buy those too.

"We just want the kids to be able to take a stroll and enjoy the sun"

The "Aixin Mama" organization never anticipated such hostility. Their wishes were simple: rent a larger living space so that the children can take a stroll and enjoy the sun, and also to provide a place where future orphans can go.

The children were all under 2. Among them only 4 learned to walk. The rest were mere babies. Their smiling faces offered a stark contrast to the anxious looks of their Aixin Mamas.

"When we extracted these children out of their local orphanages, we made sure all the necessary legal and medical paperwork were completed." Mother Doudou explained, "The children have undergone two health checkups, one in their home city and the other here in Shanghai, to root out possibility of any contagious disease."

"Our first site was in Pudong, but since most volunteers lived in Minhang, we moved to Minhang after half year...The apartment was quite small. One child catching the flu meant the others soon became infected. That's why we decided to rent a bigger place." In contrast to the current situation, the old neighbors had been very understanding.

"Charity organized by ordinary people is difficult. [After the confrontation on Thursday,] many Mamas cried. Despite of frustrations and obstacles, we will not waver from our goal. Shanghai actually offers one of the better climes for charitable work. More people are sympathetic than not. We could not have persisted so long otherwise. There is little we ask, only a stable environment for the children and people who are understanding."

Opinions

Experts: Professor Xiaoming Gu (顾晓鸣) from Fudan University (复旦大学) believes that Shengtaosha managers and residents have no right to bar the organization from their area.

"The current law even prohibits discrimination against Hepatitis B patients. What grounds do you have for discriminating against these poor children?...The organization has signed the lease with the townhouse owner, so it is within their legal right to move in. Others should not interfere."

Shengtaosha residents: "We are not heartless people. We respect their efforts and would even like to help. But the fact is they have chosen the wrong place. This is not a commercial area. We ask for a quiet life." Said Mrs. Sun, representative of homeowners in Minhang Shengtaosha.

"Please stand in our shoes for a minute. If a group of disabled children move to the house across from you, countless volunteers, aunties, nurses, and unfamiliar vehicles come and go, would you like it?"

"Opening up an orphanage in residential areas is just not appropriate...In addition to the children, how many cooks, nannies, and housekeepers are needed? Do they even fit in the house?"

"What happens if one kid has contagious disease? The neighboring homeowners might also become infected."

"Many of us own cars and drive daily. It is hard to check for children below 1.2 meter in the rear-view mirror. If we accidentally run them over, who will take the responsibility?" When Aixin Mama promised to keep kids inside, Ms. Sun questioned: "Is it suitable to keep kids cooped up inside all day?"

Some neighbors even bluntly pointed out, "We are sympathetic to the plight of these sick children. But if one child dies here, nobody will rent our houses anymore."

Many Shengtaosha habitants disagree with Professor Xiaoming Gu's view, claiming that the lease does not grant carte-blanche to use the townhouse in whatever purposes the tenant sees fit. "Let me give an example," said Mrs. Sun, "I set up a free meal program and invite beggars as well as homeless people to partake the free food everyday here. Can you say my intentions are not loving? But isn't that disruptive to residential life?"

Several homeowners told the reporter, "Even if they moved in, we would still have found other ways to make them leave."

Property Management: The managers found it to be a relief that the matter was settled among the tenants themselves. They discourage communal living.

-------------------------------------------------

After some digging online, I found the forum where several Aixin Mamas visit. Here is their account of the story:

I am Mother Tianhao. I was at the scene last Thursday.
我是天昊妈,那天搬家我也在场。

This report severely digressed from the truth in several places. Our supervisor has already spoken with the newspaper.
这篇报道存在严重的与事实不符合的地方。我们宝贝之家的负责人已经与报社进行了沟通。

1. The move-in date was set to be December 10, but one Mama already took a donated crib to the townhouse on December 9. While she was there, the couple living across from the townhouse stood outside and cussed for half hour. That Mama has a gentle temperament and did not argue with them.
1,搬家的日子定在12月10号,但在12月9号,有妈妈事先搬别人捐赠的小床去新家,对面的业主夫妇就在外面咒骂了半小时之久。当事的妈妈脾气好,没与他们争论,自己做完后就走了。

2. One of the supervisors Mother Chenghua lives in Shengtaosha. The man went to her house and arrogantly said: Are you Shanghainese? If you are Shanghainese, then we can discuss this matter. If not, I have nothing to say to you.
2,宝贝之家的一个负责人承欢妈妈是住在该小区的,12月9日当晚对面男业主冲到承欢妈妈家,态度嚣张的说:你是上海人吗?你如果是上海人,那我们可以谈,你如果不是上海人,那我们没话可讲。

3. On the morning of December 10, inquiries into the broken fence induced another round of cussing from the same man. When the husband of one volunteer asked him to discuss more calmly, the man threw down his glasses and rolled on the ground, claiming that he had been hit by the volunteers.
3,12 月10日,清晨,搬家的志愿者来到新家,看到院子里新装的木栅栏被毁,就去询问对面的业主是否知道是谁损坏的,结果又引发了对面男业主的一通咒骂。一个志愿者的老公看不下去了,上前指着他说不要骂了,有话好好说,结果那个男业主把眼镜一扔,往地上一躺,说志愿者打他。无赖行径可见。

Some things that the man said:

1. There is no true charity in this society. You are using this as a front to make money.
1,这个社会哪里有真正做慈善的,不就是举个牌子圈钱!
2. Take the children to your own house, not to the house across from mine.
2,真要做慈善吧小孩接到家去,不要到我家对面来
3. I used to be content living in mansions and driving BMWs. If I see the crippled kids outside of my window all day long, how am I going to feel?
3,我本来别墅住住,宝马开开很爽,你们来了后我每天开窗看到对面都是残疾小孩,你说我什么心情
4. This society values force not reason. Once you move in, even Minhang government won't help me. I just have to kill the thing in the bud.
4,这个社会想要办事只有靠武力和不讲理,等你们搬进来了,就算找闵行政府也没用的,所以我要在萌芽状态就吧他掐死
5. I will fight you to death. Even if it lands us 10 years in jail, we will fight you.
5,我今天跟你们拼了,就算后果是坐10年牢也要拼,只要你们搬进来我们就跟你们拼了
6. Tell the landlord, I won't allow any family of more 3 to live across from me.
6,跟房东说,他这个房子除非借给3口之家,其他的他都别想借,借的话来一个我拼一个
7. You know too little about me. I have connections with both mobsters and the police. Several members of the Minhang Anhui Gang are my buddies.
7,你们还不知道我来,我是黑白两道都可以的,闵行安徽帮我认识的不是一个两个
8. You fuck with me, I will fuck those people living in No, XXX (Mother Chenghuan's house)
8,你要是跟我搞,我找不到你们就去XXX号那家(承欢妈妈家)去搞
9. I don't have to work. I have all the time in the world to fuck you. Don't you try messing with me.
9,我反正没工作不用上班,天天都有时间跟你们搞,你们要搬就试试看
10. You are just using charity as an excuse to make money. I have never seen the likes of you!
10,你们那种肯定是靠慈善圈钱的,我到现在还真的没看到过象你们这样刚的人
The self-proclaimed loving neighbors supposedly did not offer to compensate for damages they inflicted on Aixin Mama's properties.

Fortunately, Aixin Mama was able to procure another house for the children.
We found a new house at Minhang Wanke Lanscape (闵行万科假日风景). The rent is lower.

The homeowners there are nicer and the area safer.Two of our supervisors and volunteers live there too.

Speaking of this house, I really believe powers that be were looking after us.

The mothers began to contact real estate agents around 1PM. At 2PM, we received a call about a vacant house in Wanke. It has two stories, 210 square meters, and the rent was lower than Shengtaosha by about 1000 yuan. Anybody who saw it was 120% satisfied. The landlord listened to our explanation about the children and signed the lease without hesitation...When we were moving in, the neighboring homeowners and security guards all came to help. We were so touched.

Source(s):
搬新家遭邻居阻挠10孤儿险流浪街头 http://news.sina.com.cn/o/2009-12-14/125116769899s.shtml
10名孤儿搬新家遭邻居阻挠险流浪街头 http://bbs.bj.liba.com/t_123_4951098_1.htm

December 16, 2009

Taobao buyer/seller interactions



Taobao is similar to eBay.
(wiki)Taobao is a online shopping marketplace for consumers in China. Founded by parent Alibaba Group, it facilitates transactions between individual consumers and a wide range of sellers such as retailers, wholesalers, and other individuals. Sellers are able to post new and used goods for sale on the Taobao marketplace either through a fixed price or negotiated sale or by auction.
The following is what happens when odd customer demands meet unprofessional customer service.

1. Product: 60 weight loss pills, each tablet 400mg
Buyer Feedback: I bought the entire container with 60 pills and only received 1. The seller is dishonest! Who can lose weight with just 1 pill?
Seller Reply: Sorry. I just learnt yesterday that the Chinese zodiac sign of the postman I use is rat.

2. Product: Purse
Buyer Feedback (2007.01.10 18:22): Seller attitude was awful. I know you are busy, but that doesn't excuse your monosyllable replies! All you said were "en" (恩, OK), "hao" (好, good), so disrespectful. I am giving you a negative rating.
Seller Reply: Pei (呸, as in the sound of spitting)

3. Product: toy koala bear
Buyer Feedback: He wrote my name wrong on the package.
Seller Reply: I can't believe this small thing got me a negative rating. OK, I will write your name here: Xinhua Li,Xinhua Li,
Xinhua Li, Xinhua Li, Xinhua Li, Xinhua Li, Xinhua Li, Xinhua Li, Xinhua Li, Xinhua Li, Xinhua Li, Xinhua Li, Xinhua Li, Xinhua Li, Xinhua Li, Xinhua Li

4. Product: herbal recipe for safe weight loss
Buyer Feedback: No explanatory note. Results of taking the medicine did not match online description. I felt anorexic and could not fall asleep.
Seller Reply: Liar! Your symptoms match the side effects.

5. Product: Dress
Buyer Feedback: Everybody says that I look like an auntie after wearing this dress. Your advertising photo was deceptive.
Seller Reply: You truly are an angel, not an auntie. Unfortunately, you just happened to land on your head when coming down from heaven. Otherwise, the dress would have looked great on you.

6. Product: Wild Hazelnut
Buyer Feedback (2006.12.03 01:51): The hazelnut shells are really tough to crack. Eating 1 jin (0.5 kg) of them nearly broke my teeth. To increase weight and charge more for shipping, the seller placed a piece of junk metal in my package.
Seller Reply: Look carefully at the piece of iron, do you notice a screw? Look down a little ways, do you see the line of separation? Now along this line of separation pull apart the two "legs"--the piece of junk iron was a custom-made nutcracker, which was sent to you to crack the hazelnuts.

7. Product: Yida gum
Buyer Feedback (2006.04.04 16:56): I asked for gum. Instead I received some white stuff that was cloyingly sweet. I could not eat it.
Seller Reply: Faint. That white stuff was white chocolate, my gift to you. The gum should be found under it wrapped in newspapers. Did you toss the whole package in trash? Quickly go retrieve it.

8. Product: Majier compressed facial mask
Buyer Feedback: Nothing.
Seller Reply: What do you mean by nothing? What is nothing? Why did you even leave a neutral feedback just for nothing? Jesus!

9. Product: Birdie earrings
Buyer Feedback: My computer did not respond when I chose "positive rating." Let me try neutral.
Seller Reply: How could you do this to me? You really should upgrade your computer (I am currently in a state of depression)

10. Product: Crystal ball
Buyer Feedback: The ball is good. But why wasn't the supporting base in that ad photo also mailed to me?
Seller Reply: You misunderstood! The "supporting base" is my husband's ash tray.

11. Product: Plated platinum necklace, 9 yuan
Buyer Feedback: My girlfriend told me: "so so"
Seller Reply: Try to buy her a diamond ring!

12.
Buyer Feedback: Bad attitude. OK product
Seller Reply: When was my attitude toward you bad????????????? Weirdo. What does it take to have a "good attitude"? Declare my love for you?

13.
Buyer Feedback: Didn't buy.
Seller Reply: Sigh!

14. Product: Fancy imported European chocolate
Buyer Feedback: The chocolate arrived 3 days late and in pieces. I got into a huge fight with my boyfriend.
Seller Reply: As the Chinese adage goes, hitting means intimacy and cussing imparts love. When neither works, kick him.

15. Product: Verbenaceae Leaf--for weight loss and headache
Buyer Feedback: Why doesn't your herb look like other sellers'?
Seller Reply: Why don't you look like anybody else?

16. Product: Clocks
Buyer Feedback (2005.02.13 14:29): I haven't gone shopping online because of the frequent scams. This time I got lied to again!
Seller Reply: Just messing with you.

17. Product: Swarovski crystal
Buyer Feedback (2008.03.10 15:41): Great product. Am satisfied. One question though: why were there a firelighter in the mail? I don't smoke
Seller Reply: Shhhhhhh. My husband has been looking for it since this afternoon. Helps him quit smoking. I guess the thing fell in when I was packing the crystals for you :)

18. Product: Handbook on How to Win Lottery
Buyer Feedback: Didn't the introduction say I will win a million yuan after reading this handbook? I did not get even the smallest prize.
Seller Reply: You didn't read carefully enough. The last page mentioned: "Fulfillment of millionaire dreams requires all-out efforts." Trust me, you will get your payback some day. That time just hasn't come yet!

19. Product: Korean cute bubble gum/fragrant kou jiao (口胶, another word for bubble gum)
Buyer Feedback (2005.02.13 14:29): Your kou jiao (口交, blow job) was fantastic! My friend also wants one!
Seller Reply: Sweat! MM, why would I make love to you when we have never met? If you can't type "jiao" correctly, then I beg you to put the pictogram for "fragrant" in front. Your comment might make people think I am doing prostitution!

20. Product: Nike shorts 40 yuan
Buyer Feedback: Dreadful quality. The crotch tore after one week because I farted too forcefully.
Seller Reply: I am not responsible for your indiscreet farting. Besides, what did you expect out of such a low price, 40 yuan including shipping!

21.
Buyer:
Can't give feedback on cellphone
Seller: I should not be held accountable for the inadequacy of your phone!

22.
Buyer: The package was too sturdy. Took me a long time to unwrap it.
Seller: Well, can't have my customers say that I am too stingy to buy packing tape. Haha!

23.
Buyer Feedback: The product costs only 4 yuan by regular mail, but the seller spent 5 yuan on priority shipping to send it to me. Afterward, he called me long distance to inquire after the transaction! Now this is true communism. Great seller.
Seller Reply: I...just didn't have time to go to the postal office.

24. Product: Osmun Pearls eye cream
Buyer Feedback: How do I return the product?
Seller Reply: You didn't pay me, so I haven't sent you the product.

25. Product: Fruit basket
Buyer Feedback (2006.05.10 14:49): Some fruits were too ripe.
Seller Reply: You mom requested fruits that will keep for only 3-5 days after shipping (please ask your mom to leave feedback next time)

26. Product: Sexy lingerie, latest Korean style
Buyer Feedback: I loved it.
Seller Reply: Didn't your husband like it??!!

27. Product: Medication to treat hemorrhoids
Buyer Feedback: The medication took so long to get here! By the time I got it, my hemorrhoids were already healed.
Seller Reply: Testament to the effectiveness of my product. As soon as your hemorrhoids heard about the medication coming, they just high-tailed out of there.

28. Product: Cellphone
Buyer: Do you have chocolate?
Seller: Of course, I offer Dove and Jindi.
Buyer: I am talking about cell phones!!!
Seller: Oh yea, thanks for reminding me. I am selling phones.

29.
Buyer: The price for your phones are exorbitant! I could have bought a laptop instead.
Seller: Yes. I can just imagine you standing in a crowd, opening your notebook, and sticking your ear to the speakers for the incoming call. Keep up the cool pose.

30. The buyer was trying to find out if the store has a physical location (Chinese: 实体, pinyin: shí tǐ​)
Buyer: Hey, do you have a corpse store? (Chinese: 尸体, pinyin: shī tǐ​)
Seller: Sorry, Taobao doesn't permit selling of cadavers

31.
Buyer: Hi, I would like to buy a pair of shoes.
Seller: Hello, how would you like to pay?
Buyer: Can I use QQ virtual money? (Note: QQ money is virtual currency that can only be used in QQ online games. One can buy QQ money with Chinese yuan but not the other way around)
Seller: I can't accept that.
Buyer: How about I pay your cell phone bills according to the shoe price tag?
Seller: Faint.

32.
Buyer: Do you offer other styles for shoes?
Seller: Yep, here is the URL to my online album. You can look through photos of my collection.
Buyer: Pretty shoes. How come there is a baby in the pictures?
Seller: Oh, that's my son. He is not for sale!
Buyer(embarrassed): Yea, of course. Everything can be for sale except our own children.

33.
Buyer: Is that really you in the profile picture? So handsome
Seller: Sorry. But you are not receiving a discount.
Buyer: .....

34.
Buyer: Does this cellphone have good reception?
Seller: Samsung products are usually good.
Buyer: I bought several phones already. They all had bad reception.
Seller: OK.
Buyer: What do you recommend that I buy?
Seller: Hearing aids.

Finally, I am reminded about an article on Craigslist ads. Really funny too.

Source(s):
淘宝上雷人的差评和回复 http://blog.jianghu.taobao.com/u/MTA1MTU3MzQw/blog/blog_detail.htm?aid=20007881

December 13, 2009

New Bridge Falling Apart: Workers Seal Cracks with Glue

One can fit a hand in the crack
Bridge supports "miraculously" patched together by glue

Earlier this month, Nanjing citizens observed more than 30 cracks in the supporting pillars of the newly-built 50 million yuan arch bridge at Han Zhong Gate (汉中门). The cracks all follow a regular pattern and appeared to be in the shape of an arch. After examining the bridge closely, one retired engineer commented: "This is no simple expansion of freezing water. The bridge structure is probably fundamentally flawed. If the cause turns out to be that the surface is not transferring stress properly to its supports, then we have one grave problem on hand."

After concerned citizens filed complaints against the shoddy construction job, contractors worked overnight to fill the bridge cracks with glue. As the pictures show, the "scars" are quite conspicuous.

The bureau in charge of Nanjing Infrastructure quickly took emergency actions to identify ways to improve bridge safety. Furthermore, it apologized on behalf of the bridge contractors, whose attempt to seal cracks with glue could have negative consequences for the society. The bureau planned further investigation into the matter, promising to mete out punishment to all guilty parties.

Meanwhile, Chinese Netizens expressed outrage online over the latest tofu-dreg project. "Sealing cracks with glue? What do they propose to deal with the giant gaping holes in their conscience?"

Source(s):
南京新建大桥开裂施工方用胶水糊上 http://news.163.com/09/1214/04/5QFGMTST000120GR.html



Related post(s)
Who is to Blame for Materialism and Status Obsession Among Young Chinese?

Popular Article on How to Write a Successful Chinese Romance Novel, Part 2

Translation of the second part nearly drove me crazy. Very difficult to retain the humor.

Translation:

1.The right combination of words can make a huge difference in psycholagnic fiction. Try translating "I want you" into Chinese:
(a) I will have you.
(b) I must have you.
(c) You cannot escape from me.
(d) I will ask my father emperor for you.

Answer: There is no right or wrong answer because literature is not like math. I can tell you that all four options will work, but (a) definitely is the most bland. (c) the classic works better, and it appeared even in romance novels written by pioneers like Qiongyao and Xijuan--in addition, it attests to an indomitable spirit. (d), being the most "regal" and descriptive, wins over the other three.

2. A girl has to save her lover from danger. Which part of her anatomy is the most ideal location to receive an injury?
(a) Forehead
(b) Arm
(c) Ankle
(d) Chest

Answer: Only a man will choose (d), and someone who reads too many porn novels at that. In reality, both (a) and (c) are good. Since forehead typically suffers light injuries, her appearance won't be negatively impacted in anyway. A little blood might even improve her look, adding a touch of sex appeal. Sprained ankles, on the other hand, have the advantage of opening up more possibilities--for example, she will have now to be carried by someone [hint hint]. Finally, those of you who select (d), if you don't care for any more clicks, if you wish to end your story soon, and if you want to throw in some love-making scene, then this option works fine.

3. If for the first encounter between lovers the girl must have an area of her body bared, which should it be:
(a) Wrist
(b) Arm
(c) Chest
(d) Ankle
(e) Leg

Answer: Students choosing (a),(b),(c),and(d) should all be ashamed. Come on, (a) and (b) will show regardless of you selecting them or not. (c) and (e) indicate a predilection for pornography. Especially (e), did you think we are judging for Miss USA? (d) is the obvious answer here. It shows enough flesh to get people excited but otherwise leaves a lot to imagination.

4. What should a man give to a woman to show his love?
(a) Diamond
(b) Flowers
(c) Jade
(d) Chinese embroidery
(e) Grass roots

Answer: (a) and (b) are utterly vulgar! Students who chose these two should be ashamed of their bad taste.

Correct answers consist of (c), (d), and (e). (c) and (d) promote the Chinese culture. (e) likens love between ordinary people to grass roots, plain but everlasting.

5. The most acceptable form of handicap for a girl is:
(a) Dumbness
(b) Deafness
(c) Lameness
(d) Blindness
(e) Amputation

Answer: If your answer is (e), you are automatically flunked. (a) and (b) are the best because being deaf and dumb accentuate hardships in her life [which will supposedly excite protective and sympathetic feelings]; graceful fluency in sign language further keeps a man's interest glued.

Lameness and blindness need to be avoided because they don't look good. Unless she is blind but still manages to possess beautiful eyes.

6. Who below is the ideal prototype for the male protagonis?
(a) Xiang Yu
(b) Liu Bang
(c) A prince
(d) Jerry Yang
(e) Leader of triad/mafia/gang

Answer: All are fantastic except for (b). You do not want Liu Bang because he is a rogue and a philanderer.

7. Male and female protagonists should have the following combination of accents:
(a) Man: Beijing; woman: Beijing
(b) Man: Hong Kong; woman: Hong Kong
(c) Man: Beijing; woman: China south
(d) Man: Beijing; woman: Hong Kong
(e) Man: Hong Kong; woman: Beijing
(f) Man: Hong Kong; woman: China south
(g) Man: China south; woman: Hong Kong
(h) Man: China south; woman: Hong Kong
(i) Man: China west; woman: China west
(j) Man: China west; woman: China south

Answer: Dear students, don't be confused by the many choices. (c) is the only one that works. Hong Kong accents should be avoided like the plague because it is vulgar. A southern accent makes the man sound effeminate, whereas western accent makes him sound uncouth. A process of elimination leaves only (c).

Beijing accent in a man sound more masculine; southern accent in a female sound womanly and cute.

8. How many man should fall madly in love with your female protagonist?
(a) 1
(b) 2
(c) 3
(d) As many as possible.

Answer: A little red flower goes to the student who selected (d), because then the writer will have infinitely many candidates to choose from, female fans to hoot after the many guys, and also money for her book.

9. As another plot device, when you want him to let go of her wrist he is holding, she should say:
(a) Let go of me
(b) Let go
(c) Let me go (with a little bit of coquetry)
(d) Let go...(with a slight frown)...you are hurting me.

Answer: (c) and (d) are the better answers. The first for playfulness; the second to throw in some physical abuse that draws sympathies.

10. Gender combination for the lovers:
(a) M, F
(b) M, M
(c) F, F

Answer: Who chose (c)? I will refund 80% of your tuition because it pains me to know that you obviously haven't learnt anything from this lesson. Tell me, which female reader would want to read about two girls making out?

(a) is the obvious and most likable combination for both male and female readers. (b), on the other hand, is avant-garde. Novels with this particular combination simply replaces the girl with a boy, who always turns out to be a Farinelli to allow female readers to more easily identify with him. [Note: Presently (b) is a flourishing genre in China]

Related Post(s)
Popular Article on How to Write a Successful Chinese Romance Novel, Part 1

December 05, 2009

Read: The Twilight Saga

Author: Stephenie Meyer
Series: Twilight Saga

After being thoroughly disgusted by the second movie New Moon, I feel an even stronger urge to trash this book series, something that I itched to do for a long time.

Whatever faults it has in a literary sense, the Twilight series is undeniably one successful commercial venture. Stephenie Meyer understands human nature well--adolescents are slaves to their hormones, and all girls dream of being the next Cinderella.

To substantiate my point, I have to refer back to a post that I translated a month ago, "Popular Article on How to Write a Successful Chinese Romance Novel, Part 1," which touches upon a number of common tropes in romance fiction. Coincidentally, Twilight contains most of them.

Bella
1. To make the readers like the heroine, Meyer describes Bella as a ordinary-looking and slightly lonely girl.

2. In the series, Bella undergoes enough emotional and physical trauma to earn her the title "Survivor of the Year."

3. I am not sure how coordinated and fit Bella is, but Edward certainly does not lack any opportunities to rescue her from danger.

4. Bella stays a virgin until very late in the series.

Edward
1. In stark contrast to Bella the ordinary, Edward is an extraordinarily handsome boy.

2. Edward's vampiric nature means that he is strong enough to satisfy most female desires for a shining knight.

As befitting a young adult novel, there are at least 2 men in love with Bella, both exceedingly attractive, and a dozen others who want her for a number of reasons. Faced with so many stellar catches, Bella agonized over the choice she must make for a least one novel and a half--I suppose this is thoroughly satisfying to the female ego, especially for those who identify with the stories more strongly than other readers.


Now, having explained rather objectively (in my point of view) why the series is so hugely popular, I would like to point out why it is so ridiculously awful.

At the beginning I mentioned that the Twilight Saga is essentially a series of common tropes strung together. Well, this is also the reason for the abysmal reading it offers. For every Chinese romance novel readers (I can't speak for English readers), these plot devices are overused, uninteresting, and boring--unbelievably so. The entire series smacks of banality.

Furthermore, I fail to understand why Edward and Bella fell in the love in the first place. The dubious "meant to be" claim aside (I just got reminded that Edward loves Bella because he can't read her mind, which I had completely forgotten. Goes to show my love for these books), how does a rational being fall in love with his food? And by food I mean ambrosia. After all is this not how Edward repeatedly described Bella? I suppose that overcoming one's animal instinct in the higher power of love is another point designed to impress female readers.

The last two books of the series are even more ludicrous, tainted by the heavy stench of "Mary Sue," from Bella's sudden elevation of status to her miraculous contribution to vampiric procreation. By the way, for those who haven't heard of the term,

"A Mary Sue, in literary criticism and particularly in fanfiction, is a fictional character with overly idealized and hackneyed mannerisms, lacking noteworthy flaws, and primarily functioning as wish-fulfillment fantasies for their authors or readers. Perhaps the single underlying feature of all characters described as "Mary Sues" is that they are too ostentatious for the audience's taste, or that the author seems to favor the character too highly."

--Wikipedia


I have to say that despite of its gigantic success, the Twilight Saga is an insult to romance writing, even though this genre is already known for not requiring extensive cerebral activity to read.

Rating:
2 out of 5 stars

Controversial University Regulation: Love Birds Ineligible for Scholarships and Honors


Difficult to believe that in this day and age, there would still be educational institutions so conservative as to punish students for having boyfriends/girlfriends. Yet, this is exactly the latest rule to have come out from the Foreign Language School at East China Jiao Tong University (华东交通大学外国语学院). According to this policy, students struck by Cupid's arrow in 2008 and 2009 can become ineligible for academic distinctions and scholarships. The ban caused debates both within and outside of the university. During an interview, a school official claimed that their purpose is not to prohibit dating, especially not "mutually beneficial relationships." Nevertheless, when they consider candidates for the CCP or student nominations, love affairs and the potential repercussions are factors taken into account.

Protesters: romantic relationships should not be linked to eligibility for honors

Love and dating are no long taboo subjects in China. As the number of leftover men and women (people who are singles without marriage prospects) increases, even parents encourage their children to find suitable mates while still in school. Though East China Jiao Tong University has good reasons for implementing the ban, the curious reporter was intrigued to see how students react. Of those he interviewed, most voiced strong opposition, citing the "dating ban" as unnatural and contrary to common sense. Some predict that not only will the "rude interference" fail to curb the dating phenomenon, it might actually push students to rebel.

One sophomore girl who is already in a steady relationship was forced to go underground with her boyfriend. Any encounters on campus required extra caution, because neither wants to leave a bad impression on counselors and professors, which could jeopardize their academic future. One freshman commented, "Post-90s who do not date are a novelty. Even high schools have problem repressing love affairs, let alone universities. The school has [unwisely] caused much resentment among students by making the lack of romantic relationships a criterion for academic honors. Not only are the two not related in anyway, good students should qualify regardless of their romantic interests. Besides, what's wrong with falling in love?"

A few students even proposed that relationships are an indispensable life lesson, helping students to mature and stay emotionally balanced.

Supporters: Undergraduate years without a love life can be just as colorful and rich

A part of the student body expressed their support for the "dating ban." "Dormitories, campus roads, everywhere I see couples hugging and kissing in public. I have largely become immune. The sights used to cause me embarrassment, but after developing enough 'anti-bodies', I simply walk past without really noticing them." Zhang said with resignation. "Sometimes I still feel discomfort, especially when couples cuddle in libraries or classes. They create commotion and disrupt other students. Once I went through a lot of trouble to find a quiet spot to study. Just when I sat down, another pair arrived. You can imagine what happened after that."

Some students even bring their boyfriends or girlfriends to class. The flirting is disrespectful to professors and inconsiderate towards fellow students.

Sophomore Li told the reporter, "School without a love life can be just as colorful and rich." This student is quite active on campus. Outside of classes, his schedule is filled with extracurricular activities.

University: We do not oppose mutually beneficial relationships. We hope our good intentions will not be misinterpreted

The reporter also spoke to the Director of Student Management Office, Zhengcai Wu (吴正才). Director Wu told the reporter that most of the rumors floating around are exaggerated. The school does not prohibit freshmen and sophomore from becoming romantically involved, nor does the school disqualify students because of this reason alone. "We do not encourage young students to date. Thus when contemplating candidates for honors and enrollment into the CCP, relationships is one factor we consider.”

Although dating is understandable, it is unrealistic to expect all students to be "immune" [to public displays of affection] or give couples privacy. Additionally, most entering students are not mature enough to properly handle love affairs or to protect themselves. By enacting the ban, the university hopes to provide some guidance when it comes to romantic relationships. In any case, the primary duty of students is to study.

Most Netizens Against "Dating Ban" 

Although Netizens concede that the university has good intentions, most believe that the method is dreadful. Rather than a wholesale ban, the university should instead, among others, teach female students to learn to say no or make them understand that staying out all night is undesirable. A number of Netizens even assert that love and academics can proceed simultaneously; any regulation is unnecessary.

Experts Opinion

Many experts on youth psychology advise universities to adopt a more tolerant attitude toward dating. Education and proper communication with students on the subject of marriage are just a few good ideas.

Source(s)
赣一高校发"恋爱禁令" 与评优等挂钩 惹争议 http://www.xinhuanet.com/chinanews/2009-12/05/content_18419657.htm

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