April QuizA monthly quiz of general history, traditions, geography questions for April
1. Where might you expect to see 'water sleeves' in China?
at the opera
in a garden
on a lake
Water sleeves are the very long sleeves worn by women it traditional opera. They are used to great effect in dances and gestures.
2. Compared to English how many people speak Chinese as their first or second language?
Many people speak Chinese as a second language in Asia and so there are about twice as many speaking Chinese than English.
3. How many neighboring countries have a land border with China?
China together with Russia has 14 land borders with neighboring countries. They are (running anti-clockwise from the East) : Korea (North), Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam.
4. The Hui minority people belong chiefly to which religion?
The Hui ethnic people are mainly Muslims. There are Muslims in most cities but there are also a significant proportion in the western provinces of Ningxia, Xinjiang and Qinghai.
5. Which Emperor commanded that the books should be burned?
Emperor Qin Shihuangdi
The first emperor to unify all of China brought in many far-reaching reforms. One was to impose a common writing script (the Qin script) all over China. To ensure that this reform was followed he ordered many historical books to be burned so that knowledge of the different scripts would be lost. It is claimed that he did this to suppress scholarship but in fact he built up a huge Imperial library.
6. The poet Su Shi is quoted as saying 'You can live without eating meat but you can not live without what'?
Bamboo was the favorite subject for many artists in China, it has drooping leaves and straight stems that give it an architectural image.
7. According to the yin-yang categories of food which of these foods are considered the 'yang' (hot)
A good meal should have a balance of 'yin' and 'yang' foods. Beef steak and peanuts are other 'yang' foods.
8. Who of these is NOT a Tang dynasty poet?
Su Shi (Su Dongpo)
9. Zhuangzi is an important person in what tradition?
10. The mark of veneration was the traditional kowtow. How many times did you have to knock your head on the ground to the Emperor?
11. How long was the Communist's Long March through western China?
12. What is at the famous site of Leshan, Sichuan?
Leshan has the the Giant Buddha ?Dafo? 233 feet [71 meters] high carved into a cliff during the Tang dynasty - the largest Buddha in the world.
13. Which province is the coldest in winter?
Heilongjiang is the most northerly province and has bitterly cold winters - it borders Siberia after all.
14. The old Wade-Giles spelling of Guizhou is what?
The Wade-Giles system often used the local dialect pronounciation for placenames rather than how it sounded in the official Beijing dialect.
15. The Gang of Four were put under arrest in 1976 under the orders of which Chinese leader
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