July monthly QuizA monthly tough quiz of general history, traditions, geography questions for July
1. The first book of Chinese poetry the Book of Odes was written when?
The book of Odes (Songs) is an assorted collection of song lyrics from a variety of sources from the Zhou dynasty. The topics covered include love, marriage, victory celebrations, sacrifices and hunts.
2. A melon in a Chinese picture may symbolize a wish for what?
A melon has very many seeds and so represents a wish for many children to continue the family line.
3. A traditional doctor in China will take considerable time checking what?
It is the precise measurement of the flow of blood through the body that was considered the best indicator of health and an indicator of where any illness may lie.
4. Which Central Asian country does China not have a border with?
There are 14 countries with land borders with China. Afghanistan has only a tiny border with China of 40 miles [64 kms] in length. Uzbekistan is a small country bordering Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan.
5. By tradition the semi-precious stone jade is said to be made of what?
Jade is considered the ultimate yin in the yin-yang system and so is associated with female, moon and darkness as opposed to male, sun and light.
6. How many people performers are needed for a lion dance?
The lion dance needs two performers one for the head and one for the tail. It is the dragon dance that can have many performers.
7. In which province is Maotai liquor made?
Maotai Liquor is distilled from a wheat and sorghum base; it is famous throughout China and beyond. It is distilled at Maotai, a town in northern Guizhou.
8. The Wuyishan mountains were used as the film location for which epic film?
Lord of the Rings
Zhangjiajie was used as the setting for many of the dramatic scenes. The association is so strong that they now often called the Avator mountains
9. How long did Japan occupy the island of Taiwan?
Taiwan was seceded to Japan as a result of the terms of the peace treaty that ended the Sino-Japanese War (1894-95) together with the Liaodong peninsula. Taiwan was ruled by Japan for the next 50 years and used as a strategic base during the Second World War. It became the Republic of China (Taiwan) in 1949 after Chiang Kaishek's invasion.
10. Oracle bones were mainly used for divination in which dynasty?
11. Which element destroys the water element in the feng shui system?
In the classic Feng Shui destruction cycle of elements it is earth that destroys water. This can be by forming a dam or by absorption.
12. The Taklamakan desert is in which province?
The arid Tarim Basin holds at its heart the scorching sand desert of the Taklamakan (literally translated as ‘go in, not come out’).
13. The Chinese Rites controversy of 1704 decided by the Pope was about what?
Paintings of Christ
Emperor as leader
The Jesuits in Beijing sought an accommodation of the worship/veneration of ancestors which is the bedrock of Chinese religion. The Pope refused and the Christian mission soon foundered.
14. What was the 'cangue' used to punish minor crimes?
wooden neck board
For more petty crimes it was common to put a wide wooden cangue around the neck for weeks or months, this prevented the convicts from being able to feed themselves or even sleep comfortably. The cangue had details of the crime pasted onto it for all to see.
15. What was Sichuan's most important export in the past
Salt was a key commodity in China as in the rest of the world. Sichuan has large underground deposits that were extracted by pumping in water through bamboo pipes.
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