May QuizA monthly quiz of general history, traditions, geography questions for May
1. The noon day gun is fired every day where?
Since 1864 each day the noon day gun is fired at Hong Kong. The tradition started because the British trading company of Jardines had had the habit of firing a gun salute whenever a senior executive arrived, while this privilege should have been reserved for only military commanders. As punishment the company was ordered to fire a noon day gun for ever after.
2. The 'Peony Pavilion' is a famous what?
The 'Peony Pavilion' is the most famous Kunqu Opera and dates back to the Ming dynasty.
3. In which Chinese province was the 14th Dalai Lama (present leader) born?
Tibetan Buddhism is strong in several western provinces not just in Tibet. Once the Tibetan kingdom spread much further east.
4. When did the first known Chinese person visit Britain?
In 1685 the Jesuits had brought back to Europe a Chinese convert: Shen Fuzong. He made a tour of European cities including London and was greatly feted by King James II.
5. An auspicious arrangement of hills is sometimes called?
A sleeping dragon was thought to form a range of hills. In consequence it was very bad luck to quarry or mine into such formations. A 'hidden dragon' can also be a person who hides his true powers.
6. Why is rice planted in water?
maintain moisture level
Rice does need huge amounts of water to grow, the flooding is principally to suppress weeds - it just happens that rice is more tolerant to growing in water than most other plants.
7. A meeting at Lushan in 1959 brought an end to the career of which revolutionary leader
General Peng Dehuai openly criticized the leadership over the failings of the Great Leap Forward at the Lushan conference. Mao Zedong took exception and Peng Dehuai was demoted and held under house arrest.
8. Under which British sovereign was the first official embassy sent off to China?
King Charles II
King Edward VI
The first attempted British contact was in about 1553 when King Edward VI sought to open up the wool trade to a new market. This scarcely known embassy set off overland but only reached as far as the Caspian Sea.
9. How would you say 'next month' in Chinese?
明年 míng nián
昨天 zuó tiān
下个月 xià gè yuè
Next is often expressed as 下 xià which also means below, down and later.
10. Wade-Giles is a method for doing what?
Writing Chinese with English letters
The Wade-Giles system was a British system used in the early twentieth century for spelling Chinese in the English alphabet and so it is found in most of English books from this period (1890-1970). The Wade-Giles system is sometimes still seen today in the spelling of such names as Mao Tse-tung, Peking , Szechuan and Yangtse Kiang (Yangzi River).
11. Which European scientist considered the Yi Jing as proof of ancient knowledge of binary arithmetic?
12. In which dynasty did Emperor Qianlong rule?
The first four Qing Emperors Shunzhi; Kangxi; Yongzheng and Qianlong ruled long and skillfully, their reigns covered 150 years of relative prosperity for all in China. Emperor Qianlong ruled for sixty years (1735 to 1796).
13. Which country other than Britain took part in the Opium Wars with China?
For the second Opium War (1856-60) it was a strange alliance of UK and France considering it was just over 40 years after the battle of Waterloo. France was starting to build up its Indo-Chinese interests (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos).
14. The Uyghur people number over 8 million in which province do they mainly live?
The (Uighur, Uygur, and Uigur) people live in north-western China primarily in the ?Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region?. or simply Xinjiang. Uyghurs are a Turkic people with closer affinity to Central Asian people than to Han Chinese. Significant numbers also live in neighboring Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.
15. Which of these is NOT part of the Buddhist eightfold path to enlightenment
abstain from sex
The eight steps to Buddhist Enlightenment do not include celibacy nor does it advocate living as a monk.
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