Excuses to explain away shortcomings and negligence in China are frequently as hilarious as they are outrageous; this is because the excuse isn’t supposed to “excuse the mistake” and be logical, but rather to deflect blame and not accept responsibility. We’ve seen this before in bad excuses to explain why children should pose in bikinis at car shows, or why there should be a statue erected of a student for passing the gaokao, and now we’re seeing it again. Continue reading
Western films released in China are often altered for the local audience; if something isn’t cut from the movie and makes no sense (“Skyfall“), then something is added to the movie and makes no sense (“Iron Man 3″). It may appear that this tradition of “altered cuts” may have found their niche in extra material released as viral marketing. Continue reading
Here at Sinopathic we use a lot of Chinese news stories for material to provide us an insight into China; so that’s why we’re trying to broaden the palate with opinions from many of China’s bloggers. We’ll do as best we can to help populate the new Sinopathic “Chinese Social Net (Worth)” category with essays from across the Chinese interwebs. Continue reading
In doing these write-ups, I’ve tried to move away from directly translating from the Chinese text except in certain situations. Recent readers will note a different narrative style taking place here on Sinopathic.
In reading this news piece, I decided to opt for the old style; the reason being that no matter how many times I read it, it still makes no sense. Except if you’re one of the principles/principal of this story, but then you don’t need to understand: you’re livin’ la vida loca, baby. Continue reading
EDIT May 19th, 2013: This article previously contained some glaring errors. Thanks to Sinopathic reader MAC for pointing these out. The edited article below should reflect these changes. Sinopathic apologizes for these errors.
Ancestral worship is an important part of Chinese culture; a Chinese is only as moral and righteous as the way they treat their family and ancestors. As seen on Chingming Festival, or “Tomb Sweeping Festival”, Chinese are expected to respect their forebears in a ritual that involves bowing, lighting of incense and “hell money” as well as offerings of food.
Chinese should know the importance of offerings of food made to the deceased. It’s a solemn act that rings as among the most important customs of being Chinese. So it may be a surprise to learn that some Chinese have broken the taboo of this same custom belonging to another culture.
The headline states: Russian Media Says Motive for Murder and Burning of Three Chinese National Women Suspected Due to Taking Ritual Offerings.
As reported by the Russian news portal “Life News”, local police in the Republic of Khakassia were alerted to the disappearance of the three women that they later found murdered in a nearby field with the help of a herdsman. The bodies had been burned. The three women had participated in an ancestral ritual at a grave of a deceased family member. In connection with the case, three local youths in their twenties have already been arrested.
As to what may have spurred the suspects in this crime to murder these women:
According to some reports, these three Chinese national women collected these offerings of food at the graves once the ritual was complete.
The Republic of Khakassia is an obscure place; some people have even mistaken it for Kazakhstan, for instance*. But it seems like these women did something that would be a nigh sacrilegious act if performed in their native China. Perhaps the Republic of Khakassia operates on some kind of ruleset that “Whatever happens in Khakassia, stays in Khakassia”, but then the story provides this context:
Analysts have pointed out that Khakassians are a minority of the Russian union; according to local customs, it is a cultural taboo to take food offered at a grave; it is probable that these three women did not understand this local custom, and so [inadvertently] attracted this misfortune.
So, it is a taboo. Just like back in China. But then, cases of Khakassians stealing food offered at graves aren’t that commonplace. Or, Chinese are in fact quite on the down low regarding ancestral worship
Just so the reader knows who wears the pants in this relationship, the news report is very helpful in establishing the bottom line as the last line:
Many business of both Khakassia and China are co-operating in joint ventures; [Khakassian] businesses have often come to China to seek investment opportunities.
* me. Apologies, everyone. I hope Sinopathic readers can forgive me, along with the fine Republic of Kazakhstan, Khakassia, and my ancestors.
This is a pretty dry story. But really, who hasn’t fantasized about becoming a secretary? It’s like that documentary with Maggie Gyllenhaal. Continue reading
You are a dude who lives each inch of life at its fullest: that’s why your head is in the toilet, puking your guts out after a night of excess ebullient inebriation. Yes, you rock. Continue reading
As news and hype grows surrounding the poisoning case of Zhu Ling gains momentum, other cases of injustice in China may not be as well known or publicized. Here at Sinopathic we try to spread the word of such cases; here then is the tragic case of Dang Qingguang. Continue reading
Anyone on the recent Chinese internets will now have been extremely conversant on the story of Zhu Ling, an attractive and smart university student who was cut down in the prime of her life by a mysterious affliction that was only revealed to be a case of lithium poisoning years after anything could be done about it. By Chinese standards. Continue reading
Here’s the pitch for a road trip movie based in China: a domineering laowai businessman who patronizes the locals as being “always lazy” teams up with a laowai redneck who is fixated upon the crass fetishization of the locals; together, they tear through the China countryside causing traffic chaos, destruction of property, committing crimes, mocking ancient Chinese religious customs and inferring holy temples have connections to organized crime while besting the locals at their own cultural specializations – all in the pursuit of wealth. Continue reading