In the Warring States Period, Zou Ji who was the prime minister of the Qi State was possesed of a great heightand a pleasant appearance. In order to persuade the King Qiwei to provide wide opportunities for the airing of views and to encourage the officials to criticize faults frankly, he told this story:
One morning, after he wore his court dress and hat, he looked himself in the mirror over for a while then asked his wife: “compared to Mr. Xu in the northern city, who is better-looking, him or I?” “Of course you are, how can Mr. Xu compare with you?” his wife asked.
Mr. Xu was a famous handsome man in the Qi State. Having heard what his wife said, Zou Ji didn’t dare to believe that he was really more handsome than Mr. Xu, so he went to ask his beloved concubine, who answered: “how can Mr. Xu compare with you?”
On the second day, a guest came to Zou Ji’s house, so he asked the guest for the same question and the guest answered: “how could Mr. Xu be better-looking than you?” A few days later, Mr. Xu came to visit Zou Ji; Zou Ji seized the opportunity to look Mr. Xu up and down and compared with himself, reaching the conclusion that honestly he was not the better-looking of the two.
So, he said to the King Qiwei: “I am originally not better-looking than Mr. Xu, but my wife, my concubine, and my guest all told me that I was better-looking than him. The reason why they told lies is because my wife protects me, my concubine fears me, and my guest needs my help so they all flattered me by saying no truths. In Qi States, everybody in the court protects you, all the officials fear you, people all over the state want to get your help, so your flatterers must have be more numerous than mine and you must have been more seriously fooled!” Zou Ji also gave the advice; “nowadays the Qi State has a vast territory and numerous cities, the people you met with are more than me, so you must have been more fooled. If you can be perfectly honest and ask for advice, it must be good for our state.” The King agreed to this advice, and immediately issued a pronouncement stating that anyone who points out his faults to his face will get the first prize; anyone who criticizes him in memorial will get the second prize; anyone who criticizes him in public will get the third prize. As expected, people flocked to the king’s palace to present their opinions. The area in front of the palace gate was as busy as a market.
“A courtyard as crowded as a marketplace” is used to indicate at a gate or a courtyard that is as crowded as a marketplace. It indicates that there are a lot of people.
Posts Tagged ‘Chinese Culture，Study Chinese’
|Two girls fly traditional swallow kites during the 28th Weifang International Kite Festival. (Photo: China Daily)|
BEIJING, April 26 (Xinhuanet) — German kite enthusiast Andreas Fischbacher was in his element on the weekend of April 16-17 when he attended arguably the world’s most famous kite festival. The 24-year-old journeyed to Shandong province, for the 28th Weifang International Kite Festival, which attracted more than 100,000 people from 29 countries and regions between April 12 and 17.
“I was into kites when I was 10,” he grins. “My mother, a dress maker, showed me how to make and fly kites.
“I have been to many international competitions all over the world, including Vietnam and Malaysia, and Weifang was a great experience.”
Kites do not have a long history in Germany, he says, but are growing in popularity.
“There are around 80 kite associations and 10 festivals during a year. Some are international ones, which attract worldwide kite players,” Fischbacher says. “In Germany, it is a sport for everyone, from children to senior citizens.”
According to ancient Chinese texts, the kite was developed by the famous philosopher Mozi about 2,500 years ago and improved by a renowned carpenter Lu Ban in the 5th century BC.
At first, kites were used for military purposes and during the Southern Dynasty (AD 420-589), soldiers used kites to send rescue signals.
During the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), flying kites became a recreation. People tied bamboo instruments on kites and different musical tones would ring out in the air. Because the kites sounded like a koto instrument, people began to call them fengzheng, or “wind koto”.
After the Tang Dynasty, Chinese kites started to spread around the world and by the end of the 13th century, Italian traveler Marco Polo introduced stories of kites to Europe.
In China, flying kites is still a way to express best wishes and hopes for the future. Spring is the time for kite flying, and people attach pictures and words to their kites symbolizing their dreams of longevity and good luck.
Chinese Culture – ICL rector: raise of college tuitions in UK won’t affect foreign students – Study ChineseThursday, June 2nd, 2011
The raise of college tuitions in the United Kingdom will not affect international students, and the Imperial College London (ICL), one of the best in the country, welcomes more Chinese students, said Keith O’Nions, rector of the ICL on Saturday.
“Although the tuitions will be raised in universities and colleges in the United Kingdom, it will not affect the international students,” O’Nions told Xinhuanet on the sideline of the Global Summit of University Presidents 2011 (GSUP) held in Tsinghua University.
“These changes are for UK students; they are not for international students,” said O’Nions. “For international students, there are no changes.”
“The big change is that UK students will have to pay more than they paid in the past,” he added. “And consequently, the government will give less money directly to the universities for their education, and students will have to get loans.”
According to O’Nions, among 60,000 Chinese students currently studying in the UK, some 1,300 are in the ICL, accounting for 10 percent of its total students.
The university is glad to have more top students from China, he said. “Please keep coming, because we are very lucky in imperial college: we got some of the best students anywhere in the world,” said O’Nions. “We want the best students from anywhere in the world, a lot from China.”
The ICL strives to expand its scholarships available to all foreign students, and it is a major of the university’s strategy, he said.
O’Nions, who will also attend Tsinghua’s celebration of its centennial anniversary, praised the progress made by Tsinghua and other Chinese universities.
“Specifically in Tisinghua University, it clearly excels and it is a university that is one of the great world universities,” said O’Nions. “Other universities also do a world class job, and this has obviously been a huge contribution to the economy of China and its people.”