The meal begins with the entry of the revelers into the banqueting room. An elaborate ceremony of deference may take place at the door, where the most honored guest is supposed to enter first. Two or more guests may hold up this entry for some time, each insisting that the other is more worthy of this honor. The ensuing debate can, among good friends, lead to a bit of pushing, as the struggle escalates. Once through the door, the process may begin again, this time over the issue of precedence at the table. Usually, the guest of honor sits directly across from the host, who takes the least honorable seat near the serving door.
Serving the Meal
Regular Chinese meals are served all at once, but a banquet is about bounteousness, a host's generosity and prosperity, and the joy of celebration, so the food is brought in many successive courses. In a further display of exaggerated courtesy, the host apologizes in advance for the meager and ill-prepared meal about to be served. Hot towels are distributed at the beginning and end of the meal.
What is Served, or Beyond the Grain
In a dramatic reversal of everyday habit, banquets consist solely of special dishes. The meat and vegetables that serve as side dishes at regular meals become the focus, and fan, or grain, which is normally so important that every last grain must be consumed, is relegated to the very end of the meal and guests need only to pick at the fan, indicating their supreme satisfaction. To eat one's rice at a banquet might hint that the host failed to provide enough food.
What is Drunk
Alcohol is very rarely served at everyday meals, but it plays an important role at banquets. In the West, the type of alcohol must match the meal according to set customs, and often the guests' special preferences must be accommodated. This is not the case in China, where the host often decides on one sort of alcoholic beverage, either a wine or liquor, which will be served throughout. Wine glasses are traditionally filled at the start of each course. The banquet will probably be marked by guests challenging each other to drinking games throughout the evening.
Commencement of the Meal
The meal begins with a toast by the host, after which there is a long moment while the guests engage in the ceremony of beginning -- the degree of politeness exhibited by a guest at this stage increases with every moment he waits to start eating. Throughout the meal, the host displays great solicitousness for the guests. Guests may refuse offers of food or drink two times or more without being taken at their word - or, of course, without really meaning their polite refusals.
The first course is an even-numbered selection of cold dishes, eight or ten are traditionally served. After the cold course comes a showy soup such as shark's fin soup or bird's nest soup. The guests help themselves to the dishes at a banquet, but the soup is served by the host, and much drinking and toasting accompanies. Following the soup comes a decorative meat dish. More courses follow -- lobster, pork, scallops, chicken. Between the courses, a variety of sweets are brought out. Peking duck with scallion brushes, hoisin sauce, and thin pancakes is often served in the middle of the festivities. Traditionally, the final course is a whole fish, which is placed on the table with its head is pointed toward the guest of honor. Throughout the meal, the guests pay elaborate compliments to the food. Enjoyment of the food offered is much more important than sparkling dinner table conversation. At a banquet, the food itself is the medium communicating the host's good wishes and the joy of the celebration.
(3), Chinese Dining: Beliefs and Etiquette
"A Chinese dinner host will not expect a visitor to know all the traditions associated with a Chinese meal. But the visitor who knows some of them will gain 'face' and give 'face' to his host!"
Investigating those traditions is part of the fun of a Hong Kong visit, where English-speaking friends or business associates will happily tell you the whys and wherefores of seemingly arcane rituals. You may even hear different versions of how a particular dining tradition originated!
Foreign visitors will be forgiven for not knowing dining etiquette, just as they will be good-naturedly offered a knife and fork if their chopstick prowess is not up to par. Just as Chinese food, however, seems to taste better when it is eaten with chopsticks, so the whole meal will be more enjoyable if one knows a little of the ancient traditions and beliefs that place the meal in a 5,000-year-old culinary heritage.
Why is a fish never turned over? Why do tea-drinkers surreptitiously tap tables? Why will there be a place laid for a guest who will never come? Why is it not improper to slurp you soup but improper to eat a fish head? Why are Chinese dinner tables round and how will you know who is the guest of honor? How and why will you say "Cheers!"?
Although Western customs have influenced dining habits in Hong Kong, the majority of old traditions still live on. The guest of honor will usually be seated facing the door of entry, directly opposite the host. The next most honored guest will be seated to the left of the guest of honor. If the host has any doubts about the correct order of precedence for his guests, he will seat them on the basis of age.
The host sits near the door, as in Western practice, so that he is nearest to the kitchen. If the meal is held in the host's home, he can then bring each dish to the table more quickly. He will himself serve his guests portions of food, on the tacit understanding that they are far too polite to help themselves.
But for some dishes, especially fish, the host would never do so - for the good reason that the dish would be inedibly cool by the end of the service. Instead, each guest is expected to help himself.
The guest of honor naturally receives the choicest morsels, and is expected to lead the way when necessary. With a fish course, the fish head would be left for the guest of honor - and it is the most nutritious part (the eyes and lips are the valued delicacies offered to the senior lady present). The platter holding the fish will always be laid on the table in such a way that the fish head points towards the guest of honor (at family meals, the head faces the head of the family). If visitors find that they are the guest of honor and are unwilling to accept the duties involved, they should always delegate the honor to the person on their left, or politely turn the platter so that the fish head faces the host.
At the end of the meal, when the guest of honor feels that everyone appears to have had their fill of post-prandial brandy or ceremonial final cups of tea, he should rise. In theory, no other diner can rise until the guest of honor has, and such a social nicety has often resulted in a meal being very lengthy! Nowadays, however, the host will usually give an appropriate, discreet hint to the guest of honor.
In a restaurant, the signs that a meal is ending are more obvious. A bowl of fruit will be presented, fresh towels will be provided for wiping mouths and hands, and the final pot of tea - a ceremonial farewell greeting - will not be refilled.
(5) Seating & Dining Customs in Restaurant
If a Chinese dinner has been arranged in a restaurant, the host will usually sit nearest the kitchen or service door. Then he will be in the least-favored position - sitting where the waiter will stand while serving individual portions of food (the waiter's "mark" being his serving utensils laid on the table). Some hosts, however, seat their most junior guests or family members at this slightly awkward spot so that the host can talk more easily to guests on either side of him. It is also becoming more common for hosts to sit next to foreign guests of honor.
Should you find yourself in one of the "junior" seats on either side of the server's position, take comfort from the fact that your fellow diners are either even more "important" or older than you and you are honored to be sitting with them, or your host has flattered you by deciding you are one of the least status-conscious guests!
Whatever your table position is, you may be expected to make at least one toast during the meal - to the course which is about to commence, if necessary, when everyone else has used up all socially-acceptable topics of mutual esteem! Every person stands up for a moment, raises his or her glass, and finds out who has the strongest constitution!
Taking one's turn is also expected for tea-pouring at smaller gatherings where each guest leans over or rises to fill fellow-diners' tea cups. The almost surreptitious finger-tapping on the table that greets the pouring service is said to date back to a ploy invented by a Qing Dynasty emperor. While making an incognito tour of South China, the emperor visited a teahouse. In order to maintain his cover as an ordinary member of a party of travelers, the emperor took his turn at pouring tea for his companions. They started to acknowledge this astonishing honor by bowing in the usual fashion but the emperor told them they could simply tap the table with three fingers - two of which would represent their prostrate limbs, while the third finger would symbolize their bowed heads. The custom survives in Hong Kong and South China as a silent token of thanks for the gesture.
Other, older habits have been known to make some visitors a little uncomfortable when not used to fellow diners slurping their soup, laying discarded bones on the tablecloth, and audibly making a meal of a meal.
The second habit is dying out now that most restaurants provide side-plates for bones but it is still possible to see waiters clearing a table by sweeping everything into the middle of a tablecloth - rice bowls, chopsticks, bones and all - in order to have a vacant table as quickly as possible.
As for meal-time noises, they are considered sounds of culinary appreciation, the slurping of soup also being an acceptable way of cooling it down before it burns the tongue.
4. Business Practices, Values and Conduct in China (1) Prosperous Entertaining
Business lunches are growing in popularity here. Business breakfasts, however, are not a part of Chinese business culture, except in Guangdong, Hangzhou and Fujian province where the 'Morning Tea' is very popular.
Evening banquets are the most popular occasions for business entertaining. Generally, these events start between 5:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m. and last for two hours. If you are the guest, you should arrive on time.
If you wish, arrive around 15 minutes early to a banquet; your Chinese hosts and counterparts will probably be present before the proceedings officially begin.
Banquets are hosted with varying degrees of extravagance, usually in a restaurant.
Wait to be seated, as there is a seating etiquette based on hierarchy in Chinese business culture.
Generally, the seat in the middle of the table, facing the door, is reserved for the host. The most senior guest of honour sits directly to the left. Everyone else is seated in descending order of status. The most senior member sits in the center seat. Follow this seating pattern if you are hosting a banquet or a meal in your residence, whether for business or purely social reasons.
The host is the first person at the table allowed to begin eating by suggesting the first drink. Then, the rest of the company can proceed with the meal. If you are the host, take the first piece of the most valued food and put it on your guest of honour's plate after leading the first drink. This will signify the beginning of the eating and is consider a friendly gesture.
Business is not discussed during the meal.
It is not uncommon for a host to order enough food for ten people at a table of five. He or she loses face if there are not plenty of left-overs at the end of a meal. Rice, considered by many Chinese to be filler, is generally not served until the end of a meal. So, if you want to eat rice with your meal be sure to ask the waitress [or 'shou jie'] to serve it early, particularly if the food is spicy.
During a meal, as many as 20-30 courses can be served, so try not to eat too much at once. The best policy is to lightly sample each dish.
Leaving a 'clean plate' is perceived to mean that you were not given enough food--a terrible insult here. On the other hand, leaving a food offering untouched will also give offense; even if you find a dish unappealing, try a small portion for the sake of politeness.
One important part of Chinese business entertaining is a tea drinking ritual known as 'yum cha.' It is used to establish rapport before a meeting or during meals.
If you do not want a 'refill' of tea, leave some in your cup.
If you are served food that does not require utensils, you may be given a bowl of tea for the purpose of dipping and cleaning your fingers.
It's perfectly acceptable to reach in front of others for dishes and other items.
Seeds and bones are placed on the table or in a specially reserved dish; never place these objects in your bowl.
It will be appreciated if you use chopsticks. When you are finished eating, place your chopsticks on the table or a chopstick rest.
Placing your chopsticks parallel on top of your bowl is believed to bring bad luck.
Sticking your chopsticks straight up in your rice bowl is considered rude because in this position, they resemble the joss sticks that are used in Chinese religious rituals.
Do not put the end of the chopstick in your mouth.
Try not to drop your chopsticks, as this is considered a sign of bad luck.
When eating rice, follow Chinese custom by holding the bowl close to your mouth.
Slurping and belching at the table can be perfectly acceptable: they are perceived as signs that you are appreciating the meal.
Scorpions, locusts, snake skin, bile, dog meat, soft-shell tortoise and blood are considered delicacies.
Toothpicks are usually offered between courses and at the conclusion of a meal. When using a toothpick, cover your mouth with your free hand for concealment.
Forming a personal relationship ['guanxi' in Chinese] in your business dealings is very important. Part of this involves participating in the strong drinking culture that exists here. Generally, the Chinese regard with suspicion anyone who does not participate in the inevitable drinking that takes place during almost all business dinners. And it is at these kinds of social occasions that most negotiating breakthroughs are made. Prepare some medical excuses for yourself to avoid drinking heavily; if you really wish to avoid alcohol, they will accept medical excuses.
Toasting, usually with beer, wine or Chinese white liquors, is an important part of Chinese business etiquette.
You will often find three glasses on your table: a glass for your drink of choice [toast with this glass], a wine glass, and a shot glass for a liquor called 'maotai' or 'wu liang ye.'
The host of a banquet offers the first toast. If you prefer not to drink alcohol, it's perfectly acceptable to toast with a soft drink, glass of juice, or mineral water.
Toasts will be proposed throughout the meal. Two popular toasts are 'ganbei' ['bottoms up!'] and 'kai wei' ['starting the appetite!'].
Sometimes, the Chinese enjoy testing the ability of a foreigner ['lou wai'] to handle his or her alcohol, especially 'er gua toe', a potent clear alcohol that one might compare to airline fuel. A good practice would be to eat something beforehand.
Before smoking, it's polite to offer cigarettes to those in your company.
The meal has reached a definite conclusion when fruit is served and hot towels are presented. Shortly after these items are offered, guests should make preparations to leave. In accordance with Chinese business etiquette, the host will not initiate the guests' departure.
Tipping is generally considered an insult in China. Most government operated hotels and restaurants prohibit acceptance of tips. It is sometimes expected, however, in some of the bigger hotels and by younger service personnel, in the more opened cities.
Follow Chinese business protocol and reciprocate with a banquet of the same value; never surpass your host by arranging a more lavish gathering.
Generally, the Chinese are not great experimenters when it comes to their diet. Unless he or she has traveled extensively, the typical Chinese businessperson doesn't like Western food. Better to take your guests to a good Chinese restaurant rather than, for example, the latest French restaurant opening in Beijing. They'll appreciate it.
If you are hosting a banquet, you should arrive at least 30 minutes before your guests.
Home entertaining is very popular in China. If you are invited to a Chinese home, you will probably be asked to remove your shoes. Arrive on time, but not too early.
When inviting people to your home, avoid serving cheese: it is usually incompatible with the national diet.
Lavish gift giving was an important part of Chinese culture in the past. Today, official policy in Chinese business culture forbids giving gifts; this gesture is considered bribery, an illegal act in this country. Consequently, your gift may be declined.
In many organizations, however, attitudes surrounding gifts are beginning to relax. In any case, you will have to approach giving gifts with discretion, as outlined in the following points.
If you wish to give a gift to an individual, you must do it privately, in the context of friendship, not business.
The Chinese will decline a gift three times before finally accepting, so as not to appear greedy. You will have to continue to insist. Once the gift is accepted, express gratitude. You will be expected to go through the same routine if you are offered a gift.
In the presence of other people, never present a valuable gift to one person. This gesture will cause only embarrassment, and possibly even problems for the recipient, given the strict rules against bribery in Chinese business culture. Do not take any photograph of any gift giving unless it is a symbolic gift presented to the organization as a whole.
Giving a gift to the entire company, rather than an individual, can be acceptable in Chinese business culture as long as you adhere to the following rules:
All business negotiations should be concluded before gifts are exchanged.
Specify that the gift is from the company you represent. If you can, explain the meaning of the gift to the receiver.
Present the gift to the leader of the Chinese negotiating team.
Do not get anything that is obviously expensive, so that the company will not feel obliged to reciprocate.
Valuable gifts should be given to an individual only in private and strictly as a gesture of friendship.
Make sure that the gifts given to people of the same level of importance are equitable or of similar grade. Somehow, they may find out later, and the difference may lead to strains in your relationship.
Do not wrap a gift before arriving in China, as it may be unwrapped in Customs.
If possible, have your gifts wrapped in red paper, which is considered a lucky colour. Plain red paper is one of the few “safe” choices since a variety of meanings, many of which are negative, are attributed to colours in Chinese culture.
Pink and gold and silver are also acceptable colours for gift wrap. Wrapping in yellow paper with black writing is a gift given only to the dead. Also, do check the variations from region to region about colours.
Because colours have so many different meanings in this culture, your safest option is to entrust the task of gift-wrapping to a store or hotel that offers this service.
a fine pen [not a pen with red ink--writing in red ink symbolizes severing ties]
stamps, if the recipient is interested in them [stamp collecting is very popular here]
a cigarette lighter, assuming the recipient is a smoker
Often, gifts are not opened in the presence of the giver.
Acceptable gifts for a company include items from your country or city, such as handicrafts, or an illustrated book. Be sure to bring a supply of these items with you, so that you can reciprocate if it happens that you are presented with a gift.
A banquet is usually a welcome gift; since it's likely you will be invited to one, you will have to follow Chinese business protocol and reciprocate. In some parts of China, although senior local officials host the welcoming party, you might be expected to pay for the cost of the banquet. Check this out and be prepared.
Gifts of food are acceptable, but not at dinner parties or other occasions where appetizers and meals will be served. Candy and fruit baskets, however, are acceptable as thank-you gifts sent after these events.
Eight is considered one of the luckiest numbers in Chinese culture. If you receive eight of any item, consider it a gesture of good will. Six is considered a blessing for smoothness and problem free advances. Four is a taboo because it means 'death.' Other numbers such as '73' meaning 'the funeral' and '84' meaning 'having accidents' are to be avoided.
(4) Gifts to Avoid
Scissors, knives, or other sharp objects can be interpreted as the severing of a friendship or other bond. As a gesture of friendship, if you do want to give these items as a gift, ask your friend to give you a very small amount of money, such as 10 cents or One RMB in return for this gift. By doing so, you would have 'sold' it to him rather than given it to him.
The following items are to be avoided as they are associated with funerals:
gifts or wrapping paper in white, black, or blue
(5) Business Dress
Guidelines for business dress
In Chinese business culture, conservative suits and ties in subdued colours are the norm. Bright colours of any kind are considered inappropriate.
Women should wear conservative suits or dresses; a blouse or other kind of top should have a high neckline. Stick with subdued, neutral, colours such as beige and brown.
Because of the emphasis on conservative, modest, dress in Chinese business culture, flat shoes or very low heels are the main footwear options for women. This is true especially if you are relatively much taller than your hosts. High heels are acceptable only at a formal reception hosted by a foreign diplomat.
Men should wear suits and ties to formal events; tuxedoes are not a part of Chinese business culture.
Jeans are acceptable casual wear for both men and women.
Shorts are reserved for exercise.
(6) Appointment Alert!
Being late for an appointment is considered a serious insult in Chinese business culture.
The best times for scheduling appointments are April to June and September to October.
Business and government hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. There is, however, a five-day work week in larger cities. Do avoid plans to visit government offices on Tuesday afternoon, because this is sometimes reserved for 'political studying' of the officials.
Store hours are 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., daily. Most stores in Shanghai, however, remain open until 10:00 p.m.
Most Chinese workers take a break between 12:00 p.m.- 2:00 p.m. Practically everything "shuts down" during this period, including elevator and phone services.
When scheduling your appointments, be sensitive to holidays such as Chinese New Year. During May Day, or the National Day, many businesses will be closed for up to a week during this period. The date of this occasion varies from year to year due to an official advisory to allow the long holidays.
5. Chinese Business Negotiation Style and Its Implications for Foreign Companies (1). Six Dimensions of Chinese Business Negotiation Style
In this section, I will talk about six dimensions of Chinese business negotiation style which represent six primary patterns of Chinese business negotiating behaviors: political, legal, technical, commercial, social, and strategic dimensions. Political behavior concerns how Chinese business decision- making process is influenced by Chinese politics; legal behavior deals with the Chinese attitude toward contracting and other legal arrangement; technical behavior concerns the Chinese attitude toward technology, technical specification, quality and so on; commercial behavior refers to how the Chinese bargain about price and other economic arrangements; social behavior refers to how the Chinese establish trust toward the other part through personal contacts and other forms of social interactions both verbal and non verbal during the negotiation process; and finally, strategic behavior shows how the Chinese manipulate various negotiating stratagems.
This dimensional analysis also suggests that Chinese negotiating style involve both rational and strategic patterns. Political, legal, technical, commercial and social patterns or dimensions represent rational Chinese negotiating behavior, whereas the strategic pattern or dimension constitutes strategic Chinese negotiating behavior – or say Chinese negotiating tactics.
1. political behavior:
The Chinese government is the real negotiator, customer, and ultimate decision maker; Chinese companies must follow the government’s plan and policies to do business.
The frontline Chinese negotiators have a limited mandate and fear criticism; inter-organizational communication within the Chinese negotiating organization is usually poor, and the Chinese negotiating team tends to be large.
Business in China, whether Chinese or foreign, is under the control of the Chinese government; Chinese business is governed by the “political book”. Chinese patterners are protected under the “umbrella” of Chinese bureaucracy.
2. Legal behavior:
The Chinese view contracting as an intial intention and an onging problem-solving framework rather than a one-off nicely wrapped legal package.
The Chinese awareness of law is normally blunt, and its legal system is young. Chinese lawyers seldom participate in face-to-face meetings, although recently they have begun to increasingly appear.
The Chinese tend to insist that arbitration, if any, is to be held in china.
3. Technical behavior:
The Chinese want to cooperate with large, technologically strong companies.
The Chinese want to buy the most advanced and research-and-
development-oriented technology, apart from price, technology is other major issue in Chinese business negotiation.
The basic Chinese attitude toward foreign technology transfer to China is to exchange the Chinese market for foreign technology. However, when talk about the above three point, when must notice that the attitude of Chinese companies toward technology is changing: most Chinese companies are the more and more profit-oriented.
4. Commercial behavior:
The Chinese tend to choose large and financially strong foreign companies with which to cooperate.
The Chinese are extremely price sensitive; Chinese business negotiation is essentially a negotiation about price and technology.
The Chinese companies insist on having the majority share of equity in a Sino-foreign business joint venture.
5. Social behavior:
There is a pre-negotiation phase in the Chinese business negotiation process in which the Chinese try to establish trust and confidence in the other party through information gathering, personal contacts and other social activities.
The Chinese attach great importance to sincerity and reputation on the part of foreign side.
Chinese negotiating style is generally people-oriented and permeated with such Confucian notions of guanxi, renqing, li, face, family, age, hierarchy, and harmony etc.
6. Strategic behavior:
“ji” or “Chinese stratagems” exists in the mentality of Chinese negotiation.
The Chinese may employ negotiating tactics deliberately or inadvertently.
Chinese business negotiating tactics empirically evident in the supplementary materials I gave to you. But here I must mind you that we Chinese people are clever, friendly but we have our own moral standard or behavioral code which guided us what we can do and what we cannot do.
When comparing the six dimensions of Chinese business negotiating style with the western theory of business negotiation, you may find that there are stark contrasts in the political, legal and strategic dimensions of Chinese business negotiating behaviors. Most remarkable is the strong political feature in Chinese business negotiation. The decisive influence of the Chinese government and Chinese bureaucracy on the behavior of Chinese negotiators constitutes a major difference between Chinese and western business negotiating styles.
(2). Managerial Implications of Chinese Negotiating Style On the basis of the above mentioned 6 dimensions of Chinese negotiating style, I finally offers the following pieces of advice to you if you want to do business with Chinese companies in future.
Sending the right team to China: Pay attention to the status of your team members.
Show political support and government backing behind your China mission.
Identifying real Chinese negotiators.
Taking a people-oriented approach: never expecting one-off legal agreements to bring about the planned outcome.
Use local Chinese
Maintain a consistent team: remember the Chinese do business with you as a person and not as a company.
Pad your price reasonably: The Chinese always believe that any price you quote must have some “water content”
Help your Chinese counterpart:
Invite the Chinese to negotiate abroad.
Explode the myth of face: Experts on Chinese business negotiating universally advice that you will gain much if you help a Chinese save face, and you will lose more if you do not.
Reading 1 : China to seek world heritage listing of "butterfly lovers" story
NINGBO, June 13 (Xinhuanet) -- China will seek the listing of its centuries-old folklore story "The Butterfly Lovers" as non-material world heritage, with a formal application expected to be submitted to UNESCO in 2006. ; The plan was announced at a meeting of representatives from sixcities of four east and central China provinces which concluded Saturday in Ningbo, a booming port city in the coastal province of Zhejiang. All the six cities have claimed to be the place of origin of the "Butterfly Lovers" story.
A Still of China's Yue Opera "Butterfly Lovers". (File Photo) The most popular love story in China, the "Butterfly Lovers" tells the legend of two 4th century Chinese lovers who could not get married in their lifetime due to different family backgrounds and turned into a butterfly couple after their death. The story was also called "China's Romeo and Juliet". For centuries, the story has been adapted into traditional operas, movies and TV plays. A modern concerto adapted from the story has now become a music classic repeatedly played by world-class masters. Chinese folklore experts say that the debate over the place of origin of the story, which has heated up in recent years as several cities across the country claim to possess historical records or cultural relics relating to the story, has affected thestory's application for a world heritage listing. As a result, the China Butterfly Lovers' Culture Research Society hosted the meeting in Ningbo, where archaeologists claimed to have excavated a 1,600-year-old tomb believed to belong to the male protagonist in the story, to help all involved parties dispel contentions and seek common grounds. "Participants of the meeting have reached consensus that the 'Butterfly Lovers' story is a precious cultural legacy for the Chinese nation, and it's necessary and imperative to seek the story's listing as non-material world heritage for a better protection of this cultural legacy," said a spokesman with the research society. According to the spokesman, all the regions with records or relics relating to the story have agreed to work together under the coordination of the research society and jointly prepare the application materials in the next couple of years.
Reading 2 Temple trying to save Shaolin Spirit
ZHENGZHOU, June 9 (Xinhuanet) -- The famous Shaolin Kongfu is actually a comprehensive cultural and spiritual system rather than a mere boxing art. Martial arts are only part of Shaolin Kongfu's abundant cultural heritage accumulated over 1,500 years, said Shi Yongxin, master of the Shaolin Temple, widely regarded as the cradle of Shaolin Boxing and Zen of the Chinese Buddhism. The Temple was built in 495 in the period of the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-581) and is now located in the Songshan Mountain area in Dengfeng city of central China's Henan Province. The ancient Shaolin transcripts documented 708 sets of the so-called "Kongfu" including practices aiming to build the internal world and medication methods. Shaolin Boxing, as part of the Shaolin Kongfu heritage, basically serves religious and cultural purposes and should not be separated from the Buddhist spirit, said Shi Yongxin. The Shaolin master told Xinhua the Temple has been trying to protect the authentic Shaolin Spirit from being violated and misused for commercial purposes in recent years by popularizing the conception that Shaolin monks practice Kongfu as a method of strengthening their inner self as demanded by Buddhist doctrines. The Temple even organized international seminars and created Shaolin Kongfu plays and cartoons to more clearly position "Shaolin Kongfu" within the Buddhist framework, according to the Master. Wang Wenzhang, director of the China Arts Institute, said Shaolin Culture incorporating Zen, martial arts, medical sciences and arts is the essence of the Chinese culture and should be further popularized. Protection of Shaolin heritage should be strengthened so as to prepare the cultural and spiritual framework to be listed as a "world heritage", said Wang. Being listed as a "world heritage" will help to better protect Shaolin Kongfu, a traditional Chinese cultural system, said master Shi Yongxin.
Tests: 1, At the present, some archaeologists believe that the tomb of the male protagonist in the Butterfly Lovers' story is
(a) in Beijing.
(b) in Hangzhou.
(c) in Nanjing.
(d) in Ningbo. Correct answer: in Ningbo
2, The Shaolin Temple was built
(a) in 2000 years ago in Qufu in Shandong Province.
(b) in the Qing Dynasty by King Kangxi.
(c) in 495 ad in the period of the Northern and Southern Dynasties.