Posts by Anthill

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Chinese Myth Tuesdays: Pan Gu

 

Edited from Fuck Yeah Chinese Myths!:

You know how in every culture we wonder who we are, and where we came from? The Norse believed that everything came from the primordial void of the Ginnungagap (“mighty gap”), until the frost Giant Ymir thawed out from the ice and his sweat became human beings. And so do the Chinese, more or less!

The story goes that a long time ago, there was nothing except a primordial chaos, and from that chaos emerged a cosmic egg. The egg remained unhatched for 18,000 years. I don’t know how we’re meant to know this. I suppose they wanted to make their creation myth more believable.

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Bad China Articles: Hall of Infamy

 

The Anthill occasionally loans its soul to the devil and does listicles – so far China books and China blogs. Now we turn our eye to bad articles about China, in the form of a top ten hall of infamy. These are mostly terrible articles of the harmless variety – i.e. fresh off the boat and clueless, or falling prey to stereotypes, rather than nasty propaganda or misleadingly ignorant journalism. No personal offence meant to any of the writers, it's only intended as gentle mockery, nothing serious. Ready yourself, here we go ...

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Chinese Tuesdays: Time Map of China

 

Something a little different on Chinese Tuesdays today, as we're expanding our remit to include history and myth as well as language. We're not usually ones to share gifs on the Anthill, but this time map of the shifting territories of China throughout its dynasties, from 1000BC to present day, is fascinating. Hat tip here to our new friends and partner site Fuck Yeah Chinese Myths!

This map should be enough to disabuse you of the notion that "China" is a fixed entity and not an empire. Ditto that Tibet and Xinjiang always have and always will be part of it, etc. – although do note that many of the boundaries are disputed by scholars, and regional influence is of course harder to pin down. Here's the map, enjoy:

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Call for Submissions: Summer Fiction

 

Our friends over at Beijing Cream are launching a Flash Fiction for Charity competition, in which ten or so writers will read out 500-700 word stories about Beijing at Great Leap Brewing's original no. 6 Doujiao hutong pub on Sunday July 13th, with liquid prizes – and all proceeds go to charity. They're seeking writers, so click through for details of how to submit your story (disclosure: I'm one of the judges).

The Anthill will be publishing some of the submissions as well, after the event, as part of a broader "Summer Shorts" season. So if you want to join in the flash fiction fun, but aren't in Beijing or have a flash fiction story that doesn't fit that theme, you can also send it to us here (cc'ing fiction@beijingcream.com) for fame and recognition. Now get writing!

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Writers and Rum (audio)

 

The hangover has faded, but the memories remain – of the first half of the night, at least. Writers and Rum, a storytelling evening with nine Anthill writers and nine hand-picked rums, in collaboration with Badr Benjelloun and Cuju bar on April 16, was a blast (see pictures from the night here). If you missed out, fear not! – you can now listen to a recording of the stories, which has been released as a Creamcast over at Beijing Cream, and is embedded below.

Plus a special bonus: During the night Hudson Lockett, co-host of the excellent China Hang-up podcast, was drawing sketches of the authors (unbeknownst to us, or we would have tried to look more intelligent and less drunk). Here are those sketches, along with bios of the authors and time markers for their stories – five of which have now been published on the site – so you don't get lost. Happy listening!

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