Posts by Anthill

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Writers, Rum and Antics

 

A few quick Anthill (蚂蚁山 mǎyǐshān) notices in lieu of Chinese Tuesdays today:

  • The Anthill Writers and Rum storytelling night, tomorrow at Cuju bar in Beijing, is sold out of rum tickets, but we hope to record the event and post the audio after a couple of weeks. The next handful of posts on the Anthill will also be stories from the night, so our faithful readers won't miss out on the fun.
  • Never miss a story: we've launched a weekly email newsletter, "From the Colony" – it's a digest of the last week's new posts, as well as picture corner, link of the week and quote of the week. Just one email over the weekend, and it looks pretty. Sign up with that link above, or in the left hand column.
  • As some of you already know, or will have seen in your calendar, April is International Tell a Friend About the Anthill Month. No, really. It's also a good opportunity for outliers to follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

READ ON...

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April Fool’s in ancient China

 

Now it’s past noon, if you fell for any April Fool’s pranks today it’s your own fault, chump. Last year we fooled a few of you ourselves; this time, we're delving into Chinese history and legend. The Chinese term for April Fool’s Day is 愚人节 (yúrénjié – literally “idiots festival”). And as some of you will know – apologies to the old hands to whom this is old hat – playing jokes on friends today is a tradition which originated in China, in the Warring States period.

The story goes that the King of Chu had difficulty deciding which of his four favourite ministers to promote to the position of top court official, in effect his right hand man.

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China blogs Hall of Fame

 

The Blogging China event at the Bookworm is tonight at 8pm, and I'm on the panel. I hope to see some Anthill readers there. In the meantime, I’ve been getting nostalgic about old China blogs (including my own). I don’t believe the grumps who say that English language China blogs are “dead”, but there was definitely a wider range of smaller blogs back in 2007 when I first started following them. So I thought I’d enshrine some of them for posterity, alongside those which are still going strong, and list a few newer and lesser known ones too.

I’ve split this into four lists: fallen heroes, golden oldies, rising stars and hidden ninjas. I’m selective, but if I’ve missed any big ones, do add them in the comments, along with which category you think it belongs in.

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Chinese Tuesdays: Horses, immediately

 

Yes, I know it is not Tuesday. But I've been travelling, and Chinese Tuesdays is more than a day, it is a state of mind.

You're probably already fed up with new year's good wishes and horse puns (or even more irritating, these little suckers), but they're not going to go away so you might as well learn a few of the better ones to inflict on others. Courtesy of Fuck Yeah Chinese Myths!:

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Chinese Tuesdays: New Year's Eve (of revolution)


Here's an amusing titbit in advance of the Chinese new year that I hope doesn't get the Anthill blocked.

There's been some vexation that this year, the eve of the spring festival (January 30th) is a working day, not a holiday. So a creative homophone has been doing the rounds. That night, new year's eve, is called 除夕 (chúxī – where 夕 xī means "eve"). But with a small substitution you get 除习 (chúxí), which sounds like a shortened version of "除掉 (chúdiào – eliminate) 习近平 (Xi Jinping)" – get rid of Xi. That, the suggestion goes, is why the government isn't keen to celebrate the occasion.

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