This old lady is 90 years old, she was just an average Chinese woman in the rural area of Changsha, yet she brought all her six children to highly educated, two of them hold doctorate degrees. One of her grand chidren has two PhD degrees. She lives in Yangtian Village. Her family and my family are both Luos, so. I took this picture after having dinner together.
Liuyang, as part of Changsha, is famous for fireworks. It has remained the largest firework production base in the world for decades.
There is a village here called Yangtian, which means fields of rice seedlings. Yangtian Village is like a mysterious paddy field constantly providing nutritions to healthy seedlings for centuries.
In the past half century, the village has astonished the people by offering over twenty holders with Ph.D in various categories. This is very unusual in China since our education level is rather low.
In Yangtian Village, most of the villagers share the same surname Luo, it is actually the common home and root of many Luo families in Hunan Province, especially in Changsha. And the Yangtian Luo family came from neighboring Jiangxi Province.
Actually my ancestor used to live here in Yangtian as well. A man who was later titled as Lord Shiwen relocated to a place in northern Changsha, he did well there and had a large family. And he became the common ancestor of thousands of Changsha Luos, including my grandpa, my father and me. That place nowadays is still called LuoDai, it means two leading families are Luo and Dai in that town. LuoDai is where my mother was born.
RELOCATION IN HISTORY AND WARS
A branch of Luos left LuoDai about six hundreds of years ago and settled down in a nearby town called Gaoqiao, this is where father s family lived. Because of the wars, my grandpa and his brother left Gaoqiao and settled down in Jinjing, which is between Gaoqiao and LuoDai, and we still live here.
There has been a very strong belief in Luo families that receiving higher education is the most reliable way to climb up to a higher social level and repay the family and nation.
My father told me this ever since I was little, his father told him the same ever since he was little.
Every Chinese family had a formal instruction written or carved on the walls of each family hall in our traditional societies. In our Luo family instructions, studying was strongly emphasized.
A Strong Family Bond
In this Yangtian Village, there has been a very strong bond. Rich or poor, they dont intend to leave. Other families living in this same village are minorities, they would choose to relocate to the cities or larger nearby towns whenever they have the money, but the Luos, which has remajned the absolute majority in Yangtian, always come back no matter how successful they are in the outside world. They would use every piece of the land available to build their dream homes here, because this is their forever home. They are the absolute masters of the land, while other surnames are just someone borrowing the land for survival.
I am the same. I was doing well in California and many Chinese cities, but Iive in Jinjing, where I feel safe the most.
Today I took one of my summer camp students Peng Yong to revisit Yangtian, by biking, hoping to understand how a family instruction build the ultimate foundation of the fate of all Luos.
A UNITED SOCIETY
I have a good friend Deng, who is part of the administration team of the village. He said, whenever the local administration team decides to build a nicer infrastructure facility in the village: higher level road, a park, or a library, the villagers are all willing to contribute. This is not common to see in rural China as well.
I admire the people.
I am thinking, such strong blood bond could be the main force which made 21 PhD holders and hundreds of master degree holders, not the family instructions. When you feel safe and loved, you tend to have more energy and enthusiasm to study hard and contribute to the reputation of the Luos.
这是这个机构的【网址】。他们是做什么的？简单来说，就是通过心理辅导，解决人们生活中的各种苦恼、怨恨等。他们的主要理论依据是《道德经》，就是引导大家学会从不同角度来看待生活中的各种麻烦，告诉人们，大多数时候，苦恼和麻烦其实都是自己的表象的主观判定，我们并没有能够意识到深层次的原因。如果通过不断向自己反问，找到最底层的根源，很多问题就可以解决了。这个组织经常在美国各地开课，有自己的培训学校，有自己培训出来的“心理咨询师”，有免费的公益网络辅导课等等。上图右侧这个妇女就是来自美国加州的奠基人 BARREN KATIE，她是整个组织的灵魂人物。现在这个组织已经在美国和欧洲等大多数发达国家都有分部，很多人从这套方法中受益，学会看到麻烦的本质，自己的问题，学会原谅别人，因此获得了解脱。
美国达人秀是全球达人秀节目连锁品牌中的一个，这个连锁品牌是由 英国人西蒙 SIMON COWELL创建的（下图那个男人，他是大老板兼评委），在美国，这个选修节目的出品方是 FREMANTLE NORTH AMERICA公司，合作方是 SYCOtv 电视公司。
美国这个节目是英国人 COWELL 先生和美国全国广播公司 NBC 合作制作，所以在很多电视观众看来，是NBC电视台的节目，实际上并不是他们自己制作。
达人秀的英文名称是 America’s Got Talent，简称 AGT，有一个官方网站，没有中文版本。参加达人秀第一步就是注册。如果你有兴趣参加，请在下面留言，我可以帮你注册，或者加入我们的一个微信群，一起商量如何去参加这个选秀节目。他们的官方网站在国内打不开，被墙，只能我来想办法。
It is January 20th today, 2017. But according to Chinese traditional lunar calendar, it is still December 2016. In most years the lunar calendar is about one month behind solar calendar.
Today is December 22th according to the lunar calendar and we are 8 days away from the end of 2016, as well as Spring Festival.
Jinjing Town has been influenced by the modern culture and lifestyles coming from the city of Changsha for a hundred years, and our lifestyle has transformed into an international standard town in my ways, in just 30 years. We did not have electricity until when I was about ten years old. I was doing my homeworks/reading my first storybook on the side of an oil lamp which could so easily burned the mosquito net and burn me if I was not careful at that age…
But we can still sense the power of traditions of hundreds of years during this special time, spanning from the second half days of December to the first half of January of the new year.
Paying/receiving the salary/debts is one of the major activities in this period. Many families and small businesses have hired labors/carpenters working on various projects: building houses for example, the tradition allows us to pay them at the end of the year. We do not need to pay them right away when the job is done. We pay them during important festivals or when they need money in serious occasions: wedding, funeral, college entrance, hospital bills, etc. There are trusts among people. You do not see that in the cities anymore, not like this.
Chinese people are not religious and we never go to a church or temple to pray regularly. Only during Spring Festival many families go to a local temple to pray for the peace and wellness of the family. When my father was alive, he would go alone in the first day, at dawn, like many others. Going to the GuanYin Temple as early as possible may avoid the impressive crowd, more importantly, it shows the goddess they prayers are sincere.
Nowadays the temple is taken care of by monks and female temple practitioners/keepers. They live in the small temple and asked the pilgrims not to set off firecrackers anymore so that the Buddhas, goddess and themselves can enjoy the peace. “You do not need to be loud to show you are sincere when you pray.” That’s what the female temple keepers told the pilgrims.
I wish I find the peace this year.
This is the house I grew up, the right part. My father was standing in front of the house in Spring Festival. Today when I write this blog, everything has changed around this place. The old house is gone, the person in the picture is gone. But
The family is still here.
This has been a very scary holiday since the breakout of Wuhan respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus. Everyone stayed at home with the families, unless we have to go out for shopping.
My mom went to the City of Zhongshan by train two days before the Chinese New Year’s Eve, there were many passengers in the train station, very few of them wore a mask. My uncle, aunt and mom wore one that my cousin bought for them online. I didn’t check their mask and I am afraid my mom, my aunt had no idea how to wear them properly. Mom is now staying with my sister’s family. I told her not to make any plan to return home yet, because you never know what will happen on the train and in the train stations.
Ms. Li came to Changsha to talk about working together in the future on Chinese New Year’s Eve. I picked her up in the bus station here in the town. She said the city of Xingsha where she changed the bus lines was almost empty, and the buses she took to come here had just one passenger – herself. Yesterday I walked her to the bus station, only to find out that all buses have stopped. She had to call a Didi car to the train station. The driver is a local young man, single. Other drivers refused to take the risk.
Three days ago, the sun was finally shining in the sky after days of rain. I visited a few neighbors in the village, everybody was in fear of the virus. Nobody came to my house since eight days ago.
I didn’t even open the front door since yesterday, stayed at home the whole day. Luckly I live alone in the countryside, we have enough water and vegetables and rice.
Nobody know if such a disaster will go away in a short period of time. What if we failed to produce a vaccine before millions of people lose their lives? Would my life be threatened soon?
Right now I have White Fox staying with me. She is a nice girl, I don’t know if her going out everyday will make her vulerable. Maybe from tomorrow, I will just keep her indoor, to make both of us safe.
I hope this time we finally get a chance to achieve political reform in the nation.
We are an investor from Shanghai, looking for a master planner team, hopefully from the USA, to work with us on a national park in Jiangsu Zhenjiang City. We expect the planner is not only familiar with the planning and design, but also with the operation and business mode of this type of project. If you are not perfect for this type of work, please team up with someone else that you know qualified.
There is no program yet, we are waiting for the international consultants to provide us with their input and advices.
During design, we will work closely with the local government on the program and it might be time consuming, please include that in your proposal. Thank you.
These are the existing conditions of the national park in Zhengjiang.
This is Zhenjiang City.
Message from the developer: The walking street plus its attached facilities including shopping mall, etc will be located in Shanghai’s Pudong Lingang New Town(I decided to translate it into Pudong Marina), which is a new city currently being developed in Shanghai’s Pudong District, where the Pudong International Airport is. This marina is called Dishui Lake, a man made lake completed just a few years ago.
In this large lake there are three islands – left over of the land when excavating the lake. The islands are mainly themed park, hotel, shopping mall, leisure, entertainment, etc. Our project will be shinning here.
Shanghai is expanding too large in recent years. The government decided to develop a few secondary cities functioning as the supporting hubs to the heart of Shanghai, which is in the west of Huangpu River.
Our company is a Shanghai native developer, who used to focus on residential developments. We welcome all international master planners/architects who are experienced in developing high density urban complex and walking street to contact us through Amasia.
====TIPS FOR INTERNATIONAL DESIGNERS:
Fireplace in China: Just in case you do not know. Chinese families do not use fireplace!
But the new high end houses are starting to use them, although not so beautiful. We actually make a lot of them, as I heard, and they are all for exports only. This does not mean you cannot specify or recommend fireplaces to your future Chinese clients though. We not only need them in most places of China because of the weather, but also love them – by those who have used fireplaces. It’s just yet to be introduced by more and more home builders here.
We are looking for a consultant or a consulting company for a large urban five star hotel in Shanghai. It’s part of an urban complex. The public area is 85,000 m2, guest room area 21,000 m2, BOH area 19,000 m2. The interior design firm is from Italy. We are the developer of this large urban complex, and we would like our consultant of hospitality interior designers to speak on behalf of us during design process and later on construction phase, review plans/documents produced by the Italian designer team, provide advice to us & the architect.
You will be working for us for at least 3 months during interior design. When we invite bidders of contractors we will need your services again and we would like to sign another consultancy agreement.
We are one of the major developers in Shanghai, looking forward to more chances working with you.