THE FALL OF THE XIA DYNASTY

When he died, Da Yu passed the throne to his son Qi, who founded the first slave dynasty in Chinese history, the Xia Dynasty, at the end of the 22nd and beginning of the 21st century BC. Dynastic rulers governed the country for over 400 years until the 16th century BC, when Jie, an infamous tyrant, was overthrown.

At that time, the Shang, a tribe living along the lower reaches of the Yellow River who specialised in animal herding, rose rapidly. By the end of the Xia Dynasty, they had become a powerful tribe led by Tang, also known as Shang Tang or Cheng Tang.

Indignant over its corruption, Tang was determined to topple the Xia Dynasty. While acting ostensibly obedient to Jie, he secretly enhanced his own power.  In order to facilitate military operations, he moved his tribe to Bo (today’s Shangqiu, Henan Province).  From Bo to the capital of the Xia Dynasty stretched a vast plain without any mountains or rivers, a geological advantage making it easy for large troops to manoeuvre.  In Bo, Tang with his tolerance won the support of all his tribesmen.  He also tried to boost his profile across the country, and to seek the approval of other tribes.

At that time, all tribal leaders believed in gods, and considered the worshipping of the heavens, the earth and their ancestors, to be of paramount importance. However, a tribe called Ge, not far from the Shang tribe, did not offer sacrifices at the correct time. Worse still, the people there themselves ate the cattle and sheep Tang had offered them for sacrificial use. They even went as far as to kill the young man who had brought the food sent by Tang to farmhands hired by some Ge nobles, and stole the food. This triggered a battle between the two tribes, in which the Ge was defeated. Tang took this opportunity to seize a number of nearby tribes.  Tang’s power gradually strengthened with these moves.  However, the insensible, decadent Jie did not take note of Tang’s ambitions.

Tang thought the time was ripe for overthrowing the Xia Dynasty, since many tribes, no longer able to bear the cruelty of the Xia, had seceded from the dynasty. Tang decided to launch a massive attack. He first imbued the soldiers with a desire to topple the Xia Dynasty by appealing to the aspirations of the heavens.  As a result, all the soldiers fought heroically. At a decisive battle in Mingdi, Jie’s troops suffered a major defeat.  Jie fled to Nanchao (southwest of today’s Chaoxian County, Anhui Province), where he was captured by Tang’s troops. He exiled there until his death.

After ousting Jie, Tang continued to eradicate the remaining forces of the Xia Dynasty.  Around 1600 BC, Tang officially founded the Shang Dynasty (c. early 17th – 11th century BC), the second slave regime in Chinese history.

It has been a long time!

Yes, I know it has been a long time but before you judge me about not blogging for so long, think what you would do if you were in my shoes. Remember that I am in China and because of that very fact, the Internet is controlled. That means…..Wordpress….along with other sites like youtube and facebook are blocked in China and that means that the users who now use these sites in China have to use a VPN or something that will permit them to jump the Great Firewall as it is called here. So….I did not have a VPN at the time…and I do not believe in paying for something that I should be getting for free….i.e. freedom of speech and total freedom in accessing the Internet.  That is at least…until I do become desperate.  So now…I am using a free VPN service in order to access this blog of mine…..so there you have it.  

Judge not and you will not be judged…..this is what they say….but then again….if a person like me does not judge, who says that i will not be misunderstood and judged?

Anyway I have also had a lot of crap happen to me since the last time I made an entry here so….for the time being…look out for my future posts! 

See ya!

DA YU CONQUERS THE FLOODS

Legend has it that severe floods hit China during the reign of Yao, destroying houses, ravaging farmlands and drowning tens of thousands of people. In order to save the country from calamity, Yao called on the public to recommend capable people to deal with the floods. A man named Gun was recommended. For the ensuing nine years, he fought against the floods by building dams. While dams were constructed in one place, those in another place were destroyed.  As a result, all his efforts came to nothing in the end. Yao sent Shun to inspect Gun’s work.  Seeing that Gun could do nothing to stop the floods, Shun had him executed and ordered his son Yu to continue the mission.

Yu took over the task. Learning from his father’s failure, he decided to first conduct onsite research.  Yu, together with his many aides including Yi and Houji, travelled extensively in the flood stricken areas.  They studied the topography of these areas, marking their findings with wooden logs.  Based on their research, they came up with plans to tackle the floods.

As chief of the campaign against the floods, Yu set a good example for others.  Everybody was moved to tears when they saw his blistered hands and feet.  His calves and feet had been soaked in water for so long, that the nails of his toes and the hair of his legs had all vanished. In the 13 years he was in charge of combating floods, he passed his home three times during his travels, but never once visited his home.

Yu found the correct approach to control the floods: by creating channels in the mountains, and by diverting the waters through those channels to big rivers and then to the sea. In Yu’s time, a range of high mountains (between today’s Hejin, Shanxi Province, and Hancheng, Shaanxi Province) blocked the surging Yellow River.

Consequently, the river breached its embankments, flooding the regions nearby.

Yu believed that this was the crux of the anti-flood campaign. He decided to create a gap in the mountain so that the river could continue its journey. After strenuous efforts, a gap was excavated. Now, the Yellow River could flow down through the gap. To commemorate this hero, people named the mountain “Longmen” (Dragon’s Gate) Mountain, and the gap, “Yumenkou” (Gate of Yu). Yu was also extolled as “Da Yu” (Great Yu) for his remarkable contributions.

YAO PASSES THE THRONE TO SHUN

Yao and Shun were two of the Five Emperors in prehistoric China. Yao, surnamed Yinqi and styled Fangxun, was also known as Tang Yao because his life was in a region called Tang.

Yao won popular support for his moral standards and high prestige. A prudent and respectable man, he had been able to strengthen the solidarity of different clans and tribes. Yao also gained respect for his simple way of living. After 70 years on the throne, the 86 year old tribal leader felt it time to pass his responsibilities onto a younger person. So he ordered announcements posted across the country, calling on people to recommend able candidates. Shortly after, people unanimously recommended Shun to succeed the old emperor.

Shun lived with his blind father and stepmother, who later gave birth to a son called Xiang. Xiang was lazy and arrogant. However, the father was always partial to him. Despite this, Shun was filial to his parents and kind to his half-brother. Having been told what kind of person Shun was, Yao decided to put him to a test, in order to see if he was qualified enough to be his successor. He married his two daughters Ehuang and Nuying to him, and sent him to work in different parts of the country.

Shun was first sent to farm at the foot of the Lishan Mountain, where disputes often rose among the residents over the use of land. As soon as Shun arrived, they stopped quarrelling to focus on their farm work. Shun was also sent to fish among the fishermen. Before this, the fishermen were constantly embroiled in bloody squabbles over houses. However, immediately after Shun arrived, they shed their selfishness and befriended each other. Wherever Shun went, local people followed his leadership.

Delighted by the fine work that Shun had done, Yao presented him with a new gown, a zither and many sheep and cattle, in addition to building a barn for him. Shun’s father and brother were so jealous that they plotted to kill him. One day, the father asked Shun to repair the roof of the barn, attempting to burn him to death by lighting a fire inside. The scheme was detected by Shun’s two wives Ehuang and Nuying, who told him to take two large bamboo hats with him. When he saw the fire below, Shun jumped off the roof safely with a hat in each hand, like a pair of wings.

Although their first attempt was thus foiled, his father and Xiang did not give up. Several days later, his father told Shun to dig a well with the intention of burying him alive. However, Shun climbed out from under the dirt through an inclined channel he had dug. Xiang was playing a zither on a mat in Shun’s house, when Shun showed up. Believing Shun had died, Xiang was shocked to the core.

“I was just thinking about you, my brother,” exclaimed the hypocrite, “ What took you so long to dig a well? I’ve been missing you to death.”

Instead of scolding his cruel-hearted half brother, Shun said, “You are so concerned about me, my dear brother. You are my dearest brother indeed.”

Impressed by Shun’s tolerance, Yao trusted him even more and handed over administrative power to him. In the twenty years that followed, Shun governed the country well, winning the widespread respect of the public. When he was over a hundred years old, Yao decided to retire. After taking an inspection tour throughout the country, he finally installed Shun as chief of the tribal alliance.

Comment by Nagaap: What a wonderful and incredible example of leadership! Yao first took Shun under his wing to rule for twenty years. After Shun had proved himself and did well in the ‘little things’, did Yao then pass on more responsibilities and the baton onto him to rule and lead the country with full power and authority. It is only sad and such a shame though that this example has not been followed through with regard to our so called ‘President’ Zuma.

Videos and Photos Uploaded

Hi Guys

Just wanted you to know that I have finally uploaded some videos and photos on my blog for you to check out.  They are located under the header of the name of my blog. Just click on the relevant links.

If and when you do have the time ( don’t we all need more of it?!) do stop by and visit my blog and check them out and give me your comments, especially about the Chinese videos because they have been uploaded here onto a Chinese sort of ‘Youtube’ video sharing website and I really have NO idea if you guys can access them and view and/or what the speed is like.

I would love to hear your views on this.

Thanks for your readership and support!

Nagaap1

OLD GOLD!

OLD GOLD!

> > _When an old man died in the geriatric ward of
> > a nursing home in GRASS VALLEY, CA. It was believed that he had nothing
> > left of any value.
> > > >
> > Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, they
> > found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies
> > were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.
> >
> >
> > > >
> > One nurse took her copy to Missouri.
> >
> > The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the
> > Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Association for Mental
> > Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but
> > eloquent, poem.
> >
> > And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now
> > the author of this ‘anonymous’ poem winging across the Internet.
> >
> >
> > Crabby Old Man…
> >
> > > >
> > What do you see nurses? . . .. . . What do you see?
> > What are you thinking . . . . . When you’re looking at me?
> > A crabby old man . . . . . Not very wise,
> > Uncertain of habit . . . . . With faraway eyes?
> >
> > Who dribbles his food . . . . . And makes no reply.
> > When you say in a loud voice . . . . . ‘I do wish you’d try!’
> > Who seems not to notice .. . . . . The things that you do.
> > And forever is losing . . . . . A sock or shoe?
> >
> > Who, resisting or not . . . . . Lets you do as you will,
> > With bathing and feeding . . . . . The long day to fill?
> > Is that what you’re thinking? . . . . . Is that what you see?
> > Then open your eyes, nurse . . . . . You’re not looking at me.
> >
> > I’ll tell you who I am. . . . . . As I sit here so still,
> > As I do at your bidding, . . . . . As I eat at your will.
> > I’m a small child of Ten . . . . .. With a father and mother,
> > Brothers and sisters . . . . . Who love one another.
> >
> > A young boy of Sixteen . . . . With wings on his feet.
> > Dreaming that soon now . . . . . A lover he’ll meet.
> > A groom soon at Twenty . . . . . My heart gives a leap.
> > Remembering, the vows . . . . . That I promised to keep.
> >
> > At Twenty-Five, now . . . .. . I have young of my own.
> > Who need me to guide . . . . . And a secure happy home.
> > A man of Thirty . . . . . My young now grown fast,
> > Bound to each other . . . . . With ties that should last.
> >
> > At Forty, my young sons . . .. . . Have grown and are gone,
> > But my woman’s beside me . . . . . To see I don’t mourn.
> > At Fifty, once more, babies play ’round my knee,
> > Again, we know children . . . . . My loved one and me.
> >
> > Dark days are upon me . . . . . My wife is now dead.
> > I look at the future . . . . . Shudder with dread.
> > For my young are all rearing . . . . . Young of their own.
> > And I think of the years .. . . . . And the love that I’ve known.
> >
> > I’m now an old man . . . . .. And nature is cruel.
> > Tis jest to make old age . . . . . Look like a fool.
> > The body, it crumbles . . . . . Grace and vigor, depart.
> > There is now a stone . . . . Where I once had a heart.
> >
> > But inside this old carcass . . . . . A young guy still dwells,
> > And now and again . . . . . My battered heart swells.
> > I remember the joys . . . . . I remember the pain.
> > And I’m loving and living . . . . . Life over again.
> >
> > I think of the years, all too few . . . . . Gone too fast.
> > And accept the stark fact . . . . That nothing can last.
> > So open your eyes, people . . . . . Open and see.
> > Not a crabby old man . . . . Look closer . .. . See ME!
> >
> >
> > Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush
> > aside without looking at the young soul within.
> >
> > We will all, one day, be there too if we live long enough!
> >
> > PLEASE SHARE THIS POEM

WIHN (Part 3)

Eating in a Chinese restaurant. Eating in a Chinese restaurant never ceases to amaze me. I walked into a restaurant one day to order food, the moment I walked in everyone looked up from eating their food or from having conversations with their friends (whilst simultaneously saying, “oh look, there’s a laowai that has just walked in”) and stared at me for at least a minute. I can assure you that just that one minute felt like an hour! I began to feel uncomfortable but tried to brush it aside. After ordering a plate of fried noodles (known as ‘chow mein’ in mandarin), I sat down at the table and waited for my dish to be prepared and served. Whilst waiting for my food to arrive, I delved into my book that I had brought along with me. As I was reading I began to hear loud slurping noises behind me. I turned round and noticed two Chinese eating noodles but in a manner that would raise eyebrows in South African restaurants, not to mention that it would also draw a slap across my face if I was eating with my family back home. It was then that I also noticed that some of the people were glancing at me and giving stares and it became obvious that they were talking about me. My noodles arrived and so I picked up my chopsticks and started eating whilst at the same time continued to read my book. I then thought, ‘what the heck, why bother’ as the noise in the restaurant from the Chinese talking with each other was just too loud unlike back home in restaurants where I am used to eating with either soft music playing in the back ground or a quiet atmosphere. Sometimes when I was back home in SA i would visit places where reasonably loud entertaining kind of music is played but not all the time, but eating in a restaurant where Chinese people are talking so loudly to each other and almost shouting is just too much for me but since i am the foreigner there, there is nothing i can do about it.

On one occasion I also walked into another restaurant and got the same thing (stares)until I got ticked off and told them off in Chinese (in public) not too stare at people continuously as it is rude, but not only that but it makes one feel uncomfortable. Boy! Did they get the message and quickly looked at their own plates of food. When they got up to leave the restaurant after eating,some of them actually came up to me and apologized. Does it change anything? No. The same thing happens everywhere again and again in China no matter where you go and no matter how many times you might even visit the same restaurant you visited previously where you had your bad experiences because there are always new people in the restaurant every time you visit.

So when you eat in a Chinese restaurant in China….be prepared for LOUD CONVERSATIONS, CONTINUOUS STARES and LOUD SLURPING NOISES. This is the norm in China.

This is China…in the here, in the now….realistically speaking…through the eyes of a South African.