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A Guide To Contemporary China

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Great Strides For Women

Benefits to China’s women have increased over the past decade, was the claim at a conference of the All China’s Womens Federtaion. It said over 830,000 female scientists and researchers have been mobilized to participate in the provision of such services as boosting the public’s scientific knowledge and assisting in rural development while more than 7 million women have received business and entrepreneurial support over the past 10 years. The past decade also saw enhanced protection for women’s rights with various services such as counselling, complaints handling, and legal assistance provided. Charity projects to boost the welfare of women and children have also been launched with an increasing scope of coverage while women’s federations in China have maintained friendly exchanges with over 420 women’s associations, institutions and international organizations in 145 countries, it said.

Source: People’s Daily

VR Memorial For Confucius

Virtual Reality and Confucius sounds an unlikely combination, but that’s just what happened recently at memorial ceremonies to pay tribute to the great philosopher, politician and educator on his 2,573rd birthday. Those who couldn’t make it stayed home, and with a few clicks found themselves completely dressed up (through their chosen virtual avatars) and ready to go. A second later, their virtual avatars were beamed up to a huge hall, where they picked the best virtual seats in the house to experience the Confucius Memorial Ceremony. Organisers say this is the first time that this has been done.

Source: Global Times

‘Intelligent’ Garbage Bins

Sorting out rubbish is not a waste of time, but it can be a responsibility that people may too often discard. But, what if we had a garbage container that could help us classify the trash? Based on that assumption, twins Chu Siyu and Chu Siqi, both fifth-grade students from Beijing Huiwen No 1 Primary School, used artificial intelligence, cloud storage and the internet of things to design a set of four garbage containers that help users to sort the trash. Users first open a designated app upon which the names of different kinds of rubbish are displayed. Once the user chooses an item of trash in the app, the corresponding Bluetooth-enabled trash bin will automatically open. “That also allows people to throw away their waste without touching the trash bin, which is more sanitary,” say the young inventors.

Source: China Daily

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Beautiful Babies

In China, a growing number of parents are taking drastic measures to ensure their infant children conform to traditional beauty standards. In their eyes, a child’s future success will depend on their physical appearance just as much as their education — and so they need to intervene early. It’s a trend driven by social media. On Chinese social platforms, influencers are promoting a range of products that they claim will correct perceived physical imperfections in young children: from braces for 3-year-olds’ teeth, to helmets designed to mold a baby’s skull to a desired shape, and leg binds that supposedly make children’s legs grow straight. Posts about these products often reach massive audiences, and they have fuelled the growth of an entire baby beauty industry. On Xiaohongshu, an Instagram-like platform, there are now dozens of vendors selling anti-mouth breathing tape for children.

Source: Sixth Tone

Stuffed Toy Surgeons

Its face needs to be more symmetrical; its nose could be smaller; its philtrum should be shorter for a sweeter look: These are just a few suggestions that stuffed toy designer Xiaofanqie (meaning ‘Little Tomato’ in English) offers her clients while running her side business as a ‘cosmetic surgeon.’ However, Xiaofanqie’s scalpel never touches skin — the creative only ever works her magic on Disney toys. Since Disney’s Duffy and Friends franchise exploded in popularity in China (especially following the debut of sassy pink fox LinaBell), business has been brisk for ‘stuffed toy surgeons.’ These surgeons, who take online consultations before making tailored adjustments to their customers’ toys. The trend is causing a lot of debate. While some argue that there is nothing wrong with letting artisans exercise their creativity and breathe more character into customers’ toys, others say that some customer requests, such as those pertaining to the golden ratio of beauty, reflect today’s “narrow” and “unhealthy” beauty standards.

Source: Radii China

Square Dancing Craze

Square dancing is sweeping China. Yuan Liang, an official with the Beijing cultural centre said that the popularity of the dance is so widespread that there are currently more than 4,000 square dance groups in Beijing, and their choreography and costumes feature local characteristics. Chinese square dancers have performed in France, New Zealand and the United States over the past years. “Square dance differs from other professional dance genres as it can incorporate moves from any other dance style. It is not only a grassroots cultural activity that comes from people’s daily lives but also closely linked with Chinese traditional culture,” Yue said. For the first time, square dance was included as a separate category in the recently announced Qun Xing national award for culture and arts in China. “The award serves as a motivation for all the ordinary people who join the square dance activities,” said Yuan, expressing hopes that square dancing can promote Chinese culture across the world.

Source: Xinhua