China is wonderous and awe-inspiring. It has a history of five thousand years. It is the only continuous ancient civilization. Other ancient civilizations have changed, discontinued, withered or perished. Why is it so enduring? Why is it so coherent, often sticking to itself, remaining undivided? Why is it so dynamic, always able to revive, regenerate and revitalise itself? Why is it an immortal phoenix able to rise again on its ashes? These are enduring questions. Nobody can give a complete answer, full stop. They will stimulate intellect, provoke interest, engage investigation. > read more
Poet Bai Juyi
Two years after Du Fu died, another great poet was born. Bai Juyi (772-846), the son of a petty official, was born in Xinzheng, Henan. He spent much of his youth as a wanderer in order to escape ongoing wars, and often went cold and hungry as a result. However, he was successful in the civil service examinations, became an official, and worked in the central government for about 15 years.
The development and diversity of Chinese cuisine is also representative of China's long history. With each passing dynasty, new recipes were created until the art of food preparation reached its peak during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The dinner called Man Han Quan Xi — which incorporates all the very best of Man and Han Cuisine — was developed during the Qing Dynasty and is held in extremely high esteem.
According to legend, about 5,000 years ago, Huang Diâthe Yellow Emperorâruled part of the Yellow River valley. He and another leader, Yan Di, or the Fiery Emperor, made great contributions to the progress of civilization.
Revised June 20, 2011