The Chinese Zodiac

A fascinating topic. The Chinese Zodiac – Sheng(1) Xiao(4) is based on a twelve year cycle. Each year is represented by an animal. The table below shows the animals: Rat – Yhu(3). Ox – niu(2). Tiger – hu(3). Rabbit – yu(4)zi. Dragon – long(2), Snake – she(2). Horse – ma(3). Goat – yang(2). Monkey – hou(2). Rooster – ji(1). Dog – gou(3). Pig – zhu(1). Just as in other astrology, each of the Chinese animals represents a different personality types and a person’s general attributes and possible careers. Theories have been developed to predict one’s personality, fortune and major life

Chinese Money

The history of Chinese money is another fascinating topic covering a period of over 3000 years. The present currency is known as the people’s currency namely the re(2)min(2)bi(4). It assumed that the name since 1949 and is the legal tender on the Chinese mainland but not in Hong Kong and Macau.The special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau use the Hong Kong dollar and the Macanese pataca, respectively. The basic unit of the currency is the yuan(2)) which derives from yuan(2) which means round after the shape of the coins. One tenth of the yuan is often called a

Chinese Numbers

Chinese Numbers Today speakers of Chinese use three written numeric systems namely the Arabic numerals used worldwide and two indigenous systems. The most familiar indigenous one is based on Chinese characters that correspond to numerals in the spoken language. The second indigenous system is the Su(1)zhou(1) or hua(1)ma(3) – literally meaning picture number which is based on the rod system (see later). Today the hua(1)ma(3) system is only used for showing prices in Chinese markets or on traditional invoices. Chinese people are fascinated by numbers and wherever you go in the country there are numbers everywhere and not just in

Chinese Food

“To the people, food is foremost” “To the ruler, people are heaven; to the people, food is heaven”. “Every home must have firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce, vinegar and tea”. “Food is the first necessity”. Confucius. Above are four classic sayings about the importance of food in the Chinese culture. Food is embedded in the Chinese culture and many philosophers, emperors and writers have extolled the importance of food as an indispensable part of Chinese life. The preoccupation with food is reflected in the spoken language, for example one of the most commonly heard questions to begin a discussion

Chinese Languages

Introduction The word’s languages are all thought to belong to five major language families namely Indo- European, Sino-Tibetan, Niger-Congo, Afro-Asiatic and Austonesian. Chinese in one form or another, is spoken by more people worldwide than any other language. It is the world’s oldest language still in use and its cultural history can be traced back over 3,500 years. It is a fascinating and at times a complex topic and I hope I can do justice to the subject in this short account. There are scores of Chinese dialects, and although many are related sound so different that a speaker of

A Short Account of Maltese and Chinese Archaeology/Architecture/Astronomy

This is a transcript of a talk given in July 2015 at the Chinese Cultural Centre in Valletta Introduction. In this short talk I will attempt to highlight the fascinating history of Chinese and Maltese architecture and astronomy and the important role archaeology plays in such a study. I cannot do justice to this vast and complex topic but hope I can at least identify some cultural links between the subjects and between the two countries. I hope this transcript of the presentation proves interesting and useful. The topic is referred to as Archaeostronomy (sorry about that mouth full) which

Science, Technology and Civilisation in China

This is a transcript of a talk given in May 2014 at the Chinese Cultural Centre in Valletta This commentary attempts to build on the PowerPoint presentation and provide more detail about the topic. I cannot do justice to the theme because of the time constraints and the immense amount of material relating to the topic. One of the most fascinating aspects of Chinese history is the significant advances made over many thousands of years in astronomy, mathematics, science and technology. Many of these discoveries and inventions were made long before similar advances in the West. For example gunpowder, the