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China Bans Funeral Strippers
The Chinese government is in the news this week as the country's ministry of culture announces that they will "crack down on 'stripping' and other acts of illegal business performance market". The statement was released after controversial videos were circulated featuring paid strippers disrobing in front of parents and children at a Handan funeral - resulting in arrests and a $11,300 fine. (I know. This is a lot to process.) Apparently, funeral strippers have turned into quite a trend in both China and Taiwan, as the region's bereaved have been shelling out some serious cash to pay for strip shows that can go as long as two-and-a-half hours. According to Everett Zhang, assistant professor of East Asian Studies at Princeton University, funerals in the area are treated like one lavish party, celebrating with as many people as possible to ensure that their loved one is sent off properly to the afterlife. "In China, when the person who dies is very old and has lived a long life, this kind of occasion becomes purely a celebration." But why strippers?! According to China's official Xinhua news agency, strippers are hired "to attract more mourners," adding that these racy performances "add to the fun". Blame it on cultural difference, but I can see why something like this would deserve to be shut down. However, while Zhang sees where this situation could be problematic, he's particularly surprised at the bold measures the government is taking to put an end to it. "Local people would not be happy about the arrests. That would be really intrusive and offensive." So what do you think? Should the Chinese government be allowed to arrest and fine the bereaved hiring funeral strippers, or should it be left to the family's discretion? Let me know in the comments below, and for more WTF news, follow my WTF Street Journal collection.
How To Make Sweet Red Bean Soup (紅豆湯) from China's Guangdong Province (Vegan)
This weekend, I attended my very first traditional Chinese wedding, as two friends who I study Korean with ended up falling in all sorts of love and decided to spend the rest of their lives together. The wedding was completely amazing. I loved being able to meet their families, learn all about their specific wedding customs and, of course, eat a ridiculous amount of Cantonese food. (In Chinese tradition, weddings can serve anywhere from 10 - 12 courses. Ours stopped right at 11!) One of the very last dishes we ate was Hóng Dòu Tāng, a sweet red bean soup served in a thin broth with simmered lotus seeds. I have seen this dish around, especially at the Taiwanese tea house I'm often frequenting, and couldn't wait to try it myself. The soup is a wonderful combination of sweet and savory, and the lotus seed has a nice nutty flavor and texture similar to peanuts. You should be able to find all of these ingredients at most Asian markets. This recipe can be made without lotus seeds, of course, but lotus seeds are full of good nutrition and are constantly used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat anything from insomnia to gastrointestinal problems - which is why it's the perfect bowl to end the night with! ------------------------------------------------------ Sweet Red Bean Soup (Hóng Dòu Tāng) 1 cup red beans (You can probably find these canned, but fresh is best if possible.) 15 dried lotus seeds 1 piece dried tangerine peel 4 - 5 tablespoons brown sugar Water 1 - 2 tablespoons fine glutinous rice flour in equal parts of water for thickening to your desired consistency Some coconut milk for drizzling over soup 1. Wash red beans in several rinses of water until water runs clear of dirt and grit. Put into a pot, fill with water to a height equivalent to the length of your index finger - roughly 2 inches - above the beans. Bring to a boil, and let par-boil for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, cover with lid, and let it sit for half an hour to let the hot water soften the tough bean husks. 2. Meanwhile, soak dried tangerine peel in water for 15 minutes or until soft. Using the blunt end of a small knife, scrape off the pith on the inside of the peel. Wash clean, and then wash the lotus seeds as well. 3. Bring the pot of red beans back to a boil, add the washed tangerine peel, lotus seeds, and half of the brown sugar. Reduce to medium heat, let simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the beans are soft. Skim foam off the surface as it forms. Add water if the liquid reduces too much. When beans are soft and cracked open, do a taste test and add sugar to your desired sweetness. 4. To thicken the soup slightly, stir the glutinous rice flour solution into the soup, little by little, letting the heat cook through before adding more. Stop when desired consistency is reached. Dish out into serving bowls, drizzled with some coconut milk, if desired.
Los fans de Lee Min Ho “siguen” al actor conectado y desconectado
La popularidad del actor Lee Min Ho en el extranjero va más allá de la imaginación. El actor y su agencia personal estaban emocionados por el entusiasmo de los fans que vinieron del extranjero con el fin de verlo en el set de grabaciones del drama “The Heirs” de SBS. Fans de China visitaron a Lee Min Ho en su casa de Nonhyun-dong en Seúl y lo siguieron a las grabaciones del drama a Gyunggi-do Yang Pyung y Gyunggi-do Ilsan. Estos fans siguieron día y noche al actor viajando en parejas o en pequeños grupos a través de la contratación de “taxis sasaeng”. Un representante de Starhaus Entertainment dijo: “No sabemos como encontraron las locaciones. Estamos sorprendidos de que ellos lo supieran. Estamos también agradecidos por el apoyo de los fans que vinieron desde el extranjero sólo para verlo. Sin embargo, también tenemos preocupaciones por su seguridad. Lee Min Ho está haciendo planes para visitar el extranjero con el fin de mostrar su aprecio por el apoyo de sus fans una vez que concluya el drama. También tendrá una reunión de fans en enero, así que por favor sigan las actividades de Lee Min Ho”. Lee Min Ho también agradeció a sus fans de “todo el mundo” a través de una actualización en su cuenta de Facebook. El 1ro de diciembre, él publicó: “Creo que mucha gente no ha visto esta foto aún… Tomé esto en un concepto lindo de Tan Kim de mi nuevo drama”. La foto recibió más de 10,000 de “Likes” y miles comentaron para responder a Lee Min Ho. Su cuenta de Weibo también excede los 10 millones de seguidores. Un representante de la agencia de Lee Min Ho explicó: “La base de fans de Lee Min Ho es muy diversa, desde adolescentes hasta personas de cincuenta años de todo el mundo. Hemos visto que madres e hijas se reúnen, así como fans de Japón, China y otros países de Asia. Algunos incluso vienen de los Estados Unidos y Chile”. En relación con la gran cantidad de fans, personal afiliado al drama “The Heirs” declaró: “Estamos buscando la cooperación de los lugares de grabación y los fans también están ayudando. Se siente como si estuviéramos poniendo nuestros esfuerzos en conjunto con el fin de grabar el drama. Hay cuatro episodios restantes de ‘The Heirs’ todavía, así que estamos prestando más atención a la seguridad debido a que la curiosidad aumenta sobre como concluirá el drama”.