As China's villages meet modernity, with such conveniences as the flushing toilet, the Internet and personal car ownership, some traditions are being left by the wayside, only remaining in memory.
On the eve of Spring Festival, Dang Daqing arranged a bouquet of plastic flowers in front of a glowing portrait showing Jesus with his arms outstretched.
Festival fireworks and firecrackers have been a source of severe air pollution around China, making them the major culprit for the spike in bad air quality during the Spring Festival holidays.
Recently, Xia Guozan, a resident from Jinzhou, Central China’s Hubei Province, has asked for an open apology from a TV host Liang Hongda on his WeChat and Sina Weibo accounts several times, not for personal disputes but for Liang’s “insulting remarks” on an iconic People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldier highly praised by late leader Chairman Mao.
“We should keep fighting until that bastard [Liang] loses all reputation and finally disappears from the public’s sight,” Xia wrote in one of his posts, after reposting an article on how Liang has defamed Lei Feng.
For Dev Raturi, an entrepreneur from India, the launching of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (the Belt and Road) Initiative in 2013 transformed his life.
Drawn by higher earnings in China, the then 29-year-old came to Shenzhen, South China’s Guangdong Province in 2005, where he worked as a restaurant waiter. Seeing the huge profits in the catering industry, Raturi later decided to start his own business.
“He went crazy all of a sudden and started beating me with his fists, so I had to hide in the bathroom, while he banged on the door,” said 57-year-old Bao Hehua. She still remembers that night with horror, saying she could’ve died on the post.
Bao and her husband, Yu Shousong, work in an asylum in Guangzhou, South China’s Guangdong Province. There are 16 caretakers in total and 200 patients, all of whom have mental diseases. The caretakers work more than 10 hours a day and get paid approximately 2,000 yuan ($290) a month.
For Chinese people who zealously pursue a degree from overseas, North Korea is not exactly the most popular choice.
But some curious students have crossed the border to experience North Korean education.
When her husband didn’t come home on the night of January 12, He Huining called him up. She was told that he was still waiting for his boss to come back to the office so he could get the wages he was owed.
The next morning, she was told to go to their local Shaanxi Province county hospital. Her husband had drunk pesticide and was in intensive care.
Her husband Zheng Xiyun, 54, has been a laborer for a construction company since 2013. The company still owes him and dozens of his colleagues over 500,000 yuan ($73,166.8) in back wages. He had been pressing his boss for the money for weeks, according to a local newspaper.
Has it ever occurred to you that drug dealers might have a role to play in the fuel firing Chinese trucking?
Anti-drug brigades in North China’s Shanxi Province found evidence of such a link in a recent workshop bust.
At the end of November 2016, drug enforcement officers from Lüliang’s Jiaocheng and Wenshui counties jointly cracked a narcotics trading and producing case. To their surprise, the dealers were selling some of the concentrated sulfuric acid they use to make methamphetamines to an illegal oil refinery in Jiaocheng.
Using concentrated sulfuric acid to “wash” highly impure waste engine oil to produce diesel is a traditional refining method. It has been used by China’s oil industry on a large scale for more than a decade, bringing irreversible damage to the environment. After the oil refining process, highly acidic waste products are often dumped into valleys, thrown into creeks or buried in pits.
“A test showed that there was no Y-chromosomal DNA in my blood, so my husband and I decided to have the abortion,” said Xiao Zhu (pseudonym), a resident of Yongjia county, East China’s Zhejiang Province.
Pregnant Xiao Zhu sent a sample of her blood to a Hong Kong-based medical organization to find out the sex of her fetus. The absence of Y-chromosomal DNA showed that there was a high possibility it was a girl.
The day after receiving the test result, Xiao Zhu had an abortion.
As soon as young Guo got out of school, her parents dressed her in a raincoat and strapped her to their motorcycle, along with packed bags of daily necessities and gifts.
They were riding from Jiangmen, South China’s Guangdong Province to Pingnan township, South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, conquering more than 400 kilometers to be with their family.
Donald Trump has become a Spring Festival mascot for Chinese people following his election win in November 2016.
At a factory in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province workers are busy sewing, cutting and inflating balloons that resemble the tycoon. Large roosters with Trump’s signature hairdo stand all over the workshop floor.
Youku.com, China’s biggest online video sharing website, has allegedly become the latest addition to the North Korean authorities’ range of overseas online platforms used to spread propaganda materials in an effort to improve the image of North Korea around the world.
On youku.com, UriminzokkiriTV, an account run by North Korean propaganda website uriminzokkiri.com, has uploaded over 14,000 videos in the three years since the account was first registered.
“It was painful… and it was kind of like an abortion,” Xiang Lan said, describing her surgery last year in which a doctor used forceps to remove the intra-uterine device (IUD) that had been in her uterus for more than 30 years.
Xiang was lucky compared with many other women who choose to have their IUDs removed after hitting menopause. Her operation went well and she went back to work after taking three days off.
After being hit by a quick combo of two heavy pollution alerts, Jin Zi was on the ropes. The Beijing investment consultant felt sick of being enveloped in thick smog, both physically and mentally.
“My 70-year-old mother got sick after coming to Beijing from Qingdao, Shandong Province. My twins cough even though they are just 9 months old. My heart feels sore every time I hear them cough,” he said.
Wunai Yinjiao has been making sure her fellow villagers don’t have more children than they want for nearly 20 years.
She’s not a gynecologist, nor a government official enforcing the country’s family planning policy. She’s an herbalist in Zhanli, a Dong ethnic minority village in Southwest China’s Guizhou Province.
As soon as the music starts to play, everything else stops. For a few hours, it’s just the women and their routines.
Every night at 6:30 pm, Chen Hua, 41, from Fujian Province, and her fellow dancers gather at an empty space outside a community center in Donggezhuang village, Beijing’s suburban Shunyi district.
Smog has never been a bigger issue for the Chinese public. While a few years ago most ignored it or were ignorant of its risks, now many people take precautions from wearing masks to staying at home on smoggy days with the windows closed. But is shutting yourself up at home really safe?