Category: chinese culture

TV Drama Highlights Gender Discrimination in C…

TV Drama Highlights Gender Discrimination in Chinese Families:

「You’re a girl,」 the mother says, her tone dripping with bitterness. 「How can you compare with your two elder brothers?」

like this are why so many people in China are talking about 「All Is
Well,」 a drama series whose sexist slights and subplots are all too
relatable to many female viewers. Since the series’ March 1 premiere,
its hashtag has been viewed nearly 1.2 billion times on microblogging platform Weibo.

I have been watching this show and it’s amusing because in one of the episodes, the father is shown watching Nirvana on Fire I on TV and I realized that the actor playing the eldest son also played Crown Prince Xiao Jingxuan (I had some trouble recognizing him sans moustache) in Nirvana on Fire I whereas the actor playing the second son also played the role of the creepy priest Puyang Ying in Nirvana on Fire II

do you post stuff about chinese architecture? …

do you post stuff about chinese architecture? i'm horrible at them despite seeing so many times in historical chinese dramas

Hi, thanks for the question! (image via)


I have an architecture tag you can check out, but I don’t have much content in it right now (only 2 pages). I try to keep my blog as niche as possible, so I won’t really post stuff about architecture unless it’s related to hanfu in some way (or I simply just really like it) ^^;

However, I do have a post on Chinese architecture blog recs, which you can check out here ^^ – hope this helps!





Can C-beauty Wrestle the Market Back from West…

Can C-beauty Wrestle the Market Back from Western Ones? | Jing Daily:

C-beauty is the latest fad for a group of Chinese shoppers who are trend-seeking and innovation-driven. The report identifies them as a group of consumers who enjoy C-beauty brands for their Chinese origin, history, cultural elements, and aesthetics, even though they have the purchasing power to buy luxury beauty products. They are mostly female, between the ages of 15 – 25 years old, and live in first-tier cities. They are drawn to creative marketing campaigns by C-beauty brands that are based on their childhood memories. For example, the Shanghai-based food company White Rabbit, known for decades for their creamy candies, ventured into the beauty sector by unveiling skincare and perfume products last year and created a sensation among young Chinese consumers that thought fondly about the brand from their youth.

Why This Year’s China Art Festival Was All Abo…

Why This Year’s China Art Festival Was All About ‘Wenchuang’:

As China’s economy and international influence have grown in recent
years — and along with them, sentiments like national pride and cultural
self-confidence — Chinese consumers have started looking inward,
rediscovering and re-evaluating their own culture and traditions. This
has spurred a growing demand for products with a Chinese flavor — sometimes quite
literally, as in the case of Forbidden City-inspired Oreos. The days
when museum gift shops catered primarily to foreign tourists are over:
Today’s product lineups are designed with the tastes of stylish young
Chinese in mind.

‘I’m still a foreigner’: Chinese Indonesians i…

‘I’m still a foreigner’: Chinese Indonesians in Taiwan struggle:

Chinese Indonesians in Taiwan struggle with language and identity to find acceptance

Why does characters in historical dramas often…

Why does characters in historical dramas often refer themselves in third person?

That’s just how people spoke at the time.

‘I’ is a very direct way to refer to oneself and considered quite abrupt and rude. People in ancient China go out of their way to appear humble out of politeness. So they do this by avoiding as far as possible to not referring directly to themselves as ‘I’.

There are many ways to do this. One, as you observed, is to refer to themselves in the third person, by their own name. 


Another is to use self-humbling honorifics, generally referring to the speaking person’s own status in society, or in relation to the person they are speaking to. So people might use ‘your son’ instead of ‘I’ when speaking to their parents.

But even people of high rank can use self-humbling pronouns to refer to themselves when speaking to younger people they respect, or people in lower positions if they want to be polite. Emperors also do this, subtly, by referring to themselves as ‘gu’ and ‘guaren’ (generally translated as ‘this orphan’), but in a way, that’s also to show his filial piety to his father as well by implying that the pain of losing his father is so overwhelming that it is constantly on his mind.

Basically, the take away is, people in ancient China will do their best to not refer to themselves as I as often as possible. The same principle is applied to not referring to the people they are speaking to as ‘you’ (informal form ni). See the linked Wikipedia page for a select list of the possible honorifics.

P.S: The practice of referring to one’s son as 犬子, literally dog child, when speaking of him to other people fascinates me, and of course it’s often lost in translation. I do wonder how many people who are not otherwise familiar with the kind of language used in Chinese period dramas would be offended if they saw this in its literal form. You’d not think referring to your son as a dog (and literally not having any positive connotation attached to it) could be considered polite, but it is, as a way of showing your (and your son’s) own humbleness. -H



Traditional Chinese Hanfu.

ziseviolet: hanfugallery: Outside和尚 Tradition…




Traditional Chinese hanfu in the style of the Ming dynasty – Type: Chang’ao/长袄 (Aoqun with long top) and Bijia/比甲 (sleeveless jacket).