*** Notice: For the protection of property rights, this catalog is available for online browsing only. Please drop us a line if you would like to receive a copiable version of this catalog. Thank You!


Content

Chinese Culture, Tradition, and Customs


Chinese Culture, Tradition, and Customs



CHINA: IN THE SHADOW OF MR KONG

Mr Kong, known as Kong Fu to the Chinese and as Confucius to the outside world, was a sort of philosophical government advisor around 500 bc - 200 years or so before the Chinese Empire was founded.

He tried to persuade the rulers of the time that for a harmonious and orderly society the rulers had to behave honourably. "Treat others as you would have them treat you." If the rulers are honourable and trustworthy, he argued, then there is a better chance that the people will be too.

Astonishingly, this simple idea was taken up and put into effect by a long succession of capable rulers and administrators. It had a profound effect on Chinese life over many centuries and still does today.

From a failed communist state in 1979, China has risen to be the world's second largest economy today, a situation of which few of us can be unaware. Who doesn't own a gadget "Made in China"? It's little short of a miracle.

But what would Mr Kong make of the current government? Is it honourable? Can it produce a harmonious society? Will it all end in grief? Given all the problems, what will happen next?

We can't say. However, the more we appreciate the astonishing Chinese story revealed in these 5 programmes and the contributions it has already made to human society under the benign influence of Mr Kong, the more sympathetic we will be towards its current rise and hopefully the more confident that the Chinese will somehow find a peaceful way forward.

1. The Middle Kingdom: The Democratic Viewpoint, Geography, The Dynasties, Confucius, China Today.
2. Matters of the Mind: Superstition, Confucian Commentators, Taoism, Buddhism, Tibet, Sung Education.
3. Heart and Soul: Bronzes, Ceramics, the Character Script, Poetry, Literature.
4. From Harmony to Discord: Music, Gardens, Painting, Science, The Descent into Chaos.
5. The Rough Road to Freedom: Japan, The End of the Empire, Communism, Overseas Chinese, the current Dilemma.


5 DVDs / 250 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


CHINA: IN THE SHADOW OF MR KONG PART 1 - THE MIDDLE KINGDOM

The Middle Kingdom today - how China is viewed through the eyes of the democratic nations of the world.

Geography - The all important geography of China and how it has affected China's past.

The Dynasties of China - A brief overview of the Dynasties of China, remarkable for their duration and the peace and stability they engendered.

About Confucius - Confucius and his thinking, and how he came to dominate the Chinese world view.

Writing and control - The establishment of the Chinese character script and how it affected the controls of government.

Modern China - The establishment of modern China and its current undemocratic government.


DVD / 50 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


CHINA: IN THE SHADOW OF MR KONG PART 2 - MATTERS OF THE MIND

Superstition - Superstition, like everywhere else in the world, largely dominated the Chinese mind in early times.

Commentators on the works of Confucius - Confucian ideas established themselves but there were many commentators over the following centuries who muddied the waters.

The Han Dynasty - The Han dynasty was principally responsible for making Confucian ideas the norm for government and society.

Taoism - Taoism, growing out of early animism, developed ideas of non-interference in the ways of nature.

Buddhism - Buddhism, imported from India, introduced ideas of rebirth and reward for good conduct.

China and Tibet - Today China rules Tibet as it has always done. A largely Buddhist country, it has problems with the secular Chinese.

Sung Education and the Mandarin Bureaucracy - In the Sung dynasty, education according to Confucian principles was established on a huge and influential scale.


DVD / 50 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


CHINA: IN THE SHADOW OF MR KONG PART 3 - HEART AND SOUL

Art and the Bronzes - After trying to establish what art is we look at the wonderful bronze work of early times in China.

Ceramics - Fine ceramics from many different ages have come down to us; in particular the Tang Sung and Ming dynasty ware.

The Chinese Character Script - The Chinese character script is difficult to learn but beautiful to see and writing it is regarded as an art form.

Poetry - Poets have always been held in high regard in China. Even in translation their particular beauties shine through.

Literature - Literature in the form of plays and novels developed in later centuries just as they did in other parts of the world.

Epilogue - After their early brilliance, under a deeply conservative leadership, the talents of the Chinese in all fields began to be stifled and consequently to decay.


DVD / 50 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


CHINA: IN THE SHADOW OF MR KONG PART 4 - FROM HARMONY TO DISCORD

Music - Music was much enjoyed by Confucius who saw it as a basic element of human harmony.

Houses, Gardens and the Honourable man - With due Confucian regard for order and control over nature, the Chinese gardens are amongst the greatest beauties of the land.

Painting and the Honourable man - For many centuries Chinese painters have wonderfully depicted the people and the landscape.

Science - No society has done so much for science; their great qualities of curiosity and invention have been an immeasurable gift to the world.

Descent into chaos - As the Confucian ethic is dimmed and clouded by blind conservatism, battered by outside forces, Chinese society disintegrates.


DVD / 50 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


CHINA: IN THE SHADOW OF MR KONG PART 5 - THE ROUGH ROAD TO FREEDOM

Taiping Rebellion - Driven partly by the injustices suffered by the poor and a muddled view of the religious beliefs imported by western missionaries, the Taiping Rebellion rocked China to the core.

Japan - Japan, looked down on by the Chinese as of little import, displays how it has adapted to the times as the Chinese have not.

The Boxers and the end of the empire - As the empire collapses, a secret society called the Boxers feebly attempts to drive out the foreigners.

Japan and the Communist takeover - Japan invades and after the second world war the Communists take over and impose order.

China and the Communists - The rule of Mao and the Communists.

Overseas Chinese - Effective Overseas Chinese communities.

China: The Great Dilemma - The Great Dilemma which faces the Chinese today is how to bring about the democratic freedoms which society deserves without bringing Chaos yet again.


DVD / 50 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


CULTURAL HERITAGE - ANCIENT CAPITAL

The ancient capital - the historical centre of politics where dynasties unified the kingdom, or the city which demonstrated superiority in every aspect. Throughout Chinese history, there have been several ancient capitals of considerable scale, all of which exhibited the highest calibre of architecture, arts and culture, as well as standard of living, in their respective times. By traditional historiography, Luoyang, Xi'an, Nanjing and Beijing are the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, as defined by the length of time it took for a city to be established.

1. Dream of The Ancient Capitals
2. The Tale of Shu
3. Song Dynasty in Inheritance
4. Journey to the West
5. Clouds in Dali
6. The Pyramids of the Western Xia Empire
7. Castle on the Prairie
8. The Manchu Legacy


8 DVDs / 2016 / 200 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


CULTURAL HERITAGE - ANCIENT CAPITAL 3: SONG DYNASTY IN INHERITANCE

The city of Kaifeng in Henan province is located at the centre of the cradle of Chinese civilisation and has more than 2,700 years of history. According to Chinese history, seven dynasties established their capitals here. In particular, during the Northern Song Dynasty, the capital of Kaifeng had a population of over one million and was the kingdom's economic, political and cultural hub of its time. With descendants calling it "a city whose affluence and beauty are unmatched by any other", it is currently one of the world's leading cities.

Historically, Kaifeng has been flooded numerous times by the Yellow River. Each time after the city was buried in loess, the following dynasty would build a new one on the original site, giving Kaifeng its unique wonder - "The Stacked Cities". At present, a total of six cities are buried beneath Kaifeng, namely Daliang City founded by the State of Wei during the Warring States Period, Bianzhou City of the Tang Dynasty, Dongjing City of the Northern Song Dynasty, Bianjing City of the Jin Dynasty, and Kaifeng City of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Archaeologists have discovered that ever since the Tang Dynasty, the overall layout of each capital was roughly the same, resulting in the "gate stacked upon gate" and "road stacked upon road" phenomena.

Although these ancient capitals are buried underground, the wisdom and traditional culture of their inhabitants seeped into modern life long ago. Wang Suhua is the inheritor of Bian embroidery, an intangible cultural heritage of China. The craft became renowned throughout China as early as the Song Dynasty and is amongst one of the five famous styles of Chinese embroidery. Wang has dedicated a lifetime of effort to embroidery, collecting needlework items in different places, studying their craftsmanship, and passing on what she has learned to her apprentices, so that the legacy can be continued. Yin Guoquan is the fifth-generation owner of an old New Year Paintings (Nian Hua) shop in Kaifeng's Zhuxian Town who has devoted his life to the creation of festive images on woodblocks. His grandson, Yin Engan, has already mastered the craft's techniques passed down from his grandfather and become the seventh-generation successor despite being only 21 years old. Apart from New Year Paintings, the most important thing to Engan is his two daughters. He has one silent wish - that his daughters will take up his mantle in the future and enable the craft to flourish.

The Yellow River gave birth to the Chinese people, yet its own relentless waters obliterated Kaifeng on more than one occasion. The archaeological wonder of "The Stacked Cities" stands as testament to the civilisation's undying tenacity. Today, even though the affluent Dongjing City of the Northern Song Dynasty is no longer in sight, the wisdom and traditional culture it has left behind continue to live on quietly through the residents of Kaifeng.


DVD / 2016 / 25 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


CULTURAL HERITAGE - ANCIENT CAPITAL 4: JOURNEY TO THE WEST

The annual rainfall in the Turpan region of Xinjiang is significantly below its evaporation rate, and the area near the Flaming Mountains are especially well-known for its aridness. Water from the Tian Shan mountain range flows gently between the sandy dunes and barren ridges, turning the desert into an oasis which drew people in and gave birth to civilisation. In the "Traditions of the Western Regions" chronicle of the Book of Han, it is recorded that more than 30 states had already established themselves throughout the Western Regions as early as the 2nd century BC, hence the saying "the 36 states of the Western Regions". Located at the heart of Eurasia, the Western Regions were an integral part of the Silk Road. Serving as a transit point for trade and cultural exchange between the East and the West, it was an exotic place full of danger and opportunity. Traces of two of the 36 states, namely the Nearer Jushi Kingdom and the State of Gaochang, can still be found in the Turpan region today.

The Nearer Jushi Kingdom was one of the major states in the Turpan region. Its captial, now known as the Jiaohe Ruins, is the largest, oldest, as well as best-preserved adobe city in the world. In 89 BC, the state was destroyed by the Han Dynasty, which placed Wu and Ji Colonels in the Western Regions and later developed the expanses of wasteland there for agricultural use. The capital was moved to the Gaochang Wall, a part of the Protectorate of the Western Regions, to watch over trade along the Silk Road, thereby gradually shifting the political and economic centre of the Turpan region from the city of Jiaohe to Gaochang.

Having stood as junctions where the exchange of ethnic history and culture took place for more than 2,000 years, the Jiaohe Ruins and Gaochang Ruins finally became UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites in 2014. They are important locations for studying ancient China, as well as histories related to aspects such as transportation, war & religion. Buddhist temples, monastaries and pagodas occupy the most prominent positions of the cities. It is especially delightful to learn that the monastery at which the great monk of the Tang Dynasty, Xuanzang, spoke during his stay in Gaochang while on his "Jorney to the West" is still perfectly preserved to this very day.

Since ancient times, the culture of the Western Regions has emanated grandeur, excitement, fascination and charm. Upon setting foot in the old capital, can you imagine the freedom, diversity, openness, allure and grace of this historic state back in its day?


DVD / 2016 / 25 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


CULTURAL HERITAGE - ANCIENT CAPITAL 5: CLOUDS IN DALI

The historical Dali Kingdom (937 - 1254 AD) was located in the peripheral area of what is now known as Yunnan Province of China. Its territory spanned outwards from Erhai Lake, roughly covering the current province of Yunnan, southwestern Sichuan and northern Myanmar. According to history, Duan Siping conquered the Nanzhao Dynasty in 937 AD and established the Dali Kingdom. Due to its worship of Buddha, Dali was also known as "The Kingdom of Incense", with many of its 22 emperors giving up the throne to become monks, illustrating the religion's profound influence on the empire.

In 1253 AD, the Kingdom of Dali succumbed to the forces of the Mongol Empire led by Kublai Khan. The present Dali Old Town was restored according to early Ming architecture, and is surrounded by a moat with a radius of 6km which is square in appearance, as well as by city walls which are 8m high and 7m thick. Erhai Gate, located on the east city wall, faces Erhai Lake, while Cheng'en Tower to the south watches over Dali City's busiest route and Cangshan Gate to the west sits at the foot of the mountain it is named after.

Although the Dali Kingdom is now long gone, Duan Liansu, a descendant of the Duan bloodline in his 70s, continues to watch over Duan Siping's former residence silently. He relives his ancestors' days of glory through compiling his family tree. Meanwhile, the fisherfolk living alongside Erhai Lake have carried on the thousand-year-old tradition of cormorant fishing.

Furthermore, a village named Nuo Deng, which sustained the kingdom's economy with its abundance of salt, was discovered to the west of Dali Old Town. Its ancient salt wells, passageways for salt transportation by horse, traditional salt production methods, and even residences from the Ming and Qing periods, have been preserved. The village is one of very few in western Yunnan which has been kept in its original state, and is steeped in the charm of the Dali legacy.


DVD / 2016 / 25 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


CULTURAL HERITAGE - ANCIENT CAPITAL 8: THE MANCHU LEGACY

Nurhaci (also known as Kundulun Khan), who united various Jurchen tribes, moved his empire's capital from Dongjing in Liaoyang to Shengjing in Shenyang to advance his plans of conquering the Ming Dynasty. His grandson, the Shunzhi Emperor, succeeded in doing so in 1644 and became the foreign ruler of China. At the time, the total population of different Manchu tribes barely exceeded 400,000. So what gave them power over more than a billion Han Chinese?

The name "Manju" (Manzhou) was invented by Nurhaci's son, Hong Taiji. In order to give the nomads scattered throughout the empire a sense of belonging, he imparted this name to their ethnic group and installed the newly-created Manchu language as the official tongue. The emperor realised that he could only dominate the realm by combining the strengths of each tribe. Included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2004, the Shenyang Imperial Palace (also known as Mukden Palace) combines the architectural characteristics of the Han, Manchu, Mongolian and Tibetan people, and is dubbed "The Exemplar of Chinese Palatial Architecture".

While the Manchu people embraced Han culture during its rule of China, their own customs were gradually being assimilated. Although they comprise China's third largest ethnic minority group with a population of over 10 million, Manchu culture is at the brink of extinction and waiting to be rescued.

At present, many devoted individuals are dedicating themselves to the preservation and passing down of Manchu culture. At Nurhaci's birthplace, Hetu'ala City (the current Xinbin Manchu Autonomous County of Liaoning Province), Manchurian primary schools have designed classes on Manchu language and culture for their students. Meanwhile, Mr. Guan Changsheng, the inheritor of the art of Manchurian paper-cutting, is recording the ethnic group's traditions using his craft. Despite ulabun, a storytelling entertainment which is performed in the Manchu language, being a lost art, Mr. Cha Shuyuan, who has been involved in its performance for almost 60 years, continues to hope that Manchu legends and folktales can be passed down through a mixture of singing and recital.

RsıùP, the seventh-generation grandson of the Qianlong Emperor, is the current head of the Aisin Gioro clan. In July each year, he leads his family, tribe, and other Manchu descendants in paying respects to their ancestors at the Yongling Tombs, an ancestral burial ground, as a sign of ethnic unity and to uphold the traditional virtue of ancestor reverence.


DVD / 2016 / 25 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


PROFESSOR, THE: TAI CHI'S JOURNEY WEST

Director: Barry Strugatz

The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West is a feature documentary about Tai Chi and one of its greatest masters, Cheng Man-Ching, a man who brought Tai Chi and Chinese culture to the West during the swinging, turbulent 60's. Though Cheng is an important transformational figure, his teachings have been overlooked. This documentary film tells the story of his remarkable life and features Tai Chi as a martial art and a spiritual practice.


DVD / 2016 / 67 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


CULTURAL HERITAGE - HUMAN LANDSCAPE

Cultural Heritage is a documentary program series that looks back at the history of human civilizations which have flourished along the rivers and mountainous landscapes in China. The civilizations can be traced back thousands of years ago. Their golden days have left their marks, but in face of modernization, they are being slowly washed away. The ten episodes of the series reveal how men manage to survive upon the gifts from the nature, a manifestation of the human wisdom. The series takes us to Shanxi, where people live in simple but solid cave houses that can last for centuries, to the terraced fields in Yunan where farmers plant and harvest on the steep slopes. Villages along Nujiang, the "angry river", conquered the surging waves crossing the river with the primitive but efficient cable system. The beauty of human living in harmony with nature remains us the importance of cherishing the precious resources that the Earth generally offers us.

1. Standing by the Yellow River
2. The Wonder of the Terraces
3. Meandering in the Terraces
4. Life on the Zipline in Nujiang
5. A New Passage Leading to Nowhere
6. The Fading Splendour
7. Handmade Junks
8. The Floating Village
9. The Joyous Mountain
10. The Boat Trackers


10 DVDs / 2012 / 300 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


CULTURAL HERITAGE - HUMAN LANDSCAPE 01: STANDING BY THE YELLOW RIVER

The Yellow River is the birthplace of Chinese culture. It is 5464km in length, covering an area of 795 000 km squares. Since a long time ago, many groups have settled by the River, and various cultural patterns have been developed along this cradle of Chinese civilization. The 100 thousand Salars living in the Xunhua Salar Autonomy County located in the east of Qinghai Plateau is a living example. Their hamlets and trails are all blessed with the nourishment of the River.

The Yellow River is not tame. People in the past held that it was impossible to build a bridge over it. However, the Salars can cross the River with the help of a sheepskin raft, a traditional transport which can carry passengers and goods up to ten tons, depending on the size of the raft. The Salars play an instrument called Kouxuan. This hoof-shaped instrument, made of copper or silver, is only as big as a paper clip. Its tone is plaintive and delicate.

The tenth of the twelfth month in the Hijri calendar (Islamic calendar) marks Corban Festival, or Slaughtering Festival. This traditional Islamic festival is the most important festival for the Salars. As preparation, people have to clean their houses to show respect. On the festival day, adult Muslims have to wash themselves, light incense and dress properly, with men attending a Mosque service early in the morning. Families slaughter cattle, sheep or camels to make food; sweet, cakes, noodles etc. are also prepared and shared among friends and neighbours. As an immigrant group integrating themselves into Chinese culture along the Yellow River, the Salars are striving to preserve their own culture so that it will not disappear. To extend their once rich and colourful culture, they make all the endeavours to retain their identity and live with the River.


DVD / 2012 / 30 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


CULTURAL HERITAGE - HUMAN LANDSCAPE 02: THE WONDER OF THE TERRACES

Long standing traditional cultures can always inspire modern civilization. While only ten percent of the earth consists of flat land, sixty percent of it is water and thirty percent is mountains. Terraced field farming is actually a possible solution to food shortage.

More than 1200 years ago, the Hani, with the help of primitive tools, created the Terraces along the contour lines on the desolate Ailao Mountains in Yuanyang County. The collective endeavours of the nameless ancestors successfully turned the mountains into 170,000 acres of fields, providing nurture to more than 300,000 villagers today.

Water is essential to farming. Although there is no reservoir in the mountains, the cloud sea and the forest stand as the important water sources for the farming activities there. The Hani regard trees as their guardian gods. Trees can store water. People's respect for trees has in a way protected the water sources in the mountains. The Honghe River below the Ailao range has been supplying moisture to the Terraces for ages - water circulates around the mountains as it vapourizes at the bottom to form clouds and fogs at the top and cools down in the forest to become water droplets and finally streams. Water, together with animal manure as fertilizers, is then collected through canals to irrigate the farmland.


DVD / 2012 / 30 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


CULTURAL HERITAGE - HUMAN LANDSCAPE 03: MEANDERING IN THE TERRACES

Over 1200 years ago, the ancestors of the Hanis, using only hoes, turned the adverse geographical area in the Ailao Mountains in Yuanyang, Yunnan, into a large piece of farmland. By doing so, they created an ecological system along the terraces and gave birth to a piece of art featured by picturesque natural scenery. A culture surrounding the terraces has been established.

The Hanis grow red rice without insecticides. Every year when they reap, it is a chance for clansmen to foster relationships with each other since they always help each other to harvest and transfer bags of grain from the bottom of the terraces to home. Rice growing is particularly hard work in this place. Although the mountains provide farmers with desirable fields, they also pose difficulties for them. Each step in the terraces is more than one metre high. Farmers cannot use a shoulder pole while climbing up and down the field. They always carry things on the back- bricks, crops or even children can be carried in a back basket. With loads of goods on the back, one cannot avoid bending one's head. Life on the farm has made the Hanis enduring and humble.

Traditional Hani architecture features couch grass roofs. However, since the new generation prefer modern buildings, this kind of structure, called mushroom houses, are disappearing. Li Jinsong is the eldest son of the family. To raise his family, he had gone to Shenzhen to work for 15 years and came back three years ago. He insists that the ancestral house should be preserved, regarding it as a representation of family links. Whenever there is a festival, family members gather there to have a feast, where they enjoy the red rice they grow.


DVD / 2012 / 30 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


CULTURAL HERITAGE - HUMAN LANDSCAPE 07: HANDMADE JUNKS

International academic circles generally agree that historical events like the Sea Goddess Mazu in Fujian in the Song Dynasty, the junk building technology and Zheng He's voyage have all proven that Fujian is the cradle of maritime civilization.

The traditional junk building technology in Qihou Village in Zhangwan Town, Ningde City, Fujian, has been passed on for more than 650 years. The more than 40 builders all belong to the Liu family. They pass on their skills only to males, but not to females. They are masters and apprentices, fathers and sons, uncles and nephews.

According to the history of the Lius in Qihou Village in Zhangwan Town, the ancestor Liu Dimei left Minnan for Ningde by sea in order to escape from wars in the Ming Dynasty. After he had settled down, he began to make junks. His skills have been passed on for 26 generations. The watertight bulkhead technology of Chinese Fuchuan Junks originated in the Tang Dynasty. It is one of the greatest technologies in maritime history. The cabins inside the junk are independent and the hull is waterproof. Even if it runs against a rock by accident, only the affected cabin will be damaged and the junk will not sink. The design maximizes the safety of passengers and has been regarded as a state-level intangible cultural heritage item. It was inscribed in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in 2010.


DVD / 2012 / 30 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


CULTURAL HERITAGE - HUMAN LANDSCAPE 10: THE BOAT TRACKERS

Rivers are capricious and unpredictable. At times, it is turbulent. At others, it is calm. Human beings have to overcome rivers and, at the same time, rely on rivers. In Shennongxi Stream, Badong County in Yangtze Gorges region, boat trackers have been struggling in adverse environments like shallows and cataracts with their flesh and blood for a long time.

Boat trackers are boatmen who tow boats with goods on the river. In the mountains in Badong Shennongxi live the Tu people. When there were no roads for vehicles, daily necessities were delivered to the mountains by water. Since Shennongxi Stream was narrow and crooked, and its water surged a lot, boats in were often towed by boat trackers so that they could continue their upstream journey, and this tradition has a history of more than a thousand years. Since the development of modern roads and the construction of the Three Gorges Dam in 2009 have raised the water level of the nearby area, the shallows have become rivers and boat trackers are not necessary anymore. In order to protect the tradition, villagers in Badong have formed a boat tracker team of one hundred odd members, but instead of delivering goods, they have changed their job nature to focus on tourism. When boat trackers sing out loud while they work, they would forget the fatigue and hardship of their life. It is in this way how people continue to safeguard the Yangtze river in this a new era.


DVD / 2012 / 30 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


CULTURAL HERITAGE - THE RAILROAD

"Wherever railway is accessible, there is civilization." Railway can bring about resources, manpower and culture. It opens routes to prosperity.

The ten episodes of this travel and cultural documentary take audience to The China Railway Museum to look at all sorts of trains, from the oldest to the newest high speed rail. They include the northmost Nenlin Railway, the southmost Yuehai Railway; the high speed railway and trains in Taiwan; the world's highest railway, Qingzang Railway and the Xinjiang Railway. The program reveals the vast resources and intangible cultural heritage for us to learn about our historic development.

1. Rail and Track
2. The North End
3. The West Region
4. The Vast Inner Mongolia
5. The World's Highest railway
6. The Peart on the Roof of The World
7. The Southern Sea
8. Words of the Wood
9. Dwelling in the Hills and Waters
10. In Love Wit Dunhuang


10 DVDs / 2011 / 300 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


CULTURAL HERITAGE - THE RAILROAD 07: THE SOUTHERN SEA

Hainan is located at the South China Sea, with a coastline of 1580m and an area of 35,400 sq km. It is the southernmost part of China. Since the place has no winter at all, it is regarded as "Hawaii of the East." The Yuehai Railway commenced service in December 2004, bringing Hainan into China's railway network. The country's first trans-sea railway comprises two railways and a train ferry, running from Zhanjiang to Hai'an in Guangdong, across Qiongzhou Strait and finally along Hainan west to Sanya. It has a total distance of 1157km, bringing passengers to the southernmost part of the country.

Sanya is situated in the southern part of Hainan, the end of the country. It used to be a place where condemned officers were sent to - and they felt like being exiled to the remotest corner of the earth. But the ancestors of the Li gave up their life as boatmen when they reached this beautiful island and settled themselves in Hainan. To look at the island from the sea, Hainan is a paradise, but to look out from the land, it is the end of the earth.

Echa Village has a history of about 1000 years. This living museum of the Li is the largest, oldest and the best preserved village of the ethnic minority in Hainan. There one can see boat-shaped houses and old women with traditional facial tattoos. Knowing that Echa is going to be relocated two or three months later, people from different places have come to this old village to celebrate Shanlan Festival (New Year of Li) and have the last reunion dinner. The bustle and hustle is going to be part of the history.


DVD / 2011 / 30 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


CULTURAL HERITAGE - THE RAILROAD 08: WORDS OF THE WOOD

The Taiwan High Speed Rail offers beautiful scenery. Riding on the train, one just feels like reading albums extensively. The railway commenced service in 2007. It could travel from north to south of Taiwan in 96 minutes, standing as a fast western corridor in the territory. The Southern Link Line of the Taiwan Railways commenced service in 1992. It travels through mountains and along the Pacific Ocean. Passengers can enjoy the vast and primitive scenery of nature on the journey. The Alishan Forest Railway rises from an elevation of only 30 meters above sea level to a height of 2274 meters. It will reach 100 years old in 2012. Unfortunately, several sections of the railway were damaged by typhoon Morakot in August 2009. Now, only Sacred Tree Line and Zhushan Line are running. The three generations of railways have witnessed the passage of time. They, like all the culture, are striving hard to innovate and survive.

In this episode, we are going to listen to the words of the wood. The railways shall show us how wood is turned into puppets to perform glove puppetry, how driftwood records the history of indigenous tribes, and how sacred trees in Alishan symbolize the conservation of forests. The artists we visit not only preserve their culture, they also pass it on so that the future generations can go on pursuing virtues for a better tomorrow. Culture and tradition are always connected to life, as they always originate from nature.


DVD / 2011 / 30 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


CULTURAL HERITAGE - THE RAILROAD 10: IN LOVE WITH DUNHUANG

Dun" means "grandness" and "huang", "prosperity". This "grand and prosperous city" Dunhuang has a history of more than a thousand years. It is a major juncture on the Silk Road, facilitating the economic and cultural exchanges between the east and the west and the rise of the great Han Dynasty. Dunhuang's beauty is charming and fascinating. The Dunhuang Railway runs southwest from Liugou Station of the Lanxin Railway on the Gobi Desert, passing the "world's wind warehouse" Guazhou, where strong wind blows all year round, to Dunhuang. The line suffers from a lack of water and electricity supply. It can only depend on Guazhou and Dunhuang for such needs. Looking back, we could imagine that the adverse natural environment must have posed much difficulty for the construction project of the railway several years ago.

The Mogao Caves in Dunhuang are also known as the Caves of Thousand Buddhas. The discovery of the Caves is regarded as the most valuable cultural encounter in the 20th century. Considered as the "Louvre in the East", the Mogao Caves, first built in the Former Qin in the 4th century, are featured by delicate wall paintings and statues. The complex comprises 735 cells, wall paintings with a total area of 45,000 sq m and 2,415 coloured statues, standing as the world's largest and most profound collection of Buddhist fine art. It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. The noctilucent cup in Jiuquan, Gansu Province is a luxurious jade cup for wine. In this episode, we are going to visit Mr Huang Yuesu, the state-level successor of this intangible cultural heritage item. We shall also watch the Quzi opera in Dunhuang, which is a folk opera popular in five provinces and municipalities in the Northwest of China. The art originated from the popular music in the Ming and Qing Dynasties and took shape with additional local features in the late Qing. We will also visit the state-level successor of this intangible cultural heritage, Mr Xiao Dejin.

The Silk Road was once a principal path transmitting the cultures from the east to the west and vice versa. Despite that it has already slipped away from the course of history, it has left a lot of historical and cultural relics for us to explore. Although history passes, cultural heritage lasts.


DVD / 2011 / 30 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


ART APPRECIATION - BRUSH DANCE WITH XIAO KEJIA: THE ART OF CHINESE CALLIGRAPHY

Chinese calligraphy, "Shu Fa" in Chinese, and also called brush calligraphy, has been a technique for writing Chinese characters for thousands or years. Treasured in Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Singapore as well, it is considered to be a uniquely East Asian art. Today, the love of calligraphy has spread worldwide. This classic documentary features (Katherine) Xiao Kejia, respected as one of China's master calligraphers - a distinction among Chinese women, who introduces viewers to the presentation, style, emotions, spirituality and esthetics of calligraphy. Like a great painter, Kejia's brush literally dances as she demonstrates a technique, which took years of discipline to achieve. We learn how this artistic training was passed down through generations of her family - her grandfather, Xiao Lao, was well known as a calligrapher and poet; however, although she has achieved worldwide acclaim, this program's focus is primarily on the appreciation of her beloved ancient art. We learn of the four essential tools required to practice calligraphy, the ink brush, ink, paper, and inkstone; then, following the handling of her brush, we witness the power and beauty she is able to convey as she paints and identifies the characters. Produced by J. Howmark Productions.

DVD / 2009 / (Intermediate, Junior High, Senior High, College, Adult) / 30 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


CHINESE SHADOW FIGURE

In China, shadow-puppets figures are always colorful.

Guan Yu, a third-century warrior, symbolizes fidelity and moral rectitude. He joined the Chinese pantheon when he became the god of war, trade, and secret societies. He is a character typical of the popular theater.


DVD / 2007 / 26 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


CHINESE BRUSH PAINTING

This DVD is intended to give the aspiring artist a flavor of the exciting possibilities offered by Chinese brush painting.

In Part One, after a stimulating introduction to the subject and a demonstration of the necessary materials, the exercises concentrate on the painting of flowers. Instructor Jane Evans begins in the traditional way with the four friends': plum blossom, bamboo, orchid and chrysanthemum. An exercise in painting a peony is illustrated in detail followed by the art of applying the final wash.

In Part Two, Jane Evans assumes that the exercises of the four friends as demonstrated in Part One have been practiced and the student now feels confident to tackle more ambitious subjects. The demonstrations commence with the painting of a bird, followed by a fish, a duck, a panda, rocks and finally the fascinating subject of landscape painting.


DVD (Color) / 2006 / 90 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


TORCH TROUPES (HUO BA JU TUAN)

Directed by XU Xin

In this vivid portrait of China's musical heritage, Sichuan Opera performers strive to keep a centuries-old artform alive.

After thriving for 300 years, Sichuan Opera is an endangered art form. Having survived the Cultural Revolution, state-sponsored opera troupes now face extinction in the era of private enterprise. Opera master Li Baoting began his career at eight, but now performs pop songs with showgirls in cheap bars. His colleague Wang Bin performs in travelling tents, trying to resist the massive cultural changes threatening to wipe out this artform.

In TORCH TROUPES, acclaimed filmmaker Xu Xin (Karamay, Jury Prize, Locarno Film Festival) captures the painstaking preparations of Sichuan Opera performers and bears witness to the difficulties they face: an aging audience, the demolition of traditional teahouse venues, and career pressures to adopt modern dance or karaoke, or abandon the stage altogether. TORCH TROUPES offers an eye-opening overview of popular performance culture in contemporary China, and a poignant reflection of the struggle to preserve a cultural heritage in the face of widespread social transformation.


DVD (Color, Mandarin & Sichuan dialect with English Subtitles) / 2006 / 110 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


ASIAN TRADITIONS: FOR A BOWL OF RICE - A CHINESE CRAFT (CHINESE TRADITIONS)

Certain special objects and artifacts are essential to keep ancient Chinese traditions alive. Here skilled people with a desire to celebrate their heritage maintain these arcane, yet essential, industries.

DVD / 2004 / (Junior High, Senior High, College, Adult) / 30 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


ASIAN TRADITIONS: FOR A BOWL OF RICE - A PRAYER FOR FISH (JOHOR, CHINA)

Documents life in the village of Parit Jawa in Johor, China, where villagers have lived from the sea's harvest for centuries, building boats and creating a thriving community from difficult beginnings.

DVD / 2004 / (Junior High, Senior High, College, Adult) / 30 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


ASIAN TRADITIONS: FOR A BOWL OF RICE - A SPECIAL MEDICINE (CHINESE BARBER AND MEDICINE)

Chinese barbers do more than just cut hair. Since ancient times they have used their own unusual concoctions to ease the pains of their customers. compliment modern health treatments.

DVD / 2004 / (Junior High, Senior High, College, Adult) / 30 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


ASIAN TRADITIONS: FOR A BOWL OF RICE - FRUITS FROM THE DEEP (CHINESE OYSTER DIVERS)

China's mighty Muar River, where venerable divers have worked together for many years. We watch them harvest oysters; then follow the delicacy as it turns into a tasty specialty in a Chinese kitchen.

DVD / 2004 / (Junior High, Senior High, College, Adult) / 30 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


ASIAN TRADITIONS: FOR A BOWL OF RICE - THE BELLS FROM MELAKA (TRISHAW MEN & CHINESE ART)

Jehan Chan uses the distinctive red color of Malaccan historical buildings in his modern paintings; also two Trishaw drivers struggle to keep their traditional taxi service operating in the busy streets of Malaka.

DVD / 2004 / (Junior High, Senior High, College, Adult) / 30 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


KING OF MASKS, THE

Director: Tian-Ming Wu

In 1930s China, aging street performer Wang (Zhu Xu) yearns for a male heir to whom he can pass on the secrets of his renowned act. Though he refuses an offer to join the opera, he heeds the advice of female-impersonating opera star Liang (Zhang Zhigang) to find an heir. Wang soon buys an 8-year-old orphan named Doggie (Zhou Renying). When his new heir reveals a desperate secret, Wang must choose between following the strictures of society and the fatherly love he feels for his new protege.


DVD (Mandarin with English Subtitles) / 1999 / 101 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


TASTE OF CHINA, A: FOOD FOR BODY AND SPIRIT

By Sue Yung Li

The Tao of cooking and eating - the Way to health and well-being! This film investigates the impact of religious influences on Chinese culture and cuisine.

At a sacred Taoist retreat, high on Blue City Mountain in Sichuan Province, a priestess marinates pickling vegetables and demonstrates how the contrasting forces of yin and yang are balanced and harmonized in food and cooking.

Following a look behind the scenes of one of China's oldest and best-known herb shops, the film visits an unusual herbal medicine restaurant where the maitre d' "prescribes" meals according to the ailments of each diner.

Visits to two monasteries illustrate the role of Buddhism in the development of China's extensive and elaborate vegetarian cuisine. At the first, monks demonstrate the making of tofu in the time-honored way. The second monastery, Ling Ying in the city of Hangzhou, is famous both for its enormous golden Buddha and its enormously popular restaurant. Here water chestnuts are cut to resemble cooked shrimp and a fanciful vegetarian "fish" takes shape in the hands of a talented chef.


DVD (Color) / 1984 / 29 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


TASTE OF CHINA, A: MASTERS OF THE WOK

By Sue Yung Li

Like Chinese cuisine and Chinese culture, this film is a study in contrasts. It explores the evolution of Chinese cuisine from basic peasant fare to highly refined and lavish imperial cooking.

The film opens at the Shandong State Guest House in north China, where it captures the behind-the-scenes drama as two of China's Master Class Chefs prepare an astonishing 28-course banquet. Featured are such elaborate delicacies as orange jelly in the form of a goldfish and a "peacock" centerpiece whose body is carved from a large turnip and whose plume is of sliced egg white, smoked fish, slivered cucumbers, and ripe cherries.

A highlight is the making (or "pulling") of "dragon whiskers" noodles completely by hand. Beginning with a single lump of dough, the noodle maker rhythmically swings and pulls and stretches and doubles it until more than a thousand even strands are produced - in less than a minute.

The film then visits Confucius's birthplace in nearby Qufu to study the robust peasant fare - whose staples are wheat, millet, and corn - that nourished the sage and formed the basis of all northern Chinese cuisine. An unusual attraction is a look inside a shop in which women make the special five-foot-long He-Le, or "longevity" noodles, for festive occasions.

Afterward, the film tours an exotic spice market and cooking academy for new chefs in Sichuan Province, and concludes by joining a group of artists and writers at a Chrysanthemum banquet in celebration of autumn.


DVD (Color) / 1984 / 29 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


TASTE OF CHINA, A: THE FAMILY TABLE

By Sue Yung Li

The contrasting lives of two families - a traditional four-generation rural family in a Sichuan village and a modern, single-child family in urban Hangzhou - are viewed through the routines of their daily meals. In the process, the film illustrates how the Chinese family has endured and how it is changing.

In Sichuan, the four generations of the Za family work, cook, and eat together. Attention is focused on the 84-year-old patriarch of the family and his young great-grandson. At the Xu household in Hangzhou, however, the pressures of modern life have affected the attitudes and structure of the family. While his wife works in a nearby factory, Mr. Xu shops in a "free market" and prepares a fast meal for the family.

Interspersed with views of the two families are scenes in which a traditional itinerant storyteller evokes the ancient rhythm of agrarian life and contemporary urban sequences that suggest new patterns of living.


DVD (Color) / 1984 / 29 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


TASTE OF CHINA, A: WATER FARMERS

By Sue Yung Li

The Yangzi River delta region south of Shanghai is known as the water country. Hundreds of miles of canals traverse the land, linking towns and villages. Here, near the city of Shaoxing, water has completely shaped the local farmers' unique way of life.

This poetic film - follows them through their busy daily activities on the waterways: harvesting the huge water-lotus leaves, "farming" fish and freshwater pearls, and making the region's famous rice wine.

This area was once an immense flooded plain, sparsely populated and uncultivated. Legend says that some 4, 000 years ago Yu the Great tamed the Yangzi's floodwaters. He dug channels, constructed dikes, and drained the lowlands to make fields.

Over the centuries, generations of farmers painstakingly deepened and expanded the canals, built up and enriched the land, and created a highly productive environment. The canals still serve as "liquid highways" for wedding boats, traveling vendors, and the unusual foot-powered rowboats of the local farmers.

In the lives of the Shaoxing farmers the film identifies the traditional harmonious relationship between the Chinese people and their environment.


DVD (Color) / 1984 / 29 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


CHINESE OPERA

"Chinese Opera" opens in the make-up room of the People's Theatre in Canton, where the cast is preparing for a 300-year-old Cantonese opera called Nliu Yi Chuan Su, a romance, and then moves on to an acrobatic training school for future opera stars. The DVD concludes with a performance by the Northern Opera Group in Beijing. The viewer is given an in-depth, first-hand experience of this fascinating ancient art form.

DVD (With English narration) / 1983 / 28 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


ASPECTS OF PEKING OPERA

Features a celebrated star of Peking Opera, Hu Hung-Yen, who began her training at he age of eight. As a master of the movements, manners, and style of Peking Opera, she mimes the gestures and expressions of the hua dan, or coquette role, as well as traditional male roles such as the scholar and the warrior.

DVD (Color) / 15 minutes,

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<


MARTIAL ARTS OF PEKING OPERA

The acrobatic martial arts of traditional Peking Opera are precisely shown and explained on film. Sequences of movements are labeled with their appropriate Chinese characters, and translated. Discusses the movements, manners, and style of Peking Opera.

DVD (Color) / 14 minutes

[Go top]

>>> Add Cart <<<

***Price on web-site may not be current and is subject to modification by quotation***



Email :
inquiry@learningemall.com

Websites :
http://www.learningemall.com [ English ]
http://www.learningemall.com.hk [ Chinese ]

Follow us: facebook twitter linkedin linkedin