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© 1997 – 2002 Patrick Hassel Zein

This page was last updated 31.07.2002

Illustration © Microsoft Clipart

Zhöngguó wénhuà = Chinese Culture

Chinese Culture

On this page I have collected a small number of assorted short text that all in some way or another have to do with Chinese culture. Here you will find my own thoughts and tips, a number of links and possibly some pictures. It is possible that some of these texts will grow to independent pages in the future, but right this moment I haven't got time to go into any deeper details in the subjects.

Májiàng = Mah-jongg

Mah-jongg ("Ma Jiang")

The most well known Chinese games are probably Chinese Checkers and Mah-jongg. Chinese Checkers is so widely known, that I will not mention it at all, but Mah-jongg is an interesting matter, so I will give some points.

During the Cultural Revolution in China, Mah-jongg was banned as being a capitalistic game on which some people had lost all their money and their homes. Even at the end of the 20:th century the gambling aspects of the game seem to be a bit of a taboo, and are therefore hidden in a discrete exchange of playing cards instead of money – I just wonder if one has to pay money to be allowed to enter the game and to get those cards... I do not want to state that this would be the case, but one may wonder! However this is an intriguing and very nice game.

I have put some overviews of the rules on my Mah-jongg-page.

See also my description of the Chinese card-game Strike Big Brother!

Chú dàdì = Strike Big Brother

Strike Big Brother ("Chudadi")

This is a very popular Chinese card-game for four players, that I learnt on a trip through China. The game is played with a standard European deck. Chudadi has obvious similarities with regular western poker but also with classical Chinese Mah-jongg. You will find the full rules on this page!

Kàngbìngchá = Tea that fights sickness

The health-tea Kombucha

Kombucha is a type of mushroom that since thousands of years has been used by wise old women and men around the entire world. The mushroom is put into cool sweetened tea, where it slowly will start a fermenting process where nitrogen from the tea together with the sugar that you've put into it are turned into a range of healthy substances. As a result you get a slightly sparkling beverage with a hint of alcohol (not more than 1%) and a pleasant taste. At the same time as the fermentation is working, the mushroom will also reproduce itself. You may vary the taste of the kombucha-beverage by using different types of tea in the preparation.

Lots of further reading (in 24 languages!) can be found on the page "The Kombucha Journal"!

Fëng Shùí = Wind and Water


In western countries we may furnish our apartments in accordance with our feeling. We have an eye for what colours and forms may be combined in what ways, we know how we like to arrange our curtains, and we know that it is practical to have a toilet close to the sleeping room and so on. The Chinese have gone one step further, by defining the unspoken rules for our feelings and many other aspects that may have importance on our living conditions. I would say that Fengshui is the philosophical way of furnishing a home. Fengshui is a well-grounded philosophy that has been shaped through several centuries. In some aspects it may feel a bit like "mumbo-jumbo", but in many ways it may give the western cultures many important suggestions on how to make the best of what architecture we have in our homes.