Archive | September, 2014

More Bangkok

28 Sep

Again…most important going on a holiday (according to 6 and 8 year olds): The Pool!

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Meeting friends is high on the adults list:
Catching up with Wilbert and Esther earlier, today lunch with old “neighbors” Matt and Martina.

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Bike ride in Bangkok

27 Sep

So we find ourselves in Bangkok again. Our first stop for the octoberbreak. Arrived yesterday and met with ex-Beijingers Wilbert & Esther. Today doing the off-the-beaten-track 5 hours bike & boat ride through Bangkok. Chinatown, back allies, food markets, streets 1 mtr wide, temples, crossing the river, eating with locals, through wetlands just outside Bangkok.

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Chinatown, always busy, always temples.

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One of the many Thai temples, with Thailand’s biggest golden Budda.

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Witnessed a haircutting ritual. Done by monks before a man gets married. The parents cut some hair, the grandparents too and than the monk finishes the job by shaving the head and eyebrows. A great look for the wedding pictures 🙂

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Back again by longtailboat, great ride!

Girl power!

22 Sep

Maj is working on her fighting skills. Not sure if she needs that though…

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Tianjin

22 Sep

45 minutes by subway, 30 minutes bullet-train and you hit Tianjin, Beijing’s “harbor”. Actually, you still need another 20km to see the sea, but it’s a great escape out of the capital. Lots of european influences because many countries had their own legation quarters here. Cruising the streets on funny, little china-bikes spotting christian churches, german bakeries and architecture we know so well. Following the footsteps of Pu Yi, China’s last emperor, who lived in Tianjin for a few years after he was forced to leave the Forbidden City in Beijing.

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For some reason (big meeting with important people) the English legation quarter was closed down and guarded at the end of the day. We were not allowed in anymore. Not the handiest thing if your bike rental is just located there and you have to catch a train back to Beijing. Our first attempt breaking through the barricades (ignore shouting chinese and just keep going) didn’t work. Some talking and phone calls later they let allowed us in at last.

Out was no problem 🙂

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Do you want to think China is OK? please read and start thinking.

19 Sep

Veel van mijn collega’s zijn goed opgeleid en hebben toegang tot internet achter de Chinese Firewall. Ze zijn allemaal van mening dat China bijna even democratisch is als het westen, geloven niet dat wij ECHT vrij de straat op kunnen en kunnen zeggen wat we willen, dat er geen slechte dingen voor minderheden gebeuren, dat iedereen in China zich kan uitspreken, dat er geen kolonisatie maar bevrijding plaatsvindt in het westen van China (30 jaar geleden waren de locals 85% en Han 15% door ‘gedwongen’ verhuizingen is het 45-55% in Xinjiang) en in Tibet worden geen dorpen verbouwd en ze zeggen allemaal dat ik niet vrij kan reizen naar Tibet. Noord Korea is geen slecht land, kerken worden echt niet gesloten (afgelopen maand 4 in Beijing).

M.a.w. de CCP is heeft een geweldig slim brain wash programma hier een super tekst daarover:

The U. S. National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) recently issued a report titled Curriculum and Ideology which stated that the Chinese Communist government’s ideological education was startlingly effective: the textbooks for the course “ideology and politics” used since the 2004 curriculum reform have shaped students’ ideas and minds more effectively.

This NBER report destroyed many people’s illusions. Internationally, one of the common arguments used to justify the Chinese Communists’ brainwashing in education is that even though the Chinese Communists impose relentless internet censorship, in comparison to the past, the internet provides a wealth of information to China’s internet users. For example, not long ago, Frank Sieren, a commentator for the Deutsche Welle, questioned publicly, in his debate with me about the 1989 Democracy Protests in Beijing, “How can brainwashing occur in a country [like China] where one can travel freely and, even though one faces many obstacles, one can still come into contact with the diversity of global viewpoints? In a country where information is as advanced as in contemporary China, how can brainwashing be possible?”

One of the initiators of the NBER research, Davide Cantoni, a Professor of Economics at the University of Munich in Germany, stated that the result that surprised the researchers the most was that, even though Chinese students have opportunities for exposure to other media and news, nevertheless the government was still able effectively to change students’ ideological outlook by means of altering the teaching materials.

The research target for this NBER report were students at Peking University, a university recognized for gathering China’s most outstanding young people and for its tradition of critical thinking and rebellion. The research makes clear that the students who used the new teaching materials believed even more strongly that China was a “democratic country,” and had even more faith in China’s Central government and local governments, as well as the national institutions such as the public security agencies and the courts. Moreover, these students even more strongly trusted China’s policies toward ethnic groups.

In my view, the “success” of the 2004 cirriculum reform was not altogether an accident. Since 1989, the Chinese Communists’ new ideological education has been getting “better.” The Chinese Communists’ ideological education after 1949 was of course also quite “successful.” The Cultural Revolution, however, brought China to the point of collapse, and this “success” subsequently came to an end. The 1980’s saw the Chinese people trending towards accepting values established and cherished in the west. After the June 4, 1989 suppression of the democracy movement, the Chinese Communists utilized the deterrent produced by brutality to transform its ideological education.

There were two main changes. The first change was “de-glorification.” Before, the ideological education was marked by bombastic “false, grand, and empty” (假大空) indoctrination that declared to the world that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was the greatest, the most glorious, and the most correct political party. While similar a style of propaganda is still widespread, the new approach to ideological education acknowledges that the CCP has had problems, but also stresses that political parties in other countries also had their problems, and all political parties have issues just as “all crows are black.” By declaring that putting self interest first is a universal principle, the CCP succeeded in painting such western values as democracy, freedom, and human rights as just so much empty propaganda.

The second change lies in the teaching of China’s national conditions and the teaching of patriotism. Since there is no such thing as universal justice, said the CCP, it stands to reason that a country should seek the greatest benefits based on its own special conditions. As long as we Chinese completely understand the national conditions of our own country, then the West’s observations and criticisms of China are just things easier said than done that the West uses to interfere in China’s internal affairs.

Textbooks for ideology and politics classes after the 2004 cirriculum reform strengthened these two aspects. It reduced content on introduction to western civilization, and, at the same time, increased its affirmation of progresses made under China’s national conditions. The NBER research shows that these changes were not immediately evident but subtle and effective. Based on my observations, following on the heels of China’s expanding economic power, this type of ideological propaganda has effectively transformed how China is perceived in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the West. I believe that, among the Hong Kongers who oppose the Occupy Central movement and Taiwanese who opposed the Sunflower movement, many have gotten their “understanding” of the Chinese Communists through this type of propaganda.

No one is willing to admit that they are stupid, especially the Westerners who have dominated the modern civilization over the last few centuries. It is very difficult for them to accept this fact: not only are the Chinese the victims of the Chinese Communists’ brainwashing, but also all of mankind. In the West nowadays, urging people to “see the progress of the Chinese Communists Party” has even become a sign of self-proclaimed tolerance and wisdom.

When Xi Jinping visited France [in March 2014], he was able to get President Hollande not to raise the issue of “human rights.” Please note that it was not that there was no need to discuss human rights, but rather that the decision not to raise human rights was a compromise reached after deals and threats were made. Even as things of this nature are happening, not many Europeans have a clear realization that its political civilization is being rewritten by the communist China.

Chinese can sleep everywhere

17 Sep

slapende chinezen

en onder de derde ring 2×5 banen breed en paralel weg van 2×4 banen:

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Zhong Guo Cai, chinese food

17 Sep

Zo ziet de tafel eruit na een goed chinees diner. Well done kids! heerlijke zondag middag lunch in een restaurant verscholen in de hutongs.

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