Chinese Festival Organizers Create Human Zoo for Beggars

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Beggars at a religious festival in Nanchang, southern China, have been ordered to either stay in specially-built metal cages or risk being removed from the city, in an attempt to stop them from harassing visitors.

Living in a country where begging is a very lucrative business, I know what it’s like to constantly be disturbed by various characters asking for money (not food, money), but what these Chinese festival organizers did is a bit extreme. According to a Nanchang official, in recent years the number of beggars turning up for the local religious festival has increased to a point where they’re actually making temple visitors uncomfortable with their lamenting and pleading for some pocket change. So this year, to make sure everyone attending the festivities will be left alone, they decided to separate the hundreds of beggars in small metal cages around the festival grounds, where people can still give donations if they wish, but without being followed around and nagged while they’re on a day out with their family. Organizers did point out that the beggars in this pop-up human zoo entered their cages voluntarily and that no one is actually forcing them to beg for a living…

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China Hosts World’s First Ever Goldfish Beauty Pageant

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3,000 goldfish from 14 different countries around the world competed for the title of “World Goldfish Queen” in the first ever International Goldfish Championship, hosted in Fuzhou, China’s Fujian Province.

A warehouse full of thousands of big white bowls of water sure doesn’t sound like the beauty pageant events we’re normally used to, but that’s exactly what it was. Last Saturday, a panel of judges gathered in the city of Fuzhou to determine which of the slippery contestants should be crowned most beautiful goldfish in the world. In an interview with Reuters, judge Ye Qichang said: “We judge goldfish mainly by five criteria: breed, body shape, swimming gesture, colour, which is very important, and overall impression.” And although color counts for much, the favorite of the fishy competition impressed the judges with its size – weighing 1.75 kilograms (3.9 pounds), the giant goldfish reportedly moved arund his tank very gracefully, which obviously won it extra points. “Not all goldfish can grow this big. Many factors such as breed and breeding method may affect their size. A goldfish cannot grow into that size if it suffers any hardship or major illness during the breeding. So it is a very rare one,” Ye concluded.

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Chinese Man Builds Transformer That Actually Transforms, Sort of

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A man from Jinan, China’s Shandong Province, has spent six months building a Transformer-like robot that morphs into a functional car, at the push of a button. If you’re expecting a real-life Bumblebee, you’re going to be disappointed…

But finally, right!?! A real transformer and it’s not some guy in a suit either. Frankly, I was getting a bit tired of seeing people build all these awesome looking Transformer replicas that didn’t do anything but look pretty, and I was really hoping someone would one day take it to the next level. Enter unknown Chinese Transformers fan with a passion for DIY stuff. According to RocketNews24, the man has wanted to build his very own Transformer ever since watching the first film in Michael Mann’s trilogy, four years ago. He didn’t have any kind of mechanical or electronics knowledge but that didn’t stop him from finally accomplishing his dream. It took the Jinan-native six months and 70,000 yuan (US$11,000) to finally complete his life-size Transformer, but just look at it…

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Chinese Man Has Lived on Water Alone for the Last 12 Years

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How long can you survive without food? It all depends on a person’s weight, overall health and metabolic rate, but according to scientific data, a human being can’t go much longer than 3 weeks without food. Now, a 22-year-old man from China means to challenge this theory claiming he has survived 12 years on water alone.

Ning Xuefa, a young man from China’s Henan province, has recently made headlines for claiming he hasn’t had a bite of food in the last 12 years. Looking at the 1.50-meter-tall, 40-kg-heavy Ning one can tell he doesn’t like to eat much, but his story seems almost impossible to believe. He told Chinese media that he completely renounced food when he was just a 10-year-old child. Just looking at bread or vegetables at the dinner table made him nauseous, and he always had a dry throat and a weird sensation like something was stuck there that made him drink lots of water all day long. He currently consumes up to 15 liters of water in a day, and his father back up his story that he never touches a single scrap of food, whether it’s rice, steamed bread or meat.

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Anime-Faced Chinese Model Will Freak You Out

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Meet Tina Leopard, a Chinese blogger and model who earlier this year sparked controversy among Internet users after photos showing her extremely sharp chin and large anime-like eyes went viral on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.

Apparently, there’s a new fashion trend sweeping across China – the anime look. The country’s most popular social media sites are practically flooded with tons of photos of young people clearly going out of their way to look as much like an anime character as possible. The trend took off last summer, when a girl going by the name of KOKO uploaded photos and videos showing her thin body, pointy chin and disproportionately large eyes. It turned out she used all kinds of makeup tricks to achieve her anime look, and her photos were apparently also altered in Photoshop, but that didn’t seem to matter much to people who wanted to look like the characters in popular Japanese cartoons. And while some of them actually look pretty cool, others are just plain freaky. Case in point, Tina Leopard, a young Chinese model whose extreme facial features have often been compared to those of an alien.

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China’s Rich Can Hire Body Doubles to Serve Their Prison Time

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As shocking as it may sound the practice of hiring body doubles to serve jail time in the place of rich and powerful individuals is well-documented in China. So if you thought your country’s legal system was corrupt, think again.

Just two days ago I wrote a post about another bizarre job available in China – hiring white guys to pose as employees or business partners – but that’s nothing compared to the “profession” you’re about to discover. Apparently, China’s wealthy can get away with just about anything, even serving jail time, as long as they’re willing to part with a small fraction of their fortune. Sure, that’s not very surprising, considering even in some Western countries where the legal system is considered impartial, the rich and famous are often shown leniency. Only in China, the so-called “1%” has a different way of dealing with unpleasant situations, like serving time in prison. Instead of wasting their time behind bars, they just pay stand-ins who, for the right sum are willing to take their place. Yes, apparently that’s possible.

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Chinese Farmer Builds Lamborghini Reventon from Scrap Metal

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28-year old Wang Jian, a mechanic and farmer from China’s Jiangsu province, has spent the last year building himself a home-made replica of the Lamborghini Reventon, one of the world’s most exclusive sport cars.

Wang developed a passion for cars at a very young age, and even worked at an auto shop for 10 years before opening his own business. Although he had a chance to work on many different cars, the young mechanic felt like something was missing from his life. It was his very own Lamborghini Reventon, a beautiful Italian sport car priced around $1.3 million. And as if the price wasn’t prohibitive enough, Wang Jian knew only a few of these gems had been produced by the Italian car maker, and all of them were sold to wealthy buyers most of who’s names remain a mystery. But he wasn’t going to let these kind of technicalities stand in the way of owning his own Lamborghini Reventon, so he decided that if he couldn’t buy one, he was going to build it. He set in plan in motion in May of last year, buying an old Volkswagen, and a small Reventon model car to use as reference.

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Chinese Companies Renting White Guys to Look Successful

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Believe it or not, in China white guys can get a job posing as businessmen for companies who hire them to look more international to their real partners. It’s called “White Guy Window Dressing” and it’s apparently a very popular business tactic.

What makes this such a great job for white guys in China is that it has some really simple requirements: be white, don’t speak any Chinese, or speak at all unless asked, pretend like you just got off an airplane the day before, and look good in a suit. The people who usually go for this king of gig are part-time models and actors, English teachers and expats looking for a quick and easy paycheck. It’s called “White Guy Window Dressing”, “The Token White Guy Gig”, or simply the “Face Job” and it’s so popular in China these days that there’s actually a company called Rent A Laowai (Chinese for “foreigner”) that helps businesses improve their image by providing fake white employees or partners.

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The Facekini – China’s Bizarre Beach Sun-Blocker

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Beach-goers usually use sunblock and umbrellas to make sure they don’t get burned, but in China they use something called a “facekini“. The fact that it makes you look like a Mexican wrestler doesn’t seem to bother anybody.

The facekini is being called “China’s latest beach craze”, but according to a Qingdao sales officer, the bizarre mask has been around for at least five years. But photos of Qingdaonese swimmers wearing the bizarre accessory have only recently gone viral on Chinese social sites, and were eventually picked up by Western photo agencies and websites sparking readers’ curiosity. The bizarre clothing item is made of elastic fabric, covers a person’s entire head and neck down to the collarbone and has holes cut out for the neck, nose and mouth. They look pretty creepy, if you ask me, but that’s apparently a very small price to pay in order to protect yourself from getting a tan while going for a swim.

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A Chinese Farmer’s Epic Rickshaw Journey to the London Olympic Games

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Chen Guanming, a 57-year-old farmer from China, spent over two years travelling about 60,000 kilometers, through 16 countries, enduring floods, war zones and extreme temperatures,  to reach London in time for the games and “spread Olympic spirit”.

The 2012 London Olympic Games may have ended, but remarkable stories related to the monumental event are still popping up. One such story is that of Chen Guanming, a simple farmer from a village in China’s Jiangsu province, who traveled all the way to London the only way he could afford to, by rickshaw. The daring traveler said he was inspired to go on this epic journey when he watched the English Prime-Minister accept the Olympic flag, in 2008, and the media invited those watching the live broadcast to the next edition of the games. Chen took that invitation quite seriously, and in 2009, he started putting all his papers in order and preparing for an unforgettable adventure. His long rickshaw ride began on May 23, 2010, in the village where he grows rice and other crops, and took him through 16 different countries, including Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan or Italy.

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Farmer Who Lost Both Arms in Accident Spent Eight Years Building New Ones from Scrap Metal

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Sun Jifa, a Chinese farmer who lost both his arms after a homemade bomb exploded prematurely, built his own functional prosthetic limbs after he couldn’t afford to buy the one offerd by the hospital.

A few years back, 51-year-old Sun Jifa, from Guanmashan, Jilin province, northern China, was working on explosives designed for blast fishing when a bomb blew up prematurely leaving him without both his arms. He was taken to the hospital and treated, but when doctors proposed he wear a pair of prosthetics designed to make his everyday life easier, Sun realized he just couldn’t afford them. At the same time he knew he needed both his arms in order to work on the farm and provide for  his family. That’s when he decided to built his own artificial arms out of scrap metal. After eight years of planning and several prototypes, He finally has a pair of functional arms.

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World’s Deadliest Card Player Slices Fruits an Vegetables with Plastic Playing Cards

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Ye Tongxin, a 48-year old man from Nanjing, China, has a very unique talent. He can slice various fruits and vegetables by throwing plastic cards at them from meters away. I guess you can say he’s a real life fruit ninja.

You probably thought Oddjob was cool for slicing stuff with his hat, but Ye Tongxin’s skill is much more impressive – he’s able to slice fruit and veggies with common plastic playing cards. We’ve all tried doing at some point, but it’s a much harder trick to pull off than most people think. Mr. Ye has been practicing his ability for the last ten years, and although he spends two hours every day throwing cards at hanging plastic bags shaped as cucumbers, he says training to become the world’s best fruit slicer is much more complex. Apart from just throwing cards, he also runs between 8 and 10 laps up high ground, in order to improve his strength, because unlike other card throwing ninjas he needs to cut through tougher fruits like watermelons and apples, instead of just soft cucumbers.

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Chinese IKEA Customers Make Themselves a Little Too Much at Home

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If you’ve ever walked through an IKEA store thinking about how cool it would be if you could just lay down on one of them soft beds, cover yourself with a fluffy blankets and nap, then you need to move to China, because that’s what IKEA visitors do over there.

The Chinese simply love IKEA! Millions visit the company’s mainland stores every year, but only a few of them actually end up buying something, as many just come to enjoy the air-conditioning on a hot summer day and take a nap on the comfy furniture on display. “Some of them even come in once the store opens in the morning, and won’t leave until the store closes in the evening,” a security staff from the IKEA store in Shanghai told Morning Star, but although this sometimes bothers employees, the company hasn’t taken any measures against people making themselves a little too much at home, because it sees it as a future investment. They believe when these people have more consumption power they’ll come back and buy something, but until then they’re free to loiter around.

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Thames Town – A Little Piece of England in China

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It’s no secret the Chinese wrote the book on knock-offs, but did you know they copy whole towns these days? Thames Town, in Shanghai, is a replica of small English town complete with everything you might expect, except the people.

“I wanted the properties to look exactly the same as those in the United Kingdom. I think English properties are very special. When we decide to learn from others, we should not make any improvements or changes.” That’s what James Ho, the head of Shanghai Hengde Real Estate, the company in charge of building Thames Town, told Reuters back in 2006, when the weird settlement was inaugurated. The buildings of Thames Town copy the real ones in England so closely that complaints have been filed by English pub owners, and this genuine British look was exactly what was supposed to draw people to this place. Only, like many other ambitious and expensive Chinese projects, Thames Town failed to impress a lot of people and is now virtually a ghost town in Shanghai, the city that drive’s China’s economy.

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Tang Du Zoology – Dining in China’s Indoor Natural Habitat

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There are plenty of cool places to eat at in China, but one of the most amazing has to be the Tang Dousheng State Park, also known as Tang Du Zoology. This unique venue spreads over 1,600 square feet and features over 1,500 exotic plants and various animals.

I don’t know about you but I haven’t yet had the chance to dine in a place larger than three NFL football fields, so the Tang Dousheng State Park in Taiyuan, an industrial city about 400km from Beijing, sounds pretty special to me. But it’s not just the size that makes this place stand out from other food joints in China. Inaugurated in 2005, Tang Du Zoology was meant to be an indoor “natural habitat” full of exotic plants, rugged rockery and rare animals, where people could experience fine Chinese cuisine in a wild-like environment. Usually you have to go outside for a breath of fresh air, but in Taiyuan, you have to step inside this amazing restaurant to let your lungs know what they’ve been missing out on. The place also serves wide range of Chinese food styles (Guangdong, Shandong, Sichuan, Anhui) but the food is not the first reason to dine at Tang Dousheng State Park.

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