Chinese

27th November – On This Day In History

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Born:

1940 Bruce Lee (actor & martial arts expert)

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Died:

2014 PD James (author)

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On This Day:

2013 Frozen (highest grossing animated film of all time) is released

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Have a good Tuesday, 27th November

15th June – On This Day In History

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Born:

1953 Xi Jinping (President of The People’s Republic of China)

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Died:

1996 Ella Fitzgerald (singer)

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On This Day:

1215 King John (England) signs the Magna Carta (at Runnymede)

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Have a good Friday, 15th June

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26th April – On This Day In History

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Born:

1963 Jet Li (actor & martial arts expert)

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Died:

1865 John Wilkes Booth (assassinated Abraham Lincoln)

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On This Day:

1962 Ariel , the UK’s first satellite, is launched

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Have a good Thursday, 26th April

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28th September – On This Day In History

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Born:

551 BC Confucius (Chinese philosopher) 

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Died:

1891 Herman Melville (author – Moby Dick)

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On This Day:

1950 Indonesia joins the United Nations (becomes the 50th member)

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Have a good Thursday, 28th September

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28th September – On This Day In History

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Born:

551 BC Confucius (Chinese philosopher)

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Died:

1895 Louis Pasteur (discoverer of pasteurization for dairy products)

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On This Day:

1066 William The Conqueror lands in England to begin his invasion

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Have a good Wednesday, 28th September

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Chinese New Year

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The dragon is in the street dancing beneath windows
   pasted with colored squares, past the man
who leans into the phone booth’s red pagoda, past
   crates of doves and roosters veiled
until dawn. Fireworks complicate the streets
   with sulphur as people exchange gold
and silver foil, money to appease ghosts
   who linger, needy even in death. I am
almost invisible. Hands could pass through me
   effortlessly. This is how it is
to be so alien that my name falls from me, grows
   untranslatable as the shop signs,
the odors of ginseng and black fungus that idle
   in the stairwell, the corridor where
the doors are blue months ajar. Hands
   gesture in the smoke, the partial moon
of a face. For hours the soft numeric
   click of mah-jongg tiles drifts
down the hallway where languid Mai trails
   her musk of sex and narcotics.
There is no grief in this, only the old year
   consuming itself, the door knob blazing
in my hand beneath the lightbulb’s electric jewel.
   Between voices and fireworks
wind works bricks to dust—hush, hush
   no language I want to learn. I can touch
the sill worn by hands I’ll never know
   in this room with its low table
where I brew chrysanthemum tea. The sign
   for Jade Palace sheds green corollas
on the floor. It’s dangerous to stand here
   in the chastening glow, darkening
my eyes in the mirror with the gulf of the rest
   of my life widening away from me, waiting
for the man I married to pass beneath
   the sign of the building, to climb
the five flights and say his Chinese name for me.
   He’ll rise up out of the puzzling streets
where men pass bottles of rice liquor, where
   the new year is liquor, the black bottle
the whole district is waiting for, like
   some benevolent arrest—the moment
when men and women turn to each other and dissolve
   each bad bet, every sly mischance,
the dalliance of hands. They turn in lamplight
   the way I turn now. Wai Min is in the doorway.
He brings fish. He brings lotus root.
   He brings me ghost money.
 – Lynda Hull
sheep

Chinese Tea Legend

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One of the many legends surrounding the founding of tea as a favoured refreshment tells us that tea was discovered about 5,000 years ago by Chinese Emperor Shen Nung.
One lone leaf of tea is said to have blown into the emperor’s pot of boiling water. He found that the leaf improved the taste of the water, but he was delighted to find out that it also seemed to have a stimulative effect.
And the rest is history…
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