Chinese flutes with more than two-thousand years of history

September 10, 2013

The most popular flutes in China are the Dizi and the Hsiao (Xiao), which rhymes with “cow”. I wrote about the Dizi—which is a transverse flute—in a previous post.

The Hsiao is longer than the Dizi and is used to play classical Chinese music and solo music. The Hsiao has eight holes for fingers.  The other two Hsiao flutes are the Dong Hsiao from Southern China with six holes for the fingers and the Qin Hsiao, which is used mainly to accompany the ancient seven-string Chinese zither.


Xiao Solo by Zeng Gege – Mooring by the Autumn River at Night

Chinese flutes with finger holes have been traced back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD).  These flutes have been made from the bones of birds or animals, from stone and jade. the Dizi became common later in the western region of the Han Dynasty.

If you enjoy listening to Chinese music, you may also enjoy the Chinese opera.

Discover Chinese Yu Opera with Mao Wei-tao

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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China’s Holistic Historical Timeline


Contaminated Water and Soil is a Global Problem – Part 1/6

February 15, 2012

In “Deceit upon Deceit?” an anonymous reader called Bosshard left a comment to another post, which I decided to delete and republish in this series after I did some research on the subject.

In fact, the entire comment will end each post in this series as a reminder of what Bosshard wrote, because I see his comment as an example of a double standard, which means China is judged in isolation while many other nations with the same problems/challenges [or worse as you will discover] are often ignored.

When I first read the comment and approved it for the other post, I came away feeling as if Bosshard had singled out China as a villain when in fact, heavy metal pollution of soil and water is a global problem and not exclusive to China.

When I said the Chinese could boil water to rid it of pathogens, I had not considered heavy metals, which I know may only be removed with special filters or by distilling the water.

In fact, drinking unsafe water with pathogens may lead to a miserable death much sooner than drinking water contaminated with heavy metals.  Survival Topics.com says, “According to the Wilderness Medical Society, water temperatures above 160° F (70° C) kill all pathogens within 30 minutes and above 185° F (85° C) within a few minutes. So in the time it takes for the water to reach the boiling point (212° F or 100° C) from 160° F (70° C), all pathogens will be killed, even at high altitude.”


safe drinking water is a global problem.

However, when rural Chinese are faced with the choice of drinking water that may be contaminated with both pathogens and heavy metals and all that is available is boiling, what choice do the Chinese have? As a backpacker that has hiked many times in California’s mountains, I have used both a ceramic filter to purify the water and boiled it.

Drinking water contaminated with pathogens may lead to a quick and miserable death much faster than drinking water contaminated with heavy metals.

Anyone interested in the Health Risks of Heavy Metals may want to click on this link and read about it. Then you may want to make sure to buy a filter designed to remove heavy metals from water or buy a countertop distiller.

If you watched the videos with this post and heard the comment that two billion people, about a third of humanity, drinks unsafe water, then Bosshard’s comment was disingenuous since he focused his criticism on China while ignoring the rest of the world.

Nation Master.com published an environmental ranking of freshwater pollution in sixty-nine countries. Number ONE was Israel with the most freshwater pollution at 27.07 tons/cubic km. China was listed as number FOURTEEN (3.78 tons/cubic km)  right behind Japan (4.27 tons/cubic km).

In fact, South Korea was number NINE with 5.68 tons/cubic km. The United States was number THIRTY with 1.14 tons/cubic km.

What does this mean? It means that thirteen countres had worse freshwater pollution than China did.

Maybe Bosshard didn’t know these facts, because he is only interested in what happens in China. I may never know the answer since Bosshard said, “I will not return to this comment nor website” after he dropped his misleading logical fallacy of a bomb in my lap. What he says may be true but how he said it may cause others to blame China for something that is a global problem and not unique to China.

In the rest of this series, there will be posts that focus on soil and water contamination in America, another on Canada, then China, India and last Russia—five of the world’s largest countries measured by land area and/or population.

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This comment was originally posted at Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 6 on January 31 at 23:34 by an anonymous reader called Bosshard.

Deceit upon deceit?

Dear author, what we find most annoying in the behavior of others are those same behaviors of which we are equally guilty. You appear to dislike: lies, half truths and manipulation.

Regarding water-

You have much to learn.  Boiling water is good for killing bacteria and the like but does nothing to stave off the ill effects of heavy metals like copper, lead and the like. According to the BBC, at least 10% of all Chinese land is contaminated with heavy metals, which are not rendered inert by boiling. Thus, boiling water in China does no good when these elements are present.

When you made your comment, were you engaging in ““willful deception and a refusal to play by the rules?” when you state that boiling Chinese water is an anti-dote?

And an aside, do you personally drink the same water as the folks in Guizhou or Gansu, or do you purchase bottled water, a thing many of them cannot do?

As for your forgone conclusion that the need for water is greater than that of religion, I would disagree. Freedom of religion is paramount to many souls, just ask the Tibetans who will take their own lives in order to achieve such an end. If I were forced to give up my religion for water, I would not do so.

Please do not pretend to know the mind of the masses when yours may not be as open as you may believe.

This site has much information, but the author, like the Jesuits of old appears to have conjured up a China that he wishes us to believe in. The brutal reality of the communist regime  and havoc it brings to its people can best be understood by reading books like Empire of Lies, The Beijing Consensus, Poorly Made in China, The Party, and a host of others.

I will not return to this comment nor website but would like to offer this question:

If you have lived in China, and all of your readers, then you truly know the truth of this place. And if you truly know the truth of this place, then do you think it’s right to knowingly deceive the people about it?

God bless and keep all His children safe and informed.

Continued on February 14 at Contaminated Water and Soil is a Global Problem – Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Mao Weitao and Yue Opera

March 14, 2010

Mao Weitao is considered a living treasure in China. She imitates men in the opera roles she plays—a reversal from Imperial China when women were not allowed on stage so men played female roles.

Mao Weitao is on the left

I was introduced to Yue Opera in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province about a decade ago. Mao Weitao and her husband have their own theater company near the shores of the famous Westlake. My wife translated while I watched the live-opera performance in fascination.

The costumes were lavish and the acting and opera was dramatic with a backdrop of classical Chinese music.

The challenge today is to keep this form of Chinese opera alive. The audience for opera is shrinking dramatically in China while remaining popular with the older generation. Television, movies and the Internet are claiming the shorter attention spans of the younger people.

Mao Weitao, considered an innovative genius on stage, adapts and works to keep the art form alive. According to her husband, no two performances are exactly alike.

Discover The Orphan’s Life

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

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