This Inspirational Chinese Village Teacher Single-Handedly Taught Hundreds of Orphans

 

I was never fond of elementary school. In fact, I was one of those kids who could never pay attention to anything but the sound of the ticking clock in the classroom, counting down the minutes until I could grab my friends and run outside to the playground.

Sound familiar? Well, maybe this story of a Chinese villager will change your mind about your animal cracker-eating days that have long since passed. Perhaps it will even make you feel nostalgic for your childhood as well.

Zeng Xiangwei was a villager living in rural Hunan (a province of south-central China), who was left to raise his two grandchildren. Despite the poor conditions of his home, Zeng raised them with his wife and gave them a proper family life.

 

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But his warmth and generosity didn’t just end there. Thirty-eight years ago, Zeng also volunteered to teach orphaned children in an old, dingy, abandoned warehouse that was converted into a school in the ’60s. Now at the age of 56 and doing double duty as headmaster of the school, Zeng has taught more than 600 children — 10 of whom have even gone on to study at universities in China. He is also the only teacher at this institution.

 

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To this day, he continues to teach his current 13 students with curricula that he plans and prepares by himself, but also makes sure to include fun activities.

 

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The crafty man also teaches his students the art of paper-folding.

 

 

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In addition to being a fatherly figure to his grandchildren and students, Zeng is also the village handyman and always steps up to fix satellite TVs wherever there may be a bad connection. On top of all of that, he returns home every day to tend to his three acres of rice fields.

 

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Zeng, who was nominated as one of the best village teachers in Hunan, says he has plans to retire in four years, but that he “has never regretted” the last 38 years of his life, single-handedly teaching hundreds of children.

 

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Fei Fei Sun, First Asian Model to Grace The Cover of “Vogue Italia”

 

Last year, we couldn’t be prouder when we saw high fashion Chinese model Fei Fei Sun’s face on the cover of Vogue Italia, and it came as no surprise. Fei Fei is currently regarded as the model with the most impressive resumé. She has not only walked for every major fashion designer in the industry, but she has also managed to be on the covers of Elle, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and Vogue.

 

 

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When Fei Fei was only 10 years old, her mother became concerned when her daughter shot up to 5-feet-5-inches, something that is quite unusual for a Chinese girl at that age, to say the least. Like many tall girls with gangly figures, Fei Fei experienced issues with her posture and had trouble standing up straight. Determined to fix it, Fei Fei decided that modeling was the way to go.

 

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Fei Fei, with Elite Model contestants

 

In 2008, at the age of 19, Fei Fei entered the Elite Model Look contest and — surprise, surprise — went home as its champion. With her old world looks, it wasn’t long before designers took notice of the now 5-foot-10.5-inch beauty. In fact, the next year, iconic designer Karl Lagerfeld himself handpicked Fei Fei to be in Chanel’s pre-fall 2010 Paris-Shanghai fashion show. Thus, her professional modeling career began.

 

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Fei Fei Sun at Chanel’s pre-fall 2010 Paris-Shanghai show.

Though she may look intimidating in her cover shoots and on the runway, fans gravitate towards this Chinese beauty, and it’s hard not to. She’s actually adorable.

 

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These days, while off-duty, the 25-year-old model resides in her apartment in Shanghai with her photographer boyfriend Liang Zi, and as you can see, they’re even more adorable.

 

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MUST SEE: World Cup Players With Chinese Tattoos That Don’t Really Make Sense

If you haven’t been paying attention to the soccer players in the World Cup this year, you may want to take a closer look at their bodies. No, I’m not talking about their rock-hard abs or their fine, chiseled features. Okay, maybe a little — but that’s beside the point. The point is that there seems to be a trend going around in the footie world: tattoos of Chinese characters.

Before we get into the pictures though, don’t get me wrong — there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a little ink. In fact, I’ll admit I would be lying if I said I didn’t think it was a little sexy. What girl isn’t secretly attracted to that bad boy look?

And okay, some aren’t really all that bad. Like Spanish defender Sergio Ramos’s tattoo, 狼 — which directly translates to “wolf.” We’ll let that one slide for now, but only because the other ones are much, much worse.

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For example, is it just me or is it a little strange when Columbian soccer player Freddy Guarin made the decision to ink himself with the Chinese characters 丹尼宗 (which directly translates to the Chinese name Danny Zong)? Unless it’s the name of his secret adopted child from rural China, we really don’t think it should be there.

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Other very strange ones include Greek striker’s Theofanis Gekas’ tattoo, which consists of the five characters 寒冷杀人魔。It directly translates to “cold-blooded killer demon.” Nothing wrong with being passionate about winning, but that just might be a little extreme. …

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Though Germany midfielder Torsten Frings is now retired, he too makes our list of failed tattoos. His reads: 龙蛇吉勇羊, or “dragon, snake, fortune, brave, sheep” in English. Those are just a string of words, dude.

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For those of you who unfortunately read Chinese, feel free to cringe with me.

 

Move Over Gwyneth Paltrow: Make Room For Chinese Celebrities in the Front Row at New York Fashion Week

 

It’s never been a surprise to see A-listers like Jessica Alba or Katie Holmes seated in the very front row at fashion week. If anything, they contribute more to the hype of the already well-known, exclusive event. What we were surprised to see, however, were major Chinese stars not only making an appearance at New York’s Fall/Winter 2014 Fashion Week this year but honored with front row seats as well!

Chinese celebrities photographed at the event included actress Zhang Lanxin (张蓝心), who was seen at Diane Von Furstenburg’s show with ballet dancer Hou Honglan (侯宏澜), as well as the TV show host, Li Siyu (李斯羽). Seated at Tory Burch was their “It girl” and Chinese actress/model Zhang Xin Yuan, who is reported to have 1.3 million followers on Weibo (China’s equivalent of Twitter).

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Li Siyu with designer Diane Von Furstenberg.

 

 

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Ballet dancer Hou Honglan with designer Tory Burch.

 

 

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Zhang Xin Yuan with designer Tory Burch.

 

This new honor bestowed on Chinese celebrities is a win-win situation for everyone: The celebrities get the best views of the latest collections of top designers and, in return, the top designers gain more publicity (and customers!) in the world’s fastest growing economy. According to Jing Daily, designer Tory Burch is even taking it one step further — her team is working to promote live-streamed shows in China, so that fans can also follow the event from the comfort of their own homes.

 

This Adorable 3-Year-Old Will Make Your Day With His Dance Moves

Even if you have the worst case of the Mondays, 3-year-old Zhang Junhao will certainly make your day.

A Chinese reality show, which appears to be similar to America’s Got Talent, recently had the brave young boy on their stage to impress the judges and bring the audience to their feet.

The boy doesn’t appear to have an ounce of bashfulness as he hugs his luggage, calls it his baby and says he will dance with his baby. The second Zhang Junhao walks on stage, he puts a smile on the faces of the judges including celebrity judge Jet Li.

After running up to the judges to give them all a kiss on the cheek, he begins showing off his adorable dance skills. He does everything from the robot to karate punches to skipping. Zhang Junhao may be young and his dancing may be completely random, but he certainly seems natural at putting a smile on someone’s face.

He bravely tells the judges that he was not afraid to perform and he dances for his entire family everyday. He then tells the judges that he loves dancing because it makes his mother laugh and laughter is happiness.

Trust us when we say young  Zhang Junhao will put a smile on your face.

(source)

59-Year-Old Casted For 16-Year-Old Role: A New Extreme For Asian Youth

Many Asian women have been told time and time again that they look much younger than their actual age. After all, there are now grandmothers who look as young as their daughters. While we generally get irritated about this youthful look in our twenties, we’re constantly reminded that this will be a blessing for us when we get older. “When you’re in your forties, you’ll be thankful,” strangers preach. As it turns out, some of us may be thanking our genetics even beyond our forties.

Chinese actress Liu Xiaoqing is testing the limits of her youthful face. Taking Asian youth to a new extreme, the 59-year-old actress is playing a 16-year-old girl.

Xiaoqing has had quite a number achievements under her belt. Before turning 30, Xiaoqing acted in a number of films including her breakthrough role in The Burning of the Imperial Palace (1983) which earned her a number of awards at the Chinese film festivals. In fact, with three Best Actress awards and one Best Supporting Role award, she holds a record for having won the most number of awards in the actress categories of the Hundred Flowers Awards.

Additionally, Xiaoqing is a business woman and a published author. In 1999, she appeared on Forbes’ list of the 50 richest Chinese businessmen and businesswomen.

Now Xiaoqing will focus on a new impressive achievement by playing a character who is more than four decades younger than her actual age. The drama, Lotus Lantern, has already stirred up quite a bit of controversy.

DramaFever claims, “Some Chinese netizens are sneering at her for acting with ‘a face full of Botox.’ Liu, however, feels that a woman should never give up on feeling beautiful at any age. The director of her new drama, Heroes of Sui and Tang Dynasties, also praises her as one of the best actors in China and says that young age does not equate to excellence in acting.”

Tell us what you think.

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(source)

Paris Fashion Week: Chinese Designer Yang Li

Story by Ruby Veridiano.

There was something eerie in the air inside the Palais des Beaux Arts as everyone hushed to prepare for Yang Li’s Autumn/Winter 2014 debut. Perhaps it was the elongated silence followed by Bruce Springsteen’s somber voice belting “Dream Baby Dream” that created a bit of a haunting feeling. That, and the word “DREAMER” in all capital letters mysteriously kept appearing.

It felt as if everyone in the room held their breath until the first look appeared on the runway. It was a steely blue dress that stopped inches above the kneecaps, clean and crisp except for the waist, where an overflowing peplum spilled out to be caught and held by the model’s right arm. If one piece described the tone of the entire show, it would be this one– a contrast between the seriousness of Li’s tailoring and an effort to bring an air of optimism through volume. Models slowly sauntered down the runway with a detached demeanor about them, adding to the air of seriousness, mystery, and goth. And yet, by etching the word “DREAMER” in a floor length skirt and an oversized top, Li still makes an effort to infuse a ray of hope amidst the gloom, making for something beautifully strange.

With black as a dominant color, asymmetrical, long-sleeved dresses paraded down the runway with lengths long in the front and short in the back. Paired with black hats, it looked like an outfit fit for a modern day witch with a prerogative to cast her spell. Burgundy and camel also made the palette, appearing as high-buttoned jackets, long skirts, and straight-legged pants that reminded me of military uniforms.

Fur pieces and unexpected peplums disrupted some of the seriousness in Li’s designs, hinting at a bit of whimsy. After all, no matter how dark a personality, there is indeed, a dreamer inside everyone.

Yang Li is a Chinese designer born in Beijing. He moved to Australia at age 10 where he played basketball and skateboarded frequently. He studied fashion in London at the famed Central Saint Martins School. He is a protégé of Raf Simons.

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The Dedication of a Single Parent: Father Carries Disabled Son Everyday

Chinese netizens have been moved by the story of 40-year-old Yu Xukang and his 12-year-old son Qiang.

Yu is not only a single father living in the rural areas of Sichuan, he also happens to be the father of a disabled child. Qiang suffers from a severely curved spine and a bent hand and foot. Because the condition is so rare, doctors have been unable to treat the young boy.

Needless to say, the condition has made things very difficult for the father and son, but Yu is determined not to give up despite the difficult circumstances.

According to Shanghaiist, Qiang’s mother abandoned the family when her son was only 3-years-old. As a result, Yu took on the responsibility of raising the child on his own.

Of course, this is no easy task. The rural area lacks of transportation and Qiang’s school is a two-hour walk away. Qiang cannot physically handle the walk, so Yu carries his 12-year-old son all the way to and from school.

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In total Yu walks 28 kilometers a day (roughly 6 hours) just to make sure his son is educated. The walk to school is down a difficult and rugged mountain road which eats away at Yu’s rubber shoes.

Despite the difficult situation, Yu shows an undying amount of determination. “We are never late,” he said proudly.

 

(source)

Chinese Commercial Pressures Young Women Into Marriage

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, dating companies are seeing an influx of people who wouldn’t mind meeting “the one” before the romance-filled holiday gets here. Using Valentine’s Day to their advantage, many of these dating companies are doing whatever it takes to get more clients.

The Chinese dating company Baihe.com is no exception. They seem to have taken this determination to the extreme with a very personal commercial targeting young women.

In the commercial, an elderly grandmother keeps asking her granddaughter whether she is married yet. The young lady, who just graduated from college, is left to reply with a face of guilt and sadness.

As the grandmother gets closer and closer to death, the young woman decides that she shouldn’t be so picky and ought to make her grandmother happy. With grandma lying in a hospital bed, the young woman shows up in her wedding gown and with a groom. She has finally made her grandmother happy.

Cue the cheesy music and tear-filled smiles.

But wait. Is this commercial actually suggesting that one shouldn’t be picky with the person they will spend the rest of their life with?

Unfortunately, this commercial will probably make many young Asian women feel guilty. Even in America, Asian women feel this pressure. Often times, strict parents will warn their daughters not to date until they are done with school. The second graduation comes along, everything shifts and suddenly they are pressured to find a husband as soon as possible.

Confusing? You bet.

I don’t know about you, but we’re not really comfortable with a commercial using an aging grandma to guilt-trip young women into finding a man to marry.

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Watch the full commercial here. 

CHINEASY: New Book Makes Learning Chinese Easy

Taipei-born entrepreneur, investor and author ShaoLan Hsueh has written a language book called Chineasy to simplify learning basic Chinese words and phrases.

The book, which will be released next month, aims to help people read Chinese easily by recognizing specific characters through illustrations. After taking a sabbatical from capital investment in London, Hsueh began teaching her British-born children how to read and write in Chinese and realized how difficult it was for them. She created a visual method to help them understand, and has since adopted it into a social project.

“Call me optimistic, but I see the melding of these two cultures, East and West, as being instrumental in creating a more culturally literate world,” Hsueh wrote on her website, describing her goal for the creation of Chineasy. “I also think that the East and West must understand each other in order for global economic growth to be a sustainable future.”

Learning Chinese through Chineasy starts on a building block principle: learning the basic key characters allows the reader to begin combining them to form more complex words. Incorporating the illustrations does more than just serve as a visual kind of mnemonic device –– it allows the reader to become familiar with Chinese culture and art.

Chineasy is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

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