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China ... almost next door

China ... almost next door

Vladimir Lukashev

Expert on China and South-East Asia

Vladimir Lukashev, an expert on China and Southeast Asia:

- Recently, I rarely wrote about China. And do you know why? Because Prilepin, in three phrases of the dialogue that he had in Shanghai, all said about this city and about China as a whole:

- Shanghai is a European city.

"What about Paris?" I laughed.

- And Paris is no longer a European city.

(C) Zakhar Prilepin "Gods change places."

Exactly. Paris is no longer a European city. Rather, it is the capital of either Algeria or Libya. But Shanghai is the capital of the world. Like Paris at the time of the "Sun King". Of course, there is no absolute perfection. As in Shanghai today there are problems, so in Paris at the time of Louis XlV, not everything was smooth. There are lees to every wine. But undoubtedly, the center of the universe today moved to Greater China. And if, say, in the twentieth century, the main political (and not only) battles were in Europe, now Paris is not the place for such discussions. Now the future of the modern world is discussed in the eastern hemisphere.

For example, at the 13 International Conference on Security in Asia and the Pacific, which was held in early June, 2014 year in Singapore, discussed not so much regional, as global problems. Feel the difference.

And the girls? More recently, Parisian women were the international standard of female attractiveness, and today in Paris you will often meet prenatal matrons, who have clearly come from North African countries, than an elegant Parisian woman, which can now be seen only on Degas and Renoir canvases. The Chinese women over the past thirty years have become taller, have learned to dress fashionably, skillfully use cosmetics, and even their legs have become slimmer. What will happen in thirty years?

The traditions of China are very interesting. They are very practical and logical. Traditions are based on five principles formulated by Confucius two and a half thousand years ago. One of them is the principle of "LEE". “LI” is most often translated into Russian as “ritual”, but I would translate as “convenience”. Indeed, following the rules, a person solves many life problems and avoids unpleasant situations. At the negotiations it is precisely regulated - who communicates with whom and when, which is also very convenient. You can always plan the course of negotiations and think it over in advance. The desire of the Chinese businessman to inform all his staff about the progress of affairs from the same opera. Employees should be aware of all the affairs of the company in which they work. And it makes life easier for each of them. I know this from my own experience. I once worked with a strange CEO who did not bother to inform employees about the state of affairs in his company. After that, I strongly fell in love with Chinese leaders, who not only do not make secrets from elementary things, but also persistently, if not to say compulsively, send emails with detailed information to each employee.

Well, most, in my opinion, the main thing - Chinese cuisine. By the way, there is no such thing in China. There is a kitchen of this or that region. And the basic principles of cooking:

1. All products are carefully processed. For example, bird feathers are not singed, but plucked with tweezers.

2. Products undergo high-temperature, but short-term heat treatment. This preserves the beneficial properties of the products. In general, in China it is believed that the shorter the food route from the barnyard to the gourmet stomach, the better the food. And all components must be prepared separately from each other.

3. All components are very finely chopped, and must be used various spices, seasonings and sauces. Their Chinese countless.

4. Dishes are arranged according to taste, smell, color and quantity. And each dish, and each dinner, has its own super-idea. She can be any. For example, on the Han Chinese festive table there are usually eight dishes. Eight is a lucky number. And in the restaurant next to the National Museum of Taiwan, you can eat lunch, each dish which copies one of the exhibits of the museum. Or, for example, carp - the most common fish on the table in the Chinese - a symbol of good luck and the ability to overcome difficulties. There is a Chinese legend about carp, which stubbornly sailed up the river against the stream. Overcoming the waterfalls, he jumped so high that he went through the "Dragon Gate", and, turning into a Dragon, he ascended to the sky. A dish of carp gives perseverance, steadfastness, commitment to the goal, the ability to overcome life difficulties and obstacles.

As for the different options for Chinese cuisine, so there are quite a few in the Middle Kingdom. There are five main culinary schools - Shandong, Sichuan, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhengciang. These culinary schools are divided into 20 culinary styles - Peking, Shanghai, Henan, Hubei, Vegetarian and others. In addition, there are many local schools that have recipes and cooking methods that are specific for this city, village or district.

Food is an important part of the Chinese lifestyle and mentality. And if there is a common principle for the whole of Chinese cuisine, it is the firm belief of Chinese chefs that almost everything is possible, you only have to be able to prepare it correctly.

And if you try to formulate the life principle of the Chinese, you get an ancient dictum: "In the Middle Kingdom there are no impracticable cases, but it is necessary that everyone show diligence."

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