There are several ways in which China’s Family Planning policies are enforced – social welfare benefits, and fines for additional children. IUDs, sterilisations, and abortions are also used liberally to maintain a low birth rate. The big problem comes when officials’ career prospects are tied to minimising births in their jurisdiction – opening the door to abuses of power.
There’s been a lot of press this week about China ending the One Child Policy. The story is more complicated than most people realise. Many couples were never restricted to one child in the first place. In this post I’ll explain the history of the policy, and what it really entails.
The views were spectacular! The rocky cliffs, with their windswept sandstone. The deep blue of open ocean. The view across the heads and Sydney Harbour toward the city centre itself. Standing there soaking up the views, sun on my face and wind in my hair – it was hard not to love this city I’m in!
I have written about the Great Wall before, but mostly in general. Today I am writing about one particular section of the wall – Badaling. My parents visited in 1983, I first visited in 1999, and most recently in 2012. Comparing the photos is fun!
Floriade is an annual festival in Canberra where over a million flowers are brought together in big, bright displays. Tulips, daffodils, bluebells, hyacinth, pansies, poppies and more are carefully arranged into designs based around a theme.
In my last post I introduced THIRTY common words all pronounced “shi”. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that with so many homophones, Mandarin has some fantastic tongue-twisters. And by “fantastic” I mean “utterly impossible to recite”.
Today I’m going to introduce you to words pronounced “shi” – a great example of the wonderful confusion that is homophones in Mandarin. There are TWO HUNDRED characters for the sound “shi”and I use at least 30 of them. They are split up between different tones, but still that’s a whole lot of shi.
When I started attending my church I didn’t realised I’d stumbled upon the oldest building in Ashfield. The foundation stone of St John’s was laid in 1840, and last week the church had a 175th anniversary celebration.
My family moved from Sydney to Canberra in early 1991, when I was eight years old. I never quite got over my Sydney snobbery, and made jokes at Canberra’s expense. That said, I have learned to appreciate Canberra – especially its beautiful parks and weather.
A year ago today I said goodbye to China. Sometimes it’s hard to believe it’s been so long! I still feel connected to China and leap at any opportunity to talk about China. Here are some things I miss about Beijing, but ALSO things I am loving about Sydney. It’s important to acknowledge what I’ve lost while also appreciating what I’ve gained.
The Yu Gardens, one of the most famous tourist attractions in Shanghai, were built nearly 450 years ago. I visited three times between 1999 and 2012; my parents also went in March 1983. I very much enjoyed Yu Yuan – there is so much to find and see and take in. It is a lovely, peaceful place with lots of history.
I have really noticed the presence, and variety, of birds living in Sydney. About half the birds in Australia are found nowhere else on Earth. Lyrebirds are fascinating creatures; the males put on a song and dance, mimicking different bird calls and even some non-natural sounds.