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What Is The Origin Of Silk Fabric?

What Is The Origin Of Silk Fabric?

My mother took out her favourite blue silk saree for the dinner party. I looked at it, mesmerised by its shimmer and lustre. The rich fabric draped around her body, making her look so very elegant. Definitely no other fabric can match the qualities of silk. But have you ever wondered, how silk fabric came into existence? Silk production, or ‘Sericulture’ as it is known, has a long history, unknown to most of us. What Is The Origin Of Silk Fabric?...

Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet was born in 1935, soon after the 13th Dalai Lama passed away. He was the fourth son of a poor peasant family in Takster village, Amdo province in eastern Tibet. The line of Dalai Lamas, spiritual and temporal rulers of Tibet since the 13th century, is a succession of incarnations. In accordance with tradition, search parties were sent to find the successor to the thirteenth Dalai Lama. Two years later, following the various signs and portents, a government party was led to Takster, where they found the infant Lhamo Thondup....

What Toothpaste did the Ancients Use?

What Toothpaste did the Ancients Use?

One of my earliest childhood memories of Delhi is seeing morning walkers, milkmen, or shopkeepers chewing away at the neem stick, much like a cow chewing the cud. It seemed strange that they should go to all that effort when readymade toothpaste was available. Neem (Azadirachta indic a) twig still used as toothbrush in many parts of India The world was divided into four kinds of people: those who used toothpaste and brush, and they were the elite; those who used tooth powder for which the index finger doubled as the brush; people who used indigenous “monkey-brand” tooth powders and lastly, those who used neem sticks which were two-in-one....

The Colour of China is Red — Henna Red

The Colour of China is Red — Henna Red

July 31: Madonna, the international pop star, was among the first to use henna as an international fashion. But young people around the world are using more and more of it to beautify their bodies or their hair. And now even the Chinese have adopted it in a big way. The Colour of China is Red — Henna Red [Illustration by Sudheer Nath] Call it henna or call it ‘mehndi’, that coffee-coloured extract from the henna plant, which has been used down the ages in India as a beauty aid....

Three Nations or One?

Three Nations or One?

August 19: Tang Weijiang is an angry man. He is suing the famous Japanese company Canon for causing him mental distress! Reason – Tang, a Chinese, was furious that the company making a particular brand of printer, in its publicity video, had given the impression that China, Hong Kong and Taiwan were three separate countries. He is demanding $12 million in compensation. Three Nations or One? [Illustration by Sudheer Nath] While the island of Hong Kong has come back to China after being under British control for almost 100 years, Taiwan broke away from China more than 50 years ago to declare independence....

Violence Rocks China's Xinjian Province

Where: Urumqi, Xinjiang,China July 8, 2009 : Clashes broke out between Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese in Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital, on Sunday, July 5, 2009. Over 150 people were killed in clashes, nearly 1,000 were injured, and hundreds were arrested. By Tuesday morning, it looked as if the authorities had Urumqi under control. But gangs of Han Chinese armed with sticks and bars began to form and they poured down the streets towards the Great Bazaar, the town’s Uighur trading quarter....

The China Doll

The China Doll

The China Doll [Illustration by Anup Singh] December 9: A country’s national identity is very much like an individual’s identity. Each country has a name, a past from which it traces its origins and a few distinguishing characteristics that make up its overall personality. Yes, nations have personalities. Just like human beings, those countries with strong personalities are the ones with a sure sense of who they are. Kan Yue-sai appears to be sure of who she is....

No Singlish, we're Singaporeans

April 21: That person is very havoc, always out late every night. If you ever hear one Singaporean telling another that, don’t rush to correct them. The two are merely having a chat about the nocturnal habits of someone else, in Singlish, the unofficial lingo of Singaporeans. A mixture of English, Malay, Chinese and local slang, Singlish is English with a peppering of Singaporean colloquialisms. But like most hybrids, it does not get much respect, nor is it understood by non-Singaporeans....

The Girl who Squeezed a Peacock

The Girl who Squeezed a Peacock

Last year, a strange thing happened at a zoo in Beijing, China’s capital. When the day started, no one had any idea of what would happen some time later. As usual, there were many visitors to the zoo, especially children. All of a sudden, a six-year-old girl caught hold of a peacock and squeezed it hard. She said she would free the bird only if her mother agreed to buy a Barbie doll for her. Her mother, who wanted the bird to remain alive, said yes....

Fungus Threatens Chinese Warriors

Fungus Threatens Chinese Warriors

September 23: These Chinese warriors have survived over two 2,000 years of wars, earthquakes and revolutions, but now find themselves battling against their most formidable enemy yet — a fungal infection. These Chinese warriors are not made of flesh and blood; they have feet – and bodies – of clay, and they are a valued cultural treasure not only for China but also for the world. Fungus Threatens Chinese Warriors [Illustration by Shiju George] The bad news is that over 7,000 terracotta figurines of soldiers, archers and horses in China’s northern city of Xian (pronounced Shee-ahn), capital of Shaanxi Province, have been found suffering from attacks by over 40 species of mould....

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