November QuizA monthly quiz of general history, traditions, geography questions for November
1. What was the name given to the country of China in Roman times?
The Romans named the land from where silk came from was called ‘Serica’ derived from the Chinese word for silk 丝 sī. It is from ‘Serica’ that the English word for silk is derived.
2. Together with Yunnan and Guangdong, which other province lies on the Tropic of Cancer?
To remind you the Tropic of Cancer is the northern most place where the sun can be seen directly overhead. The line runs through many desert areas.
3. Thomas Wade and Herbert Giles who developed the Wade-Giles system to write Chinese were both professors of Chinese where?
4. The stone forest (Shilin) can be found in which province?
The Stone Forest at Shilin Yunnan is a popular tourist destination full of gray limestone pillars the size of tree trunks. The Peak Viewing Pavilion provides a panoramic view of the extensive area. Sani ethnic people act as guides and celebrate festivals mainly for the benefit of tourists.
5. Which is NOT one of the names of a Yi Jing Trigram?
The Yi Jing consists of eight trigrams combined with all other eight trigrams to make the set of 64 hexagrams (gua). The trigrams are heaven, earth, lake, water, mountain, fire, wind and thunder.
6. By 1093 how many stars had been individually named in China?
From ancient times the Chinese made meticulous observations of the heavens. In 1093 a star map had 1,565 named stars.
7. Why are bats considered lucky?
name sounds like fortune
bats catch insects
symbol of Emperor
The character for good fortune 福 fú is pronounced the same way (in the Beijing dialect) is 蝠 fú for bat.
8. Who was the leader of the Taiping Rebellion?
Hong Xiuquan, a member of the Hakka minority people, had by 1847 taken control of the whole Guangxi province and went on to control most of southern China. The Taiping movement was inspired by Christian teaching.
9. The second lowest place (depression) in the world is located whereabouts in China?
Lop Nur, Xinhiang
Turpan (or Turfan) is the lowest place in China at 505 feet [154 meters] below sea level and hottest place in China (121 ° F [49 ° C]) with ancient aquifers providing the water supply via long, subterranean channels to keep the oasis green.
10. Tian (crater lake) is an emblem of North Korea, which Chinese province shares it as a border?
Lake Tian (Heavenly Lake) is a scenic spot in the far south. It is an old volcanic crater lake and straddles the border of Jilin with North Korea.
11. Many of the scenes of James Cameron's ‘Avatar’ film were made in which Chinese province?
The dramatic stone pinnacles of Wulingyuan Scenic Area (also called Zhangjiajie) is in the north west of Hunan province.
12. A scholar used to be expected to be proficient at playing which musical instrument?
Proficiency is a musical instrument was considered a sign of culture so together with calligraphy, poetry and painting a budding scholar would be expected to play a musical instrument. The guqin is a type of zither and it's distinctive sound is often heard on films about ancient China.
13. Which province (excluding the metropolitan areas) has the highest population density?
14. What makes Pingyao in Shanxi a popular visitor attraction?
Qing and Ming houses
15. What are the ten wings of the Yi Jing (I Ching)?
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