Most Deceiving Food

Fugu is otherwise known as blowfish or puffer fish.The humble puffer fish may look cute,but that’s before you find out that it contains a poison with the power to both paralyse and suffocate.Some consider the liver the tastiest part but it is also the most poisonous.When prepared properly by having its liver and reproductive organs removed, the Fugu is something of a Japanese delicacy.dangerous-foods

Fugu is served as sashimi and chirinabe.However, should the chef slip up, munching on the puffer fish could lead to the ingestion of the poison tetrodotoxin, and ultimately a slow and painful death.While there is no antidote, victims can survive if they are given respiratory assistance until the poison wears off. With this in mind, people planning to indulge in some Fugu will want to ensure a licensed chef prepares the fish for them.Fugu has become one of the most celebrated and notorious dishes in Japanese cuisine.I am planning to indulge in eating it & I hope it will happen soon(without being poisoned)..;)

Fugu served as Chirinabe

Fugu served as Chirinabe

Training process of Chef :

The restaurant preparation of fugu is strictly controlled by law in Japan and several other countries,and only chefs who have qualified through rigorous training are allowed to deal with the fish.This involves a two- or three-year apprenticeship.The licensing examination process consists of a written test, a fish-identification test, and a practical test, preparing and eating it himself.Only about 35 percent of the applicants pass.Small miscalculations result in failure or, in rare cases, death.Consumers believe that this training process makes it safer to eat fugu in restaurants or markets.Alternatively, those desperate to taste the delicacy could choose a non-toxic form of Fugu, which has been bred by a number of Japanese producers.

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Cost: A dish of fugu can easily cost ¥5,000 (approx. US$50), but it can be found for as little as ¥2,000 (approx. US$20), and a full-course fugu meal (usually eight servings) can cost ¥10,000–20,000 (approx. US$100–200) or more.

Source: NGC,Wikipedia, jetsetta 

Benefits of Physical Exercise

Health effects:

According to the World Health Organization, lack of physical activity contributes to approximately 17% of heart disease and diabetes, 12% of falls in the elderly, 10% of breast & colon cancer.and 29% increased incidence of  Upper Respiratorytract Infections(URTI).

Reduces your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease:

There is a direct relation between physical inactivity and cardiovascular mortality. Persons who remain sedentary have the highest risk for all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality. You can reduce your risk even further with more physical activity. Regular physical activity can also lower your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol levels.heartDisease

Reduces Your risk of  Diabetes:

Regular physical activity can reduce your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome.Metabolic syndrome is a condition in which you have some combination of too much fat around the waist, high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, or high blood sugar

Improve Your Mental Health & Sleep problems:

Regular physical activity can help you to keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age. It can also reduce your risk of depression and may help you sleep better.Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to fall asleep.?????????????

Reduce Your Risk of Some Cancers: 

Being physically active lowers your risk for two types of cancer: colon and breast.some findings suggest that your risk of endometrial cancer and lung cancer may be lower,if you get regular physical activity compared to people who are not active. Research shows that lower rates of these conditions are seen with 120 to 150 minutes (2 hours to 2 and half hours) a week of at least moderate-intensity aerobic activity. And the more physical activity you do, the lower your risk will be.

Build strong, healthy muscles:

Muscle-strengthening activities can help you increase or maintain your muscle mass and strength. Slowly increasing the amount of weight and number of repetitions you do will give you even more benefits, no matter your age.Muscles

Strengthen Your Bones and Muscles:

As you age, it’s important to protect your bones, joints and muscles. Not only do they support your body and help you move, but keeping bones, joints and muscles healthy can help ensure that you’re able to do your daily activities and be physically active.

Increase Your Chances of Living Longer:

Science shows that physical activity can reduce your risk of dying early from the leading causes of death, like heart disease and some cancers.

Chinese calender (24 Solar terms)

Solar Terms is a calendar of twenty-four periods and climate to govern agricultural arrangements in ancient China and functions even now. As we have mentioned the Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar, it takes into account the longest and the shortest days and the two days each year when the length of the day equals that of the night. In other words, the significant days are the Summer and Winter Solstices and the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes.

Today the year comprises 24 Solar Terms. During the Shang Dynasty they only used four; the Zhou Dynasty (11th century BC – 221BC), used eight; but it was in the Western Han Dynasty (206BC – 24) that the 24 terms were finally decided upon.

These solar terms have meaningful titles. Some of them reflect the change of seasons such as the Beginning of Spring, the Beginning of Summer, the Beginning of Autumn, and the Beginning of Winter; some embody the phenomena of climate like the Waking of Insects (Jing Zhe), Pure Brightness (Qing Ming), Lesser Fullness of Grain (Xiao Man) and Grain in Beard (Mang Zhong); and some indicate the change of climate like Rain Water (Yu Shui), Grain Rain (Gu Yu), Lesser Heat (Xiao Shu), Greater Heat (Da Shu), and so on.

These Twenty-Four solar terms each suggest the position of the Sun every time it travels15 degrees on the ecliptic longitude. In each month there are often two solar terms; the first one is generally named ‘Jie Qi’ and the other one ‘Zhong Qi’. Their dates are mirrored by the Gregorian calendar, so we find that during the first half of a year ‘Jie Qi’ is around the 6th day of a solar month, ‘Zhong Qi’ around the 21st; in the second half of a year, ‘Jie Qi’ is around the 8th and ‘Zhong Qi’ around the 23rd.

The Twenty-four Solar Terms in 2013

Solar Terms

Month

Date

Meaning

Lesser Cold (Xiao Han) Jan. 5th It is rather cold
Greater Cold (Da Han) Jan. 20th The coldest moment of a year
The Beginning of Spring (Li Chun) Feb. 4th Spring begins
Rain Water (Yu Shui) Feb. 18th It begins to rain
The Waking of Insects (Jing Zhe) Mar. 5th Hibernating animals come to sense
The Spring Equinox (Chun Fen) Mar. 20th Day and night are equally long
Pure Brightness (Qing Ming) Apr. 4th It is warm and bright
Grain Rain (Gu Yu) Apr. 20th Rainfall is helpful to grain
The Beginning of Summer (Li Xia) May 5th Summer begins
Lesser Fullness of Grain (Xiao Man) May 21st Kernels plump
Grain in Beard (Mang Zhong) Jun. 5th Wheat grows ripe
The Summer Solstice (Xia Zhi) Jun. 21st It has the longest daytime and the shortest night of the year
Lesser Heat (Xiao Shu) Jul. 7th Torridity comes
Greater Heat (Da Shu) Jul. 22nd The hottest moment of a year
The Beginning of Autumn (Li Qiu) Aug. 7th Autumn begins
The End of Heat (Chu Shu) Aug. 23rd Heat hides
White Dew (Bai Lu) Sep. 7th Dew curdles
The Autumn Equinox (Qiu Fen) Sep. 22nd The mid of autumn
Cold Dew (Han Lu) Oct. 8th Dew is very cold
Frost’s Descent (Shuang Jiang) Oct. 23rd Frost descends
The Beginning of Winter (Li Dong) Nov. 7th Winter begins
Lesser Snow (Xiao Xue) Nov. 22nd it begins to snow
Greater Snow (Da Xue) Dec. 7th It snows heavily
The Winter Solstice (Dong Zhi) Dec. 22nd The shortest daytime and the longest night of a year

Customs:

The Winter Solstice indicates the period of winter and people always want to keep themselves warm. In the Northern China where the weather can be bitterly cold, their ancestors lacked sufficient warm clothing and would eat hot food to keep warm. Gradually there came a saying that only by eating dumplings can you avoid becoming so frozen that your ears drop off. Thus this custom is still widespread and on that day they eat steaming hot and delicious dumplings. In China there is a custom of counting nine (‘Shu Jiu’), that is, from the Winter Solstice people calculated the number of days until a change of climate came about. Usually nine days is a section, there are a total of nine sections from the first Jiu to the ninth Jiu. In the folklore there is a widely prevailing ballad the general meaning of which is that: in the first and second Jiu (a section of nine days), they can’t take their hands outside; in the third and fourth Jiu they walk on the ice; in the fifth and sixth Jiu they see the light green willow; in the seventh Jiu – river thaws and in the eighth swallows come; in the ninth cattle begin to work.

The Beginning of Summer will bring abundant rain and lead directly to the harvest. Thus an agricultural adage is that ‘no rain, no rice’ and ‘no rain, we will hang up the hoe.’ In imperial China the emperors would perform a special rite to greet summer on that day. As the hot weather would cause people to lose weight and become exhausted it became the custom to weigh and drink tea as this was considered a guard against the torrid weather.

The Beginning of Spring symbolizes the start of a lunar year and warmer weather. Looking forward to good fortune and smoothly running business, people used to eat radishes believing that they would generate calm. This may be because of their effect to soothe the stomach.

Pur brightness is a moment of importance for it is the day on which to worship ancestors. Many poets have written works on the theme of that day. It is also called ‘Cold Food Festival’ as on that day cooking is forbidden and all are allowed to eat only cold food, for fear of being chastised by the immortals in heaven. Around Pure Brightness, there is often a lot of rain, thus it is a crucial time in agriculture to plant grain or trees.

Greater Snow is the day around which we will have dancing snow. The scenery is extremely charming. For farmers heavy snow foretells a good harvest and so is regarded as auspicious. In China there is a saying that ‘a timely snow promises a good harvest’. Thus you can see how welcome the snow is.

Heavenly stems and earthly branches:

Ancient Chinese people had the skill to calculate the history of five thousands years and record the chronological sequence of events. They invented a measurement by two sets of signs in a certain sequence – Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches.

The Heavenly Stems indicate 10 circulatory signs-jia,yi,bing,ding,wu,ji,geng,xin,ren,gui.

Earthly Branches can be used to count time of years, months and hours. When counting years, people use them with the 12 Chinese zodiacs and strictly one Earthly Branch corresponds to one fixed zodiac.

The Earthly signs indicate 12 circulatory signs-zi,chou,yin,mao,chen,si,wu,wei,shen,you,xu,hai

Jab hum chale Yanji

Introducing Yanji:

Yanji is situated in Eastern Jilin province. It became the capital of the Yanbian Korean autonomous prefecture in 1952. Yanji is relatively young: the city grew up only in the nineteenth century and became the capital of its region just after the 2nd World war. Due to its large Korean population, the Hamgyong dialect of Korean is widely spoken in Yanji. However, most ethnic Koreans in Yanji are bilingual in Mandarin and Korean. All official signs are written in both Chinese characters and Korean hangul.IMG_5170After a series of famines struck in 1869, Koreans first migrated to the Yanji area. The area, called the Yanbian Chaoxianzu (Korean) Autonomous Prefecture, is the home of the largest group of ethnic Koreans living outside of Korea. Unlike other Chinese cities, this little city is relatively clean and peaceful. Yanji is often described as more of a Korean, rather than Chinese, community. Korean cuisine is highly popular and available everywhere.

Yanji

Day-1 (23Oct2012): We arrived Yanji at 1:00 AM on 23rd Oct, 2012. It was quite beautiful night filled with colorful lights.After a long journey we were quite tired  We went to Wangmeiling’s home, to fill our empty tummy’s.We finalized for the next day’s plan, watched movie and crashed to bed.Yanji bridge at night

Day2-When we boarded the bus I was amazed by the people since I didn’t hear any chinese at all, everyone were talking in Korean and even the medium of instructions in the bus were in Korean. We got down at the travel agency to book a trip to changbaishan for the next day.Lunch at Korean restaurant was quite different. Tried local Korean dishes  like Cold noodle( the characteristic food of Korean-Chinese,authentic taste is nowhere else to be found. Sweet, cold & bit spicy at the same time. Korean BBQ’s very delicious)

Korean cuisines which I tried in yanji

Korean cuisines which I tried in yanji

Post lunch we went for Hiking at Maoer’shan. It took around 4-5hours for us to hikeup & down then Explored Yanji at night.

 Day3-Went to ChangbaishanàBack to yanji by 6pmàTried some typical Korean dishes.Then explored Yanji further, àthen went to the South Korean bathing (which is similar to Sauna bath) spend around 4hours.. Back home.very Tired End of the day.

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Day4-Went to Hunchun fangchuanàWe were Back by eveningàFor dinner we tried Shenjitang(参鸡汤), herbs and ginseng chicken soup with boiled rice in it (Samgyetang in Korean).I strongly recommend  Shenjitang,Mijiu(rice wine),Cold noodles and Barbeque for the people who are planning to visit YanjiIMG_5156Day 5—As it was heavily raining we were at home till evening playing games and watching some tv shows then We went to watch Borne Legacy movie in theatres then dinner in a Japanese restaurant,(We hardly remembered the names of the cuisines)

Japanese foods tried in Yanji

collage of Japanese foods which I tried in Yanji

Day-6 Went for a Walk in the morning. Very pleasant weather it was, Big roads less number of vehicles. Then we made breakfast by ourselves, and went to explore Yanji further. I was surprised by knowing that Yanbian University, is the only university in China that employs Korean as an official medium of instruction in addition to Chinese. And Anesthesia department in medicine is best in china itseems.Dinner at Japanese student restaurant.

Yanji at night

Yanji at night

White pagoda(白塔) of Hohhot

White pagoda or 白塔 (Bai Ta) is located in Baita Village, Taiping Zhaung Town, 17 kilometers to Hohhot City, Inner Mongolia.

Introduction to White Pagoda of Hohhot:

The White Pagoda of Hohhot, which is also called as Avatamsaka Sutra Pagoda, is named because of its color. It was originally built to save ten thousands of Avatamsaka sutra in 1271 during Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) by Kublai Khan, the founding emperor of the dynasty. Several years later in 1279, a large scale Buddhist temple which covered 160 000 square meters was built around the pagoda, which was unfortunately burned during a thunder in 1368 with only the White Pagoda being survived.Captured Samsung jet

The architectural features and highlights of the Pagoda:

The White Pagoda is 55.6 meters high with eight angles and seven floors, looking grand and magnificent. It is Composed of Foundation,base,body and pagoda point. Its base is shaped like Lotus flower petals. There exists 6 monuments of the jin dynasty inlaid on the walls of the corridor. Inside the Pagoda there are inscriptions written in Old mongolian,Sanskrit,Tibetan,khitan,Turki,Nuchen and old Syriac.

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Pictures taken in 2010 October;     Me with Goutham Amara&Dinesh parashar

On the first and second floor of the pagoda there are 36 statues of Buddhas sculpted with bricks.Owing to its Unique architecture techniques, it is of great scientific value.All this records makes White Pagoda as one of the most exquisite towers of the Liao Dynasty in China. .