Our top picks this week are all on the lighter side. We hope you find them as interesting as we did.
American man in Jiangsu opens breakfast stall, attracts chengguan (August 19, 2014, Shanghaiist)
China has a rich "street food" culture; almost anything can be purchased from a street vendor. But imagine walking down the street and seeing an American selling something. That's what happened in Changzhou recently, as reported by Shanghaiist:
A 62-year-old American named Randy gained some online attention after he set up a stand selling breakfast foods on a street in Changzhou city of Jiang province, attracting chengguan to pay a visit, Tencent News reports.
Street vendors are generally the number one target of chengguan, China's highly unpopular urban law enforcement officials. The puffed-up officials have been known to take violent approaches when dealing with illegal vendors, and while many of them are choosing to employ more 'gentle' tactics all-around, the confrontation between these particular chengguan and the unlicensed, foreign vendor has gotten attention on social media.
Have a look; the pictures are great!
Meet China's Most Famous Single Dad (August 19, 2014, Tea Leaf Nation)
Just when we thought we knew all there was to know about Confucius, along comes a story that the man who espoused the family unit as the core of society was actually a divorced, single dad. And this has generated quite the buzz in China:
The scandal is more than 2,500 years old; but to the Chinese Internet, it feels fresh and exciting. State media People's Daily has called it an "ancient celebrity divorce storm," and one reader on microblogging platform Weibo asked, hopefully as a joke, whether it was "just a rumor." This tempest in a fine China teacup is the perpetually surprising fact that Confucius the famous Chinese philosopher born in 551 B.C. whose teachings in The Analects emphasized the primacy of family obligations was a divorced single dad.
The story of how Confucius married at 19, had a son, and split from his wife has been around for thousands of years. But it found renewed resonance in China when the Ministry of Civil Affairs announced on June 17 that 3.5 million couples had filed for divorce there in 2013, up 12.8 percent from the previous year.
China's Latest Import: American Football (August 15, 2014, China Real Time)
It's often said that there are some things that simply cannot be translated. American football is probably one of those things, but that isn't stopping some intrepid (delusional?) American businessmen from establishing the China American Football League:
American football is coming to China.
A new league, to be known as the China American Football League, will kick off in preliminary form this year with games to be held among six university teams. In 2015, the league will officially launch with two conferences of six to eight teams in cities across China.
The move is being led by Marty Judge, a Philadelphia-based businessman who is the owner of that city's arena football team, the Philadelphia Soul.
Judge, who first came to China in 2008 on business and later started the Beijing-based Ganlan Media International, said the project has been in the works for a few years now, with $10 million invested. Joining him on the project are former NFL star Ron Jaworski and Super Bowl-winning coach Dick Vermeil.
Good luck with that, gentlemen!
Image credit: Street Food, by Hi Tricia, via Flickr