What is the Tao Te Ching?

Tao Te ChingOf all the ancient books of China, the Tao Te Ching (道德經; also known by its Pinyin name, Daode Jing) is one of the most widely read around the world. The Tao Te Ching is also one of the most translated works of literature on earth.

One of the fundamental texts of the Chinese philosophy of Taoism as well as Chinese Buddhism, the Tao Te Ching is often known to people in China simply by the name of its author: Laozi. Scholars have, for years, debated the existence of Laozi or whether this name could be attributed to one of several ancient writers. Likewise, some suggest that the Tao Te Ching was written by a series of scholars over hundreds or even thousands of years.

The Tao Te Ching is essentially a work of human philosophy. It has informed many fundamental elements of Chinese culture today, such as the ideas of yin and yang (opposite elements). Read the rest of this entry »

The Tibet Code: a Chinese bestseller

The Tibet Code

Photo: Creative Commons/Göran (Kartläsarn)

The Tibet Code is one of the most popular works of Chinese fiction of recent times. The book follows the story of Qiang Ba, an expert on the prized breed of dog, the Tibetan mastiff, searching for ancient Buddhist treasure. Qiang and his mentor, Fang Xin, after receiving a mysterious letter containing photos of the prized dogs. Their search leads them into the wilds of Tibet, where they of course uncover much more than just a dog.

Although title of The Tibet Code is an obvious nod to a certain American bestseller, the book is arguable more historically accurate and interesting and bears little resemblance to Dan Brown’s work. The sweeping landscapes, continuous intrigue and historical detail contained in the book make it true page-turner that’s hard to put down. Read the rest of this entry »