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Cheng Yanqiu (1904-1958) was born to play the dan, or feminine role in Beijing Opera. Willowy and graceful, he made it through puberty with nary a crack in his sweet soprano pipes. While western teens in similar circumstances would have suffered taunting for such androgyny, Cheng enjoyed accolades, fame,...

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Alternative lifestyles in old China were not necessarily always a closeted affair. Admit it. When you look at old photographs and portraits from the past, you think the subjects were nothing like you. They had no cars, no Net, and funny hairdos. Tradition-bound, their souls stagnated in a dark...

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-by Ernie Diaz A little time in China will give you the correct impression that what’s beautiful to the western eye isn’t necessarily so to the Chinese, and vice versa. It’s to be expected. After all, western men and women can’t agree on who’s beautiful. There are those female...

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-by Ernie Diaz You’d think if a country were going to choose a song for itself, the song would reflect its best traits. Venezuela’s would be about beautiful women and pristine beaches, Switzerland’s about its chocolate and cuckoo clocks. If a nation wishes to advertise its fighting prowess, decorum...

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  -by Ernie Diaz China is the world’s largest producer of many things: rice, steel, casual footwear,… and granted its population, excrement. That last product is not necessarily of concern to economists, but certainly to those of us who live here. To us, it seems paradoxical that a country with...

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