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China Local News

Welcome to China’s Warmest Library

Hangzhou Library is not only China’s ‘warmest’ library, it is also the most open library of Mainland China. The library is not only frequented by students and bookworms; to many vagrants, it is their second home.

Manya Koetse

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Trending on Sina Weibo this week is the library of Hangzhou and its homeless visitors (流浪汉泡图书馆). The New Library of Hangzhou is China’s first free-of-charge and “zero barrier” library, meaning that all visitors, including vagrants and beggars, are welcome. The library only upholds one rule: visitors have to wash their hands to keep the books clean.

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Earlier this week, Chinese newspaper The Mirror (法制晚报) published an article and picture series of Hangzhou’s homeless people frequenting the library of Hangzhou. The topic became popular amongst netizens who sympathize with the open environment of Hangzhou Library. Vice director Chang Liangliang says that a lot of homeless visitors are already waiting by the library gates when it opens at eight o’clock in the morning. They often stay in the library until closing time. Their homeless status is visible through their ragged clothing and large bags. Another special rule in the library: luggage is allowed in. For most of these people, the library is both their home and their window to the world. In the library they cannot only read books, they can also watch movies, listen to music, and browse the Internet.

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The 76-year-old homeless Zhang Jie goes to the Hangzhou Library 2-3 times a week. Although his clothes are unclean, he makes sure he washes his hands before touching the books so that he does not stain them. He has an injured hip. To save medical costs, he looks up ways to cure himself.

The New Hangzhou Library is one of the largest public libraries in China, attracting over three million visitors per year. The library is praised online as the “warmest library in China’s history”. The library is 43,680 square meters, offers 2,200 seats and 2 million volumes of book storage. Over 6000 people visit the library on a daily basis.
About 40,000 square meters of the new library, which is 90% of the total area, is open to the public, making it the most ‘open’ library in the country.

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Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China Food & Drinks

Tianjin Restaurant Introduces “Meal Boxes for Women”

The special lunch boxes for women were introduced after female customers had too much leftover rice.

Manya Koetse

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China’s anti food waste campaign, that was launched earlier this month, is still in full swing and noticeable on China’s social media where new iniatives to curb the problem of food loss are discussed every single day.

Today, the hashtag “Tianjin Restaurant Launches Special Female Meal Boxes” (#天津一饭店推出女版盒饭#) went trending with some 130 million views on Weibo, with many discussions on the phenomenon of gender-specific portions. The restaurant claims its special ‘female lunch boxes’ are just “more suitable for women.”

According to Tonight News Paper (今晚报), the only difference their reporter found between the “meals for women” and the regular meals, is the amount of rice served. Instead of 275 grams of rice, the ‘female edition’ of the restaurant’s meals contain 225 grams of rice.

The restaurant, located on Shuangfeng Road, decided to introduce special female lunch boxes after discovering that the female diners of the offices they serve usually leave behind much more rice than their male customers.

The restaurant now claims they expect to save approximately 10,000 kilograms of rice on an annual basis by serving their meals based on gender.

On Chinese social media, the initiative was heavily criticized. Weibo netizens wondered why the restaurant would not just offer “bigger” and “smaller” lunch boxes instead of introducing special meals based on gender.

“There are also women who like to eat more, what’s so difficult about changing your meals to ‘big’ and ‘small’ size?”, a typical comment said: “Some women eat a lot, some men don’t.”

Many people called the special meals for women sex discrimination and also wanted to know if there was a difference in price between the ‘female’ and ‘male’ lunch boxes.

There are also female commenters on Weibo who claim they can eat much more than their male colleagues. “Just give me the male version,” one female user wrote: “I’ll eat that meal instead.”

This is the second time this month that initiatives launched in relation to China’s anti food waste campaign receive online backlash.

A restaurant in Changsha triggered a storm of criticism earlier this month after placing two scales at its entrance and asking customers to to enter their measurements into an app that would then suggest menu items based on their weight. The restaurant later apologized for encouraging diners to weigh themselves.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Local News

15-Year-Old Girl Jumps to Death in Sichuan, Kills Father Who Tried to Catch Her

The tragic incident has stirred a flood of comments on Weibo.

Manya Koetse

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After the shocking death of a 2-year-old boy went viral in China earlier today, another tragic story is again top trending on social media.

On August 22, authorities in the city of Luzhou in Sichuan stated that on Saturday morning 10:30 a 15-year-old girl jumped from the 25th floor of an apartment building.

The girl’s father, a 42-year-old man, attempted to catch his daughter and break her fall. Both father and daughter were killed in the incident.

The hashtag “Father killed while trying to catch daughter who jumped off a building” (#父亲欲接坠楼女儿被砸身亡#) received over 460 million views on Weibo on Saturday, with thousands of people discussing the tragic event.

Bystander footage of the scene shows (blurred, viewer discretion advised) how people are screaming in horror when the girl jumps to her death.

The case is currently still under investigation.

Among the flood of comments, there are many who are worried about the mother in this family and offer their condolences: “She must be in so much pain.”

Some also ponder over the terrible predicament of the girl’s father and a dad’s love for his daughter, writing things such as: “He just relied on his instincts to step forward and open his arms.”

There are also many people reflecting on the stress experienced by young people in China, school pressure being a major issue, leading to self-harm or suicide. According to a 2017 news report, suicide is the leading cause of death among young Chinese people.

“I can understand both the daughter and the father,” some say: “I can feel the pain in my heart.”

 

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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