Scholars and Punishment


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August 5th 2012
Published: August 5th 2012
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the law passed down onto the crook
I came to witness a courtyard where candidates came to sit for their exam yearly in hoping to be a well known scholar in China. It was a big hoo-haa in China those days, when one is regard as a Noble, rich and famous, an important scholar to help the King and the country. How the Chinese in ancient times fare their exam? One can imagine the times in China were not easy to pass the exam. There were many candidates struggling very hard year after year to be a scholar. I have watched many Chinese movies; I asked myself, “Was it like this in the old China?” I have seen poor little rich man paid their way to be a scholar, another side of this, a poor fella with difficult life tried to feed his family, burnt oil lamp, worn torn and dirty clothes that no one take notice of him at all. But he became the hero. Such movies really brought much sadness to my mom and my aunts. It always came in a good happy ending. Now back to reality.

I stood before my tourists, dealers for Carlsberg Malaysia, ushered them to participate in this charade exam. Many of them touched the dragon’s head for good luck. Some said, “Why don’t we bribe the guards and the examiner?” All of us laughed.

There were about 20 rooms. Each room is very small, probably three feet by three feet, with only a table, a stool, a piece of white sheet, enrolment form, a brush and ink pad and another stool outside the room for the next candidate. Each given some minutes to write, maybe one or two bribed the guard. I have that feeling.

The 1st category is the noble elites. The 2nd is the landowners and farmers, 3rd are of the craftsmen and artisans and lastly, the merchants and the tradesmen. Can you tell me which class category my tourists came from?

To be a scholar, one must know Qin (a seven stringed Zither musical instrument), Qi (a board game or surrounding game), Shu (Chinese Calligraphy) and Hua (Chinese paintings).

For sure, my group only knows Carlsberg Beer.

After they sat for the exam, we were then led by the guards to the main courtyard of the Examiner’s Building. The examiner announced the two qualified candidates as the new scholars in the
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the tang dynasty bareback fashion
Seven Stars Park. They looked exactly like one, looking at their age and by their grin, we knew how they fare their exam with ease. You know what I meant. They wore the Scholar Imperial Costume lent by the examiner, designed by Tang Dynasty with a little twist, featured bareback fashion. I didn't know they have this fashion way back then.

Smiled for the camera? Yes they did.

Now what will be the consequences faced when one is caught bribing? Look for the picture.

You probably have seen this on TV.


Additional photos below
Photos: 22, Displayed: 22


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the guard in the courtyard
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the guard in the courtyard
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the guilty scholar summoned by the court
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asked to return for further news
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still not afraid of the news
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let me pass my exam
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let me be the next scholar
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let me be the first lady scholar
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walking the path of exam rooms
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awaiting for his turn to sit the exam
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the announcement of the two new scholars
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a quick dressed up for the new role
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ashamed and lock-up


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