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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 08:30, September 27, 2006
49 obsolete Chinese words in the last decade, Part III��
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Fenbi: disappeared after 2000

Fenbi is China's smallest face-value coin. There are three kinds of fenbi, worth 1/100 yuan, 2/100 yuan and 5/100 yuan. Today they are not easily found in Chinese markets. They are gradually being withdrawn from circulation and becoming part of people's memory.

MUD game: disappeared after 2000

MUD stands for Multiple User Dimension or Multiple User Dungeon. MUD was an early version of online games played by inputting instructions and was the predecessor of modern online games. Advanced technology has made online games much more enjoyable and MUD games obsolete.

Age limit for College Entrance Examination: disappeared April 3, 2001

On April 3, 2001, the Chinese Ministry of Education declared that it had annulled the rule requiring College Entrance Examinees to be unmarried and under the age of 25. After the age limit for the College Entrance Examination was lifted, every Chinese citizen was given the opportunity to receive a higher education. It is now possible to establish a lifelong education system, so this decision is likely to have a profound influence on Chinese society.

Dageda: disappeared June 2001

Dageda was the Chinese nickname for the Motorola 3200, an early mobile phone. In 1987, China began to build analog mobile networks. However, only rich people could afford to use this kind of mobile phone because the price of the phone and the service fees were very high. In June 2001, China Mobile Communications Corporation closed all analog mobile networks across China and "dageda" became an archaic word.

Tianzhijiaozi -- "blessed children": disappeared 2001

Tianzhijiaozi -- which translates literally as "God's favorite children", was an expression Chinese people used for college students. Several decades ago, only a tiny portion of Chinese had the chance to receive a free higher education. When they graduated, the government provided a job for them. They had a better life than the average person. People considered them the elite of society, blessing them by calling them "blessed children".

The situation has now changed dramatically. About 50 percent of high school students can attend college at their own expense. In 2001, the government decided not to offer jobs to college graduates. The government allows graduates to choose whatever job they like and recruiters to choose the most suitable employees. As a result, when college students leave school, they are on their own and face the difficulty of finding a job. They are no longer considered to be "blessed children".

Yaxiya Department Store: disappeared October 14, 2001

Yaxiya Department Store was located in Zhengzhou in He'nan Province. It opened in 1989 and grew to be a star of China's retail sector. Due to poor management, the department store fell into financial crisis. On October 14, 2001, its property rights were purchased by a real estate company. This star finally fell.

Sending "best regards" by telephone during the Spring Festival: disappeared after 2002

During the Spring Festival, Chinese people used to give their regards to relatives and friends in person. Most people began to do this by telephone after the home phone became common during the 1990s. Now people don't bother to make phone calls at all, sending text messages with their cell phones instead.

Old Fengjie Town: disappeared November 14, 2002

Old Fengjie Town was an ancient spot along the Three Gorges. To build the Three Gorges Dam, the old town was blasted to the ground on November 4, 2002. Now it is underwater with other famous places of interest. It has disappeared forever.

Jiefang shoes: disappeared May 1, 2003

Jiefang shoes were designed for Chinese soldiers. For more than five decades, they were a necessity for everyone in the Chinese army. They were also very popular among ordinary Chinese. Now the Chinese shoe market is dominated by travel shoes and other types of leisure wear. It is not easy to find Jiefang shoes. The Chinese army has also stopped using Jiefang shoes, adopting a new type of training shoe on May 1, 2003. Jiefang shoes will become a cultural relic.

Policy on rounding up urban vagrants and beggars and sending them home: disappeared in 2003

For over twenty years, the Chinese government rounded up vagrants and beggars in cities and sent them home. In 2003, a young Chinese man from Wuhan in Hubei province was picked up by local authorities in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, because he wasn't carrying an ID card or a temporary residence permit. He died unexpectedly while in custody. The incident shocked the whole country. As a result, the Central Government did away with the old policy and introduced "Measures for the Administration of Public Relief for Vagrants and Beggars without Any Assured Living Source in Cities" in 2003. ����

Super Variety Show: disappeared in 2003

The Super Variety Show was an entertainment show created by China Central Television (CCTV) in 1990. It was popular for more than ten years. However, its popularity began to decline because it was not entertaining enough and did not meet viewers' expectation. The show was eventually cancelled in the summer of 2003.

Marital status certification: disappeared October 1, 2003

Chinese people once had to get a marital status certificate issued by their employer, or the by the authorities of the residential district they lived in before they could get marriage. Following the new "Marriage Registration Regulations" issued on October 1, 2003, this paper was no longer necessary. Less red tape makes it easier for Chinese to get a legal marriage or divorce.

By People's Daily Online


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- 49 obsolete Chinese words in the last decade, Part II

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