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Thread: CHINESE Culture and Language Help

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    CHINESE Culture and Language Help

    I suppose these are more about what a wizarding Chinese society would look like than specific questions on Chinese culture but I wasn't sure where else to put this thread.

    1) I imagine Chinese wizarding culture to be really conservative. After the collapse of the Qing dynasty (maybe even the Ming dynasty if they're ultra reactionary conservatives), they went into a complete shut down mode and didn't let in any Muggle-born students. I think it would make sense that during the chaos of World War II, the invading Japanese, the Communist Revolution, the Cultural Revolution, that wizards would try to stay out of it and wouldn't invite Muggle students. Could they even find Muggle students? (oh dear, plot bunny of a Red Guard invited to magic school) What does everyone else think?

    2) How many schools would they have? At 1 school (Hogwarts) for every 60 million people (approximate population of Great Britain), there would 20 schools of Hogwarts's size... and that's just mainland China. I would guess that wizarding China would still include Taiwan. I also don't know if the numbers I looked up for the population of China includes Hong Kong. I don't want to get political, I just don't know why wizarding boundaries would necessarily follow Muggle ones.

    2b) Would they need as many schools if they're a strictly pure-blood population? Then again, Voldemort supposedly killed off a bunch of pure-blood families who refused to follow him, so maybe there would be more pure-bloods in China?

    2c) Would they even Have schools? In dynastic China, traditionally, there was one school in the south (from what I remember from my Chinese history class). The school was created to try and balance out the population of civil servants, since wanna be civil servants were the only people who were educated and more of the civil servants were coming from the north/Beijing area. Everyone else either had private tutors or studied on their own.

    3) What would the reaction of Muggle parents be to their child getting a letter to magic school? With only one child, they're much more important. Would this be a great opportunity or a panic and freak out kind of moment? Obviously this would depend on the gender of the child and if they're already enrolled in some kind of special program but what would be some general reactions?


    Just some food for thought.


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  2. #2
    psijupiter
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    3) What would the reaction of Muggle parents be to their child getting a letter to magic school? With only one child, they're much more important. Would this be a great opportunity or a panic and freak out kind of moment? Obviously this would depend on the gender of the child and if they're already enrolled in some kind of special program but what would be some general reactions?
    I'm not Chinese, nor do I really know anything about China, but one things just struck me: if the wizarding poulation of China was entirely closed off, I first thought that the child would be taken away and the parents would be permitted to have another child. But perhaps they would even go further and oblivate the Muggle parents, so they didn't know they had a child, so no Muggles would ever know about magic. They might even obliviate the parents so they thought their child had died, and then not permit them to have a second, if they thought the parents might have another magical child. I can imagine them finding magical children and removing them at a much younger age.

    They might not have more schools, but perhaps bigger ones. Hogwarts is huge - I think it could (and possibly once did) take a lot more pupils. China might have massive schools - ot perhaps a seperate town/city, completely isolated from muggle China?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AidaLuthien
    How many schools would they have?
    This is where you are going to have to do some math.

    Let's see.... There is currently a population of 1,338,612,968. You divide that 60 million, and you get about 22. But before you settle on this number, let's keep something else in mind: class sizes. Harry's class at Hogwarts had less that forty students, and in the classes where only one House is taught, there would be no more than ten students, and in double classes, there would be no more than twenty. Though, in many photographs of Chinese classrooms, you can see between forty and fifty students. As you can see, that is more than double. I imagine the wizarding world would be much the same.

    This is going to lead to even more math on your part.

    Now, from here, you can either continue with just the mathematical formulas, or you could choose to give it some sort of cultural significance. For example, in my stories, I have given China twelve different schools (for the Chinese zodiac), and named them after the twelve animals.

    But no stealing the idea! It's MINE!

    Now, as far as school policies on admissions, with the need for so many schools, you could include an entire range of school policies. I would study different regions and see if you can find any that would coinside with any particular idiology.

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    Inverarity
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    Chinese wizards might be pureblood supremacists, but I don't think they'd really be able to keep any wizards from interbreeding with Muggles. No society has ever been able to segregate themselves that completely, especially over a period of centuries. So you're going to have Muggle-born wizards, whether they're acknowledged or not.

    China's population certainly suggests more than one wizarding school. Rather than focusing on exactly how many by working out some mathematical formula, I'd focus on the differences between schools.

    First of all, unless a Communist revolution also took over all of Chinese wizarding society, it's very likely that Chinese wizards are actually divided into multiple countries or kingdoms. China has a large number of different ethnic and linguistic groups; Mongolia, Fujian, Guangxi, Hunan, etc., would probably have very different schools.

    If you want the schools to have more of a traditional Chinese character, remember that Confucianism dominated Chinese culture for most of its history, and one its central tenets is the idea of a meritocracy. Wizarding students would likely be tested; each kingdom might have several schools, ranked according to the "proficiency" of its students. Or, it might be that you only get into the school if you test well enough. If not, maybe you have to apprentice yourself to another wizard and never get to learn advanced magic, or maybe you're just forbidden to use magic at all. I'd have different kingdoms have different policies.

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    You need to also keep in mind not only the population (which is huge), but that China has just recently taken steps to change their society. Classes and hierarchy are major isues over there. The dividing line as to whether you are or are not in this 'in group' becomes apparent really fast. There is raging poverty and most of the students willl most llike be boys. (Yes, in the poorer regions, there is still that practice of infacticide.) In Chinese society, in order to keep their population in check, females are born in lesser numbers. Of course, if a family fives birth to a girl, they are allowed a second chance. Women are handed over to their husband's family upon marriage. Ever hear of 'big happiness' as a name versus 'little happiness'? That's why Not only do I think you would have houses in reguard to Confucius and the like, but think about the shaman ancient culture. Although some females choose not to marry and go to school for odd reasons (outside a shaman - magic is weird...), they are told by their very nuclear families they are often an oddity. Research the mannerisms of Chinese culture. (I'm Japanese -American so I can only offer you so much.) Oh, like the pure-blood thing, I hope you understand Asians tend to be very racist againist each other. And, when you consider a government, think about why China is Communist (they have logical reasons) and where should it be located? Shanghai?

    I hope this helps.

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    Inverarity: I agree that Chinese wizards would find it impossible to prevent all wizards and witches from intermarrying with Muggles but I'd imagine during a period of extreme separation from the Muggle world they simply wouldn't admit those students and let the kids live out their lives not knowing that they have magical capabilities. Or maybe like Psijupiter suggested the wizarding establishment would kidnap the kids and Oblivate the parents.

    Is there any law not allowing them from just not educating Muggle borns? Or would "really bad" stuff happen to the magical balance of the universe if the students were trained to control themselves? *oh no, the semi-plot bunnies are back*

    The Statue of Secrecy (1699) is supposedly the result of an international conference that hid the entire magical world from the entire Muggle world. In China, in the year 1699, the Qing dynasty (the last and Manchu-ruled) dynasty was in power. The Manchu at their height ruled more territory than is contained in modern China.

    If in the few centuries leading up to 1699, there was some level of political similarity between the wizarding and Muggle worlds, then while the far west like Tibet and Xinjang and maybe the south/west like Yunnan would be independent, the majority of what today is eastern and central China would still be one country.

    </ramble>

    Oops. All that rambling and no progress. *sigh*

    Does anyone else have any thoughts?

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  7. #7
    Inverarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by AidaLuthien
    Inverarity: I agree that Chinese wizards would find it impossible to prevent all wizards and witches from intermarrying with Muggles but I'd imagine during a period of extreme separation from the Muggle world they simply wouldn't admit those students and let the kids live out their lives not knowing that they have magical capabilities.
    That won't really work, because we know in canon that children with magical abilities will manifest them, trained or not.

    Is there any law not allowing them from just not educating Muggle borns? Or would "really bad" stuff happen to the magical balance of the universe if the students were trained to control themselves? *oh no, the semi-plot bunnies are back*
    There's no mention of any international law requiring magical children to be trained (though preserving wizarding secrecy would imply the necessity -- see above). However, we don't know how much power the International Confederation of Wizards actually has over the entire world, so the ICW might also not have any influence in China in any case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuri
    The dividing line as to whether you are or are not in this 'in group' becomes apparent really fast. There is raging poverty and most of the students will most like be boys. (Yes, in the poorer regions, there is still that practice of infacticide.)
    But this also leads me to wonder just how much of the Muggle culture could have in common with the wizarding culture. Yes, boys will probably still be revered over girls, and magical parents would probably even use magic to insure that they did have a boy (which leads to a little plot bunny thinking that the Chinese Ministry of Magic would issue their own birth laws. Maybe that any Chinese couple who wants to have a child must make sure that their first child is a girl. Idk, just a sudden random thought).

    But I do think poverty would be much less common in wizarding society, at least to the extent much of the Chinese population suffers from. If money was ever tight, remember, a wizard could always transfigure dirt into something more valuable and sell it. Despite the poverty Ron's family allegedly had, they were hardly starving in the streets and living in a mud shack.

    But I also wonder if the wizard to Muggle ratio is the same in every country. Chinese wizarding families may not have traditionally been as large as Muggle ones, so the wizarding population might be a great deal lower than we think. Something to consider.

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    But I also wonder if the wizard to Muggle ratio is the same in every country. Chinese wizarding families may not have traditionally been as large as Muggle ones, so the wizarding population might be a great deal lower than we think. Something to consider.
    Also didn't JK Rowling say that all Muggle born witches and wizards have a witch or wizard ancestor? The rate of out-marriage would also affect the total number of witches and wizards.

    Aahhh... too much calculation and not enough concrete variables.


    On a completely separate note:

    Would Chinese wizards use owls? As far as I know, owls aren't native to East Asia. The only alternative I could come up with is to use bats. I don't know why bats, except that I know that they exist in China.

    Edit: Ok, owls are found all over the world except Antarctica. I don't know how common owls are in East Asia but they are apparently seen as omens of bad luck (unlike bats which are good luck).

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    Quote Originally Posted by AidaLuthien
    Aahhh... too much calculation and not enough concrete variables.
    Yeah, but in a weird way, I find these calculations relaxing. Maybe I'm just weird in that way, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by AidaLuthien
    Would Chinese wizards use owls? As far as I know, owls aren't native to East Asia. The only alternative I could come up with is to use bats. I don't know why bats, except that I know that they exist in China.
    Actually, I do know a great website that details all the owl species of the world. Just type 'owls' into Google and select the first page that comes up. You will find a map of the world, and it will tell you all the owl species found there. After that, you can finish research on specific owls on your own.

    And actually, owls being omens of bad luck might work for you. It makes it less likely that Muggles would interfere with the wizarding press.

    Something else I have found myself pondering about is how the Chinese wizarding society would have viewed the practice of foot binding. Would they have seen it as barbaric, or would they have practiced it as well? I'm sure they would use spells instead, but keep in mind the apeal of foot binding was not just small feet, but the shape of the foot as well, which was said to resemble a lily blossom.

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