While in China you would think that learning about Feng Shui (translation: 风 fēng = wind, 水 shuǐ = water) is a must. But what I learned is that since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, feng shui has been officially deemed as a "feudalistic superstitious practice" and a "social evil" and that it was banned at times. However, at the end of the Cultural Revolution, the official attitude became more tolerant. But restrictions on feng shui practice are still in place in today's China.
In May 2006, I had the opportunity to attend a lesson about Feng Shui by Professor Zhao at the Chinese Culture Club (CCC) in Beijing. As I understood Prof. Zhao is teaching architecture at the China University, but he does not officially lectures about Feng Shui at university. The slides he used for the lecture were in English, however his speech was in Chinese and simultaneously translated into English.
At the end he stated that - other than the people in Hong Kong, which are very superstitious and use feng shui all the time - the Beijingers are less interested in feng shui. It is mainly used by real estate agents and construction companies to sell. There is no official discipline in any Chinese university. "Feng Shui is more considered as a secret and the Chinese government does not support it" he said.
Well, since a long time I wanted to blog about that lecture and I will finally start today. I know, I am not going to reveal anything new. If you are interested in Feng Shui you will find many books on the market that explain much better and much more. I will only provide a summary of Prof. Zhao's introduction to Feng Shui and how to use it for your home.
For those who have never heard about Feng Shui before:
Nowadays it is used to make you feel better - more energetic or more relaxed - in a room, may it be in your office or at home. It has a lot to do with common sense, but this old wisdom also has some 'tricks' you would not have thought about.
The professor's lecture at that evening was about the feng shui of yang buildings, buildings for the living. (Ying buildings are for the dead --> tombs).
He started with a building's exterior and how it can ensure a good feng shui.
... to be continued ....
wikipedia on Fengshui
Feng Shui 101 at about.com