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Asian women and planted tanks

I've been following the comments on Loh's question about why there are so 
few women in the aquarium hobby in Singapore.

Some, beginning with Loh himself, as I recall, wondered about the difference 
between "Asian women" and "Western women". There is really no homogenous 
entity that constitutes "Asian women". Japanese women  are very different 
from Chinese women who are different from Indian women who are dirfferent 
from Afghan women, etc. "Western women" also comprise a diverse grouping, 
but unlike Asian women, they are united by a common European culture and 

In the case of Chinese culture -- the dominant culture in Singapore, where 
Loh resides -- it helps to recall that the aquarium hobby has a much longer 
tradition there than it has anywhere else in the world. (Japan has been 
influenced by Chinese culture, and the keeping of koi, etc. also has a 
fairly long history in Japan.) Fish keeping in China was part of a tradition 
that included keeping song birds, insects such as cicadas as well as 
flowering plants and shrubs. Evidence for this tradition can already be seen 
by the Song dynasty, of almost a thousand years ago. By the Qing 
(1644-1911), keeping fish, birds, cicadas, etc. had already become a 
national craze among gentlemen of leisure. A late 19th "diary" that 
describes aspects of these hobbies is <Fu Sheng Liu Ji> ("Six tales from a 
floating life"), also available in various English translations. Even today, 
if you walk around parks and alleyways in China and Taiwan, you will see old 
men taking their birds for a "walk", or tending their vats of goldfish in 
their courtyards. In China for the last thousand years it has always been 
men that pursued these hobbies.


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