Gids uit China op bezoek in Nederland

Ik ben twee jaar geleden naar China geweest.
Ik heb toen onder andere Beijing bezocht waarbij ik ben geholpen
door een vriende van mijn Chinese collega.
Hij was mijn gids in Beijing en zorgde ervoor
dat ik in mijn hotel terecht kwam en op de juiste trein.
Afgelopen week was hij in Nederland en ik ben met hem
en mijn Chinese collega en zijn vrouw gaan eten.
Heerlijk Chinees.
Een versalg van mijn reis naar China staat op mijn log
en de eerste log staat hier.

Het eten was erg gezellig.
Daarnaast had mijn voormalige gids twee cadeau’s meegebracht:

Het tasje had niets met de cadeau’s te maken maar
is voor een westerling niet minder leuk.
In het jaar van de draak staan er natuurlijk twee draken op de tas.
Hier zie je een van de draken:

Een van de draken.

in de tas zaten twee geschenkverpakkingen met, zoals mijn Chinese collega dat noemt,
witte wijn. Ik denk dat wij de dranken zouden omschrijven als rijstwijn.
Het is een sterke drank. Het ene flesje is 48% en de grotere fles is 40% alcohol.
Een goede borrel dus!
De verpakking alleen al is een feest.

Dit is de kleinere fles.

Dit is doos waarin de grote fles zat.

De grote fles is prachtig.

Om de opening zit een doekje dat met een strik of stiekje op zijn plaats wordt gehouden.

Dat is ook bij de kleinere fles het geval.

Aan de hand van de telefoonnummers op de grote doos
kom ik er achter dat het een product is van de Beijing Niulanshan Distillery,
tegenwoordig Beijing Shunxin Agriculture Corporation Limited Niulanshan Distillery.

In 2007 verscheen er op een commerciele website genaamd: Beijing this month,
(Vertaling: Beijing deze maand) het volgende artikel.

Niulanshan Erguotou: Water Creates a Beautiful Spirit
2007/03/05
The legend has been passed down from one generation to the next. Ages ago, a sacred buffalo was roaming a mountain in todayx92s Shunyi District in Beijing when he, by chance, stopped to drink from a rippling creek. The thirsty buffalo (niu) was enjoying drinking the cool and sweet water so much that he wanted to go nowhere. The buffalo, finally, found a cave nearby and settled down for good. In time, the cave became known as Jinniudong (Gold Buffalo Cave), the mountain as Niulan Shan (Buffalo Fence Mountain).

Blessed with ideal water and fecund farmlands, records relate that Niulanshan Township began making liquor (sometimes referred to as x91winex92) more than 300 years ago, during the late Ming Dynasty (1368×961644), said Deputy Secretary Zhang Shufeng of the Beijing Shunxin Agriculture Corporation Limited Niulanshan Distillery. But bronze ware unearthed in 1982 suggests that winemaking may have begun in the area during the Western Zhou Dynasty (11th centuryx96771 BC), confirming another local legend.
So even though the Niulanshan Distillery, founded in 1952 with Niulanshan Erguotou as its first product, is a relative newcomer as a Zhongguo laozihao (China Time Honoured Brand), its precedents are long and distinguished. The company is intimately tied to the history of the people of the area; it has grown from a collective of primitive, scattered, small-scale workshops in the early 1950s to become a modern enterprise with 1,800 employees.
Physically, Niulanshan has disappeared; its springs no longer flow, but the areax92s Niulanshan Erguotou does; its production has never ceased.
The processx97or x93second distillationx94 (erguotou)x97of making erguotou gives it its name. To make a Chinese spirit, people used pots filled with cool water to distil fermented grain sorghum. Practice revealed that wine generated using a second pot had the most bouquet (flavour) and the best quality; so the wine yielded at this stage became known as erguotou.
Exactly when erguotou became popular is unknown, but relatively prosperous times during the Qing Dynasty (1644×961911) are thought to have stimulated the demand for better liquor, Zhang said. During this time, the liquor industry flourished with 11 shaoguo (Chinese spirit workshops) employing more than 100 people in the Niulanshan area alone. Because of its affordable price and pleasing fragrance, erguotou has been used to lift spirits in Beijing ever since.
While the x93bloodx94 of Niulanshan Townshipx92s Erguotou is its superior water, it would be for naught were it not for the areax92sx97the x93grain barnx94 of Beijingx92sx97abundant grain supply. The best erguotou is made of a special kind of grain sorghum called yanzhimi (red rouge rice) thanks to its feint pink colour.
Wu Wenxue, grandson of the deputy manager of the Fushuncheng Shaoguo, one of the largest erguotou workshops at that time, said, x93Because of its convenient roads and water transportation, the workshops in Niulanshan managed to sell their products to southern cities by boats and to northern and western areas such as Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang and the Northeast by camels. Niulanshan Erguotou was so popular that many people in Inner Mongolia didnx92t know about Shunyi District but were familiar with the name Niulanshan.x94
By the Republican period in China (1912×961949), the 11 shaoguo had been merged into four: Fushuncheng, Kuishenghao, Yixin and Gongli. Many vendors sold erguotou in wholesale lots during bazaars held on the fourth, seventh and ninth of every month on the Lunar Calendar. Residents of Shandong, Shanxi, Henan, and many other provinces came to know and appreciate the famous yet affordable Niulanshan Erguotou.
In 1952, on the basis of the four shaoguo from the Republic of China period, the State-owned Beijing Niulanshan Distillery was founded. Aside from preserving traditional crafts and quality, the company tried new technologies and products to adjust to the changing need of customers. In 1992, the company launched its low potent Beijing-Chun (38 percent alcohol by volume) product, an instant hit, becoming the first low-alcohol spirit-maker in the market. For this it was awarded Gold and Silver Prizes in the 33rd and 34th Brussels International Production Exposition.
After restructuring in 1998, the company was renamed the Beijing Shunxin Agriculture Corporation Limited Niulanshan Distillery, the largest subsidiary of its mother company the Shunxin Group.
Today, with assets valued at 510 million yuan (US$67.8 million) and 1,800 employees, including more than 200 senior engineers or technicians, the Niulanshan Distillery produces 50,000 tons of Chinese spirits including 110 products in four categories. In 1999, it was named a China Time Honoured Brand and a product that originated in China. The company has an agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under which it will provide banquet spirits to Chinese embassies abroad beginning in 2007.

Vooral het inleidende verhaal is mooi:
De legende gaat dat een heilige buffel graasde in het Shunyi District.
Bij toeval kwam hij een riviertje tegen.
de dorstige buffel (niu) vond het koele en zoete water heerlijk.
Zo lekker dat hij besloot in de buurt van de rivier te blijven.
Hij vond een grot en bleef daar.
De grote werd daarna Jinniudong (gouden buffelgrot) genoemd
en de berg Niulan Shan (Buffelberg).
Misschien is de vertaling wat vrij maar het gaat om het idee.