Postcard from... Beijing
Beijing is quiet this week, as people take three days off to mark Dragon Boat Festival, and the weather finally cleared on Monday after days of a soupy rain-and-smog combination.
According to research released this week, Beijing, Shanghai and the eastern province of Jiangsu were the three happiest places in China last year.
Students from Nankai University, in Tianjin, evaluated China’s 30 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in an effort to “investigate the relationship between residents’ happiness and the fiscal expenditure in livelihood”, the China Daily reports. “Public service is crucial for people’s happiness and this research will help governments adjust and optimise the distribution of their fiscal expenditures,” droned Yang Ming, a member of the research team.
One thing that is clearly making people in all of those three places miserable is chronically foul air pollution. But people are trying to cheer up. China’s version of eBay, Taobao, is seeing major demand for fashion face-masks to keep pollution at bay, the South China Morning Post reports. In scenes reminiscent of the Sars epidemic 10 years ago, Beijing residents are taking to customised face-masks.
Young people prefer colourful masks, retailers say, with panda designs, Burberry-style plaid and other designs a big hit. Men like black, functional-looking masks.
With masks becoming so popular, it’s hard to know how the researchers will be able to tell how happy Beijingers are in next year’s survey.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...