1 What does the "Sichuan" in Sichuan province refer to?
A Four rivers
B One river with four tributaries
C Four mountains
D Four prefectures
2 Which of the following statements is not true, in terms of physical area?
A Sichuan is smaller than France.
B Sichuan is bigger than Japan.
C Sichuan is roughly the size of Turkmenistan.
D Sichuan is roughly the size of Spain.
3 Which of the following became Sichuan's first "twin state?"
A Pernambuco, Brazil
B Mpumalanga, South Africa
C Washington, U.S.
D Michigan, U.S.
4 The tallest mountain in Sichuan rises 7,556 meters above sea level. What is it called?
A Mount Edgar
B Minya Konka
C Gongga Shan
D All of the above
5 Which of the following companies has not (yet?) adopted a panda?
A Pride Cigarettes
6 In which Sichuan city was rocket Chang'e launched?
7 In what year was the Dujiangyan irrigation projected completed, and who was its now legendary engineer?
A 251 B.C.; Li Bing
B 521 A.D.; Li Peng
C 215 A.D.; Bai Ling
D 512 B.C.; Li Bai
8 The big Buddha of Le Shan is the tallest stone-carved Buddha in the world. Just how many meters tall is it?
A 58 meters
B 159 meters
C 87 meters
D 71 meters
9 In what year did Chongqing break off from Sichuan to become the municipality of Chongqing?
10 What's the earliest year the Sanxingdui culture has been traced to?
A 4721 B.C.
B 7421 B.C.
C 2471 B.C.
D 2471 A.D.
11 How many years did the Tang-dynasty poet Dufu spend in Chengdu?
A All his life; he's a Chengdu native!
B Only his childhood
C Most of his drunken, roving young adulthood
D Only a few years in later life
12 Which of the following novels is not part of author Ba Jin's well-known Torrent (徼流三部曲) trilogy?
13 Who is "The Good Person of Sichuan?"
A Xiongfo, the god of the panda
B Shen Te, an imaginary character in a stage play
C Jian Chuan, the adopted father of the "earthquake pig"
D Zhang Xianzhong, the self-appointed king
14 How many Chengdu natives made it to the top 10 in the 2005 Supergirls competition?
B Two (they were twin sisters)
D None. The one who did make it into the Top 10 was later found out to be a boy.
15 What is the first name of the foreigner featured on CDTV speaking fluent Sichuan dialect?
1. D. Although there are indeed four major rivers in Sichuan—Yalong River (雅砻江), Minjiang River (岷江), Jialing River (嘉陵江), and Wujiang River (乌江)—"Sichuan" doesn't actually refer to them, by most accounts. Instead, most historians say it dates back to the local administration of the Song Dynasty, when four prefectures were set up. These prefectures were Chengdu, Santai, Hanzhong, and Fengjie, and were referred to as the "Four Chuanxia Prefectures," or "Sichuan" for short. Sichuan was established as a province with Chengdu as its capital during the Yuan Dynasty.
2. D. With 488,000 square meters Sichuan is just about the same size as Turkmenistan, and smaller than Spain.
3. C and D. While A and B are also twin states of Sichuan, Washington and Michigan beat them to it, both establishing a twin-state relationship with Sichuan in 1982.
4. D. A, B, and C are the names in English, Tibetan, and Chinese, respectively. In 1930 explorer Joseph Rock miscalculated its height as 9,220 meters, which resulted in the National Geographic Society's erroneously announcing it as the highest mountain in the world. A number of mountain climbers have met their deaths attempting to reach its peak, including three Americans earlier this year.
5. D. All the other companies listed have adopted at least one panda (guess which company's panda is named Microsoft?). However, if the Sichuanese Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company's bid to purchase Hummer is approved by the national government, perhaps the next adopted panda will be named "Gas Guzzler," "Outmoded Bling," or something similar.
6. A. Xichang, although future missions will be transferred to the upgraded Wenchang Satellite Launch Center once it is completed in 2013. The Xichang site will remain functional as a backup launch site.
7. A. Refer to our Sichuan history spread and the famous Sichuanese spread in this issue for further information.
8. D. Larger Buddhas do exist, including the reclining Buddha in Burma, measuring up to 150m in length, and other upright Buddhas made of material other than stone.
9. A. Along with Tianjin, Beijing, and Shanghai, Chongqing became one of the mainland's four municipalities with provincial-level governing status.
10. C. About 2471 BC.
11. D. Three years and nine months, to be exact. Despite the fuss made over Chengdu tourist attraction Dufu's Thatched Cottage, the poet was neither born nor died in Chengdu, and he didn't even stay a very long time when he did come. But he did have pretty nice digs, we must admit.
12. D. The novels Ba Jin is best known for were written over a nine-year span between 1931 and 1940 but are dwarfed by the rest of the vast catalog of works he created over the course of his 100-year life.
13. B. German playwright Berthold Brecht's epic drama, arbitrarily set in a province in a country he had never set foot in, depicts Shen Te as a character struggling to prove that one can be good to others while living well.
14. C. Li Yuchun (李宇春), Jane Zhang (张靓颖), and Hejie (何洁).
15. D. Jonathan Kott is his full name; in Chinese, he goes by 江喃. DISCLAIMER The answers provided are accurate as far as we know, but we take no responsibility for lost bets, broken friendships, bodily harm, etc. as a result of this quiz or the answers contained herein.
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local knowledge scale
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This article was originally published in CHENGDOO citylife Magazine, issue 25 ("Sichuan"). Illustration by daishu .