February 17, 2011 09:18
China has given North Korean leader Kim Jong-il a massive porcelain peach symbolizing longevity, a sculpture and four DVDs for his 70th birthday. China's Xinhua News Agency and North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency reported that state councilor Meng Jianzhu presented gifts during a visit to North Korea on Monday, but they did not say what they were.
But Chinese netizens took a closer look at the pictures and concluded that the large, peach-shaped object among the three gifts is a "shou tao" or peach bun symbolizing longevity.
Shou tao are traditionally given to elderly people in China and contain writings in a steamed bun praying for good health, while peaches symbolize longevity. Wealthy Chinese give shou tao crafted from jade, gold or porcelain. Some Chinese netizens believe that the shou tao Kim got were made out of valuable porcelain from Henan.
The sculpture seems to represent Mankyung Peak in Pyongyang, and the DVDs appear to be either Chinese movies or dramas, since the North Korean leader is an avid film buff.
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