Q: What's the deal with the Qing (Ching) Dynasty anyway?
A: The Qing Dynasty took place between 1644 to 1911. Not only was it the very last dynasty in China, it was also the second time that the Chinese people were under foreign rule since the inception of the first Chinese Dynasty in 2000 B.C.

(The Mongols were the first foreign rulers of China after they defeated the Song Dynasty in 1279. Their victory was led by Kublai Khan - the grandson of Genghis Khan. After their victory, the Mongols established the Yuan Dynasty and their reign lasted until 1368.)

Anyway, the Qing Dynasty was also known for having produced the youngest emperor of China. In 1908, Pu-Yi became the emperor when he was only two years old. He is often referred to in history as "the Last Emperor" because he was the last emperor of China. And yes. Bernardo Bertolucci made a wonderful film about him in 1987 that won 9 Academy Awards including "Best Picture".

Q: Was the House of Liu part of the White Lotus Society?
A: No. The House of Liu was never a branch of the White Lotus Society.

China is a country that is filled with numerous secret societies. Many of these secret societies also intertwined with each other. One of the most famous secret societies was the White Lotus Society.

The White Lotus Society started one of the most notable uprisings during the Qing Dynasty as a tax protest. This uprising broke out in 1796 among the impoverished settlers in a mountainous region. However, the uprising was crushed by the Manchurians in 1804.

The White Lotus Society were no strangers to organizing revolts against the foreigner rulers in China. In fact, they were behind the revolts against the Mongol rulers of the Yuan Dynasty in 1352.

A branch of the White Lotus Society called the "Fists of Righteous Harmony" were also behind the Boxer Rebellion of 1900.

Finally, the White Lotus Society gave roots to the Triads. The Triads are still quite active in China and have set up cells around the world. The Italian mobs were modeled after the Chinese Triads.

Q: What do 'Mei Mei' and 'Di Di' mean?
A: "Mei Mei" means "little sister" and "Di Di" means "little brother" in Mandarin Chinese. However, our Mei Mei and Di Di are not related to each other and are of the same age.

It is a Chinese tradition to call close friends with family names as terms of endearment. For instance, a close friend of your parents would be referred to as an "uncle" or an "aunt" even though there may not be any blood relations between you. Many non-blood related families lived in the House of Liu and Mei Mei and Di Di are from different families.

Mei Mei and Di Di also take on an addition meaning as the two of them are quite competitive with each other. Thus, by referring each other as the younger sibling, well... you get the picture.