Thursday, April 28, 2011

敖包相会 Dating at the Mongolian Festival

This is another popular song from 1950's. A love song based on Mongolian folk music, it was written for a movie called "The People in the Prairie". The prairie refers to Hulunbeir Prairie in Inner-Mongolia today.

Chinese Flowering Crab Apple

“Elder brother" means "boyfriend"; "the person in my heart" is another way of saying "my lover".



Monday, April 25, 2011

嫦娥奔月 Lady Chang Eh Went to the Moon

This story happens after Yi shot down the nine suns. Like most of love stories in China,  this one ends tragically, too. However, similar to the story of The Cowboy and Weaving Maid, Chinese people want to believe that the lovers still get to meet once a year at the mercy of some mysterious power.

因为羿把九个小太阳射了下来,他们的爸爸要惩罚羿,就把羿和他妻子嫦娥从天上赶到了人间。羿每天出去打猎,晚上才回家。 羿的一个朋友叫蓬蒙,看见嫦娥长得这么美丽,就起了坏心, 经常到羿的家里来找嫦娥。

Friday, April 22, 2011

小星星 Little Stars

The Chinese version of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"

小星星,亮晶晶,xiao3xing1xing, liang4jing1jing1,
好像猫儿眨眼睛。hao3xiang4 mao1er zha2 yan3jing1.
东一个,西一个,dong1yi2ge4, xi1ye2ge4,
东南西北数不清。dong1nan2xi1bei3 shu3bu4qing1.

Twinkle twinkle little stars
Blink like cats.
There's one in the east; there's one in the west,
East, south, west, north, there are too many to count.

Monday, April 18, 2011

What would Michael Jackson think of the New Recesss Workout at the Chinese School?

As it turns out to be one of the hottest videos on a Chinese news website last week,  I wonder what Michael Jackson would think of the new recess workout at an elementary school in Sichuan, China, where all the 700 pupils mimic his moves at the school playground every morning.  The four-minute-workout is a replica of the typical dancing moves of Michael Jackson, and is the replacement of traditional recess workout for Chinese students designed by the General Administration of Physical Education of China. (Please refer to my previous post )

I guess the principal and the teachers at the school  are bored with the same old workout every day, so they came up with this novel idea. As a matter of fact, you can find the moves of turning the neck, the shoulder, the hip, and all the other different parts of the body. It is truly a good exercise of your whole body. I think Mr. Jackson will be pleased to learn that his dance and music is benefiting the health of Chinese children as well as entertaining the rest of the world. Therefore,  I cheer for the creativity of Chinese people!  What do you think?

Friday, April 15, 2011

天天做早操 Do Morning Exercise Everyday

Lining up and doing exercise is part of the morning ritual in every school in China, no matter if you are the little on in the kindergarden or a student in the university. The workout lasts about 5-7 minutes and is truely designed for people of all ages. ( Please see my another blog writing about how it is done if you are interested in doing it, too.)

大公鸡,喔喔叫, da4 gong1ji1, wo1wo1jiao4.
小朋友,起得早, xiao3peng2you3, qi3dezao3.
排起队来做早操。pai2qi3dui4lai2 zuo4 zao3cao1.
伸伸手,弯弯腰,shen1shen1shou3, wan1wan1 yao1,
天天做操身体好。tian1tian1 zuo4cao1 shen1ti3 hao3.

The big rooster calls "cocka-doodle-doo".
Little friends get up early.
They line up to do morning exercise.
Stretching the arm, bending the waist,
Doing exercise everyday makes them healthy.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

神农尝百草 Shen Nong Tastes Hundreds of Plants

Literally, Shen Nong means " the farmer of magic power". He lived at a time after Fu Xi. (Refer to the story about Fu Xi), approximately 7000 years ago according to some experts. He is always painted with horns on his head like deer and cattle to show his close relationship to the plants. He is considered the inventor of farming and medicine. As the legend goes, Shen Nong was born with a transparent tummy, also called the Crystal Tummy.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Method of Abdomen Pushing

Pushing the abdomen regularly can help with many chronic diseases. Since all the 12 meridians of the body run across or are connected in the abdomen, massaging this part of the body can activate the smooth  flow of energy going through these meridians.
This is very easy to do. Simply push down across the abdomen slowly and gently with your fingers. If you have a lot of fat there, add a little more pressure. For those with stomach problems or children, use the palm
to gently massage the area. If more pressure is needed, then use the part of the palm near the wrist.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

拍手歌 The Rhyme for Clapping

write characters with brush pens

This rhyme has all kinds of versions. Here is the traditional version. It is used for the hand claping and miming game. Have fun!

ni3 pai1 yi1, wo3pai1 yi1, yi2ge4 xiao3hai2 chuan1 hua1yi1.
ni3pai1er4, wo3pai1er4, liang2ge4 xiao3hai2 shu1 xiao3 bian4er.
ni3pai1san3, wo3pai1san1, san1ge4 xiao3hai2 chi1 bing3gan1.
ni3pai1si4, wo3pai1si4, si4ge xiao3hai2 xie3 da4zi4.
ni3pai1wu3, wo3pai1wu3, wu3ge4 xiao3hai2 qiao1 da4gu3.
ni3pai1liu4, wo3pai1liu4, liu4ge4 xiao3hai2 jian3 huang2dou4.
ni3pai1qi1, wo3pai1qi1, qi1ge4 xiao3hai1 zuo4 fei1ji1.
ni3pai1ba1, wo3pai1ba1, ba1ge4 xiao3hai2 chui1 la3ba.
ni3pai1jiu3, wo3pai1jiu3, jiu3ge4 xiao3hai2 jiao1 peng2you.
ni3pai1shi2, wo3pai1shi2, shi2ge4 xiao3hai2 zhan4dezhi2.


You clap one; I clap one. One child wears pretty clothes.
You clap two; I clap two. Two children wear their hair in braids.
You clap three; I clap three. Three children eat crackers.
You clap four; I clap four. Four children write characters with brush pens.
You clap five; I clap five. Five children strike big drums.
You clap six; I clap six. Six children pick up soy-beans.
You clap seven; I clap seven. Seven children ride a plane.
You clap eight; I clap eight. Eight children blow the trumpet.
You clap nine; I clap nine. Nine children make friends.
You clap ten; I clap ten. Ten children stand staight.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

夸父追日 Kua Fu Chasing the Sun


Some people think Kua Fu in this story is the Chinese version of Prometheus, who tried to steal the fire from heaven to bring it down to men. Alas, Kua Fu failed in the end. However, the peach trees turned from his stick bring us some hope, at least. Other experts argue that the myth actually reflected a great migration in ancient Chinese history.  Due to the limited geographical knowledge and false judgement,  the ancient tribes went to the west in search of better land. But in the west China, there is nothing but desert, as we all know now. That's why the farther Kua Fu went west, the thirstier he got, until "he drank up all the water in the Yellow River." The ancient tribes could also have made an effort to go to the North in hope of finding The Great Lake, but there is still nothing but desert in the North of China.  From then on, the future migrations started to go south and east, where the land is more fertile for farming.

cong2qian2  zai4 bei3fang1de  huang1ye3zhong1,

you3zuo4 gao1shan1.  na4li3  sheng1huo2zhe  yi4qun2  ju4ren2.

ju4ren2de  shou3ling3  shi4  tian1shen2de  sun1zi, ming2zi4 jiao4 kua1fu4.

夸父身强力壮,高大英俊, 而且善良勇敢。
kua1fu4   shen1qiang2li4zhuang4,  gao1da4ying1jun4,  er2qie3  shan4liang2yong3gan3.

na4shi2hou4  dao4chu4 shi4  chi1ren2de  ye3shou4 he2 du2she2.

qi4hou4  ye3 hen3cha4,  ren2men   sheng1huo2de  hen3ku3.

kua1fu4  mei3tian1 dou1 dai4ling3  ren2men  geng1 hong2shui3   ye3shou4  dou4.

kua1fu4  chang2chang2  ba3  zhuo1dao4de  du2she2  gua4zai4 zi4ji3de  er3duo shang4,

huo4zhe3  zi4hao2de  zhua1zai4  shou3li3  hui1wu3.
有一年, 天气特别冷, 很久很久都不见太阳。
you3yi4nian2,  tian1qi4  te4bie2 leng3,  hen3jiu3  hen3jiu3 dou1 bu2jian4  tai4yang.

mei2you3  yang2guang1,  di4li3de  zhuang1jia   dou1zhang3bu4hao3.

hen3duo1  dong4wu4  ye3  dong4si3le.   kua1fu4  hen3 nan2guo4, 

you3yi4tian1,  tai4yang  zhong1yu2  chu1lai2le.

kua1fu4  tai2tou2 kan4zhe  tai4yang, dui4 peng2you3men shuo1,
“我要追上太阳,捉住它, 不让它落下去。”
"wo3yao4  zhui1shang4  tai4yang,  zhuo1zhu4  ta1, bu2rang4 ta1  luo4xia4qu4.
peng2you3men  ting1hou4  fen1fen1  quan4ta1.
you3de  shuo1:"ni3  qian1wan4  bie2 qu4,
tai4yang  li1 wo3men  na4me  yuan3, ni3 hui4 lei4si3de."
you3deren2 shuo1, "tai4yang na4me re4, ni3hui4 bei4  kao3si3de."
kua1fu4 shuo1:"wei4le  da4jia1de xing4fu2, wo3  yi2ding4 dei3 qu4!"
于是,夸父离开他的朋友, 开始向西去追赶太阳。
yu2shi4, kua1fu4  li2kai1 ta1de peng2you3, kai1shi3  xiang4xi1 qu4  zhui1gan3  tai4yang.
kua1fu4  pao3de xiang4feng1  yi2yang4 kuai4,
ta1 pao3guo4  yi2zuo4zuo4  da4shan1,  pao3guo4  yi4tiao2tiao2  da4he2.
kua1fu4  pao3lei4le deshi2hou4,  jiu4  xiu1xi  yi2xia4,
xie2zi li3 de  tu3  dao4zai4  di4shang4 , bian4cheng2   yi2zuo4 xiao3shan1.
kua1fu4  li2 taiyang  yue4lai2yue4jin4,  ke3shi4,
ta1  gan2dao4  yue4lai2 yue4ke3,  yue4lai2  yue4lei4.
ta1  pao3dao4 huang2he2bian1,  yi1kou3 ba3 huang2he2de shui3  he1gan1le.
ta1 hai2 jue2de  hen3ke3.  kua1fu4  you4 xiang4 bei3  pao3qu4,
na4li3  you3 yi2ge4  da4hu2.  dan4shi4,
kua1fu4  hai2  mei2you3  pao3dao4  da4hu2,  jiu4  zai4 ban4lu4 ke3si3le.
kua1fu4  kuai4yao4 si3 deshi2hou4,
ba3  shou3li3  na2zhe de  shu4zhi1  reng1 chu1qu4.
树枝一落到地上, 就变成了一大片桃树林。
shu4zhi1  yi2 luo4dao4  di4shang4, jiu4 bian4cheng2le  yi2da4pian4  tao2shu4lin2.

There was once a high mountain in the wilderness in the North. There lived a group of giants. Their leader was the grandson of a god in the heaven. His name was Kua Fu. He was very healthy and strong, tall and handsome. He was also very kind and brave.
At that time, there were wild beasts and poisonous snakes everywhere that ate the man. The climate was very bad, too. People lived a hard life. Every day, Kua Fu led the people to fight with the beasts and flood. He often hung the poisonous snakes that he had caught on his own ears, or waved them proudly in his hand. One year, the weather was very hot.  All the trees and grass were burned. All the rivers and lakes became dry. One by one, Kua Fu's friends died from the heat .
Kua Fu was very sad. Looking up at the sun, he told his friends: " The sun is  so loathsome that I want to chase after him and catch him."  Hearing this, his friends tried to persuade him. Somebody said, "For god's sake don't you go. The sun is so far away from us. You'll be tired to death."  Somebody said, "The sun is so hot that you'll be burned to death." Kua Fu said,"For the sake of everyone's happy life, I have to go!" 
In the morning, the sun rose from the east. Kua Fu left his friends, and toward the west, started to chase the sun. Kua Fu ran as fast as the wind. He ran over one after another big mountain, over one after another river. When he was tired, he took a rest and poured the dirt out of his shoes onto the ground, which turned into a hill.
Kua Fu got closer and closer to the sun, but he got more and more thirsty,  more and more tired. So he ran to the side of the Yellow River, and drank up all the water in one mouthful. But, he was still thirsty. He ran toward the north, for there was a great lake there. However, Kua Fu died of thirst halfway before he could reach the Great Lake. When he was dying, Kua Fu threw out the wood stick he was carrying in his hand. The stick turned into a big stretch of peach trees as soon as it hit the ground.