Sunday, September 30, 2007


Episode Twelve: >>Chinese Martial Arts<<

This is a topic I as a Chinese don't know a whole lot about. The popularity of Chinese Gongfu movies resulted in a myth for people outside China to believe most Chinese know some martial arts. The facts are actually Chinese Wushu (martial arts) is practiced by a small group of people with a long history of adapting physical exercise elements from the ancient times and from other cultures, such as Indan Yoga. This episode introduces one main style(branch) of Chinese Wushu -- Shaolin, three kinds of exercises (Bagua, Taijiquan, Qigong), their origins, and characteristics. Hopefully the take-away for the audience after this episode is that not all Chinese know martial arts but we certainly should: there are many life-long benefits through practicing one or two kinds of Wushu.

Word of the Day
1. 武术,功夫 ‘Wu3shu4, Gong1fu4’ (Chinese martial arts, Chinese Gongfu): 中国人的武术很多西方人管它叫功夫,指的都是用于防御或进攻的身体练习。(A lot of westerners call Chinese Wushu Gongfu, which both refer to Chinese physical exercises for the purposes of defense or offense)
2. 少林派,武当派 ‘shao4lin2pai, wu3dang1pai’ (Shaolin style, Wudang style):中国武术有很多派别,最著名的有少林派和武当派。(There are many styles in Wushu, and the most well-known styles are Shaolin style and Wudang style)
3. 八卦,太极,气功 ‘ba1gua4, tai4ji2, qi4gong1’ (names of three Chinese martial art exercises): 八卦,太极,气功是三种传播 广泛的武术练习。(Bagua, Taiji, and Qigong are three most popular Wushu exercises)

Friday, February 02, 2007

Episode Eleven: Chinese New Year/Spring Festival

Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) is coming on Feb 18th! This is the biggest holiday for Chinese every year. It is the first day of the year on the Chinese lunar calendar and also signifies the first day of spring. Most people leave work for about a week in China to celebrate this traditional holiday and spend time with family and friends in the most common formats for any festivity in the world, eat, drink, talk, watch TV, and etc. There are also some special activities going on for this holiday as well, such as 年夜饭 or 逛庙会。

Word of the Day
1) 春节,过年,新年 'chun1jie2,guo4nian2,xin1nian2'(spring festival, celebrating holiday, New Year): 中国最盛大的节日是春节,中国人也叫农历新年。(The most celebrated holiday in China is Spring Festival, which Chinese also call lunar New Year.)

2) 年夜饭,团圆饭 'nian2ye4fan4, tuan2yuan2fan4'(New Year's Eve dinner, Getting-together dinner): 除夕之夜,全家人坐在一起吃年夜饭,团圆饭。(New Year's Eve, the whole family sit together to have the New Year's Eve dinner, Getting-together dinner. )

3) 饺子; 年糕 'jiao3zi, nian2gao1'(dumpling; sticky rice patty):年夜饭里总会有饺子或者年糕。(There are always dumplings or sticky rice patties in New Year's Eve dinner.)

4) 拜年; 逛庙会 'bai4nian2,guang4 miao4hui4'(give holiday greetings; go to temple fairs):过春节的时候,大家去亲友家拜年,还常常带小孩去逛庙会。(During Spring Festival, people would visit family and friends to give them holiday greetings, and would also take kids to go to temple fairs.)

Here is the web link mentioned in the show for helping under-privileged kids for education in China by making purchases through Amazon (no additional cost):

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Episode Ten: Chinese Education System
This episode tells you how Chinese children and young people spend their first 9-16 years at school, the differences and the commonalities between Chinese education and the western education, and the Chinese Higher Education reform.

Word of the Day:
1. 学校 ‘xue2xiao4’(school): 中国的小学生和中学生 通常每天 在学校学习8-10 个小时。(Chinese primary and middle school students usually spend 8-10 hours studying at school)
2. 小学,中学,大学 ‘xiao3xue2, zhong1xue2, da4xue2’ (elementary school, middle school, university/college):像很多国家一样,通过中国的小学,中学,大学体系通常需要16年的时间。(Like in many other countries, it takes 16 years to pass the primary school, middle school, and college system in China.)
3. 教育 ‘jiao4yu4’(education):中国现在正在进行高等教育改革。(China is currently going through a higher education reform.)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Episode Nine: Chinese Tea
This episode discusses the Chinese tea culture, people's ways of drinking tea, and the influence of this culture to the west.

'Word of the Day' include:
1. 茶,茶叶 ‘cha2, cha2ye4’ (tea,tea leaves): 中国有很多地方都出产茶叶。(There are many places in China producing tea.)
2. 喝茶 ‘he1cha2’ (to drink tea): 我喜欢在早上喝茶。(I like to drink tea in the morning.)
3. 绿茶,红茶 ‘lü4cha2, hong2cha2’ (green tea, black tea): 在中国,很多南方人喜欢喝绿茶,而红茶并不普遍。(In China, people from the south like to drink green tea, and whereas black tea is not very common.)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Episode Eight: Chinese Music -- Classical and Folk
This episode introduces 4 well-known pieces of Chinese classical and folk music as well as some basic knowledge about Chinese musical instruments. The music pieces are 'Er4 Quan2 Ying4 Yue4,' 'Yu2 Zhou1 Chang4 Wan3,' 'Shi2 Mian4 Mai2 Fu4,' and 'Mo4 Li4 Hua1.' Enjoy!

'Word of the Day' include:

1. 音乐 'yin1yue4' (music): 中国古典音乐的历史非常悠久。(The history of Chinese classical music is very long.)

2. 乐器 'yue4qi4' (musical instrument): 琴是一种中国古典乐器。(Qin is a type of Chinese classical musical instrument.)

3. 民歌 'min2ge1' (Folk Song): 茉莉花是一首有名的中国民歌。(Jasmine is a popular Chinese folk song.)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Episode Seven: Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

This special holiday episode talks about the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, the lunar calendar, the origin, the traditions, the food, and all the holiday FUN!

'Word of the Day' include:
1. 节日 ‘jie2ri4’ (Holiday, Festival): 中秋节是一个中国的传统节日。(Mid-Autumn Festival is a traditional Chinese holiday.)
2. 中秋节 ’zhong1qiu1jie2’ (Mid-Autumn Festival): 中秋节快乐!(Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!)
3. 月,月亮 ‘yue4’ ‘yue4liang4’ (moon): 月亮在中秋节总是圆的。 (The moon is always full on Mid-Autumn. )
4. 月饼 ‘yue4bing2’ (moon cake): 中国人在中秋节会吃月饼。(Chinese eat moon cakes on Mid-Autumn Festival.)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Episode Six: The Growing Economy and the Everyday Life
This episode talks about the economic changes happening in China and their impacts on people's everyday life, from the city to the country. 'Word of the Day' include:

1. 钱 'qian2' (money): 他用很多钱买下了他喜欢的汽车. (He bought the car he liked with a lot of money.)
2. 有钱 'you3qian2',富裕 'fu4yu4'(wealthy, rich): 这个村子的人很有钱. (The people in this village are very rich.)
3. 工资 'gong1zi1'(wage),薪水 'xin1shui3'(salary): 在中国,大多数刚刚毕业的大学生的工资很低. (In China, the salary of most newly graduated college students is quite low. )

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