Posts tagged ‘chinese culture’

September 23, 2015

Happy Moon Festival! 中秋节快乐!


I made some mooncakes myself. 😉

The moon festival is a beautiful festival full of poetry and elegance. The traditions include eating the moon cakes and appreciating the moon with the family. The festival falls on August 15 on the Lunar Calendar, exactly the middle of the autumn, thus 中秋节 -mid-autumn festival. This year, it falls on Sunday Sept 27!

Key practices:

  1. What to eat: moon cakes: date paste filling, lotus seed paste filling; nuts filling; some regions (in southern China) also do meat fillings. / seasonal fruit such as watermelon, pears (but do not share a pear with your family because the word for “pear” in Chinese is “li”, which has the same sound as the word for 离separation!); salted peanuts, tea.
  2. What to do: family reunion; appreciating the moon, which is best done at a waterfront, so one can see the reflections of the moon.Better yet, have some flute or string music instruments play live~~~ 🙂
  3. fables behind the festival: this festival is said to be based on the ancient story of Hou Yi 后羿 and his beautiful wife, Chang-e 嫦娥 who flew to the moon.

Below are two good and fun clips in English telling the background of this festival and about the moon cakes. Good story re-telling. The third one is a description of the festival in Mandarin Chinese.

The following song, sung by the late Teresa Teng, is based on a classic Chinese poem of the Song Dynasty by Su Shi 苏轼。

August 30, 2015

Bruce Lee’s Audition in 1965

This footage has Chinese subtitles. The translation is not entirely precise but pretty decent.

August 29, 2015

“China Aerial” (by National Geographic)

Teaching ideas:

suitable for an advanced level, language and culture course. For the Unit on geography. Have students watch the documentary and zero in on one particular geo location of their interest. Explore it in detail in groups. Create a wiki page introducing the location. Assign similar components for the wiki page so groups will be able to hold similar expectations and control the extensiveness of the project.

Language practice can be embedded. For example, have students translate some parts and compare them with the subtitle provided on the screen.

August 1, 2015

《爸爸去哪儿》”Dad, Where are You Going?” a reality TV show, a good resource to learn Chinese the immersion style

This reality TV show has been very popular lately in mainland China. The idea is that celebrities and their kids go on travel and solve challenges as set by the show. -you may or may not like the idea of reality TV, esp. kids put in spotlight, these episodes are good for practicing your Mandarin and exploring the changing morals, traditions and customs in China.

July 26, 2012

In China, Do as the Chinese do.Tsingtao Beer Ads. featuring beer and culture

potential classrooom use: discussion prompts; character-recognition; writing prompt

source of images: