December 2011


Chopsticks have been  the most essential eating utensil for the Chinese since the ancient time .

They are old and traditional but you can’t deny that they are very convenient and clever!

If  you have a meal in a Chinese restaurant, forget the fork and try to use chopsticks !

Steps to hold and use chopsticks 

1. Put a pair of chopsticks on your hand, between your thumb and index finger

2. Hold them with your thumb and index finger

3. Put your middle finger between the two chopsticks

4. Support the chopstick (the one in the right hand side) by

touching it with your ring finger and little finger.

5. Pay attention to the position  you hold the chopsticks.

It’s hard to use chopsticks if you  place them too low.

6. This is an exemplar

7. When you want to pick up the food ,move your index and middle finger .

A short demonstration here,let’s see how to pick up something by using chopsticks 😛

How to use chopsticks from mypezzo on Vimeo.

Shanghai is so crowded , I don’t like it

but when you see the culture shock in Shanghai,

you may want to stay there longer.

 

When you see these words :

Are you thinking how to write them?
To write a chinese character is not as difficult as you think, because there are 8 rules for stroke order.

Keep them in mind!

You can also write a Chinese character in a proper way!

Stroke order 

1.From top to bottom

2.From left to right

3.From middle to sides

4. From outside to inside

5.Inside before closing

6. Horizontal before other strokes

7.Main body before tying it all together

8.Main body before the dot

Let’s try some simple words:

from top to bottom

from top to bottom (exception: not horizontal first)

from left to right ,from outside to inside, inside before closing

More then 2 order rules should be applied to most of the Chinese characters,some Chinese characters may have more then 20 strokes, and you can imagine that how many rules they may concluded. However, these 8 rules cannot cover all of the Chinese characters because there are some exceptions. These special cases are more complicated and I won’t mention them here. The 8 rules above are useful and should be enough for beginners to write most of the words.

In Hong Kong , even China, many students write Chinese character with a wrong order.Writing with a wrong order is not about  grammatical mistakes and it will not affect the meaning of a character.However, the order rule is a key to write a proper , beautiful and neat character. Handwriting can reflect one’s characteristic and Chinese people always appreciate/respect the one who has good handwriting.

Follow the 8 stroke rules and try to write these words youself!

你 (YOU) ; 去 (GO TO) ; 天(SKY) ; 串(A STRING OF/CONNECT) ;田(FARMLAND) ; 有(HAVE)

Let me know which rules you are going to apply!See if you have this talent to learn Chinese!

Challenging exercise:

I promised to share my knitting , and here we are:

oh my god... I still have one yarn

 

Finished ! finally...

The weather is getting cold….It’s time to tie a scarf everyone!

Scarf is always fashionable!

 

 

 Some may say it is weird for a man/boy to knit,however, according to Wikipedia,”men were the first to knit for an occupation“.

There is a Chinese saying,”Men Plough Women Weave”,but it’s so conservative to think that men cannot knit.

 When women can work in the farm,why men cannot sit on the sofa and have a leisure time with his two needles?

I used to believe that knitting was a women-only task in the ancient time ,so that people now still think that knitting is only or better for women. “Unfortunately”,I found that everyone knits in that time and knitting was regarded as a necessary skill.So, why do people have such a misunderstanding? I don’t know if this is the same in western countries, but it’s so comment in most of the Asian countries.

Many Hong Kongers asked two funny questions in forums, the first one is asked by boys:  “Do you mind your boyfriend knits for you?”( Why don’t ask your girlfriend,who is the real receiver?or you do care about what the others think?)

 the second one is asked by girls :”What do you think when a boy knits for you?” ( My god,why do you ask “what do you feel”  instead of “what do I feel? and this is a stupid question because the answer is just happy or unhappy, isn’t it?)

 The core of the prejudice is about gender, but I don’t want to discuss that area because knitting is indeed nothing about gender .

You are you; and I am me -We are all human beings

Why should we make things complicated ?                                                                                   Why should you choose to be biased?                                                                                                                           Don’t you think he is sexy when he is knitting?

I almost finish my own scarf, I will share my “masterpiece” with all of you!

I miss Shanghai recently,

I can’t wait to grab a flight ticket and go to Shanghai alone!

Well, this post is not about this stupid thing.

I’m recommending a restaurant called 洪长兴 (洪長興 Hong Chang Xing ) in

Shanghai which provides halal food.

I went to Shanghai last year and found this restaurant in 云南南路一号 ( 1 Yun Nan Nan Road/ Yun Nan Road South)

The food price is reasonable and I ordered these dishes(partly):

highly recommended roast chicken! delicious! * * * * * stars !! Only $28 ( RMB) for one dish !!Cool

Nice! * * * * Stars!

nothing special, it is average so I give * * * stars!

a little bit sweet, I don't really like it, only * * stars

It’s hard to find 云南南路一号 ( 1 Yun Nan Nan Road),

if you don’t want to pay a taxi driver and you want to find out more restaurants in that district,

tips here:

take the railway and go to  exit 1 of Da shi jie (大世界) station

that is Nanjing Road East (南京东路) and the next thing you need to do is….ask people there

“Where is 云南南路一号 ( 1 Yun Nan Nan Road)?”

or

“Where is   洪长兴 (洪長興 Hong Chang Xing )?”

then,you should get there within 10 mins.

Good luck!

This is Liuqin柳琴, a plucked string instrument.

Some people called it the Chinese Mandolin.

It’s my second musical instrument, I have played it for about  6 years.

Liuqin has 4 strings ,from left to right,namely, (1) D2 string , (2) G1 string , (3) D1 string and  (4) G string.

We play Liuqin with a pick. Some may use a guitar pick but actually, a professional “Liuqin-pick” is more preferred.

Liuqin is the highest-pitched  instrument in the Chinese Orchestra, therefore it always takes the responsibility to play melodies.

Liuqin was first appeared in Tang  Dynasty, it had only 3 strings in that time and could only sound a very limited range.

Liuqin had been used for accompaniment  for a long long time until it was reformed to a 4 strings and 4 octaves modernized instrument in 1970s.

The producer(master)’s name is craved on the rear.

This kinds of Liuqin are usually more expensive because they are not mass produced.

I’m playing  Liuqin in a performance of  Chinese Orchestra .

You are right, I was crossing my legs….BUT

it’s not because I’m lazy !

Actually, this is a normal and appropriate gesture for a Liuqin player.

The reason is that Liuqin is too small,

when we’re playing it, we may need to bend down  if  we don’t cross our legs.

Liuqin  is very lonely in Chinese Orchestra because normally they only need one or two Liuqins. 😦

Liuqin is now a popular solo instrument, the sound of it is very clear ,  expressive and impressive.

Yes, you desire to hear its sound? here are some Youtube videos:

張鑫華 is a famous Liuqin player in mainland China

If once you think that Liuqin can only play Chinese traditional  music

You must be surprised when you hear this

I believe that Liuqin should have some relations with mandolin. Is there anyone plays mandolin? Let me know if you don’t mind.

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