Yangzhou fried rice

 

Yangzhou fried rice(扬州炒饭Yángzhōu chǎofàn) is also called Yangzhou fried rice with egg. It is a popular Yangzhou specialty with a long history. It’s said that it originates from a powerful minister of the Sui Dynasty, (581 – 618) Yang Su(杨素Yáng Sù), and his favored dish, Sui Jin Fan (fried rice with egg). It is dazzling with many colorful ingredients. It is also a good choice to make with leftover rice.

 

Ingredients:

 

250g cooked rice (or leftovers), 2 eggs, 50g sausage, 50g corn kernels, 50g peas, 10g dried and shelled shrimp, and 4 dried thin mushrooms

 

Seasonings: 1 soupspoon salad oil, 4g salt, 10g ginger and 3 chives

 

Note: The amount of the seasonings listed above can be adjusted according to personal taste.

 

 

Preparation:

 

1、Clean the ingredients.

 

2、Boil the peas until soft. Remove them to cool water, then drain.

 

3、Soak the dried and shelled shrimp and dried thin mushrooms in warm water for about 30 minutes. Cut into 1/2cm cubes.

 

4、Cut the sausage into 1/2cm cubes.

 

5、Mince the ginger and chives.

 

6、Crack the eggs into a bowl. Whisk the eggs to mix up the yolk and the egg white completely with a wire whisk or chopsticks.

 

Cooking Instructions:

 

1、Add some cooking oil to the rice and mix with the oil evenly. Heat some cooking oil in a wok and turn down the heat. Add the beaten eggs. After the eggs set, break them into small pieces. Mix the egg pieces with the rice.

 

2、Add some cooking oil to the wok and fry the chives until fragrant. Add the sausage and mushroom and stir-fry briefly. Add some water and cook until dry. Add the peas and corn kernels and stir-fry briefly again. Add the rice and egg pieces and stir-fry evenly. Add some salt and stir-fry until the rice is loose.

 

3、The Yangzhou fried rice is finished.

Xi’an City Wall

Biking around the 13.7 km city wall is a popular activity for Xi’an’s visitors.

William Wang

Xi’an is a city famous for its history, and its city wall is a robust testament to that. The 14 kilometer city wall was first completed in 190 BC, encircling a 14 square kilometer section of the city. It stands today, wonderfully preserved, a must see destination for the city’s visitors.

On sunny clear days, the wall offers some wonderful views of the city and its landmarks. And on a drizzly day, you can envision the melancholic past where lonesome troops minded their lookouts.

A performance at a Xi’an city wall gate. Photo taken April 8, 2015.

One of Xi’an’s city wall watch towers, as seen from Yongning Gate. Photo taken April 8, 2015.

 A barbican at the Xi’an city wall was used to trap invaders who managed to get past the outer gate. Photo taken April 8, 2015.

Both sides of the Xi’an city wall ooze history. Photo taken April 8, 2015.

 

Chinese Poet Wang Guozhen Passes away at 59

Renowned Chinese poet Wang Guozhen passed away in Beijing on April 26, 2015, from liver cancer.

The poems of the 59-year-old poet were popular in the 1980s and 1990s, and represented a cultural phenomenon during that period.

Wang’s classics include “Loving Life(热爱生命),” “If You Are Not Happy Enough (假如你不够快乐),” and “If Only There Is Still Tomorrow(只要明天还在)”. Chinese president Xi Jinping famously recounted a line from Wang’s poem “High Mountains and Long Roads”(没有比人更高的山,没有比脚更长的路) during the APEC meeting in 2013.

Here we will present you one of his poems “Loving Life”:

rè ài shēng mìng
热爱生命
Loving Life

汪国真
Wang Guozhen

wǒ bú qù xiǎng shì fǒu néng gòu chéng gōng
我不去想是否能够成功
I don’t want to consider if I’ll be able to succeed.

jì rán xuǎn zé le yuǎn fāng
既然选择了远方
Since I’ve decided to go to a distant place,

biàn zhǐ gù fēng yǔ jiān chéng
便只顾风雨兼程
I’ll try my best to make the trip.

wǒ bú qù xiǎng néng fǒu yíng dé ài qíng
我不去想能否赢得爱情
I don’t want to consider if I’ll be able to obtain love.

jì rán zhōng qíng yú méi guī
既然钟情于玫瑰
Since I’m deep in love with roses,

jiù yǒng gǎn de tǔ lù zhēn chéng
就勇敢地吐露真诚
I’ll show my sincerity boldly.

wǒ bú qù xiǎng shēn hòu huì bú huì xí lái hán fēng lěng yǔ
我不去想身后会不会袭来寒风冷雨
I don’t want to consider if I’ll meet with the cold wind and rain.

jì rán mù biāo shì dì píng xiàn
既然目标是地平线
Since my destination is the horizon,

liú gěi shì jiè de zhī néng shì bèi yǐng
留给世界的只能是背影
I’ll leave a deep impression on the Earth.

wǒ bú qù xiǎng wèi lái shì píng tǎn hái shì ní nìng
我不去想未来是平坦还是泥泞
I don’t want to consider if my future will be smooth or bumpy.

zhǐ yào rè ài shēng mìng
只要热爱生命
If only I love my life,

yī qiē ,dōu zài yì liào zhōng
一切,都在意料中
Everything is to be expected.

24 Solar Terms

The 24 solar terms is a gross name of the system that consists of 12 major solar terms and 12 minor solar terms.

  • 12 major solar terms
Starting from ‘vernal equinox’, the 12 major solar terms are ‘vernal equinox’, ‘corn rain’, ‘corn forms’, ‘summer solstice’, ‘great heat’, ‘end of heat’, ‘autumnal equinox’, ‘frost’, ‘light snow’, ‘winter solstice’, ‘severe cold’ and ‘spring showers’.
  • Minor solar terms
The minor solar term after ‘vernal equinox’ is ‘bright and clear’, and then in turn ‘summer commences’, ‘corn on ear’, ‘moderate heat’, ‘autumn commences’, ‘white dew’, ‘cold dew’, ‘winter commences’, ‘heavy snow’, ‘moderate cold’, ‘spring commences’ and ‘insects waken’.
At ‘vernal equinox’ and ‘autumnal equinox’, the length of daylight and the night are equal. The period of daylight is the longest at ‘summer solstice’ and the shortest at ‘winter solstice’ in northern hemisphere. These were the earliest solar terms determined in ancient time. Then it came the four solar terms ‘spring commences’, ‘summer commences’, ‘autumn commences’ and ‘winter commences’.
Other solar terms were named later according to the weather and agricultural activities prevalent at the respective times of the seasons. The ‘24 solar terms’ reflects to some extent the climate over central China in ancient time. They represent the early wisdom of Chinese people.

  • Here is an overview of the 24 solar terms in Chinese agricultural calendar
  • 24节气
Spring commences (1st solar term)
Corn rain (2nd solar term)
Insects waken (3rd solar term)
The Vernal Equinox (4th solar term)
Bright and clea (5th solar term)
Grain Rain (6th solar term)
Summer commences (7th solar term)
Corn forms (8th solar term)
Corn on ear (9th solar term)
Summer Solstice (10th solar term)
Moderate heat (11th solar term)
Great Heat (12th solar term)
Autumn commences (13th solar term)
End of Heat (14th solar term)
White Dew (15th solar term)
Autumnal equinox (16th solar term)
Cold Dew (17th solar term)
Frost (18th solar term)
Winter commences (19th solar term)
Light Snow (20th solar term)
Heavy snow (21th solar term)
Winter Solstice (22th solar term)
Moderate cold (23th solar term)
Greater Cold (24th solar term)

Learn Chinese from 几米’s cartoon

Do you feel tired everyday going in and out of your car, your bus, your train, and, your office? Checking your watch, your IPhone, your blackberry, your laptop, just to make sure you aren’t late for your next appointment? What a busy life we have in this new century!

Let me give you a break by presenting 几米’s Jīmǐ cartoon about our modern life.

learn Chinese o<em></em>nline from cartoonMy tiresome life

Everyone says it’s so tiresome being a human, I do too.

We need to wear wig, wear mask, wear glasses, and wear smile.

Put on T-shirt, put on sweater, and put on coat,

put on underwear, put on pants, and buckle up belt,

put on socks, put on shoes, then tie up shoelaces,

everyday is like this, until we go to heaven.

 

PÍBÈI RÉNSHĒNG
疲惫人生

dàjiā dōu shuō zuòrén hǎo lèi, wǒ yě zhème juéde。
大家都说做人好累,我也这么觉得。

yào dàishang jiǎfà、 dàishang miànjù、 dàishang yǎnjìng、 dàishang xiàoróng。
要戴上假发、戴上面具、戴上眼镜、戴上笑容。

chuānshang nèiyī、 chuānshang wàiyī、 zài chuānshang wàitào,
穿上内衣、穿上外衣、再穿上外套,

chuānshang nèikù、 chuānshang wài kù、 zài jìshang pídài,
穿上内裤、穿上外裤、再系上皮带,

chuānshang wàzi、 chuānshang xiézi、 zài bǎng shàng xiédài,
穿上袜子、穿上鞋子、再绑上鞋带,

tiāntiān dōu dé rúcǐ, zhídào shàng tiāntáng。
天天都得如此,直到上天堂。

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JIǍMIÀN DE GÀOBÁI
假面的告白

xīngqīliù de zǎoshang, wǒ tūrán juéde pílèi,
星期六的早上,我突然觉得疲累,

zuò zài gōngyuán de shí yǐ shàng,
坐在公园的石椅上,

juédìng zhāixià dài le xǔjiǔ de tóukuī。
决定摘下带了许久的头盔。

hěn duō shìqing shì méiyǒu yuányīn de,
很多事情是没有原因的,

wǒ shùnchàng de hūxī, què gǎndào jiāolǜ。
我顺畅的呼吸,却感到焦虑。

shènzhòng de sīkǎo,
慎重的思考,

yīnggāi tuōxià shòupí,
应该脱下兽皮,

huòshì chóngxīn dài shàng wēiwǔ de tóukuī。
或是重新带上威武的头盔。

 

 learn Chinese o<em></em>nline from cartoonThe mask’s confession

Saturday morning, I suddenly felt tiresome,

sitting on the bench in the park,

I decided to take off my helmet that I’ve been wearing for so long.

Things happen with no reason,

when I was able to breathe freely, I however felt anxious.

Then I rethought it all over,

should I take off my beast skin as well,

or put on the intimidating helmet again.

A Year’s Plan Starts with Spring

No matter in what cultural contexts, spring is always considered a thriving season, inspiring literary men to compose many classic poems, romantic stories,  as well as proverbs.

对话 Dialogue:

yòu zhǎng pàng le yào bù wǒ kāishǐ liàn yújiāba
A: 又长胖了,要不我开始练瑜伽吧。
I am putting on weight again! Maybe I should start doing yoga.

nǐ dōu shuō le yī dōng tiān le
B: 你都说了一冬天了!
You have been saying that for the whole winter!

zhè cìbùyī yàng ,yīnián zhī jì zài yúchūn ma
A: 这次不一样,一年之计在于春嘛。
It is different this time. As the saying goes, “A year’s plan starts with spring.”

xī wàng nǐ búshìsuí biàn shuōshuō
B: 希望你不是随便说说。
I hope it is not just a casual remark.

语言点 Language Points:

要不 yào bù

  • In the above dialogue, it is used as an indirect way of giving a suggestion, as the speaker uses it to seek consent of the listener.
    Eg. 一个人去看电影没意思,要不我们一起去吧。
    It’s no fun to go to the movies by myself. How about we go together?
  • 要不 can also mean “otherwise”.
    Eg. 我要打的, 要不我会迟到。
    I’m taking a taxi, otherwise I’ll be late.
  • Furthermore, 要不 can be used to offer “either/or” choices to others, similar to 或者
    Eg.你要不看书要不听音乐。
    You can either study or listen to music.

都 …了 dōu… le
It is used to express that something has already happened, similar to “已经……了”. However, it is used more emphatically, implying that the speaker holds some sort of attitude in relation to the event, and is not merely objectively stating the facts, as with “已经……了”. In the dialogue, it means “You have announced this plan many times in the winter, but you haven’t taken any action at all, so I don’t believe you.”

  • Eg. 九点,快起床吧!
    It’s nine o’clock already. Get out of bed!
  • ,他怎么还不回来?
    The food is cold already. Why hasn’t he come back yet?

一年之计在于春,一日之计在于晨 yìnián zhī jì zàiyúchūn, yí rìzhī jì zàiyúchén
A year’s plan starts with spring; a day’s plan starts with early morning.

It is a popular Chinese proverb. “一年之计在于春” emphasizes the importance of spring out of the four seasons and that a good “收获 (shōuhuò) harvest” depends on the spring sowing. “一日之计在于晨” refers to the best time of a day being the early morning, and that it is good to make a whole day’s “计划 (jìhuà) plan” early in the morning.

8-year-old Girl’s Poem Goes Viral

A poem written by an eight-year-old girl has taken over Chinese social media lately and sparked a heated discussion on parenthood.

The bittersweet poem depicts what kind of mother the girl would like to be, impressing tens of thousands of netizens and leaving grown-ups to do some profound soul-searching.

Here is a rough translation of the Chinese poem:

等我的身体也有了曲线
Wait until My body Also Has Curves


One

等我的身体也有了曲线
Wait until my body also has curves,

我就会是一个妈妈,
I will become a mom.

我会有一个小孩子,
I will have a kid,

她一定要是女的。
and it has to be a girl.


Two

我要带她走遍全球,
I will travel around the world with her.

问问十分了解日本的中国游客为什么日本那么小,
Ask Chinese tourists who know Japan well: “Why is Japan so small?”

再用英语问问英国人:你们这里的美食有那些,
and then ask British people in English: What kind of gourmet food do you have here?

我一定不老是骗她说:
I promise I won’t always lie to her, saying

“你现在还小,等你大一点再说吧。”
“You are still young, let’s talk about it when you get older.”


Three

我要给她买一只她最最喜欢的宠物,
I will buy her a pet that she loves the most,

顺便也告诉她小狗为什么会汪汪叫,
telling her why dogs bark,

还要告诉她为什么小猫喜欢抓布,(当然,我得先知道这是为什么。)
and explaining to her why kittens like scratching cloth. (Of course, I have to figure it out first.)

我一定不会对她说:
I promise I won’t tell her:

“我现在很忙,下次再去吧。”
“I am busy now, let’s go next time.”


Four

我要问问她她的梦想是什么,
I will ask her what her dream is,

如果她的梦想可以实现的话,
and if her dream can be realized,

我一定会帮她实现她的梦想,
I promise to help her make it come true,

不管有多困难。
no matter how hard it’s going to be.


Five

你可别以为我说的都是谎话,
Don’t think I was just lying,

到时候,我不骗你,
When the time comes, I promise you,

一定做个这样的好妈妈。
I will be a good mom like that.


Pandas to Arrive in Macao

The new pair of giant pandas given by China’s central government as gifts to the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) will arrive in Macao on April 30, the Office of Macao Secretary for Administration and Justice said on Sunday.
澳门行政法务司司长办公室宣布,中央政府赠送的新一对大熊猫将于4月30抵达澳门。

Experts from the mainland were satisfied with(对…满意) the preparations(准备) made by staffs with the Macao giant pandas pavilion(大熊猫馆) after they visited the living and medical facilities of the pandas during an on-the-spot inspection(现场考察), according to the office.

A female panda, No.667, and a male, No.726, were chosen from(从…中挑选) 55 candidates following a three-month selection. The pandas, both 110 kg in weight, are also named Kaikai(开开) and his partner Xinxin(心心) who died in June last year, said the office.

The Macao SAR government said Kaikai will return(返回) to Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding for a breeding plan(繁殖计划).

The former Kaikai and Xinxin came to Macao as gifts for the celebration of the 10th anniversary of Macao’s return to China(澳门回归). The luxury pavilion housing feeding and medical facilities cost some 90 million patacas (11.4 million U.S. dollars).

重点词汇 Key Words:

抵达 dǐ dá
arrive;reach
Eg. 他们乘飞机于子夜抵达
Their plane will arrive at midnight.

你顺着这条小溪便可抵达洞湾村。
You can reach Tongwan Village along the stream.

满意 mǎn yì
satisfied;pleased;
Eg. 老板对谈判结果感到满意
The boss was satisfied with the results of the negotiations.

他们对这幅画很满意
They were pleased with this painting.

大熊猫名字大全 Name list of famous giant pandas:

 

美香 měi xiāng
添添 tiān tiān
泰山 tài shān
美兰 měi lán
康康 kāng kāng
兰兰 lán lán
欢欢 huān huān
飞飞 fēi fēi
凯凯 kǎi kǎi
嘉嘉 jiā jiā
安安 ān ān
盈盈 yíng yíng
乐乐 lè lè
团团 tuán tuán
圆圆 yuán yuán
大毛 dà máo
二顺 èr shùn
创创 chuàng chuàng
林惠 lín huì
开开 kāi kāi
心心 xīn xīn
佳佳 jiā jiā

Root Carving

Two years after a 7-magnitude earthquake hit Lushan County in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, root carving, as a local feature, has been thriving and attracting an increasing number of local people back home to find a related job or start their own business. What is root carving? What does it mean to China? Let’s find out!


Root carving (根雕gēn diāo) is a traditional art in China. It is a type of artwork featuring people, animals or objects carved out of natural or distorted tree roots (including tree trunks, burls and bamboo roots etc) through careful designing and artistic processing. For the most part, a root carving piece should be presented through the natural shapes of the root material, with only a small part being recreated by hand. So, root carving is also called “the art of the root(根雕艺术 gēn diāo yì shù)” or “root art”.


The process of creating root art includes four steps:

1. Root selection (选材xuǎn cái). This has to be done with respect to both quality and shape of the natural root. Quality refers to the breed and the firmness of the crude root.
2. Conception(构思gòusī). A necessary feature of root-art creation is originality. While root carving, the creator must make the best use of the original shape of the root and not alter its original shape so he or she can explore its natural beauty. With this in mind, the creator can then use his or her imagination and find the best concept.
3. Processing(雕刻diāokè). When the concept is clarified, the superfluous roots can be sewn or clipped, and the bark removed. Then, it is necessary to polish the bald root with abrasive paper.
4. Coloring and lacquering(涂色túsè与上漆shàngqī). This is done for the benefit of antisepsis and collecting purposes. Two methods are commonly employed for coloring: one is to wax it so the artwork takes on its original color, which is simple and elegant; the other is to stain it with bronze lacquer, which can add a touch of antiquity to the root.


China has a long history of root carving: Primitive people began to make effigies out of wood for ornaments. In 1982, when cleaning the No. 1 tomb of the Chu state excavated in Mashan, a local museum employee in Jingzhou County, Hubei Province discovered a root carving believed to have been made between 340 and 270BC in the late Warring States Period – 2,300 years ago. It featured a four-legged animal with a tiger’s head, a dragon’s body and a rabbit’s tail; its manner was full of verve and simple and elegant in hue. By the Sui and Tang dynasties, root art was very prosperous. Records from The Biography of Li Mi present a root carving piece entitled “Dragon-shaped Claw” made from a crude tree root for the emperor. Root carving artwork from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), such as the “Phoenix” and “Jade Dragon”, have been on display in Yuyuan in Shanghai until today. These works thoroughly exhibit the verves of root carving.

The number of root-art factories continues to climb in provinces such as Sichuan, Anhui, Zhejiang, Fujian and so on, with root-art works reaching new levels. Thanks to its originality and unique artistic appeal, Chinese root art is winning the hearts of more and more people.


Stop Smoking

With Beijing about to impose “the strictest smoking ban” on June 1 to forbid smoking in public places, the city released three “stop smoking” signs on Sunday.
北京将于6月1日开始实施“最严禁烟法规”,全市范围的公共场所、工作场所室内环境及公共交通工具内将禁止吸烟。周日北京市控烟协会发布了三个控烟劝阻手势,最后结果将由市民投票确定。

The government circulated three different signs(手势), which read  “I mind”(我介意), “Please stop smoking”(请停止吸烟), and “No smoking”(不可以吸烟) – and asked its citizens to take a vote(投票).

People also suggested(建议) better ways to stop smoking, like promoting education on the harm of smoking, showing graphic pictures of smokers’ lungs, or imposing fines on(罚款) those who insist on smoking in public.

Under the new regulation(条例), those who smoke in the public(在公共场所) face a fine up to 200 yuan ($32), while higher penalties of 2,000 yuan ($323) to 10,000 yuan ($1616) will be levied on building owners that permit(允许) their clients to smoke outside in banned areas.

The government will also open up a hotline(热线) and a WeChat public account(公众账号) for Beijing residents to file complaints(投诉).

重点词汇 KeyWords:

禁烟  jìn yān & 控烟  kòng yān
ban smoking /control smoking
“禁烟” is combined by “禁止”(prohibit) and “吸烟”(smoking).
“控烟” is combined by “控制”(control) and “吸烟”(smoking).

  • v: 北京将从今年晚些时候起在办公场所全面禁烟(控烟)。
    Beijing will ban(control) smoking in all offices later this year.
  • n. 市政府计划发起禁烟(控烟)运动。
    The city hall is planning to start a campaign against smoking/to control smoking.

投票 tóu piào
cast a vote/vote/poll

  • 他们进行了投票,决定放弃。
    They took a vote and decided not to do it.
  • 在第一次投票选举时,他们已经投票给他了。
    They had already voted for him at the first ballot.
  • 这次投票受到了广泛质疑。
    The poll was widely discredited.

投诉 tóu sù
complaint/ complain

  • 杂志接到投诉之后将杜绝使用此类语言。
    The magazine will desist from such language after receiving complaints.
  • 如果你对修理效果不满意,可以再找他们投诉
    If you are not happy about a repair, go back and complain.