China is very attached to its ancient roots, and, as a result, certain cultural practices can be, at the very least, disorienting for foreigners and language learners. Chinese humor is excellent in illustrating this very point!
If you have spent any time in China you have probably have heard about Chinese Medicine; It is more than 2000 years old, it is based on ancient texts (the oldest being the Huángdì Nèijīng (黄帝内经) compiled by unknown authors between 300 and 1000 BCE) and extensive clinical observation and testing. However, it is also based on Chinese philosophy and habits of civilizations based on years of human experience and interaction with the natural world. Western medicine and Chinese Medicine are capable of complementing each other as they often focus on different things. While Western Medicine tends to categorize illnesses into individual parts or symptoms, the Chinese approach is a more holistic approach that incorporates the physiological and psychological of the individual. The phrase “cure the source, not just the symptoms” (治标不治本 – zhìbiāo bù zhìběn) is at the core of Chinese Medicine.
Taiwan has become world-famous for its delicious mouth-watering night market snacks (xiǎochī | 小吃), cheap shopping, and friendly well-mannered locals. But visitors to the island usually end up discovering one other excellent word to describe Taiwan: CUTE. Taiwanese people love cute things. And what could be cuter than furry, cuddly animals, both of the stuffed and real variety? In Chinesepod’s lesson on rare and exotic animals (xīyǒu dòngwù | 稀有动物), we learn how to discuss in Mandarin our favorite furry friends, from extinct dinosaurs (kǒnglóng |恐龙) to fierce bears (熊). But you may be wondering, what exotic animals can you actually find in Taiwan? During my recent trip to Taiwan, I encountered a few animals, albeit some real and some fictional, which really stood out during my visit. Below I will introduce 5 “exotic animals” of Taiwan that you need to meet.
Animals are all over the internet in many different forms such as cute photos, memes, news stories and so on. We love these furry hair balls SO much that we even invite them into our homes to live with us! Pets are universally loved, and even though the headlines are filled with the Chinese economy’s “new normal” (新常态, xīnchángtài), their pet industry is still growing rapidly. According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China: China is the third largest dog owning population, and the pet care industry is expected to grow more than 50% by 2019.
Over 2000 years ago, The Dragon Boat Festival, also named 端午节 (duān wǔ jié) officially became a traditional holiday in China. It commemorates the ancient Chinese poet, Qu Yuan (340-278 BC). The holiday originated in Southern China and slowly became more and more popular in provinces such as Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Guangdong and Fujian. The festival starts on the 5th day of the 5th Lunar month and three of the most commonly practiced activities are eating Zongzi (粽子), drinking wine and racing dragon boats.