Tag Archives: Chinese culture

Hustle and bustle – its hot and noisy!

In every nation/language there are words and phrases that defy exact translation making it is hard for foreigners to grasp the real meaning. In China one such word is  rènao  热闹   . Everyone who comes to China will experience rènao, even … Continue reading

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Chinese proverb of the week: 10

Yù bàng xiāng zhēng, yú rén dé lì. 鹬 蚌 相 争 鱼 人 得 利 When a snipe and clam quarrel, the fisherman benefits. This is a very old proverb dating back in Chinese history to The Warring States … Continue reading

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Chinese proverb of the week: 7

Duì niú tán qín 对 牛 弹 琴 Play a harp before a cow   This is the Chinese equivalent to our expression ‘cast pearls before swine’ – that is to say, don’t offer something of value to someone who … Continue reading

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Chinese proverb of the week – 5

lǎo pó shì bié rén de liàng 老婆是别人的靓 Your neighbour’s wife looks prettier than your own. Or, as we would say ‘The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence’. I know some people who are always … Continue reading

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Chinese proverb of the week: 4

shŏu zhū dài tù 守 株 待 兔 Man who waits for roast duck to fly into his mouth must wait a very, very long time. What does this mean?  Well apart from the obvious that the man is a … Continue reading

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Qing Ming Jie – time for tomb sweeping

Tomorrow is Qing Ming Jie 清明节, which literally translates as ‘Clear Bright Festival’. It is one of the major Chinese festivals, in English it is often called ‘Tomb Sweeping Day’.  As it always held on the 1st day of the … Continue reading

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Chinese proverb of the week: 3

  Bù rù hǔxuè, yāndé hǔ zǐ? 不入虎穴,焉得虎子 If you don’t enter the tiger’s den, how will you get the tiger cub? Or, as we would say: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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Chop it to make it legal

Do you know what a ‘chop’ is in China?  (hint: it is NOT a cut of meat).                                   It is a  carved seal bearing the name of the individual, company, Provincial government, government department etc. Chops have been used for thousands … Continue reading

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Chinese proverb of the week (2)

Bu guan hei mao bai  mao neng zhuo zhe lao shu de jiu shi hao mao! 不管黑貓白貓能捉老鼠都是好貓! No matter if it is a black cat or a white cat, if it catches mice it is a good cat! Chinese people … Continue reading

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Chinese Proverbs

Tian gao, Huangdi yuan. 天高皇帝远  Heaven is high, and the Emperor is far away This is the first Chinese proverb I ever heard used and completely understood;  and to my mind it encapsulates China and the way it is governed. … Continue reading

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