Chinese New Year - 25 January 2020
“The Master said, “A true gentleman is one who has set his heart upon the Way. A fellow who is ashamed merely of shabby clothing or modest meals is not even worth conversing with.” (Analects 4.9)” ― Confucius
Chinese New Year is to be celebrated on 25th January 2020. It is 'The Year Of The Rat'.
The Year of the Rat is the first zodiac sign in the Chinese zodiac cycle. According to the Chinese zodiac story, in the competition held by the Jade Emperor to decide the zodiac animals, the quick-witted rat asked the diligent ox to take him on a ride to cross the river and jumped down before the ox crossed the finish line, so the rat won the race and became the first of the zodiac animals.
Rats are quick-witted, resourceful, and smart but lack courage. With rich imaginations and sharp observations, they can take advantage of various opportunities well. In Chinese culture, rats represent working diligently and thriftiness, so people born in a Rat year are thought to be wealthy and prosperous.
(We printed off some images of China and Japan from the quiz below to make the session more interactive and multi-sensory.)
Has anyone visited the Far East, for holidays or work? Where did people go, what did they think about the country they visited, the people, the language and food?
Would anyone like to visit? What are the reasons for members' responses?
What comes to mind when people think about Asian countries? Responses could range from polite and respectful people, clean streets, beautiful scenery and fantastic architecture to wonderful foods.
To get people thinking, ask members to complete the following idioms about China and Japan, as well as those which have been 'borrowed' from the region.
Not for all the tea in - CHINA (no way!) China - SYNDROME (Nuclear reactor meltdown) Made in - TAIWAN (A derisory term about product quality) Like a bull in a china - SHOP (A clumsy person) Slowboat to - CHINA (something that takes a very long time) China - DOLL (Something that is very fragile) China - PLATE (Cockney rhyming slang for 'mate') Chinese - BURN (children hurt each other in the playground by twisting each others' wrists)
To fall on your - SWORD (assume responsibility or blame, or more literally commit HARI KARI) Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for - A LIFETIME
IDIOMS ABOUT ANIMALS IN THE CHINESE ZODIAC
Smell a - RAT (suspect foul play) As strong as an - OX (powerful) The eye of the -TIGER (song by 'Survivor') Pull a - RABBIT - out of the hat (come up trumps) Chase the - DRAGON (inhale opium fumes) SNAKE - in the grass (untrustworthy person) You can take a - HORSE - to water, but you can't make it drink (you can't force a person to do something) A wolf in - SHEEP'S - clothing (a dangerous person) Cheeky - MONKEY (mischievous person) Little red - ROOSTER ('Rolling Stones' song) As sick as a - DOG (extremely ill) Eat like a - PIG (eat messily and excessively)
Can anyone think of any other idioms to add to this list?
QUIZ QUESTIONS TO PROMOTE RECALL AND DISCUSSION
China is known by which other name? THE RED DRAGON
Or ... THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC
Japan is known as? THE LAND OF THE RISING SUN
The capital of China is? BEIJING
And Japan? TOKYO
Who was the last British Governor of Hong Kong before it was handed back to China in 1997? CHRIS PATTON
Where in London is China Town? GERRARD STREET, SOHO
What might you see in China Town on Chinese New Year? CHINESE DRAGONS, CHINESE LANTERNS, FIRECRACKERS, DRUMS, HAPPY CHINESE PEOPLE IN TRADITIONAL DRESS
What is the sweet Chinese biscuit with a good luck paper charm inside called? FORTUNE COOKIE
What sauce would you traditionally have with shredded duck rolls? HOISIN
Can members think of any other Chinese sauces? SOY, SWEET AND SOUR, BLACK BEAN, OYSTER, SZECHUAN & SATAY
Which native East-Asian plant is the richest natural vegetable food? SOYA (EDAMAME BEANS)
What do Chinese people traditionally eat with? CHOPSTICKS
What do Chinese people traditionally cook in? WOK
Where is rice, the main staple of food in the Far East, grown? PADDY FIELDS
What is the name of Chinese dumplings? DIM SUM
What pink fruit do Chinese people enjoy for dessert? LYCHEE
What is the name of the famous Chinese TV Chef who had a series in the 1980s? KEN HOM
What are members favourite Chinese food dishes? And restaurants…
How do the Chinese like to make their tea? TEA CEREMONY
Can anyone think of any brands of tea? TYPHOO, PG TIPS, GLENGETTEE, TETLEY, YORKSHIRE & TWININGS
What do Pandas eat an exclusive diet of? BAMBOO
How long is the Great China Wall? 5,500 MILES (It can be seen from space!)
What figures were discovered in 1974, buried nearby Qin Shi Huang's (First Emperor Of China) mausoleum? THE TERRACOTTA ARMY (More than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots and 670 horses were found buried!)
Who is the famous British/Chinese fashion guru? GOK WAN ('How To Look Good Naked')
What is the Japanese art of arranging furniture in tune with energy lines to harmonise people with environment known as? FENG SHUI
What is the traditional Japanese art of folding paper to make 3D objects called? ORIGAMI
What is the Japanese art of sculpting miniature trees called? BONSAI
What is Japanese rice wine called? SAKI (Has anyone tried it?)
What is the Japanese dish of raw fish wrapped in seaweed with rice called? SUSHI (Again, has anyone tried this dish, which is becoming more popular in the UK?)
What is the name of the famous Japanese train, one of the fastest in the world? BULLET TRAIN (max speed recorded at 375 mph)
Where would you find the colonial styled opulent hotel 'Raffles'? SINGAPORE
What is the name of the well loved Gilbert & Sullivan set in Japan? THE MIKADO
What Japanese warriors had a sword named after them? SAMURAI
What is the highest mountain in Japan? MOUNT FUJI (Last erupted 1707)
In July 2016 the last of which electrical item was manufactured in Japan? (We all had one in our home!) VIDEO CASSETTE RECORDER
What is the largest car manufacturer in Japan? TOYOTA (Other Japanese car manufacturers include Honda, Mazda, Toyota and Nissan)
What was the biggest selling Japanese game of 2017? POKEMON GO
Which ancient tile game is still popular in China? MAHJONG
Which dog of Chinese origin has a name which translates as 'Lion Dog'? SHIH TZU
What are Japanese female entertainers and hostesses dressed in traditional costume known as? GEISHA GIRLS
What gowns do they wear? KIMONOS
What is the traditional two wheeled passenger vehicle carried by one or more people called? RICKSHAW
Can anyone name any Asian martial arts? KARATE, JUDO, AIKIDO & TAI KWANDO
Has anyone practised a martial art, or been awarded a Belt?
Another martial art, practised for health benefits more than as a form of defence is TAI CHI.
YOGA is another form, coming from the Indian tradition but widely practised in China and Japan.
It's time to practice some Yoga moves. Ask members to perform ... THE WARRIOR POSE https://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/yoga/poses/beginner-yoga-poses/?page=3 OR THE TREE POSE https://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/yoga/poses/beginner-yoga-poses/?page=4
(Of course, only if they are willing and able!)
Which martial arts TV show did David Carradine star in? KUNG FU (His character's name was Grasshopper)
How do SUMO WRESTLERS win a game? THEY PUSH THEIR OPPONENT OUTSIDE THE CIRCLE
Who is the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism and a voice for world peace? THE DALAI LAMA
What is the highest mountain in the world? EVEREST IN THE HIMALAYAS (29,030 feet above sea level)
Who was the first person to conquer Everest? EDMUND HILLARY ACCOMPANIED BY SHERPA TENZING (29th May 1953)
What is the body count on Everest of people who didn't make it and still rest there? OVER 200
What fictional monster might you meet in the Himalayas? THE YETI OR ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN
What is the luckiest number in China? EIGHT (Apparently the Beijing Olympics were scheduled to start at 8 seconds after 08:08 on 8/8/2008!)
Where were the Winter Olympics held in 2018? PYEONG CHANG, SOUTH KOREA
The 2022 Winter Olympics will be held where?
Ask members to list some of the Winter Olympic Sports:
ALPINE SKIING BIATHLON BOBSLEIGH CROSS COUNTRY SKIING CURLING FIGURE SKATING FREESTYLE SKIING ICE HOCKEY LUGE NORDIC COMBINED SKELETON SKI JUMP SNOWBOARDING SPEED SKATING
Who follows the Winter Olympic Games? What are members' favourite sports? Can anyone ski? Has anyone been on a winter holiday?
What about tobogganing? We probably haven't had enough snow for this yet this year, or for a snowball fight?
And finally, considering it is the 'Year Of The Rat', how far away are we from a rat in the UK at any one time?
SIX FEET, SUPPOSEDLY. BUT IN REALITY, THIS FIGURE HAS BEEN USED FOR MORE THAN 100 YEARS
QUIZ TO PROMOTE MUSICAL MEMORY
SPOTIFY PLAYLIST HERE -
Chopsticks - Liberace How many disposable chopsticks are produced in China each year? (Nearest guess?) 45 BILLION ESTIMATED
Hong Kong Phooey - TV Theme What animal was Hong Kong Phooey? A DOG (2017 WAS 'YEAR OF THE DOG')
Hong Kong Garden - Siouxsie And The Banshees What is a 'Junk'? (You might find one in Kowloon Bay) RED SAILED TRADITIONAL BOAT
China Girl - David Bowie 'Chinese Girl' is a 1952 painting by Vladimir Tretchikoff (see above). It became one of the world's most popular when made into prints in the 1950s and 60s. Who has seen this painting before? Or had it hanging in their family home?
China In Your Hand - T'Pau Who was the lead singer of T'Pau? CAROL DECKER
Turning Japanese - The Vapors Describe Japan's flag? CRIMSON DISC ON WHITE BACKGROUND
One Night In Bangkok - Murray Head What musical is this song from? CHESS (Benny Andersson and Bjorn Alveus of Abba wrote the music and Tim Rice the lyrics) Does anyone play chess? Can anyone name the pieces?
KING, QUEEN, BISHOPS, KNIGHTS, ROOKS, PAWNS
Last Night Of The World - Miss Saigon Saigon in Vietnam was renamed what in 1976? HO CHI MINH CITY
Kung Fu Fighting - Carl Douglas This single was a massive worldwide hit, selling 11 million copies, in which year? 1974
Bali Hai - Bloody Mary This song from 'South Pacific' is sung by Bloody Mary. How would you make a Bloody Mary? TOMATO JUICE, VODKA, TABASCO SAUCE, WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE & PEPPER, SERVED WITH A CELERY STICK AND SLICE OF LEMON
Eagle - ABBA Taken from the album 'Arrival', which Olympic Ski Jumper does this song remind us of? EDDIE 'THE EAGLE' EDWARDS (He competed in The Winter Olympics at Calgary in 1988 and came last in both of his events)
Bolero - Ravel Who won the gold medal for ice dancing to this track at the Sarajevo Winter Olympics in 1984? JAYNE TORVILL AND CHRISTOPHER DEAN
Is anyone watching 'Dancing On Ice' on ITV at the moment?
Ski Sunday - TV Theme In the event of an avalanche, which dog might you be rescued by? A SAINT BERNARD (With a keg of Brandy around his neck!)
Three Little Maids From School - The Mikado Where is this comic opera set? THE TOWN OF TITIPU IN JAPAN
We Are Siamese - Lady And The Tramp What breed of dog was Lady? AN AMERICAN COCKER SPANIEL
Getting To Know You? - Film Score Who starred in the 1956 musical film 'The King And I? DEBORAH KERR AND YUL BRYNNER
What is Siam known as today?
The Humming Chorus - Madame Butterfly Who wrote this renowned opera? GIACOMO PUCCINI (Has anyone seen this opera? Apparently the musical 'Miss Saigon' is based on it.)
M.A.S.H. - TV Theme Name some of the characters of the '4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital', which treated the injured during the Korean War and used humour to escape from the horror and depression of the situation? Capts. Benjamin "Hawkeye" Pierce, "B.J." Hunnicutt and "Trapper John" McIntire, Majs. Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan and Frank Burns, and Cpl. Walter "Radar" O'Reilly. Also Sgt Klinger, the cross dresser trying to be discharged from the army
Pink Panther - Film Score Who was Inspector Clouseau's Chinese manservant in 'The Pink Panther' films? CATO FONG
Who played the lead role?
On A Little Street In Singapore - Manhattan Transfer Singapore is one of the smallest countries in the world. Guess at it's size and population? 277 SQ MILES; 5.612 M
Moonlight Becomes You - Bing Crosby Which three US actors starred in the 'Road To ...' series of movies? BING CROSBY, BOB HOPE & DOROTHY LAMOUR Can anyone remember the places visited? SINGAPORE (1940), ZANZIBAR (1941), MOROCCO (1942), UTOPIA (1946), RIO (1947), BALI (1952) & HONG KONG (1962)
Nine Million Bicycles - Katie Melua
Does anyone ride a bicycle? Who never learned?
What do you call a bicycle made for two?
Gangnam Style - PSY Which politician danced to this song on 'Strictly Come Dancing' in 2017? ED BALLS (Watch a clip on YouTube or get the group to dance along with the original song's video)
Year Of The Cat - Al Stewart
What are the 12 sings of the Chinese zodiac?
RAT, OX, TIGER, RABBIT, DRAGON, SNAKE, HORSE, SHEEP, MONKEY, ROOSTER, DOG & PIG
PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES AIMED AT ENJOYMENT
Our practical activity this week centred around a tasting session.
We had brought a number of food and drink items to taste, including prawn crackers, spring rolls, vegetarian sushi and tinned lychees.
To make the session more fun we also provided people with chopsticks so they could try to eat their food items the traditional way.
We then drank flavoured iced teas and gave everyone a fortune cookie to open.
Some of the group then painted Chinese dragons and animals and others made paper aeroplanes.
Others tried writing their names in Chinese, using calligraphy pens and card. You can find an English to Chinese name translator here http://www.clearchinese.com/chinese-name/chinese-name.htm
AS ALWAYS THE AFTERNOON FINISHED WITH A RELAXATION SESSION AND REFRESHMENTS WITH FAMILY MEMBERS PRESENT