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"Celebrating The Far East" ๐Ÿ‰ 10th February 2024 is 'Chinese New Year'



โ€œThe Master said, โ€œA 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.โ€ (Analects 4.9)โ€ โ€• Confucius




INTRODUCTION

This week's CST activities session focused on 'The Far East' - China, Japan and other countries in that region. The reason being 'Chinese New Year' will be celebrated on 22nd January 2023.


We started the discussion by asking ...

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.



Next, we reminded members that 2024 is 'Year Of The Dragon'. Above is an illustration of what happens on each day of the week of the new year.


According to the Chinese calendar, the year you were born might determine your personality. Thatโ€™s because each year is represented by an animal, called a Chinese zodiac sign, and legend has it that people born under that sign have similar traits to the animal.


The personality traits of people born in the year of the dragon are: charismatic, intelligent, confident, powerful and they are naturally lucky and gifted. In everything that they do, they tend to do it to the best of their ability with high standards. 2024 is forecasted to bring about opportunities, changes, and challenges. If you're seeking a shift in your current lives, this year might offer a favorable chance.

Here are the other animals ...




How the 12 years of the Chinese Zodiac got their names


Many people have wondered over the years how it was that the rat, the smallest of all the creatures, was given the honour of having the first year of the Chinese Zodiac named after him.


A very long time ago, the Jade Emperor, who ruled the heavens of China, sent a message to all the animals asking them to come together so that he could give each of them a year, which would make it easier for the people of China to keep track of time. The cat and the rat were good friends and decided to travel to meet the Jade Emperor together.


When it came time to leave, however, the cat was taking a nap. The rat, realising that he would have to use all his cunning to be noticed by the Jade Emperor, left his friend sleeping, and set off on his own. This is why there is no year named after the cat, and also why cats have hated rats ever since.


When the rat arrived, the Jade Emperor welcomed him and the other animals and told them that they should all take part in a swimming race. Once again, the rat realised that he would have to be very clever if he wanted to win the race. He found the largest, strongest animal, which was the ox, and pleaded with him to let him ride on its head. The ox was kind and strong, and agreed that they would swim across together. The rat travelled safely across the river on the oxโ€™s back, but, just before they reached the other side, climbed over the ox's head, jumped onto land, and reached the finish line first. The rat had proved its cunning, and the Jade Emperor named the first year after the rat and the second year after the ox.


The order of winning โ€”โ€” Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig


Here is a short animated video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVClAj8q_lY









IDIOMS


To get people thinking, we next asked 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



We also thought about ...


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?





MUSIC & PICTURE QUIZ



BONUS ROUND. Dragons




What was the name of the dragon in 'The Clangers'?

Which Harry Potter book/movie featured a dragon?

Which dragon featured in 'The Hobbit' & 'The Lord Of The Rings'?

Which bear met the Emperor's pet dragon?

Which country has a red dragon on its flag?

In which movie did Sean Connery play the part of a dragon?

Name the flower? Name the insect? Which patron saint stayed a dragon?




Where did the Puff the magic dragon live?





ROUND 1. Around & About



โ€‹1. China is known by which other name?



โ€‹2. What is Japan known as?

โ€‹


โ€‹3. What is the capital of China?

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โ€‹4. What is the capitol of Japan?

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โ€‹5. What is the highest mountain in Japan?

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โ€‹6. What is the highest mountain in the world?

T or F. It is growing by 4mm a year?

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โ€‹7. What is the name of this traditional sailboat you might find in 'Kowloon Bay', Hong Kong?

โ€‹


โ€‹8. What is the name of this traditional Chinese mode of transport?

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โ€‹9. Where in London is 'China Town'?

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โ€‹10. What might you see in 'China Town' on Chinese New Year?



SONG BREAK. 'China In Your Hand', T'Pau - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4sV3lqzKqQ



ROUND 2. Food & Drink



โ€‹11. What is the sweet Chinese biscuit with a good luck paper charm inside called?

โ€‹


โ€‹12. What do Chinese people traditionally cook in?

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โ€‹13. What do Chinese people traditionally eat with? Where is rice traditionally grown? Here is a link to a Liberace rendition - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jruN-ZTIdak&t=1s

โ€‹


โ€‹14. What is this Japanese dish made of raw fish and rice wrapped in seaweed called? There is a link here to a sketch by Miranda Hart - https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2300688153483897

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โ€‹15. Which native East-Asian plant is the richest natural vegetable food? (A sauce used in everyday cooking is made from it!)



โ€‹16. What is the name given to Chinese dumplings?

โ€‹


โ€‹17. What whiteish/pinkish fruit do Chinese people enjoy for dessert?

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โ€‹18. What colour tea is the most popular drink in China? (Can anyone think of any UK brands of tea?) Here is an advert for one of them - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgzEBLa3PPk

โ€‹


โ€‹19. What is rice wine called in Japan (you can have it hot or cold)? (Has anyone tried it?)

โ€‹


โ€‹20. What is your favourite Chinese dish or sauce?

Or name as many as you can?



SONG BREAK. 'China Girl', David Bowie - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK6gAbZdhDc





ROUND 3. Culture & Tradition

โ€‹


โ€‹21. How long is the 'Great Wall Of China'?

T or F. The 'Great Wall Of China' is longer in miles than it is to fly from London to Beijing?

โ€‹


โ€‹22. What figures were discovered in 1974, buried nearby Qin Shi Huang's (First Emperor Of China) mausoleum?

โ€‹


โ€‹23. What is the name of this famous Japanese train, one of the fastest in the world? (How fast do members reckon it can travel at?)

โ€‹


โ€‹24. What do Pandas eat an exclusive diet of? There is a link here to a LOVELY sketch of a Panda playing in the snow - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGpYs8Bexak

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โ€‹25. Which dog of Chinese origin has a name which translates as 'Lion Dog'? (I'm sure there is a Christmas Cracker joke associated with this dog!)

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โ€‹26. Which ancient tile game is still popular in China?


(Can anyone play it?)

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โ€‹27. What is the Japanese art of sculpting miniature trees called?

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โ€‹28. What is the Japanese art of arranging furniture in tune with energy lines to harmonise people with their environment known as?

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โ€‹29. What is the traditional Japanese art of folding paper to make 3D objects called?

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โ€‹30. What are Japanese female entertainers and hostesses dressed in traditional costume known as? What gowns do they wear?

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โ€‹31. What Japanese warriors had a sword named after them?

โ€‹


โ€‹32. What is this form of Japanese wrestling known as? How do wrestlers win a game?



SONG BREAK. 'Turning Japanese', The Vapors - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dx3HA-F8iVE




ROUND 4. People

โ€‹


โ€‹33. Who is the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism and a voice for world peace?

โ€‹


โ€‹34. Who was the first person to conquer Everest and in which year?



โ€‹35. Which fictional monster might you meet in the Himalayas?

โ€‹


โ€‹36. Name this famous British/Chinese fashion guru, who knows 'How To Look Good Naked'?

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โ€‹37. Name this famous Chinese/American chef?

โ€‹


โ€‹38. Which world leader did Donald Trump call 'Little Rocket Man'? Which country is he dictator of?

โ€‹


โ€‹39. Which character did George Takei play in the original 'Star Trek' series?



40. Who was Inspector Clouseau's Chinese manservant in 'The Pink Panther' films?

โ€‹


โ€‹41. Who starred in the 1987 American war comedy 'Good Morning Vietnam'?

โ€‹


โ€‹42. Which martial arts TV show did David Carradine star in? What was his character's name?



SONG. 'Kung Fu Fighting', Carl Douglas - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmfudW7rbG0 Has anyone practised a martial art, or been awarded a Belt?





ROUND 5. Music


Maybe ask members to choose just a couple of these to play by way of finishing?



'We Are Siamese', Lady And The Tramp - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RG5mOd8Ubsk 43. What breed of dog was Lady?

'Three Little Maids From School', The Mikado - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXWkIZUPmDY


44. Who wrote this comic operetta?



'Madame Butterfly', Maria Callas - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmfw17L_Deo

45. Who wrote this renowned opera?


'One Night In Bangkok', Murray Head - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgc_LRjlbTU


46. This song is from the musical 'Chess'. What are the pieces in a chess set?



'On A Little Street In Singapore', The Manhattan Transfer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaO93JXJook


47. What was their only number 1 hit in 1977 (it had a French title)?


'Hong Kong Garden', Siouxsie And The Banshees - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-l9GQJRl9Y


48. What is the luckiest number in China? (Does anyone have a lucky number?)


'Nine Million Bicycles', Katie Melua - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHQG6-DojVw


49. What do you call a bicycle made for two?


Does anyone ride a bicycle? Who never learned?




'Year Of The Cat', Al Stewart - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2i46s52JAUE


50. Back to where we started, is there a 'Year Of The Cat'?






FINAL SINGALONG. 'Getting To Know You', The King And I - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vlx6gQWfjp0


51. Who starred in the 1956 musical film 'The King And I?

What is Siam known as today?



Getting to know you, getting to know all about you.

Getting to like you, getting to hope you like me.

Getting to know you, putting it my way,

But nicely,

You are precisely,

My cup of tea.


Getting to know you,

Getting to feel free and easy

When I am with you,

Getting to know what to say

Haven't you noticed

Suddenly I'm bright and breezy

Because of all the beautiful and new

Things I'm learning about you

Day by day.


Getting to know you,

Getting to know all about you.

Getting to like you,

Getting to hope you like me.

Getting to know you,

Putting it my way, but nicely,

You are precisely,


My cup of tea.


Getting to know you,

Getting to feel free and easy

When I am with you,

Getting to know what to say

Haven't you noticed

Suddenly I'm bright and breezy

Because of all the beautiful and new

Things I'm learning about you

Day by day.





'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?



PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES AIMED AT ENJOYMENT

Bring some food and drink items to taste, including prawn crackers, spring rolls, vegetarian sushi and tinned lychees.


To make the session more fun give people chopsticks to try eating with.

Offer flavoured iced teas and give everyone a fortune cookie to open.



Help members to make some Origami. Most will be familiar with this one from childhood -


'Make A Paper Fortune Teller' - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAhiIlTxUYA




Or you could get members writing their names in Chinese, using calligraphy pens and card. You can find an English to Chinese name translator here https://chinese.gratis/names/


Here is Simon ...





Or you could download some adult colouring templates from the web. There are loads of Koi Carp to choose from.




Or, you could get members to practice some simple Thai Chi moves? Perhaps, following this introductory video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHBR5MZmEsY



Whatever you do decide on, have fun and celebrate members' engagement.






ANSWERS



DRAGONS BONUS ROUND


What was the name of the dragon in 'The Clangers'? SOUP DRAGON

Which Harry Potter book/movie featured a dragon? SORCERER'S STONE

Which dragon featured in 'The Hobbit' & 'The Lord Of The Rings'? SMAUG

Which bear met the Emperor's pet dragon? RUPERT

Which country has a red dragon on its flag? WALES

In which movie did Sean Connery play the part of a dragon? BRAVEHEART

Name the flower? SNAPDRAGON

Name the insect? DRAGONFLY

Which patron saint stayed a dragon? ST GEORGE


Where did Puff the magic dragon live? "by the sea" in the fictional land of "Honah Lee"



ROUND ONE


1. 'THE RED DRAGON' OR 'THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC'


2. 'THE LAND OF THE RISING SUN'


3. BEIJING


4. TOKYO


5. MOUNT FUJI (Last erupted 1707) (12,393 FT ABOVE SEA LEVEL)


6. MOUNT EVEREST (29,029 FT ABOVE SEA LEVEL) / TRUE


7. JUNK


8. RICKSHAW


9. GERRARD STREET, SOHO


10. CHINESE DRAGONS, CHINESE LANTERNS, FIRECRACKERS, DRUMS, HAPPY CHINESE PEOPLE IN TRADITIONAL DRESS




ROUND TWO


11. FORTUNE COOKIE


12. WOK


13. CHOPSTICKS / PADDY FIELDS


14. SUSHI


15. SOYA (EDAMAME BEANS)


16. DIM SUM


17. LYCHEE


18. GREEN TEA



19. SAKI


20. SOY, HOISIN, SWEET AND SOUR, BLACK BEAN, OYSTER, SZECHUAN & SATAY



ROUND THREE


21. 5,500 MILES (It can be seen from space!) / TRUE. TheGreat Wall of China is 21,000 km (13, 000 miles) long, whereas London to Beijing is 8143 km (5060 miles).

22. THE TERRACOTTA ARMY (More than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots and 670 horses were found buried!)

23. BULLET TRAIN (max speed recorded at 375 mph)


24. BAMBOO


25. SHIH TZU


26. MAHJONG


27. BONSAI


28. FENG SHUI


29. ORIGAMI


30. GEISHA GIRLS / KIMONO


31. SAMURAI


32. SUMO / THEY PUSH THEIR OPPONENT OUTSIDE THE CIRCLE




ROUND FOUR


33. THE DALAI LAMA


34. EDMUND HILLARY ACCOMPANIED BY SHERPA TENZING (29th May 1953)

35. THE YETI OR ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN


36. GOK WAN


37. KEN HOM


38. KIM JON UN / North Korea


39. HIKARU SULU


40. CATO FONG


41 ROBIN WILLIAMS


42. 'KUNG FU' / 'GRASSHOPPER'


43. AN AMERICAN COCKER SPANIEL

44. GILBERT & SULLIVAN


45. GIACOMO PUCCINI (Has anyone seen this opera? Apparently the musical 'Miss Saigon' is based on it.)

46. KING, QUEEN, BISHOPS, KNIGHTS, ROOKS, PAWNS


47. 'CHANSON D'AMOUR'


48. EIGHT


49. TANDEM


50. NO


51. DEBORAH KERR AND YUL BRYNNER / THAILAND










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