“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
This week's CST activities focused on 'The Far East' - China, Japan and other countries in that region. The reason being 'Chinese New Year' will be celebrated on 12th February 2021.
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 2021 is 'The Year Of The Ox'.
Having an honest nature, Oxes are known for diligence, dependability, strength and determination. These reflect traditional conservative Chinese characteristics.
Women Oxes are traditional, faithful wives, who attach great importance to their children's education.
For male oxes, they are strongly patriotic, have ideals and ambitions for life, and attach importance to family and work.
Having great patience and a desire to make progress, Oxes can achieve their goals by consistent effort. They are not much influenced by others or the environment, but persist in doing things according to their ideals and capabilities.
Before taking any action, Oxes will have a definite plan with detailed steps, to which they apply their strong faith and physical strength. As a result, people of the Ox zodiac sign often enjoy great success.
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
ROUND 1. Around & About
1. China is known by which other name?
2. Japan is known as?
3. The capital of China is?
4. And Japan?
5. What is the highest mountain in Japan?
6. What is the highest mountain in the world?
7. What is the name of this traditional sailboat you might find in 'Kowloon Bay', Hong Kong?
8. What is the name of this traditional Chinese mode of transport?
9. Where in London is 'China Town'?
SONG. 'China In Your Hand', T'Pau - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4sV3lqzKqQ
10. What might you see in 'China Town' on Chinese New Year? Who was the lead singer of 'T'Pau'?
ROUND 2. Food & Drink
11. What is the sweet Chinese biscuit with a good luck paper charm inside it called?
12. What do Chinese people traditionally cook in?
13. What do Chinese people traditionally eat with?
Where is rice traditionally grown?
Here is a link to Liberace playing 'Chopsticks' in Carnegie Hall - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jruN-ZTIdak
14. What is the Japanese dish of raw fish wrapped in seaweed with rice called? (Has anyone tried this dish, which is becoming more popular in the UK?)
There is a link here to the HILARIOUS 'Sushi Sketch' by Miranda Hart - https://vimeo.com/161043332
15. Which native East-Asian plant is the richest natural vegetable food? (They make a sauce used in everyday cooking from it!)
16. What is the name given to Chinese dumplings?
17. What whiteish/pinkish fruit do Chinese people enjoy for dessert?
18. What colour tea is the most popular drink in China?
(Can anyone think of any UK brands of tea?)
19. What is rice wine called in Japan (you can have it hot or cold)?
(Has anyone tried it?)
20. SONG. 'China Girl', David Bowie - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK6gAbZdhDc
Can members think of any Chinese sauces you might have in a Chinese take away?
(Has anyone got a favourite Chinese dish?)
ROUND 3. Culture & Tradition
21. How long is the 'Great Wall Of China'?
22. What figures were discovered in 1974, buried nearby Qin Shi Huang's (First Emperor Of China) mausoleum?
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?)
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
25. Which dog of Chinese origin has a name which translates as 'Lion Dog'?
26. Which ancient tile game is still popular in China?
27. What is the Japanese art of sculpting miniature trees called?
28. What is the Japanese art of arranging furniture in tune with energy lines to harmonise people with environment known as?
29. What is the traditional Japanese art of folding paper to make 3D objects called?
30. What are Japanese female entertainers and hostesses dressed in traditional costume known as?
What gowns do they wear?
31. What Japanese warriors had a sword named after them?
32. What is this form of Japanese wrestling known as?
How do wrestlers win a game?
33. SONG. 'Turning Japanese', The Vapors - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dx3HA-F8iVE
What was the biggest selling Japanese game of 2017?
ROUND 4. People
34. Who is the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism and a voice for world peace?
35. Who was the first person to conquer Everest and in which year?
36. What fictional monster might you meet in the Himalayas?
37. Name this famous British/Chinese fashion guru, who knows 'How To Look Good Naked'?
38. Name this famous Chinese/American chef?
39. Which world leader did Donald Trump call 'Little Rocket Man'?
Which country is he dictator in?
40. Which character did George Takei play in the original 'Star Trek' series?
41. Who was Inspector Clouseau's Chinese manservant in 'The Pink Panther' films?
42. Who starred in the 1987 American war comedy 'Good Morning Vietnam'?
43. 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
44. Can anyone name any Asian martial arts? 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?
SONG. 'Getting To Know You', The King And I - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vlx6gQWfjp0
45. Who starred in the 1956 musical film 'The King And I?
What is Siam known as today?
SONG. 'Madame Butterfly', Maria Callas - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLcbfF9ypmM
46. Who wrote this renowned opera?
SONG. 'Year Of The Cat', Al Stewart - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2i46s52JAUE
47. Back to where we started, name the twelve animals in the Chinese calendar?
PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES AIMED AT ENJOYMENT
The practical activity this week centres around a tasting session. 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.
Another idea. is to help members 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 http://www.clearchinese.com/chinese-name/chinese-name.htm
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 participation.
1. 'THE RED DRAGON' OR 'THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC'
2. 'THE LAND OF THE RISING SUN'
5. MOUNT FUJI (Last erupted 1707) (12,393 FT ABOVE SEA LEVEL)
6. MOUNT EVEREST (29,029 FT ABOVE SEA LEVEL)
9. GERRARD STREET, SOHO
10. CHINESE DRAGONS, CHINESE LANTERNS, FIRECRACKERS, DRUMS, HAPPY CHINESE PEOPLE IN TRADITIONAL DRESS / CAROL DECKER
11. FORTUNE COOKIE
13. CHOPSTICKS / PADDY FIELDS
15. SOYA (EDAMAME BEANS)
16. DIM SUM
18. GREEN TEA
20. SOY, HOISIN, SWEET AND SOUR, BLACK BEAN, OYSTER, SZECHUAN & SATAY
21. 5,500 MILES (It can be seen from space!)
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)
25. SHIH TZU
28. FENG SHUI
30. GEISHA GIRLS / KIMONO
32. SUMO / THEY PUSH THEIR OPPONENT OUTSIDE THE CIRCLE
33. 'POKEMON GO'
34. THE DALAI LAMA
35. EDMUND HILLARY ACCOMPANIED BY SHERPA TENZING (29th May 1953)
36. THE YETI OR ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN
37. GOK WAN
38. KEN HOM
39. KIM JON UN / North Korea
40. HIKARU SULU
41. CATO FONG
42. ROBIN WILLIAMS
43. 'KUNG FU' / 'GRASSHOPPER'
44. KARATE, JUDO, AIKIDO & TAI KWANDO
45. DEBORAH KERR AND YUL BRYNNER / THAILAND
46. GIACOMO PUCCINI (Has anyone seen this opera? Apparently the musical 'Miss Saigon' is based on it.)
47. Here you go ...
'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?
A COUPLE OF EXTRA SONGS
To play during practical activities ...
'Last Night Of The World', Miss Saigon - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-tM8J86xtw Saigon in Vietnam was renamed what in 1976? HO CHI MINH CITY
'19', Paul Hardcastle - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sajngb0W6I
Why is this song called '19'?
IT WAS THE AVERAGE AGE OF A US SOLDIER IN THE VIETNAM WAR
'We Are Siamese', Lady And The Tramp - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RG5mOd8Ubsk What breed of dog was Lady? AN AMERICAN COCKER SPANIEL
'Hong Kong Phoey', TV Intro - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-n91lSO0wJQ
What job did Hong Kong Phoey have?
HE WAS A MILD MANNERED JANITOR
'The Water Margin', TV Intro - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVVRMBWGBqw
Which fish is considered sacred or a good luck omen in China and Japan?
SONG. 'One Night In Bangkok', Murray Head - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgc_LRjlbTU
This song is from the musical 'Chess'. What are the pieces in a chess set?
KING, QUEEN, BISHOPS, KNIGHTS, ROOKS, PAWNS
SONG. 'Three Little Maids From School', The Mikado - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXWkIZUPmDY
Who wrote this comic operetta?
GILBERT & SULLIVAN
SONG. 'On A Little Street In Singapore', The Manhattan Transfer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaO93JXJook
What is the most followed religion in Singapore?
SONG. 'Hong Kong Garden', Siouxsie And The Banshees - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-l9GQJRl9Y
What is the luckiest number in China?
(Does anyone have a lucky number?)
SONG. 'Nine Million Bicycles', Katie Melua - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHQG6-DojVw
What do you call a bicycle made for two?
Does anyone ride a bicycle? Who never learned?