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武术 Chinese Martial Arts

Posted by: zgarrett | September 13, 2012 Comments Off on 武术 Chinese Martial Arts |

In case you don’t know who I am, my name is Zack. I just got back from spending my junior year in China. I work at the Language Learning Center here on campus as the Chinese liaison. So, if you are interested in Chinese or China stop on by and I’ll chat with you.

For the first month I was in China I was working on a research project funded by the Center for Asian Studies. My project involved interviewing college students who haven’t practiced any traditional Chinese martial arts and various practitioners of Chinese schools of martial arts to determine what people in China understand about this important cultural element in their history. The questions I asked focused on what perceptions they had of concepts like Kung Fu and Wushu, as well as what perceptions they thought the rest of the world might have about these topics.

Kung Fu is the combination of two characters “功” and  “夫”, which mean “merit” and “man” respectively. When combined they imply the gaining of merit through hard work. This merit does not necessarily involve martial arts, in fact Kung Fu can refer to many different pursuits. Wushu on the other hand is composed of “武” and “术”, literally meaning martial art. It is clear that in the West Kung Fu has become the dominant term for Chinese martial arts, owing largely to the influx of movies from Hong Kong in the 70’s.

I expected that in China many people would make a larger distinction between the two words. However, not only did the majority of non-practitioners I interviewed associate the word Kung Fu primarily with martial arts, but they also associated it strongly with the depictions of it in movies. The practitioners on the other hand made a clear distinction between the two words. To them martial arts (武术) is a form of Kung Fu, a way of achieving merit through hard work.

The first question I asked my interviewees was “What do you think of when I say the word ‘Kung Fu’?”. The the non-practitioners would instantly reply with names like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. Practitioners on the other hand gave me philosophical explanations of the nature of Kung Fu. For instance, a Tai Chi master I met one day discussed how yin and yang play into the practice of Tai Chi.

All in all it was an extremely interesting and enlightening project and I made many friends in the process. I advice anyone to give Chinese martial arts a try so that they can experience it from a practitioners perspective, instead of only seeing it through media. After all, if no one continues to practice Kung Fu it will become a thing of the past.

The grandmaster of my style of Praying Mantis (over 80 years old):

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Posted by: mrazloga | February 28, 2012 Comments Off on COME TO INTERNATIONAL FOOD WEEK! |

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End of the Semester Chinese Party!

Posted by: nkulande | December 5, 2011 Comments Off on End of the Semester Chinese Party! |

Chinese students and faculty came together for an end of the semester celebration. There was great food, courtesy of Wen Laoshi, and fun games to play!

Mitch plays his move as Vicky, Nina and Janni look on.

Zhang Laoshi looks on as students prepare to play "tiaoqi", Chinese Checkers.

Good friends, good food.

Having a good time.

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Chinese Mid Semester Party!

Posted by: nkulande | November 10, 2011 Comments Off on Chinese Mid Semester Party! |

Check out some pictures from the Chinese Mid Semester Party!

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Chinese Moon Festival

Posted by: nkulande | October 3, 2011 Comments Off on Chinese Moon Festival |

On September 12th, Chinese Faculty, students and more came together to celebrate the Chinese Moon Festival. Here are some pictures from the event!

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Chinese Movie Night!

Posted by: nkulande | September 13, 2011 Comments Off on Chinese Movie Night! |

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A Journey of a Thousand Miles

Posted by: zgarrett | May 27, 2011 Comments Off on A Journey of a Thousand Miles |

On Wednesday I leave for China and I won’t be returning for over a year. I have been planning to study in China ever since High School when I first began learning Chinese. Last Summer I got my first opportunity to visit China when I participated in a post-session studying debate and sustainability at Xiamen University. During the month and a half I was in China I also visited Shanghai and Suzhou to sight see.
I wanted to spend this Summer travelling around the country, since my last visit was so short. With this goal in mind I came up with a research project and proposed it for a grant from my University. The project I came up with is a comparative study of Kung Fu and Wushu focusing on the preservation of traditional elements. I will be conducting this research through June and into early July, and will be travelling to Shanghai, Beijing and Shenyang.
After the research I don’t really have any plans other than continued travel. I am hoping to visit Mongolia during this time. At the end of August I will go to Nanjing, where I will be studying during the Fall and Spring Semesters.
I am also planning on visiting South Korea, possibly for the World Expo, and Japan after I finish studying at Nanjing University.

If you want to read more about Zack’s study abroad, check out his blog: http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog/zhihe/1/tpod.html

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Posted by: nshevche | March 5, 2011 Comments Off on 2-28-2011,李白诞辰1310周年 |


李白(701年2月28日—762年),字太白,号青莲居士, 又号“谪仙人”。中国唐朝诗人,有“诗仙”、“诗侠”之称。汉族,祖籍陇西郡成纪县(今甘肃省平凉市静宁县南),出生于蜀郡绵州昌隆县(今四川省江油市青 莲乡),另有说法称出生于西域碎叶(今吉尔吉斯斯坦托克马克)。有《李太白集》传世,代表作有《望庐山瀑布》、《行路难》、《蜀道难》、《将进酒》、《梁 甫吟》、《早发白帝城》等多首。


First information of Li Bo in modern Europe is documented in Jean Joseph Marie Amiot’s in his Portaits des Célèbres Chinois of his Mémoires (1776–1797). Further translations into French were accomplished by Marquis d’Hervey de Saint-Denys in his 1862 Poésies de l’Époque des Thang.

Joseph Edkins read a paper, “On Li Tai-po”, to the Peking Oriental Society in 1888, which was subsequently published in that society’s journal. The English-speaking world was introduced to Herbert Allen Giles translations of Li Bai in Gile’s 1898 publication Chinese Poetry in English Verse, and again in his History of Chinese Literature, in 1901.The third “old school”translator of Li Bo into English was L. Cranmer-Byng (Launcelot Alfred Cranmer-Byng, (1872–1945), whose Lute of Jade: Being Selections from the Classical Poets of China appeared in 1909 and whose A Feast of Lanterns was published in 1916 – both volumes featuring translations of “Li Po”.

More modern renditions of Li Bo’s poetry into English were performed by Ezra Pound (in Cathay, 1915) and Amy Lowell (in Fir-Flower Tablets, 1921), though neither directly from the Chinese: Pound relying on the work of Ernest Fenollosa and professors Mori and Ariga, and Lowell on Florence Ayscough. Witter Bynner with the help of Kiang Kang-hu made some translations (in The Jade Mountain); and, Arthur Waley made a a few translations of Li Bo, although not his preferred poet, into English (in the Asiatic Review, and included in his More Translations from the Chinese). Shigeyoshi Obata, in his 1922 The Works of Li Po, made what he claimed to be “the first attempt ever made to deal with any single Chinese poet exclusively in one book for the purpose of introducing him to the English-speaking world.

Li Bai’s poem Drinking Alone by Moonlight (月下独酌, pinyin: Yuè Xià Dú Zhuó), translated by Arthur Waley, reads:

花间一壶酒。 A pot of wine, under the flowering trees;
独酌无相亲。 I drink alone, for no friend is near.
举杯邀明月。 Raising my cup I beckon the bright moon,
对影成三人。 For her, with my shadow, will make three people.
月既不解饮。 The moon, alas, is no drinker of wine;
影徒随我身。 Listless, my shadow creeps about at my side.
暂伴月将影。 Yet with the moon as friend and the shadow as slave
行乐须及春。 I must make merry before the Spring is spent.
我歌月徘徊。 To the songs I sing the moon flickers her beams;
我舞影零乱。 In the dance I weave my shadow tangles and breaks.
醒时同交欢。 While we were sober, three shared the fun;
醉后各分散。 Now we are drunk, each goes their way.
永结无情游。 May we long share our eternal friendship,
相期邈云汉。 And meet at last on the paradise.
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Chinese Music

Posted by: mbenke | February 25, 2011 Comments Off on Chinese Music |






Hey all!  This is Mary Benke, a new assistant at the Language Learning Center for Chinese.

Recently I created a profile on China’s Version of Facebook, 人人网 (also called Xiaonei).  This site is really similar to Facebook in its abilities and applications.  Xiaonei also has a feature where members can listen to internet radio, with stations ranging from American rock to Chinese Jazz.  When I first tried this feature, I immediately came across my now-favorite artist Hackleberry (扑树 Pu2shu1).  Because the feature acts like a radio, this feature is a great way to discover Chinese artists and current musical trends.

That being said, Xiaonei is also a great way to learn Chinese characters.  The site uses simplified Chinese; if you still have trouble reading, the Language Learning Center can set you up with a program called Wordchamp that lets you read scroll over words and translates them.  If you have friends using Xiaonei, try contacting them and chatting in Chinese!

That’s all for now!


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唐山大地震 (The Great Tangshan Earthquake)

Posted by: zgarrett | October 27, 2010 | 1 Comment |

This last Tuesday we showed 唐山大地震, a movie about a major earthquake that occurred in 1976 in Tangshan. Tangshan is a city of around 7 million located in Hebei province. At the time of the earthquake only 1.6 million people lived in Tangshan, but due to the poorly constructed buildings and the time that the earthquake struck the casualties reached around 240000, making it the deadliest earthquake in the 20th century and the 2nd deadliest of all time. However, it is believed that the actual death toll may be even higher. It was a common practice in China at the time to make things appear better to the rest of the world than they actually were. Many people now believe that the number given by the Chinese government might not be accurate. Since the population of Tangshan was 1.6 million and most of the city was completely flattened, it is likely that the real death toll reached half a million or more. The earthquake occurred at 3:45 am, measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale. 16 hours later an aftershock, also measuring 7.8, increased the death toll.

It was not a very large surprise that an earthquake struck Tangshan, since it had already been predicted by the State Seismological Bureau. A man named Wang Chengmin had even predicted it to happen within the range of July 22nd and August 5th. The surprise was that it struck in the middle of the night and so suddenly. It is believed that the death toll would have been even higher had a man named Wang Chunqing not taken the news as seriously. He decided to prepare his county for the event and was even evacuating some sections of the county.

The movie details the story of a brother and sister who are separated after the earthquake, and their separate journeys through life afterward. The two children are trapped under a large slab, and if the rescue workers lift the slab to save one child it would crush the other. Their mother is forced to choose between them and decides to save her son. The daughter somehow survived and woke up later after her mother had left with the son. She is then adopted by two People’s Liberation Army soldiers. It is a rather sad movie, but the sad moments in the movie make the happy ones even happier.

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