::every cloud has a silver lining:: @ ::天無絕人之路 ~:~ 明天會更好:: @ ::tiān wú jué rén zhīlù ~:~ míngtiān huì gènghǎo:: @ ::天無絕人之路 ~:~ 明天會更好:: @ ::tiān wú jué rén zhīlù ~:~ míngtiān huì gènghǎo:: @ ::every cloud has a silver lining::


Feb 20, 2010

ക RÉNRI ( 人日 ) ~ Human Day, 7th Day of CNY

Happy Birthday Everybody..

Renrì (Chinese:人日, literally Human Day) falls on the 7th day of zhengyue 正月 aka Chinese New Year, the first month in the Chinese calendar). According to legend, the custom dates back to the Han Dynasty, and gained importance after The Three Kingdoms period and Jin Dynasty. Hence, Chinese tradition set the first day of zhengyue as the "birthday" of chicken, the second day of zhengyue as the birthday of dog, etc. And the seventh day of zhengyue is viewed as the common "birthday" of all human beings.

On this special "birthday" Yúshēng is often served as part of a multi-dish dinner, usually as the appetizer due to its symbolism of "good luck" for the new year. Some would consume it on Renri day itself, although in practice it may be eaten on any convenient day. Yúshēng literally means "raw fish" but since "fish(鱼)"{yú} is commonly conflated with its homophone "abundance(余)" {yú}, just as "raw(生)" {shēng} with "increase(升)" {shēng}. So Yúshēng (鱼生) is interpreted as a homophone for Yúshēng (余升) meaning an increase in abundance. Therefore, yúshēng is considered a symbol of abundance, prosperity and vigor. Yúshēng is often served as part of a multi-dish dinner, usually as the appetizer due to its symbolism of "good luck" for the new year. Some would consume it on Renri, the seventh day of the Chinese New Year, although in practice it may be eaten on any convenient day.  The contemporary version of 鱼生 {yúshēng} raw fish is created and popularised in both Malaysia and Singapore in the early 60's amongst the ethnic Chinese community. Surprisingly it is not popular in Taiwan & Hong Kong for them to "lo hei" Cantonese for 撈起 or Yee Sang. [Wikipedia]
Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Make a wish while tossing the 'raw fish' 鱼生 {yúshēng} in the air with chopsticks while saying "auspicious wishes" (吉祥话 or Jíxiáng Huà) such as Nian Nian You Yu (年年有余) as the word Yu (余), which means "surplus" or "abundance", sounds the same as the Chinese word for fish (yu, 鱼). The Secret to opening new doors of prosperity to attracting more in your life is in the height. It is believed that the height of the toss reflects the height of the dinner's growth in fortunes, thus diners are expected to toss enthusiastically. Check it out on Foongpc for Yúshēng served in nice lacquer dish and Iamthewitch cute tigers cup cakes guarding the Yúshēng. The long 1 hour 40 mins wait for the next dish after Yúshēng was tossed for Merryn and the latest from Wenn.

Image courtesy of

On the same  token of RÉN 人 the above picture is the RÉN building created specifically for Shanghai's World Expo 2010. A very meaningful concept of a man walking with one foot on water which is the first building and the other foot on land represented by second building forming a Chinese character for the word 人 (”Ren”) People. The building becomes a recognizable landmark for the World Expo in China. 

Disclaimer: In this entry some could be facts or probably legend. Being a Bananaz all my references are from hearsay and internet search. You must be wondering what's this nice *ahem* Bananaz doing in a blog like this who does not read and write Chinese?

Answer: Simply becoz this Bananaz is finding its roots deeper and hopefully to be able to share with fellow Bananaz or those who are interested to know more about Chinese traditions and customs. Also would sincerely appreciate any feedback or any corrections for errors made. tQ

Feb 18, 2010

ക The Good, Bad & Ugly of Chinese New Year?

The highest temperature registered in the Year of the Tiger on CNY Day III was at 36°C. Even the tigers need to cool off in the scorching weather. We all have been talking about CNY happy this happy that and now the grand Day has passed into the 5th day, see how time flies. Hope all have had a great time with families since the eve of CNY with reunion dinner, catching up with old friends and made tons of money with lady luck game of cards etc.

When comes to CNY everything we say must be in a positive note. We are not supposed to say foul words and the word "death" is strictly & extremely a No-No and should not be uttered at all. Seems like our ancestors sort of knew something close to the Law of Attraction a few thousand years ago. We merely just know 'how' what to say and what not to say but not fully aware of the 'why' until The Law of Attraction became widely popular after the release of 'The Secret' in relation to "New Thought", Practical Metaphysics or "Positive Thinking". I am beginning to see the connection now. So we must supposedly  train our mind to be always positive so as to grab a  好意頭 {hǎoyìtóu} good head start  for the year and hopefully  throughout the year without fail. 

Have seen a few comments from bloggers and heard from friends how they "hate" CNY or I rather would say 'No peace of mind' like the inverted peace sign above. Kids as usual would love CNY, for them ignorance is bliss as long as they get their angpows, drink lots of soft  and carbonated drinks they are happy as can be. As years go by time changed, people changed and our perspective in life changes constantly. Life is in a flux and its impermanent. We may not like to do the same things or have the same thinking like we did when younger and that could set a conflict with older folks. Maybe a part of the serenity prayer is able to give us some comfort..

Lord,  grant me the serenity
To accept the 'people' I cannot change;
The courage to change the things that I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference..

Can understand quite a number dread going back home for reunion dinners or even celebrating CNY with families. Fears of facing the nagging of parents and possibly the worst from the 'deadly' "Ma's" & "Jiě's" who else but the 姨媽yímā and 姑姐gūjiě [aunts ~ parents' sisters]. "Aiya when you getting married?" "When you gonna bring back your girl/boy friend?" "Aiyo when you're going to have baby, your parents wanna hug grandson leh?" Sounds familiar? A straight forward answer consisting of two words worked pretty well its ~ "Next Year" with a smile. The situation is so bad that in China there is an advert for a rental of boy friend to take home for reunion dinner. Just cannot believe it's getting out of hand. Believe it or Not? How true? Click HERE

The old folks meant good, very concerned but sometimes could be repulsive and we have to learn to accept them if we cannot change them. When love is shown too aggressively and not properly it becomes counter productive which might turned into hate. Its kinda sad when the old folks mis-handled situation poorly, first they are not well educated and second ego seems to be punching their faces to swallow that breath of losing to the Joneses. At the least they are 'teaching' us indirectly that's not the right way to show concern and we do not fall into the same foot step when we deal with our children in future. The most important lesson we learn is to mind our own business. Just like a song by Ah Niu which says "Happy happy also passed one day and not happy shall also passed one day". Just follow the flow..get on with life no matter what happens..

Feb 11, 2010

ക Chinese New Year Prodigy Rapper

The notorious Malaysian prodigy rapper, Namewee is at his 'mischievous' behavior again competing with the traditional CNY greeting songs with rap. Nicknamed the 'Bad Boy of Rap' shot to 'fame' with his controversial songs and videos few years ago who almost ended himself in the hot soup. Sorry translation unavailable and its in Mandarin so those not familiar with the language bear with me this time around. Perhaps action speaks louder than words and can roughly guess and imagine the styles of the new and rebellious generation would portray how they would prefer CNY songs to be sung than those traditional tung tung chiang. He rapped that the dresses worn in hot tropical climate are not logic especially with the scorching weather during CNY and why red colored clothes like the FRU's uniform etc. Have fun enjoy the video clip and have a good belly laugh. Some x-rated words are uttered as we all know coming from Namewee it's his tradmark and it has got to be rough and tough. Finally towards the end the good shall triumph over the 'evil'. lol..

According to fellow blogger Jam the Malaysian Chinese New Year songs are the best around, even surpassing those composed in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan and 8TV also commented and validated about it. It's nice to hear new tunes and rhythm and old traditional CNY can still be the main anchor songs. Wonder in Year 2525 will all CNY songs be just rap songs? ♫Yo yo..Happy yo yo..Chinese yo..New yo..Year yo yo..!!!♫    ..

Thanks to Jenifer for the link and [SK] for using your 18SX..P

Feb 6, 2010

ക Zàijiàn 再見 Farewell 'Banana' Panda ~ Tai Shan

Tai Shan 泰山 {Tài Shān}, aka Butterstick because of its size like a stick of butter just after his birth as described by a zoo worker. He is a giant panda born at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park (National Zoo) in Washington, D.C on July 9, 2005 at 3:41 AM. The name Tai Shan, meaning "peaceful mountain," was chosen after it won 44 percent of the 202,045 total votes cast.

Tai Shan in June 2007, courtesy of Wikipedia

According to Wikipedia as per the agreement with China, the Chinese government can require that Tai Shan be sent to China any time after he turns 2 as he, like his parents, is the property of China. (His parents Mei Xiang and Tian Tian are technically being "leased" to the National Zoo by the Chinese government in a ten-year, $10 million agreement, with the money to go to panda conservation research in China.) The National Zoo announced in April 2007 that it reached an agreement with the Chinese government to let Tai Shan remain at the National Zoo until at least July 2009.

Tai Shan on his final full day at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, February 3, 2010.

Since 2007, Tai Shan has lived on his own at the zoo, because cubs leave their mothers at about 2 years of age and fathers play no role in cub rearing. All these years as an ABC "American Born Chinese" Panda he must be quite used to American language than his own ethnic Chinese in National Zoo DC. and hopefully when he returns to China he could catch up fast coping with the language and weather. Prior leaving his birth place in National Zoo before heading towards China view the heartbroken people in Washington DC and their final farewell words posted by fellow blogger, Pacific Islander. Get ready some tissue papers to stand by for a tearjerker.

Tai Shan left D.C. for China on February 4, 2010 (on the same flight as Mei Lan from Zoo Atlanta). His new home is the Bifengxia Panda Base, in Ya'an, Sichuan. If he is a human being would be a very good classic example of a "Bananaz Man", yellow from the outside but speaks and thinks like an American.  Wanna know more about pandas and how it sounds as newborn, 3-month-old and adult click HERE.

52,123,194 hits @ Feb06, 2010 on Sneezing Tai Shan 

However another unofficial version is the Chinese government is worried sick that being alone in DC for far too long Tai Shan may mixed with the wrong company and totally forgotten his roots and becomes too Americanized, that is the reason why he needs to get back to China asap. A picture paints a thousand words..

Photo courtesy of

Feb 1, 2010

ക TELLING THE TIME : Colloquial

Most of the time I would like to dig right through deeply to "Why Ask Why" on certain mundane words that we used. I wonder why we Chinese say " 等一下 {děng yī xià} ~ wait one time " the equivalent to English's "wait a minute". In the olden Chinese ghost movies if you can recall there is this time keeper who walks around the town after midnite holding a lantern, a gong and a log of bamboo. He will beat the bamboo a few times followed by the gong a few times. Just out of curiosity how on earth this time keeper knows the time to tell the time? Most probably from the astronomical clock built by Su Song & Han Gong-Lian in 1088 A.D. during the Northern Song Dynasty. Hope anyone can be kind enough to post the answer on how the 一下 {yī xià} came into being. Could it be the word {yī xià} derives from the striking the bamboo or the gong?

It is a known fact that advertisers for all clocks or watches would mainly and mostly focused the time at 10 past 10 so that you get a smile on the face. So in colloq Chinese it's 十点兩个字 {shí'diǎn liǎng ge zì} [10 dot & 2 number]. There is nothing wrong as it is widely accepted and spoken all over the country since day one until I had the opportunity to meet a Taiwanese colleague who was assigned to Malaysia for a year. While sorting out dinner arrangement and said to pick him up at 6:15pm 六点三个字 {liù diǎn sān ge zì} [6 dot & 3 number] he had a shock and asked me what is the exact time. Huh no one has ever corrected me on this before. He explained back home his version would be 六点十五分 {liù diǎn shí'wǔ fēn}. 6:30pm would be 六点三十分 {liù diǎn sān shí'fēn} or 六点半 {liù diǎn bàn}. So there is this joke we often played on each other when we wanted to say 7.00pm we would chuckled 六点十二个字 {liù diǎn shí' èr ge zì} [6:60pm ~ 6 dot & 12 number]

Blunder #5: When I was referring to hotel I said 客栈 {kèzhàn} which is merely an inn or guest house. Correct version should be 酒店 {jiǔdiàn} or 饭店 {fàndiàn} which can be very confusing for bananaz as its 'liqour' shop or 'rice' shop?

Emoticon Banana

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