China: Making Learning (Even More) Fun

For your entertainment, SCOLA has acquired a few more jokes to share with you from China. It is safe to say this has been our funniest Country of the Month yet!
儿子战战兢兢地回到家:“爸,今天考试只得了60分”。爸爸很生气:“下次再考低了,就别叫我爸!” 第二天儿子回来了:“对不起,哥!”
One day, a boy did poorly on his test at school. He went home after and nervously said, “Dad, I only got a 60% on the test today.” His dad was very angry and said “Don’t call me dad if you ever do that bad again!”The next day the son came home after school and said “Sorry brother!”
农夫向医生诉苦,说他晚上上床后常觉得脚冷。是,医生说:我也常常有这种现象,那时我就会搂著太太,这样脚就会暖和来!这个农夫鼓起很大的勇气说:这是一个很好的办法,但是--你太太什麼时候才方便?
A farmer complained to a doctor that his feet always got cold while sleeping at night. “Yes,” the doctor said,“I myself used to feel that way too. Now, I hug my wife tightly to make my feet warm.” The farmer thought about this for a while and finally asked with great bravery “That is really good thinking. The problem is, when will your wife be available?”
A man said to his wife “Dear I haven’t had a thrilling experience in a long time.” The next day she took him to a jewelry store.
A woman wanted a fur coat as a birthday present. She said to her husband, “Dear, my birthday is coming up. Don’t you want to go and see those fluffy things for me?” The husband slaps his thigh and said “That’s a good idea! Let’s go right now or the zoo will be closed!”
A husband said to his wife “Since we have been married, I have realized that marriage is a heavy job!” His wife said “Of course, that is why two people have to share it.” The husband asked tentatively “So don’t you think we would feel more relaxed if there were three people?”
A husband said to his wife “I appreciated your praise tonight when you told the neighbors I was talented.” The wife said “You have neither money nor position and your looks are very plain. If I hadn’t told such a lie other people would laugh at me!”

Want more jokes? Let us know which country you would like to hear a joke from in the comments below!

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LEI Feng: A Legend of a Chinese Soldier

Recently, a SCOLA provider from China shared the following with us about LEI Feng, a Chinese soldier that is famous in his country:

“Someone who is alive has been dead ; someone who is dead has been alive” these two lines are from the well-known poem “Someone” written by Zang Kejia, a famous modern Chinese poet. LEI Feng , a simple Chinese soldier belongs to the latter, he passed away 52 years ago, but he is still alive in the Chinese people’s mind.
During his 22 years’ short life, LEI Feng created a legend of a Chinese soldier. He did not perform a world-shaking deed, all he had done were simple things which reflected his selfless and noble personality. He considered himself a son of the Chinese people, and served the country and its people wholeheartedly. He loved all jobs that were assigned to him. “Be a useful peleifeng's photorson to the society” is what he wrote in his diary.
Born into a poor peasant family on December 18, 1940, LEI Feng was raised by one of his relative, as he was an orphan at the age of seven. Along with other poor children he was sent to school after the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. After his graduation from junior high school, he became a tractor driver in the countryside, then a worker. He joined the army as a truck driver in 1960.

On August 15,1962,  it was raining and LEI ’s colleague An was backing up the truck while LEI was directing him. Unfortunately , the truck struck a telephone pole which fell and hit LEI Feng’s head. All the rescue measures failed and LEI Feng died. He was only 22 years old. Two days later, his funeral was and, according to the newspaper, more than 100,000 local people attended. The scene was touching. People told stories about him in tears.

On May 3, 1963, eight months after LEI Feng’s death , the late Chairman Mao Zedong of the People’s Republic of China wrote that “To learn from Comrade LEI Feng” . A large scale campaign to learn from LEI Feng was held all over China. March 5th was later named “Learning from LEI Feng’s Day” .

The stories about LEI Feng are popular in China, if you ask about LEI Feng to anyone in China , you will be surprised to find that almost everybody can tell you a story or two about him. He has helped so many people, the followings are just examples:

One day a woman took her son to see her husband working in a city far away, but she found that she lost her wallet and train ticket as the train was leaving. She was so anxious. LEI Feng happened to pass by and when he heard of her troubles he consoled the woman and took her to buy a new ticket with his limited soldier’ subsidy. The woman was very touched and asked his name and address. Lei Feng smiled and answered “My name is a soldier, I am living in China.” At that time a train ticket cost a lot of money. There were three successive natural disaster from 1959 to 1961, which made bki-20130613163355-920287395the country short of food and commodities, and the economy was in tough.

Another woman remembered that she and her two children met LEI Feng on the street on a stormy afternoon. They lost their way home in heavy rain and LEI Feng spent two hours walking in a muddy country road holding one of the boys in his arms. By the time they got home safe, it was dark. LEI Feng returned to the army without any food.

Villagers remembered LEI Feng’s money donation when the village was in disaster.

The students remembered LEI Feng was their after-school activities counselor. At that time, schools often invited model soldiers to be after-class counselors.

LEI Feng often traveled by train for lecturing in other cities. The trains were crowded and never had enough seats for each passenger . LEI Feng always gave his seat to the elder.

When he saw the busy train attendant , LEI Feng helped clean the floor, carry luggage for passengers and serve people hot water.

LEI Feng was an army truck driver and spent most of his time was on the road. He always carried a book in his bag and whenever  the truck stopped for a while, he would take the book out to read. He liked to spend his spare time in his dormitory reading. He began to write a diary in 1957 and after his death, people selected 121 diary entries and published them by the name LEI Feng‘s Diary.

On June 7 1958, he wrote “If you are a drop of water do you moisten a small piece of land? If you are a ray of sunshine do you shine through darkness? If you are a grain of rice do you feed a useful life? If you are a screw do you forever stand fast at your post? If you want to tell me what your thought is,do you promote the lofty ideal day and night? Since you are alive do you want to put in a lot of hard work for the future life of mankind and make the world better and better?I want to ask you what you have done for the future. At the warehouse of life, we should not aChairman Mao's calligraphy to learn from Comrade LEI Fenglways take from it (maybe use consumer is better).

On October  20, 1961 he wrote “Life is limited, but it is limitless to serve the people, I would like to put the limited life to infinite service to the people.”

LEI Feng’ spirit is handed down from the elderly to the young.

The army where LEI Feng served , named his squad as “LEI Feng Squad” , and they keep a bed for LEI Feng. A soldier has made a bed for him every evening after his death. At every morning’s training the commander will address every soldiers name. when he calls “LEI Feng”, all the soldiers at “LEI Feng Squad” will answer loudly at the same time “Here”. Fifty-two years have passed, old soldiers have left and new ones have come, but the tradition has never changed.

In China, we address LEI Feng to those who help the others without leaving their names. The volunteers and LEI Feng teams appear in large numbers in China. They are active at every corner of the country and they help those who need it. “Help Others and Happy Ourselves” is their slogan.

It is easy for a person to do one good deed, but it is difficult for him to help others all his life. LEI Feng, a simple soldier set an example for us 52 years ago . He tells us that a person can live happily and noble in his way.

 Be sure to check out www.scola.org for more resources about China and other countries around the world!

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SCOLA and CYRTV: An Adventure in Education

The past few weeks SCOLA fans have been learning a lot about our Country of the Month, China. But you may be wondering where all this information is coming from! Years ago SCOLA formed a business relationship with China Yellow River TV, a television station in China. Many employees at CYRTV have contributed to the material we have shared with you for our Country of the Month. Today, a CYRTV employee wants to share with you the history behind the relationship between SCOLA and CYRTV.

Founded in 1991, CYRTV(China Yellow River TV) is run by Shanxi Radio and TV with the support of more than 180 other TV stations around China. Their media specializes in Chinese language and the promotion of Chinese culture. CYRTV has material on TV,  radio, magazines and news media. Its headquarters are in Taiyuan, Shanxi. As business expands, the CYRTV Beijing base is laying foundations for further development.

On August 23rd, CYRTV began to broadcast Chinese TV programs via SCOLA to North America. Now there are three Channels broadcasting Chinese TV programs. The Confucius Institute (China) Channel on SCOLA Channel Three broadcasts 24 hours of  Chinese language teaching and cultural programs. SCOLA Channel Four plays one  hour  of Chinese programming per day, including news and information programs, as well as documentaries about China. SCOLA Channel Seven plays two hours of Chinese programming per day about culture, Chinese education, travel, scenic places in China, literature, history, and much more. All the programs are uploaded to SCOLA for online users to view live or download.

Together CYRTV and SCOLA  run Chinese radio broadcasts launched on December 18th, 2008. SCOLA Chinese Radio currently broadcasts two hours of radio programs on entertainment, education and culture. Tune in online!

Throughout the years CYRTV and SCOLA have formed a good friendship. In 1994, CYRTV began sending work teams to the U.S. About 50 experts and reporters went to SCOLA to work for a year.

The Chinese team was responsible for producing daily Chinese news program and giving lessons to local schools. During their stay, they enjoyed work with their American colleagues and formed friendships with local people. The dedication of the following people has strengthened the relationship between CYRTV and SCOLA:

1994: Jia Bin, Yang Hong, Zhang Xiao Ling and Liang Bo.

1995:  He Xiaoyan, Liu Kerui, Guo Hai and Yu Baolin.

1996:  Ling Li, Tian Jinhu, Hu Yao Ping and Tan Jun

1997:  Zhao Yaqin, Hong Wei, Yuan Qinghong and Li Jia.

1998:  Bai Xiao Dong, Li Jing, Ma Jia, Liu Zhi Lan, Wu Sai Ping, Yin Chun Jing, Wang Bao Hui and Chen Li Xia.

1999:  Bai Xu Ming, Shen Yan, Zhang Hua, Liu Hua and Wu Xing Ming.

2000-2001:  Hu Xin Ling, Cai Shu Rong, Li Zhi Hua, Yin Y Mao and Jiang Wei Dong.

2003-2005:  LiLi, Deng Yuen, Dong Lili, Fan Tai Yu, Ren Xiao Bing and Xue Bing Bing.

2006-2007:  Cai Xiao Ming and Chang Hong.

The 78 people that make up the CYRTV staff, are a harmonious and warm family. They are proud and happy to reach so many people around the world via their SCOLA broadcasts. They love to teach Americans about China, and teaching Chinese is their mutual mission. They will continue to do their best to strengthen the collaboration and friendship to make the world a better place.

Along with material for the Country of the Month, CYRTV has also been crucial to the Chinese language and culture resources we share with our subscribers on www.scola.org. Contact us today for your free trial and see how SCOLA and CYRTV can help you with your language learning goals.

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China: Making Learning Fun

As we begin our Chinese adventure, you may start to notice the perks of following our SCOLA Country of the Month. Each month, followers can learn traditional international recipes, vocabulary in native languages, and compare their countries climate and geography to that of the Country of the Month.  This month is full of good luck, as our providers in China have sent along something extra.

The Chinese providers are making the March Country of the Month not only educational, but also entertaining! The Chinese providers have sent in traditional recipes to make your mouths water, fascinating clips of Huangshan Mountain to captivate your mind, and unlike any other Country of the Month before them, jokes to tickle your funny bone!  The jokes they sent will not only give you insight into their culture and the holidays they celebrate, but will make you laugh as well! Enjoy!

The first Chinese joke we will share is about Qingming Festival. Qingming Festival will be celebrated April 5th, 2014 in China. The Chinese enjoy a day off of work to worship their ancestors. According to Chinese customs, people visit the tombs with gifts for their ancestors to enjoy in the other world including fruit, wine, flowers, food, and paper money. They put the food, fruit, and flowers in front of the tomb. They spray the wine and burn the paper money so it rises to their ancestors. They also put fresh soil to cover the tomb, and plant twigs around the tomb. The Qingming Festival is also one of 24 solar terms in China.

Qingming Festival (Memorial) is coming up so a man went to an offerings shop to buy sacrificial offerings. There he saw some paper Apple phones. He felt very strange. He said, “Aha, but if I burn an Apple phone, how will my ancestors know how to use it?” The shop owner said,”Steve Jobs is already there to teach them, why are you worried?” Appeased, the man bought one. The shop owner then reminded him, “You should buy a charger, you don’t want them to ask you to deliver a charger there do you?” When the man checked out he said “May I have your business card? The shop owner asked why, and the man said “I will burn your business card with the offerings to my ancestors, that way if the phone has any problems they can come looking for you!”

The next joke is about Valentine’s Day in China.  As in the United States, Valentine’s Day was also celebrated on February 14th in China. The Lantern Festival in China also fell on Valentine’s Day this year! The night of the Lantern Festival, people in China enjoy the first full moon of the year. It is a family holiday, where they gather together and eat sweet dumplings made of glutinous rice flour filled with sweet ingredients like sesame and peanut.

On the night of the Lantern Festival families go to parks or public squares to watch lanterns in different shapes and sizes. The lanterns are different shapes and designs, some made to look like special characters or historical figures. The sky is colored red with lanterns. People also write riddles on the covers of the lanterns or on pieces of paper hanging from the lanterns. Young children are carried on the shoulders of their fathers, the old are supported by the young, and the young forget the year of hard work. Children’s laughs and screams of excitement can be heard throughout the night.

SCOLA’s friend from China tells us “It is interesting that your holiday and our Lantern Festival happen on the same day in China. Our Lantern Festival is also a holiday for love in many places in China. People in Hainan Island will exchange flowers for love, or express good will…Today if you receive flowers,you spend today as Valentine’s Day, if you receive sweet dumplings, you consider it Lantern Festival, if you receive nothing, just consider it Friday!”

A Chinese man asks his brother what he thinks of Valentine’s Day. His brother answers “Valentine’s Day? Oh, let me think. It is the same as Tomb-Sweeping Day (the Chinese Festival on April 5, to memorize the ancestors). Giving flowers and food and saying something sweet to make the ghost happy.” The man replies “Younger brother, you are wrong. The conversation on Tomb-Sweeping Day is a conversation between humans and ghosts in the human language, but the conversations on Valentine’s Day are between two humans in a ghost language.” The brother says “We cannot regard money as important, but buying reasonable gifts and flowers is ok. The Valentine’s Day is short, by the time you blink it passes. But if you don’t buy gifts and flowers, that day is so long, and difficult. Do you know the worst thing about Valentine’s Day? Do you? It is when the gifts are not ready!” The man replies “No, the worst thing about Valentine’s Day is when the gift is ready, but you have no lover!” His brother says “ Brother, that is not a big deal. The most miserable thing is that the gifts are ready, and the lover is ready, but your wife finds out!” The man laughs and says “Nonsense, the most miserable thing is that the gift is ready and you take it home for your wife, and sadly discover she is out spending Valentine’s Day with her lover!”

And last but not least:

A man received a text from his neighbor: “Sorry that I have been using your wife, I have been using day and night, and whenever you are not at home. In fact, I have been using more than you do.I confess to you because I feel guilty.I hope you will accept my sincere apology.”The man went home and fought with his wife.A few minutes later he received a text,”Sorry ,I typed wrong, it is not wife, it is your WIFI!”

Do you have a joke from your culture or country you would like to share with SCOLA? Post it in the comments below!

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