Two hawks with one arrow

31 01 2008

一箭雙鵰 (yī jiàn shuāng diāo) – Two hawks with one Arrow

There is an English expression, ‘Two birds with one stone’. However, this same idea is expressed in Chinese as Yi-jian-shuang-diao or Shooting two hawks with one arrow, and is an expression found in the Pei-shih or the official history of the Northern -Wei dynasty, 386-605 A.D., written by the Tang (唐 táng) historian, Li Yen-shou. In an historical anecdote, the following is related. Read the rest of this entry »


Swan feather

30 01 2008

千里送鵝毛 (qiān lǐ sòng é máo) – A gift of Sincere Wishes

Gift-giving is an important part of Chinese tradition and culture. The custom of bringing something as a house-warming gift when visiting to gifts to mark various celebrations, rites of passage, important events, festivals, etc. Some types of gifts become standard, such as seasonal foods and cakes, or fruits and cakes. Whatever the case may be, there are various forms of gift-rapping, such as boxes, trays, envelopes, etc, each marked for various occasions. However, there is also a traditional custom to attach a feather with or on the gift. This defines the gift as Qian-li-song-e-mao, literally, a swan feather from a thousand miles. meaning a gift which may be small but, carries with it the sincere wishes of the sender. Read the rest of this entry »


Story of the 12 Animals in Chinese Zodiac

14 12 2006

Whenever Chinese New Year is mentioned, the first thing that comes to the minds of most people is, “What year is this?” This is in reference to the animal representation for that year. The designation is usually explained with a simple story that a long time ago Read the rest of this entry »

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