Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Chinese song: Thank you!

Time to learn a Chinese song saying thank you to parents and friends! We sing this song with Chinese sign language.

xiè       xiè      nǐ
zài       kāi      xīn    shí     nǐ      qīn    qīn    wǒ
(When I'm happy, you kiss me.)
zài       shāng            xīn     shí     nǐ       hǒng  hǒng             wǒ
(When I'm sad, you comfort me.)
zài       shēng            qì      shí     nǐ      shuō shuō   wǒ 
(When I'm mad, you talk to me.)
zài       hài     pà      shí      nǐ      bào     bào     wǒ
(When I'm scared, you hug me.)
xiè       xiè      nǐ bà      bà      mā      mā 
(Thank you, dad and mom.)
xiè       xiè      nǐ       de       ài
(Thank you for your love.)
xiè       xiè       nǐ        péng yǒu
              ,朋         友,
(Thank you, friends.)
xiè       xiè       nǐ       de      guān huái
                                               (Thank you for your caring.)

J is for jiā 家

It's good timing to talk about family value, which is an impartant part of Chinese culture. Although western culture is incorporated into Chinese lifestyles everyday, while some of core traditional Chinese beliefs are still maintained. Family value is one of them. 
When I told my kids in many Chinese families, especially in the rural area, grandparents live with their children and grandchildren, they thought that is a good idea. I told them my mom just came to visit us from China and would stay with us for six months. One boy exclaimed, "That is half of a year?" They thought it is way too long! :)

I actualy felt hesitated before I decided to tell them about one-child policy. When I asked my husband the other day if I need to talk about this. He said, "Why not? You can't just talk about everything good, but ignore those which are true but controversial." So I told them the policy, polulation of China compared to the States and showed them photos of residential apartment buildings in cities. Then I asked them, "Why do you think China has one-child policy?" Several hands were up and one girl said, "That's because there are just too many people in China." I felt kind of relieved that no one asked what happened if you have two children. I think some day they will ask. Then I told them many women choose to go to Hongkong to have a second baby and more questions came up, "Where is Hongkong?" "Why you can go there to have babies since Hongkong is part of China?" We probably will talk about Hongkong more some day.

When I showed kids photoes of houses in cities and rural area in China and asked them where they prefer to live, most of them chose rural area because people live in apartment buildings in cities and people live in multi-story single houses in rural area. 
My parents' house in city

 Farmers' single houses 
We watched the video of how the character Family developed from script on the tortoise's shell to bronzeware, bamboo sheet and now. When they saw the ancient character of family has a pig in it, they thought it very funny. We practiced how to write family on the sheet. Allie drew her house.

Looking at Allie's lovely picture of home and my sweet kids, I feel very cozy in my heart. Several years ago, these American families were blessed with precious children from China. God bless these children with a permanent home at the other side of the earth. And now I am so blessed to teach them about my culture. I pray that God bless these amazing American families and also their Chinese families who gave life to them.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Where is my friend?

Since my kids know how to say numbers in Chinese, we learned a song today starting with Chinese numbers. It's called Where is my friend. They love this song. 
Lyrics in Pinyin and Chinese

   yī     èr      sān    sì     wǔ    liù    qī
wǒ    de     péng yǒu  zài    nǎ     lǐ 
ài     zhè    lǐ
zài     zhè    lǐ
wǒ    de    péng     yǒu   zài     zhè    lǐ
English translation
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven,
Where are my friends?
They are here,
they are here.
My friends are here.