Friday, October 29, 2010

Chinese Halloween?

Chinese Halloween? In China it is called the Ghost Festival. Some say this festival finds its origins in Chinese Buddhism, others claim the origins to be deeply rooted in Chinese folk religion. But what is the Ghost Festival? Good question! On this day it is believed that ghosts and spirits visit the human realm. Ghost Festival is unlike the Chinese Qingming Festival and Chung Yuen Festival. During the Qingming and Chung Yuen Festivals descendants honor their deceased ancestors. Traditional activities during the Ghost Festival include burning incense, joss paper, and papier-mache items in the form of every day items such as clothes and fine good. These activities are conducted for the pleasure and entertainment of the visiting ancestors.

Another Chinese festival with ghosts includes buying and releasing miniature boats on the water. The miniature boats and lanterns signify directions for the lost ghosts and spirits of ancestors. More on that festival later!

Do our Chinese friends share candy during Ghost Festival like we do during Halloween? The Ghost Festival tradition is a little different. Rather then candy eating, families prepare a big vegetarian feast and set places at the table for their ghost ancestors. Wow! Now that could get interesting!

Have a safe and happy Halloween! And remember...practice what you know.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hop, Hop, Learn

Learning Chinese simply must be all fun and games! Here you see 小朋友 jump, jump, jumping to learn new words. When 老师 (lao3 shi1) says a word, kids have to jump, jump to the correct picture card. And everyone knows how 老师 likes to make it harder and harder! 2nd grade students are having barrels of fun learning new vocabulary. Want to try? Here are a few new words for you to practice at home:

汉字 Han4 zi Chinese character
中文 Zhong1 wen2 Chinese written language
拼音 pin1 yin1 Chinese romanization

Stay tuned for an audio flashcard. must always LISTEN to Chinese to LEARN Chinese!

Good Luck 好运 (hao3 yun4)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

They Speak Chinese!

Those crazy high schoolers just don't get enough air-time on this blog! What about 小猫猫 and 大龙? Both seniors suffer from certifiable cases of the Senior Blues are excellent Chinese speakers! these power-house seniors enjoy memorizing vocabulary, writing thousands of Chinese characters, and especially like daily quizzes! Oh, did I mention they favor Kung Fu movies and Chinese soap operas?

Yes, LJA also has a High School Mandarin Chinese Department. This active department chalked full of eager students who are self-motivated learners. Level I and II students even have their own class monitors (Josh I. and Miranda A.) to help Laoshi. Level III and IV students are a talkative and friendly bunch of self starting and accomplished Mandarin speakers that would make any Chinese teacher proud to send to represent our good country in the Chinese speaking world.

So there you have it folks, LJA High Schoolers Rock! Keep up the good work kids!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chinese Geography

你好中文的学生! Time to learn some Chinese geography! Can you find Beijing on this map? You found it? Good job! Now try to find Taiwan. Did you find it? Good job! Now, try to find the Great Wall of China. I will give you a hint. It is a blue line. Can you see it? Good job! My how very smart my 小学生 are! Luck me!

Speaking of The Great Wall of China. 1st graders have been having a lot of fun learning Chinese geography and hearing stories about Huang Di and all his expeditions around China. Google the city Xian, China and be prepared for a very be learning adventure!