Talented Individuals

I think the Chinese love perfecting talents and performing them on stage. Do you remember the opening of the Beijing Olympics? There was a chance for foreign students to perform dances, songs, stand up etc from their own country, or China alongside Chinese teachers and students at the Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration last Sunday.

I decided to enter, as I wanted the chance to sing S.H.E 中国话 in front of a large audience, as at the Chinese Bridge (汉语桥) competition, I only reached the semi-finals and performing in a classroom to other contestants isn’t the same as a live audience. I rehearsed the rap again and felt confident that I knew 85% of it well and the rest I could just mumble, or make up my own words and nobody would mind too much.

On Saturday, the day before the performance, the organisers messaged me, saying that my act would be much better if I had a Chinese student singing with me, so I met Afra and we split up the lyrics. Of course, I gave her the parts I was struggling with and our rehearsals went well. The show started at 6pm and there was a wide range of acts – acoustic songs from Indonesia and Thailand, an ethnic Chinese opera song, the Chinese song ‘Beijing welcomes you’ 北京欢迎你, dances from Cameroon and Thailand and some other things too. This is mine and Afra’s performance of S.H.E’s 中国话.

If you don’t know Chinese, the song is about the rising popularity of Mandarin as a worldwide, international language. Most of the rap parts are Chinese tongue twisters, which make no sense when translated into English:

There was a small boy called Xiao Du, he went to the street to buy vinegar and sell cloth, he sold the cloth, bought the vinegar, turned around, saw an eagle catch a rabbit, he put down the cloth, dropped the vinegar to chase the rabbit and the eagle. the eagle flew away, the rabbit ran away, he spilled the vinegar and the cloth got wet

This next video is of a traditional Chinese Lion Dance 舞狮, at a basketball match (that never was) on campus. What I didn’t know before is that there are two men inside each lion and when the ‘lion’ stands up, the guy at the back lifts the guy at the front up to sit, or stand on his shoulders. I was totally in awe of these dancers and would love to see one again. Although the faces of the lions are pretty scary and intimidating! What do you think? 喜欢吗?

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