想回家乡

春节 also known as Chinese new year or Spring Festival is just around the corner and people all across not only China but also other countries around the world who celebrate 春节 have started preparations for this big celebration.
Chinese New Year is celebrated right across the People’s Republic of China, and in other countries and areas with a large Chinese population, such as Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and in Chinatowns worldwide, pretty much – where ever there are some Chinese, they will celebrate.

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Chinese New Year, which is on January the 31st this year, is I would say one of the most important festivals and everyone who is working in another city or even country wants to go back to their 家乡(hometown) and celebrate with their family and loved ones. Can you imagine all these people traveling? They actually call it the “World’s biggest annual human migration” which is definitely not hard to understand when you know the number of people who will travel during this time –  “A good portion of China’s 1.35 billion people are expected to make over 3.6 billion journeys – by plane, train, automobile, bus, motorized tricycle and probably a few donkeys.”

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Within China, regional customs and traditions for the celebration depends on where you are from, but most of the traditions are the same. People spend a lot of money on buying presents before the go back to their hometown, on decorations and food. Cleaning the house thoroughly before New year is a common tradition, they do it to sweep away ill-fortune and to make way for incoming good luck.  Most doors and windows will be decorated with red color paper-cuts and couplets with popular words such as “good fortune”, “happiness”, “wealth” and “longevity”.

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Now, how do they actually celebrate Chinese New Year? On Chinese New Year’s Eve, families will gather for their annual reunion dinner, with a variety of food including pork, duck, chicken, spring rolls and of course 饺子.
The family and/or friends usually have some fireworks and firecrackers to scare “evil spirits” this happens around midnight or a little before, and it is also a tradition to eat 饺子 (dumplings) at midnight. So you can only imagine   cities around in China being very noisy  around midnight, and for hours afterwards, even days! Early the next morning, children will greet their parents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year, and then receive money in a 红包, the red envelope, it is usually children or the “unmarried” ones who receive this, but also people who don’t have a job yet, although this depends a little considering the traditions. Over the next few days, everyone meet relatives and friends to exchange gifts and good wishes.  It is pretty much one big happy celebration!
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This girl is Chenchen’s niece, sweetest kid 🙂 One of the many reasons why I really wish I could back to Manzhouli for Chinese New year.. 

Unfortunately, Chenchen and I can not celebrate with his family as we are Scotland and Norway, and we will definitely not receive any HongBao’s, of course his family is really sad, especially his mum, so these days I try to talk a lot to her, and make her happy.. haha. Although we are not going to celebrate Chinese New year in Manzhouli (Chenchen’s hometown) we are lucky enough to at celebrate together, as his parents actually bought me tickets to Scotland so I can spend parts of this festival with my 老公 and his friends there. I was definitely not expecting anything from them as I’m not Chinese, but the fact that they wanted us to celebrate together is perfect!
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Here are some useful word / sentences that you could definitely need when celebrating Chinese New year; 

新年快乐 = Xīnnián kuàilè! = Happy New Year
恭禧发财 = Gōngxǐ fācái = Wishing you prosperity in the coming year
吉星高照 = Jí xīng gāo zhào = Fortune will smile on you (‘lucky star high shines’)
吉祥如意 = jí xiáng rú yì = Good fortune according to your wishes

And here are some popular phrases used for the year of the horse;

马上有钱 = Mǎshàng yǒu qián = Get wealthy quickly
马年大吉 = Mǎ nián dàjí = Best wishes for the year of the horse
马到成功 = Mǎdàochénggōng = Success is on its way

Here is a song and MV by my favorites 羽泉 this music video really show’s what the family reunion’s are like during Chinese New year, and it really makes me want to go back to China.. 😦

nameee

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羽泉 – I wanna bring you into my heart

羽泉..羽泉..羽泉.. Where do I even start?!  Well, I can start of by saying that I am absolutely in love (with their music). And I think my 老公 is at a point where he can not even stand listening to their music anymore, because I play their music 24/7 and sing like I know all the lyrics, which I obviously don’t..
Anyways, this is how it all started; when I was around 13-14 years old I was obsessed with K-pop, I would listen to it all the time, and whenever my Korean friends were traveling to South Korea they would always bring me back some posters of G Dragon or Taeyang. After a while, they became too “simple” for me, and I guess I started discovering more and more Chinese music, such as 王力宏, and 罗志祥 (Taiwanese). After being in love with both of them for a long time, and planning my wedding with not only Lee Hom, but with Show Luo as well. I suddenly discovered 羽泉, and I quickly cancelled all my plans with Lee Hom and Show Luo and gave 羽泉 my full attention. And ever since, I’ve been in a relationship filled with love and happiness, and many many tears, tears of joy and tears of sadness. Wow, and all this just because of a music group?!

I assume quite a few of you guys know about 羽泉, but here’s something for you who don’t. They are known as the most successful pop duo within China (Mainland), and their music have been on the music charts almost non-stop for the past years. Their name “Yu Quan” is a combination of their two names Yu from Chen Yufan and Quan from Hu Haiquan. Chen Yufan is a typical and cool Beijinger while Hu Haiquan comes from North-East China and is known as the moody poet of the 2 of them. Put them together and they are greater than the greatest and they have made people all around the world love them!

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Hu began writing poems, learned how to play the piano, and tried music composition a long time ago. Before the band was formed, both wrote songs for other singers and acted separately as producers.
In 1998, when they both started singing in Beijing pubs, their style, and their passionate performances drew attention from Beijing’s music community, including Rock Music International Limited, which soon after signed the group.

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Their first album ‘The Most Beautiful’ was a big hit. All the songs in this album were produced by the singers themselves. Each of the songs was inspired by their own life experiences, and the audience loved their music. The title track ‘The Most Beautiful’ is such a beautiful melody that many pop music lovers can sing along, and the song has been sung by many other famous stars.

Following the success of the album, “The Most Beautiful,” Yu Quan released other albums including “Be Cool Till the End”, “Passion,” “Can’t Do Without You,” and “30”. “Be Cool Till the End”, the title track of their second album also became an instant hit after being released, and it still is a big hit today.

15 years, six albums, and more than 60 songs; No wonder why I love them as much as I do, that’s definitely something to be proud of! Though rumor once said that the two would split up, but the truth is that they are determined to continue as a group. And what’s more, it’s their music that matters.

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Oh, and how can I forget?! In 2013, they won the first season of “我是歌手” (I Am a singer) which is a singing competition who gathers many famous and well-known singers and they compete against each other to see who is the “best”, though they are all great.. People say that Yu Quan won with the help of Deng Chao, because he is so famous, other say they won because of their singing and the energy they put into each performance. I think they won because of who they are, and their energy level when they perform, they put so much effort into every performance!

Anyone else who know or like 羽泉? 😀

nameee

Just another so called love story

How did my boyfriend and I meet?

Well, this is far from a romantic story, definitely not one of those cute Asian love dramas.. When I met my boyfriend, I was studying at Beijing Language and Cultural University (北京语言大学). I had made quite a few local friends from Beijing, and I was having the time of my life, hanging out with friends, learning Chinese, seeing new places in Beijing and partying. My best friend and I made quite a few friends who were a part of the “party people” and we started going out together with them. Little did I know that I was partying weekly with ChenChen (my boyfriend), our friends would always book a table in one of the local clubs, and invite a lot of people. It wasn’t until a few months later, one of my DJ friend’s added me in to a group chat on Weixin, and ChenChen quickly sent a message to one of the guys and asked if he knew if I was single or not.
Once he got the answer from his friend, he suddenly added me. I was so confused, who was he? In fact, he didn’t remember seeing me at the nightclub either.. Haha, anyways, I did not remember him because the only times that I had seen him – we had been inside the club. Curious as I was I started asking him lots of questions and eventually I realized who he was..

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We started talking a lot, from the very first day I could tell that he was being flirty with me, and I was maybe being a little flirty back. But I wanted to live up to my reputation, “The queen of wudaokou” as most of my friends called me.. So I was acting really cool towards him.. (Poor guy). At this time he was actually in his hometown, and we were talking all the time, but I didn’t want to show him that I had any feelings for him, but every time he talked to me I was falling more and more for him. Eventually they day he said to me “I know I’m not good enough for you, and not tall enough for you” it melted my heart. Sounds weird right? But it was so cute, it was his way of asking if he had a chance.. I was already head over heels in love so I was being super optimistic telling him that he was good enough, and from that day, we started counting the days until he was coming back to Beijing.

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This photo is actually.. our first photo together

This is where it starts to become a little to cheesy – eventually ChenChen decided to book an earlier ticket back to Beijing, and 3 days later I was at the airport waiting for him. I was so nervous. I even made my friend come with me to the airport, ChenChen must have felt so intimidated.. The rest is just a “simple” love story of an AMWF couple.

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Photos from the day he came back to Beijing, ironically we were actually wearing almost the same jacket… haha

I was thinking that when I go to Glasgow, ChenChen and I could make a video together, yes/no?  And if we do, what should we talk about? Anything you guys are interested in?

nameee

You are Asian – You are a nerd!

“You are Asian, you are a nerd
“Oh, he’s Asian. Must be a total over-achiever in school.”
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I just wanted to write about something that really bothers me – Stereotyping of Asians, especially Asian men. The one thing I normally hear when I talk to someone about Chinese men or any Asian men in general is “oh they are so smart” or “they are such nerds”.  From my experiences these comments have been made when talking about Chinese, Japanese and Koreans rather than someone from Thailand, Malaysia or other Asian countries. Why? I honestly don’t know why it is like this..
Yes, they’ve got smaller eyes and many of them wear glasses, they are normally not very muscular and not always very tall. But that doesn’t make them nerds.

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An Asian may be smart, but once you refer to them by saying that all people who look Asian are the same way, then you are pretty much saying that they are only like that because of genetics. I mean, we all know that ALL Asians are super smart right? It must be because of the big brains and IQ of a million that they are all born with.  They are not born smart, the way people talk about Asians make it seem like they are all super smart. But hey, let’s be realistic, that’s not the way it is. There is a reason why they get good grades in school. The effort they put into studying, can you imagine all the hours and determination they have put in to it.  Imagine all these hours they have spent in front of their schoolbooks, or computers studying. But then again, lets not stereotype, not everyone put this much effort and time into studying, we can not say that the whole race are nerds just because you have seen someone study hard and achieve a goal.

Then lets talk about Western Tv shows or movies. Every Asian who is in a western movie who is not a gangster or a material artist is most likely a stereotypical Asian, nerd or geeky. Lets mention 2 TV shows who got these characters in it:

“The big bang theory” – Rajesh Koothrappali

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He is supposed to be a character that gives us an idea of what nerds are like, but instead it almost insults the “nerdy culture” Koothrappali may seem like a positive portrayal of an Asian: He’s a young, budding astrophysicist with a successful career. However, there are several negative aspects to his character that contribute to stereotyping: His inability to speak to women, his thick Asian accent, and then there is his parents trying to force him into an arranged marriage.

“2 broke girls” – Han “Bryce” Lee
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He is an Asian diner owner who is the boss of the 2 main characters in the show, He is portrayed as short, asexual, and always failing to understand American culture. This is just another contribution to stereotyping of Asian males. How funny is it that, the actor who plays this character, Matthew Moy is actually Chinese American and speaks perfect English.

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So why do we stereotype them like this? When the truth is, in many families, the kids are being raised and taught that they have to study hard to get a good job and earn lots of money to provide for their family. I know for a fact that not everyone want to study as hard as they do, but they are doing it for their family and their wife and kids.
My last year in Beijing I met a girl from Beijing, a really smart girl, but she was so fed up with studying, she had literally given up on studying FOR A WHOLE YEAR and her parents were furious.. It was like a shame to their family, and they didn’t want to talk about it to anyone.
Also I know many Asians who are super smart and get good grades, but they also have a life, they actually go out of the library, they even go to parties! Can you guys imagine that?! Wow!.. Haha, no, but really. Please, lets stop this stereotyping of Asians, it’s getting quite ridiculous.

Whats your opinion about the stereotyping?

nameee

后海 – HouHai

It’s been a while since last time I wrote something here, and I thought that I would write about something else and not just about Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year.

The other day I was talking to my best friend, and we were talking about places in Beijing, and of course we ended up talking about 后海 (HouHai). HouoHai is in my opinion the most beautiful place in Beijing. It’s a lake in the center Beijing, surrounding the lake there are Hutong’s all around. Many of the Hutong’s have been made into bars and restaurants, but there are still people living around there. To me, what makes HouHai so special is not the bars, or all the restaurants but it’s the lake itself. It is just so nice, walking around the lake in the summer is very beautiful and so peaceful. In the summer you can even rent a boat and go on the lake, or as some people do – go swimming. During the winter you can go ice skating on the lake, but there is always this one man who goes swimming there during the winter.. This man is awesome! Ever since the first time I went to HouHai (2008) I have seen this man, let’s hope he is still there next time I go to Beijing..
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HouHai has a lot to offer – bars, restaurants, cafes, souvenir shops, local Beijing snack shops and the Boat / Ice skating rental. It’s got something for everyone. When I would go there with my friends we would go there after lunch and just walk around, sit down for a cup of tea (I don’t drink coffee >.<) and talk, while we wait for the sun to go down.. That’s when we would find a small restaurant order some chuar and enjoy it before we would try to find a bar where there were at least 10 people in. It’s funny, there are so many bars in HouHai, and some bigger than the others, and to my friends and I they all seemed empty, although HouHai itself was crowded..
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There is one time I especially remember.. It’s a bit of a weird story, it makes me laugh every time I think about it. My friend and I went to HouHai after dinner one time, during the summer. And during the summer there are always many people there, and I always feel quite worried about my bag and I always make sure no one walk to close to me.. Also I think I paid too much attention to my friend’s bag also, at least that time.. And my friend and I were just walking towards a bar where we were going to meet some friends and then suddenly we saw all these people standing still, watching something. Of course, curious me had to go there to see what was going on. As we got there we saw a man punch a women and then take her bag and ran away.. I was absolutely terrified and I made sure my bag was still there.. My friend and I looked at each other and said “We have to help this women” my friend is a Chinese girl so she had no problem communicating, as we walked up to the women some man came running up to us and said
” 停,停,停! 我们拍电影呢! ” (“Tíng, tíng, tíng! Wǒmen pāi diànyǐng ne!”) which means “stop, stop, stop we are shooting a movie” >.< ALL the people who were there heard that man, and they all knew that there were shooting a movie.. awkward moment? YES.. >.< At least I learned a new sentence in Chinese 😀

Have you ever been to 后海 ?

nameee

新年快乐!

Happy New Year!
To me 2013 was amazing, but I’m sure 2014 is going to be even better!
It’s a new year, another 365 days  to fill with joy and laughter, and I wish you guys all the best in 2014 🙂
I will have to make a lot of decisions, about what I want to do, study or continue working where I work now? decisions, decisions.. Even with the decisions I know it will be great.. My 老公 and I already have quite a few plans for this year, and all I can say is.. “I can’t wait” 😀

All Christmas I have not published any blog posts, mainly because I’ve been too busy.. busy during Christmas?! How? .. Lucky me had to work…. well only 2 days.. Also my family is back in Norway, and my 老公 is here 😀  It was really nice celebrating in Norway this year, and especially celebrating New Years eve, I have to say that I don’t miss celebrating New Years in Beijing, those crowded clubs, drunk people, and the dangerous fireworks.. It was fun while I was there, but I did not miss it 😛

I will write a longer post later, but for now, here are some photos ~

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Super serious faces… >.<

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My 爸爸 & 老公 going Chinese..

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nameee