Today, I am going to share with you a well-known and influential Chinese-culture TV program initiated by CCTV about 3 years ago, the Conference of Chinese Poems (中国诗词大会). This TV program was initiated in support of the Chinese national policy about what you might have heard of concerning "One Belt and One Road Initiative" (also known as "OBOR" worldwide).
Every July 7th in lunar calendar, which is still popularly in use at traditional Chinese families, is the most important day for Chinese lovers. Because that day is the Chinese Valentine's Day. Last Friday 8/17/2018 was the Chinese Valentine's Day for the year 2018. This special day came from a legendary story. There was a very beautiful fairy who fell in love with a mortal. They lived a very happy, peaceful and arcadian life together with their two cute children, husband plowing for grains and wife weaving for clothes. However, it was not accepted that a fairy should be married to a mortal, especially this gorgeous fairy was the seventh daughter of the queen mother on heaven. So the queen mother came to the earth and forcefully took away her daughter, leaving the husband weeping bitterly with their two kids. The cattle that the family used to plow the grain field was deeply touched by his mater's love to his wife. So he came to tell the master that he could use his horns to fly to heaven and catch up with the queen mother. The cattle died, and the husband used the horns and reached to heaven. The queen mother was enraged with hot anger, and made a river (later known as the "Silver River") to stop Niu Lang, the husband's name which means cowboy in Chinese. Therefore, all the magpies came to help Niu Lang, and they gathered together to make a bridge over the silver river for this poor family to meet. That day was July 7th.
Although it was a legend, still the story encourages people to take intentional and unconditional love to express how much we should cherish our beloved ones. If Niu Lang and Zhi Nv (fairy's name) could only meet once a year, shouldn't we live out our days by asking ourselves, "how could I make him/her feel more loved day by day?" This is the story of the Chinese Valentine's Day. You can click here or copy and paste this link to your browser (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3bRj5FRi1M), and you will be able to watch the special program that was made to celebrate the Chinese Valentine's Day.
Little Note: This program is not bi-lingual. You will need at least a Module 5 Level to be able to comprehend most of the conversations. But if you just want to immerse your brain with some really authentic Chinese pronunciation, this could be your highest goal. The hostess is one of my favorite celebrity. I am impressed not by her lovely appearance, but her knowledgeable foundation in Chinese language, poems and culture, and certainly her ability to engage her live audience members as a hostess. I am quoting a sentence that I translated from one of Mencius's students (about 200 years before Jesus was born) concerning an official document presented to the emperor about the importance of education.
Therefore, learning makes awareness of self-insufficiency and teaching makes less of stubbornness. Thus, self-insufficiency enables reflection and humility; less stubbornness increases flexibility and strength. Therefore, the old wisdom often proclaims “teaching and learning should grow together.”— Zhengke Yue (Mencius's Student), Chronicle of Education