Recently on Sinlang Weibo, a netizen called Fusu Gongzi initiated a discussion. The gist of it is as follows: which two character words have the most Chinese flavor? What came to my mind is Jiangnan. When I was young I lived with my grandmother. The neighbouring villages all had streams flowing through them so I really like the region of rivers and lakes in Jiangnan.
While I was at university the first time I ever caught a train was to go to the famous water-land areas of Jiangnan – Zhouzhuang and Xitang. The Tang Dynasty poet Bai Juyi has a poem Dreaming of Jiangnan.
Dreaming of the Southern Shore
Fair Southern shore,
With scenes I adore.
At sunrise riverside flowers redder than fire,
In spring green waves grow as blue as sapphire,
Which I can’t but admire.
If you learn Chinese, you will learn from something.
Of course now, several of the famous areas of Jiangnan have seen development and have become scenic attractions for travellers so more and more tourists can be seen there. Especially in the summer holidays, after July and August, there are hordes of people so I don’t recommend anyone going there on holiday.
Also someone has said that the word with the most Chinese flavour is ‘gongxi’ because Chinese always say ‘gongxi facai’ at New Year. Others say it is ‘chang’an’. Chang’an is present day ‘Xi’an’. During the Tang Dynasty, Chang’an really flourished. One friend of mine says that it is ‘hongyan’; ‘hongyan’ refers to young and beautiful girls. We have the expression: ‘hongyanzhiji’. If you are male and have a really good female friend who completely understands your way of thinking then you can say she is your ‘hongyanzhiji’.
Some people say the word with the most Chinese flavour is ‘qiangchai’, because in many countries this would not happen. A word in the same vein is ‘chengguan’. Those mentioned above take ‘flavor’ to mean ‘feeling’ but there are some people that don’t understand it in this way.
Some people say the word with the most Chinese flavor is ‘Beijing’ or others say it is ‘wumai’. In fact the meaning they convey is about the same. The Beijing air in ‘wumai’ really does have ‘flavour’.
Whether ‘chaiqian’, ‘chengguan’ or ‘wumai’, these all embody the interest that these netizens have for Chinese reality. This is an interesting aspect of the Internet age, sometimes a problem is discussed seriously but as the number of people entering the discussion becomes more and more it gradually turns into a meeting convened to ridicule the subject matter. So everyone can use this question to express whatever they wish to express.
So what about you? What do you think the word with the most Chinese flavor is? Tell Miracle Mandarin, if you want. Welcome to visit our web site: www.miraclemandarin.com