Winnie the Pooh

I thought it would be fun to show a few more Western characters that are popular in China, so at the supermarket today I went looking through stationery items, children’s books, toys and clothes. Recently, I had seen a little Chinese girl at a restaurant with a Winnie the Pooh book, but when I looked today, I couldn’t find much Winnie the Pooh, although I remember seeing quite a bit in the past. When I looked online for info about Winnie the Pooh in China, I was surprised to find that there was an issue with the government blocking Winnie the Pooh searches last year! Supposedly, an image with a Winnie the Pooh toy ended up being the most censored image of 2015!  I guess someone decided to have some fun comparing the Chinese president to Pooh Bear in numerous images! This ties in with another topic that doesn’t really have a photo to go with it so I’ll include it here…. the “Great Firewall” of China. Censorship is part of life in China. We regularly use a VPN or “Virtual Private Network” to connect to the internet with an American IP address. Otherwise, we couldn’t access Facebook, You Tube, Google, many Western hosted blogs and homeschooling sites and much more! Every so often, the government tightens security and the VPN’s go down for a while…so, if I suddenly seem to stop posting, that’s the problem. It was a challenge getting my post done from the hotel the other night, I had to email myself the picture and post from my phone, on which I have a mobile VPN. So, I’m not posting any links, you’ll have to look for yourselves if you’re interested in reading more or seeing the picture. Oh, and back to Pooh Bear, he is called 维尼熊 Wéiní xióng (pronounced “way nee she ong”) or Winnie Bear, and he IS loved by Chinese children :-) These pictures show Winnie used on a fruit yogurt drink packaged for children and a small plastic bag I had gotten from a little shop.

Movie Theater

We have avoided going to the movie theater because I thought the movies here were all dubbed in Chinese. Honestly…Do you see ANY English on the advertisement? We recently found out that English movies ARE in English with Chinese subtitles :-) So, this afternoon, Leah and I went to see Jungle Book in 3D.  Leah said that the name in Chinese, Qi Huan Sen Lin,” literally translates as “Fantasy Forest.” Leah bought our tickets ahead on my phone, and they were 50 rmb/$7.75usd each. There were only about 20 people in the theater for the time we went. I can’t remember the last time I have been to a movie in the USA, so it’s hard to make any kind of comparison! We really enjoyed the movie and the whole experience though :-) I guess we’ll be seeing more movies now! Maybe we’ll try a Chinese movie if it has English subtitles!

Wuba from the movie Monster Hunt

I kept seeing this character around and wondering who/what it was? I’ve learned…. Just ask a teenager…they can usually help with this type of question! Leah knew it was from a movie. Its name is “Wuba” and he is from a Chinese movie, named Monster Hunt, that came out last July and was the highest grossing Chinese film up to that time!! Wuba is a cute baby “monster” who supposedly looks like a white radish… has 4 arms, pointy ears, a little tail, a very cute laugh and a head of greenery instead of hair!

Quoted from BBC: “The surreal comedy is set in a fantasy world resembling ancient China, where monsters and humans co-exist uneasily in two separate lands. When revolutionaries in the monsters’ world attempt to overthrow their royalty, the monster queen flees to the land of humans and impregnates a hapless human man, Tianyin, with Wuba. He ends up being pursued by both monsters and monster-hating humans keen on capturing the newborn Wuba.”

 We watched it the other night and it was pretty good! It supposedly was released in the USA in January, I’m curious if anyone in the USA has seen it? Here is the USA trailer: http://themoviebox.net/8230 , not sure where you can see the whole movie there, but for my friends in China (and it may work elsewhere), you can watch it here (for free): http://www.le.com/ptv/vplay/23517204.html The Chinese translates literally to “Vampire Killers Mind”! Don’t worry…it’s a comedy not a horror film! Good for all ages! This link is for the Mandarin movie with English subtitles, which is supposedly better than the one dubbed in English.

Pleasant Goat and Big, Big Wolf

I think the most popular cartoon character with young Chinese children is Xǐ yángyáng yǔ huī tài láng 喜羊羊与灰太郎 or Pleasant Goat and Big, Big Wolf. Since 2005, there have been over 1000 TV episodes and 7 movies made. The story line reminds me of the Roadrunner and Wiley E. Coyote… the wolf is always trying to catch the sheep. Here’s a short intro with English you can watch if you’re interested: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMjQwMjg5NTY4.html?from=s1.8-1-1.2 You see these goats everywhere in China! Of course DVDs, but also books, clothes, toys, riding toys, snack packages, etc. We have also seen people dressed as Pleasant or Happy Goat…. which a certain daughter of mine nicknamed “Creepy Sheep” when she saw them dressed up!

Supermarket Fun

Life in China: A Picture a Day 2016, Feb 13 - Saturday Night at the supermarket…. A giant live Kinder egg, pandas having hot pot, furniture polish without the spray cap (we had to go to customer service and have them get it and put it on?), and chocolate covered taro candy …. there’s ALWAYS something new to find when grocery shopping in China!

Saturday Supermarket.jpg

Goldfish

Life in China: A Picture a Day 2016, Feb 9 - If you’ve read what I’ve previously shared about gold and fish… I’m sure you'll understand why goldfish are considered to be “lucky fish!” What better activity for kids (and adults!) at a New Year’s celebration than fishing for goldfish! There is a food fair, with some carnival type games, at our nearby shopping plaza and this “fish pond” is set up there. I’ve seen fishing like this at quite a few other places throughout the year, but in much smaller pools!

Street Musician

Life in China: A Picture a Day 2016, Feb 2 -Some things in China really aren’t that different from home. This was a musician I saw performing today, and I thought that he could have been doing the same thing in the USA and fit right in. He sounded pretty good, but I’m not sure what he was singing about since it was in Chinese (Ok…maybe a little different than the USA!). He was next to a bus stop near our shopping plaza, an area that probably gets the largest amount of people here. Guitar case open to collect money, probably trying to raise some extra cash for Spring Festival, so I threw the six 1yuan notes I had in.

02-02 street musician2.jpg

Lion Dancers

Life in China: A Picture a Day 2016, January 29 - We went to a Chinese New Year party at a Mexican Restaurant and they had some lion dancers performing. Lion dancers need a good amount of space, so they couldn’t do much in a restaurant, but it was fun to have them so close, and they did more just outside the front door. Lion dancers are a big part of Chinese New Year, as the dances are traditionally done to scare away evil spirits. There are many details about them, too many to list here! If you are interested in learning about the lion dancers, this is a great video explaining about the costume parts and how they work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rKcXN_axqE
Here is a slideshow of some lion dancers from a performance we saw last year: http://www.smilebox.com/playBlog/4e4449784d4451304e544d3d0d0a&blogview=true
Photo credit to Leah — at El Calliente, Dongguan, Guangdong, China.