Crosstalk–Chinese Xiangsheng


As time goes by, whether in ceremony or in social meeting, it is very common that Chinese people wear suit to express they treat this occasion formal. In this way, it represents that  peoples’ thought changes western. However, there is a situation that you can hardly see the suits, instead people wear Chinesestyle gown, in which is the of preference of crosstalk.


Crosstalk is a Chinese folk art, which develops very well in North China, especially in Beijing and Tianjin. Early in the Song Dynasty, crosstalk has appeared, and it was called Xiangsheng in Chinese, which originally meant that ventriloquists made their performance funny through imitating all kinds of sounds. Xiangsheng absorbs local culture and add innovation to form its own performance style, during the development process. Crosstalk, as the traditional art of Chinese culture, it attracts a large number of audiences, because of humorous, funny. Crosstalk shows people that Chinese as language can be expressed in a funny way, and the art can be particularly demonstrated.




Crosstalk can be divided into single, couple and group crosstalk. In Spring Festival Gala, crosstalk is an essential program and good crosstalk will give a deep impression to audiences. There are many crosstalk masters, such as Baolin Hou, Ji Ma, and so on. Meanwhile, there are many outstanding young crosstalk performers as well, which includes foreign performers, such as Dashan, whose real name is Mark Rowswell coming from Canada.These foreigners are profoundly impressed by the charm of crosstalk and traditional Chinese culture.

Crosstalk is the treasure of Chinese culture, also it is a traditional art with Chinese characteristics. As Chinese, we should pay more attention to our traditional culture, inherit and continue to introduce it to the whole world.

Chines Brush Painting

Chinese painting             Chinese painting

Chinese painting is a traditional and unique painting, and it has a long history. Chinese painting has a high reputation even in the field of art around the world. Chinese painting also can be called Dan Qing, which mainly refers to the paintings which are painted on silk, and Xuan papers, then frame with a scroll outside. The traditional painting way of Han people is to use a brush to dip in water, ink, and color ink, then paint on silk or papers. In this way,  the painting is called Chinese painting. Tools of Chinese painting includes brush, ink, color ink, Xuan paper, and silk, etc. The theme of Chinese painting can be broadly divided into figures, landscapes, flowers and birds. Chinese painting’s content reflects the our ancestors’ recognition of the nature, and the society which can be associated with the political, philosophy, religion, morality, and literature.

Chinese painting

Chinese painting

Before we learning Chinese painting, we need to know how to use drawing tools of Chinese painting. They are called  “four treasures of study”, namely including brush, ink, paper and ink stone, which are unique Chinese writing tools. The four treasures not only have the value of writing and painting, they also have the value of aesthetic, as they are artworks which combine painting, calligraphy, sculpture, decoration and other art in one.

Then we can start our Chinese painting learning.



Summary of Major Project



屏幕快照 2016-04-13 下午2.34.46classroom.

Time flies, this semester has finished, when Haiming and I still enjoy our process of teaching Chinese. As Chinese language and culture has a long history, thus, we cannot show all of them in one semester. While, we’ll continue our Chinese teaching after this course, please  remain focused on our blogs WuLi Chinese

Ae we introduced before, Chinese is composed of tow parts: PinYin and Chinese character. Generally speakingsingle Chinese character is equal to syllable. For the beginners of Chinese learning, they need to set a good foundation on PinYin study, as it is an important  tool for daily communication.

Compared to PinYin, Chiese character is the essential part of further Chinese study, because we cannot read and write without Chinese character recognition. Also, this part of study is more difficult and complicated, as students have to write these Chinese characters again and again to remember them. However,  Chinese characters are combined by several simpler pictography components. When students try to remember these complicated characters, they can start from every simple component.

In addition, Chinese culture is an important part of China’s identity. Also, it is an essential part of the world civilization, which makes outstanding contributions to enriching the world culture. Therefore, many foreigners are attracted by the unique Chinese culture, and decided to come to China to know more about it. Simultaneously, China culture is broad and profound, as such, we pay more attention to culture teaching, such as the introduction traditional festivals, tea culture, and the history of Silk Road, and so on; and we will keep introducing more Chinese cultures to people who are interested in.

In the category of Academic, we collect the relative studies of teaching Chinese as a foreign language, and also we provide our own perspectives according to our previous teaching experiences. It is convenient for students to know more about the development of the field–teaching Chinese as a foreign language, and at the same time, as teachers, we can learn from the latest research findings as well, in order to improve the shortcomings in our current teaching.



As we had a lot of problems in our previous major project, with the help of Alec and Katia, Himing and I made some adjustments to our major project: first, we add some easy video courses which students can participate in through online learning, such as Chinese paper cutting and Chinese calligraphy learning. They can also communicate with us through blog comments, if they have any problems. Furthermore, we pay more attention to the social media part. Haiming and I recorded videos ourselves, then uploaded them to YouTube.

From this semester’s study, we know that communicating is more important than soliloquizing. The charm of social media and education is communication, which can help to enhance understanding with each other. For instance, more communication between students and teachers can help educators to develop their teaching programs, according to the characteristics of different students, in order to achieve the effect of individualized teaching. Social media and open education is just like a net that connects people all over the world together. Regarding this, I know that we are far away from perfect, but we will continue  to explore on the way of interaction.

@ Alec and @Katia, thank you for your help.
@ fellows of EC&I831, thanks for your support.     #ECI831


Learning Greetings in Chinese

When I first comt to Canada, everybody asks me”How is things going?” “How are you today?” “How was school?” “How have you been?” And I don’t know how to answer. If you don’t know the greetings, you can’s start the conversation. So greetings is the first thing you need to learn in every language.

I find one lesson about greetings in Chinese. And I’d like to use them as text. And first can you watch them by yourself?

Click HERE to get the text.

There are pinyin, characters, words and sentences below. Please ignore the traditional characters because they are more difficult.

In this lesson, the most important words are the followings:

pron you
hǎo adj good, well, fine

你好” (Nĭhǎo) is a common form of greeting. It can be used to address strangers upon first introduction or between old acquaintances. To respond, simply repeat the greeting:“你好。” Ever time when you want to start a conversation or ask for something, you can always say this words.

ma part an interrogative particle

“吗” (ma), is for asking. If you put 吗 after a sentence, you make the whole sentence a question. For example, “你好吗?” directly means Are you fine?

pron I, me

我,你,他 (tā) are used as the first person, second person, and third person pronouns. However, Chinese pronouns do not change case like English pronouns. For example, the first-person pronoun is used for both I and me. is a term of respect for the pronoun .

shì v to be, (affirmative answer) yes

is a verb that can be used to link two nouns, pronouns, or noun phrases.

jiào v to be called, to call

“叫” (jiào) means “to be called” in this lesson. It must be followed by an object.

名字 míngzi n name
贵姓 guìxìng expr honorable surname
guì adj honorable
xìng n surname

“名字”(míngzi)means name. “姓”(xìng)means surname. “贵姓”(guìxìng)is uauslly go together when you ask the ones’ surname. 贵(guì)means expecnsive,so here used for honorable.

Now let’s look at this video,can you find something that you have learnt?


Chinese Teaching Methodology

First, this video  tells the traditional school ways to learn how to write characters. This methodology I need to stress those two points.

1 Acturally, to learn every kind language, repeating and memorizing is worthful.

2 The wise use of dictionary will definitely help you emprove a lot.(But here I need to remind you that in this video they taught traditional Chinese not the simplified. It’s important that you know there are simplified or traditional Chinese characters used in different places.) If you learn about simplified characters, the dictionary has another index according to letters not radicals.


Maybe you will find the traditional methodology is sared. But it’s the most useful. No pain, no gain. It’s a universal rule. Of course, we have other methodology. And in a vote among Chinese learners, we find that the longer Chinese learners they are, the biggest interesting point they choose the character. There are a lot of books and methods to make character learning and teaching funny and attracting. Look at the second video.


1 Learn components first. New characters is a combine of those simple parts.

2 Learn about combining rules. The common structures.

The next are two appendixes about simplify character:

(1) I find this video about 20 most frequent Chinese character radicals (Simplified character version), you can have a look to see. Don’t be scared by the tradional ones.

(2) The next is the differences between traditional & simplified Chinese characters. I’m sure you will love the simplified ones. They are simple and nice look, aren’t they?


The story of China-ancestors & Silk Road

BBC documentary about “The story of China” is a really good serizes about Chinese history. Telling Chinese history  is not a easy thing. But after I saw this documentary, I appreciate and admire their work! The translation is pricise, and the narration is clear. They tells a clear story with correct pictures.

I’d like to recommend you the first two episodes. I’ll write reasons why.

Episode 1, ancestors.

In this episode, the historical story begins at the ancient myths and the first discover of Chinese character. And the building of the empire that last long on this land. The thought of ruling a country and the philosophies. It’s the very beginning of this old oriental country that lay the foundation of the countries spirit and way of thinking.

Episode 2- Silk Road

This episode tells about the brillant dynasty of China, the Tang Dynasty. You can know the commercial developement of the City Xi’an and the influence of Buddulism. The build of silk road to Europe and the Christian that came to old China indicated that the communication between east and west were started early. You can experience the dicline of Tang dynasty, as a common rule of China, and you can experience the Chinese traditional poems.

The stories are written and presented by historian Michael Wood. I like his view and reflection about Chinese history and culture. And his presentation, I believe, is easier for non-Chinese understand. His narration is vivid and clear.

Relevant links:

The Story of China BBC home page

The free clips of Chinese culture

Chinese calligraphy

In the video, the teacher showed how to write the basic Chinese strokes. As for Chinese calligraphy, it adds more beauty and aesthetic technique when you write the characters.

Calligraphy is one of the most revered forms of Chinese art, just like Ink wash painting, loved by a lot of people.

By Ouyang Xun, Public Domain,


Chinese calligraphy has a long history. In ancient time, the people wrote with bamboo brush and Ink (made by Inkstick and inkstone).

East Asian calligraphy scheme 01-en.svg
By YugOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0,


Ancient people paid great attention to calligraphy. Some became the masters because they created their own special style and valued by people. There is a saying “We can read the person form his handwriting.” It’s like a mirror, is a silent reflection of the soul.

Today, Chinese people still cares about theis handwriting, and start to do some training when they are maybe in elementary school. And some calligrapy lovers even receive profession trainings. During the traditional festivals, propitious couplets are always indispensable decorations each written in a beautiful style.


By HelanhuarenOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0,