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FUN-MOOC: Introducing China in English

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Part One of Introducing China in English focuses on Chinese philosophy, Chinese characters, traditional festivals and Chinese food. We’ll invite Confucius and Laozi to our lectures to present their thoughts and doctrines strongly influencing China for over 2000 years. We also discuss the development of Chinese characters from oracle bone inscriptions to regular scripts. The methods of Chinese writing are also taught with six rules of formation, stroke and radical order, etc. In traditional festivals, we’ll look at Chinese calendar and observe the major festivals with Chinese people. Lastly, we’ll display a variety of Chinese food categorized into 8 cuisines. We also introduce some principles of cooking such as yin-yang balance, medicine and food homology and five-taste in harmony. Part One is a stand-alone course.

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Part Two of Introducing China in English covers four topics: traditional Chinese wedding, Cheongsam, paper cutting and Chinese architecture. In the introduction to traditional Chinese wedding, we’ll focus on the processes of wedding, namely, engagement, preparations, wedding ceremony and post-wedding rituals, which is influenced by a set of rites called “three letters and six rites”. Cheongsam is a kind of traditional dress for women, yet still in fashion today. The development and design of Cheongsam will be discussed with people’s aesthetic interests examined. We’ll look at the cultural connotations of paper cutting as domestic decorations and for specific occasions. In Chinese architecture we take Forbidden City as example to explain cultural symbols of building such as Fengshui, yin-yang, Eight Trigrams, Five Elements, number of lucky animals. Part 2 is a stand-alone course.

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Part Three of Introducing China in English presents a colorful picture with Peking Opera, traditional Chinese Medicine, Chinese painting and Chinese kung fu. Peking opera is an intriguing and mellow form of traditional Chinese theater. We’ll explain its four major roles, meanings of facial makeup, four artistic skills in speech, singing, dancing and combating in movements. With philosophical viewpoints about harmonious relationship between man and nature, balance of yin and yang, we’ll look at traditional treatment methods such as acupuncture, scraping therapy, herbs, etc. The theme Chinese painting will be discussed with its historical periods. We’ll also talk about some famous paintings and painters. The last unit explores the principles and characteristics of Chinese kung fu deeply rooted in Chinese philosophy of yin-yang, force or Qi exemplified by some major schools such as Wudang, Emei, Kunlun kung fu.

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