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  • Chinese mythology

    Chinese mythology

    Pangu Separates the Sky from the Earth      The sky and the earth were at first one blurred entity like an egg. Pangu was born into it. The separation of the sky and the earth took eighteen thousand years-the yang which was light and pure rose to become the sky, and the yin which was heavy and murky sank to form the earth. Between them was Pangu, who went through nine changes every day, his wisdom greater than that of the sky and his ability greater than that of the earth. Every day the sky rose ten feet higher, the earth became ten feet thicker, and Pangu grew ten feet taller. Another eighteen thousand years passed, and there was an extremely high sky, an extremely thick earth, and an extremely tall Pangu. Then came the Three Emperors.So these numbers came into existence and evolve like this. The numb or begins with one, becomes established at three, is completed at five, prospers at seven, and ends in nine. So the sky is ninety thousand li(2) from the earth. 女娲造人Nv Wa Made Man女娲 是中国上古神话中的创世女神。传说女娲用泥土仿照自己创造了人,创造了人类社会。又替人类建立了婚姻制度,使青年男女相互婚配,繁衍后代,因此被传为婚姻女神。是中华民族伟大的母亲,她慈祥地创造了我们,又勇敢地照顾我们免受天灾。是被民间广泛而又长久崇拜的创世神和始祖神。It is said that there were no men when the sky and the earth were separated. It was Nv Wa who made men by moulding yellow clay. The work was so taxing that her strength was not equal to it. So she dipped a rope into the mud and then lifted it. The mud that dripped from the rope also became men. Those made by moulding yellow clay were rich and noble, while those made by lifting the rope were poor and low. 共工触怒不周山Gong Gong infuriated Bu Zhou Mountain传说在洪荒时代,水神共工和火神祝融因故吵架而大打出手, 最后祝融打败了共工,水神共工因打输而羞愤的朝西方的不周山撞去, 哪知那不周山是撑天的柱子,不周山崩裂了,撑支天地之间的大柱断折了,天倒下了半边,出现了一个大窟窿,地也陷成一道道大裂纹。It is said there were two deities, Gong Gong, the God of the water, and Zhu Rong, the God of fire. One day, they fell in battle. They fought all the way from heaven to earth,causing turmoil everywhere. The God of Fire won and in anger the God of struck his head aganist Bu Zhou Mountain. The mountain collapsed and down came the big pillar that held heaven from earth. The sky slanted to the north west and the earth to the southwest, and so, since then, the sun, the moon and the stars turn towards the west and all rivers run southeast. 女娲补天Nv Wa Mending the heaven在极其遥远的古代,天空发生了坍塌,形成巨大的黑洞。人类面临灭绝的危险。伟大的人类之母女娲不得不整顿宇宙秩序。这时,女娲取来五种颜色的石头,把石头熔炼成五彩岩浆,然后把岩浆涂抹在天空,补上了黑洞。补完天空以后,女娲又修补大地。最后,女娲擒杀了危害人类的黑龙。人类在女娲的保护下,重新过上了平安幸福的生活。Nv Wa, mending the heaven.In very ancient times, Heaven broke and fell,leaving a huge black hole. Humans were faced with the risk of extinction. NV Wa, the great mother of the human race,had to reorganize the Universe. NV Wa brought five-colored stones, melted them and used the colorful magma of Heaven to mend the black hole. Later,Nüwa repaired Earth, too. In the end, Nv Wa killed the black dragon that was threatening human beings. With the protection of Nv Wa, human beings once again began to lead a happy and peaceful life. 精卫填海The bird Jingwei trying to fill the sea 从前,炎帝(传说中中国原始社会的统治者)的小女儿在东海上划船。正当她划得高兴时,海面上突然升起一阵大风,把她的小船弄翻了。就在她要被汹涌的波浪吞没时,她的灵魂变成了一只美丽的小鸟。它飞过那咆哮的海面,伤心的叫着"精卫,精卫"的声音。所以人们就叫她"精卫"。 精卫鸟住在靠海的一座山上。它非常恨大海,所以决心要把它填平。它每天来回于山海之间,把从山上衔来的小树枝和小石子扔在大海里。 一天,咆哮的大海对精卫说:"可怜的小鸟,停止你那无谓的举动吧!你是永远都填不平我的。" 精卫回答说:"我当然会把你填平的!即使这需要千千万万年的时间,我也一定会斗争到底,直到你的末日来临!" 这只勇敢的小鸟继续从山上衔来小树枝和小石子,扔到东海中,从未有片刻休息。 "精卫填海"这个成语就是由这个传说而来的,形容那些坚定不移,不屈不挠,不到目的决不罢休的人。  Once upon a time, the youngest daughter of Emperor Yan, legendary ruler of primitive China, went boating on the Eastern Sea. While she was enjoying herself, a strong wind rose on the sea and her boat capsized. Just before she was buried by the surging waves, her spirit turned into a beautiful bird. As it flew over the roaring sea, it cried sadly in the sound "jinwei, jingwei". That was why people called it "Jingwei".   The bird lived on a mountain near the sea. It hated the sea so much that it decided to fill it up. Every day, it flew to and fro between the mountain and the sea, carrying in a twig or a pebble from the mountain and dropping it into the sea.   One day, the roaring sea said to Jingwei, "Poor little bird, stop doing that meaningless thing! You'll never fill me up." Jingwei replied, "I'll fill you up no doubt! I will, even if it'll take me thousands of years! I'll fight on until doomsday!"   The brave little bird kept carrying twigs and pebbles from the mountain to the Eastern Sea without taking a rest.   From this fable comes the idiom "The bird Jingwei trying to fill the sea". We use it to describe people who are firm and indomitable and will not stop until they reach their goal. 

  • Gap Years: What Is A Gap Year Before College (And Should You Take One)?

    Gap Years: What Is A Gap Year Before College (And Should You Take One)?

    ShareTweetTumblrCommentDo you get tired just thinking about another year of homework and exams? Are you ready for a new adventure -- but not the kind that involves buying books and late nights in the library? While your friends sit through lecture this fall, you could be promoting HIV/AIDS awareness in Vietnam, learning Spanish in Peru, or interning in New York City. How? By taking a gap year. Taking time off before college is a major decision, so let us help you decide if this road less traveled is right for you.What is a gap year, exactly?"Gap time" is a year or semester students take off before enrolling in college. It doesn’t have be time dawdling at home -- "gappers" typically work to save money, volunteer, intern, or study a language abroad. Most students elect this time off because they don't feel prepared for college or they're looking for more life experience first. According to Jason Sarouhan, a counselor at Center for Interim Programs, a gap year consulting organization, gap years enable young people to gain more independence and self-empowerment. "The time between high school and college offers the natural opportunity to take a break and to recalibrate one’s focus and centeredness," he says, adding that young people can benefit from structured time away from school or work.Why consider taking a gap year?Gap time is meant to revitalize your mind –- to avoid the burnout that can accompany immediately taking on more intense coursework. "Gap time is a chance to reconnect with a love of learning and a sense of curiosity about the world," says Sarouhan. Robin Pendoley, the Co-Founder and CEO of the gap year program Thinking Beyond Borders, adds that gap-year students gain experience that helps them connect ideas in college –- they’re able to better put everything they’ll be studying in context. "Gap year students tend to own their learning and college experience," he said "As a result, they get far more out of the time, energy, and money they invest in college."How should you expect to grow during your gap year?However gappers spend their time off, they tend to develop a better idea of how they want to spend the rest of their lives. "A well-designed gap year helps students find direction, purpose, and passion for their learning," said Pendoley. "They can return to school with a clear understanding of the opportunity it represents to become an expert in an area the student is truly passionate about and committed to." High school seniors who go abroad or volunteer at home will even emerge from their gap time with a broadened world view.Can you afford to take a gap year?If you choose to work full-time at home during your gap year, you probably won't need to worry about expenses. What about recent grads hoping to jet off to Asia to volunteer or study Italian in Rome? Gap-year advocates like Pendoley opine that price shouldn’t be an excuse to not consider a gap year. Gap year programs typically cost far less than one year of university tuition. Though prices may range from $10,000-$15,000 for a full year program designed by a gap year organization, less costly programs are available. Keep in mind that it's possible to travel and work during your gap year in order to save money for your college years.Taking a gap year is an untraditional path. How do you tune out the naysayers?Whether it’s family, friends, or your high school history teacher, you might have to quell some criticisms of your pursuit. Why might they question a gap year? Skewing from the traditional path from high school to college isn’t the norm. So, do your research and debunk skeptics' misconceptions. "With studies showing as many as 30% of college students failing to graduate and the average length of an undergraduate career over 5 years, any investment we make to help students gain the sense of direction and purpose they need in college is a good thing," says Pendoley.As far as I'm concerned, a gap year out is really a precious experience for a life long time. And during your gap year, being an au pair here in China with the help of our Ou Bei Au Pair contact center is really reliable. 

  • Culture Shock is a Good Thing?

    Culture Shock is a Good Thing?

    Stop Freaking Out! It's Fine.As you lay snivelling and curled into the foetal position under your bed in a hostel room that could pass for a Saw film set, you could be forgiven for concluding that the culture shock which has reduced you to a trembling husk of your former self is something negative.Good news! It’s not. In fact, it is remarkably positive. And this is why.

  • Tibetan New Year

    Tibetan New Year

    Losar -- the Tibetan New Year -- is the greatest festival in Tibet.In ancient times when the peach tree was in blossom, it was considered as the starting of a new year. Since the systematization of the Tibetan calendar in 1027 AD., the first day of the first month became fixed as Losar, the New Year.Tibetans begin preparing for New Year's Day in the 12th month in the Tibetan calendar, with initial activities including the use of green shoots of highland barley as offerings to the statues of Buddha.Activities around the middle of the month include preparing fried wheat dough mixed with butter. The end of the month approaches with each household preparing a Five-Cereal Container containing items such as roasted highland barley flour mixed with butter, fried barley and dromar refreshments, adorned with highland barley ears and a butter sculpture in the shape of the head of a sheep. This is done to pray for a bumper harvest and better life in the coming year. The 29th day of the month arrives with Tibetans cleaning their kitchens and using dry wheat flour to paint eight auspicious patterns on the central wall. The whole family then gather in the evening to first eat dough drops known as Gutu in Tibetan, and then participate in a grand ritual designed to ward-off evil spirits.New Year's Day of the new Tibetan year is actually celebrated on New Year's Eve. Lime is used to paint Swastika symbols on all doors; new woven rugs are placed in the newly cleaned rooms; and sacrificial objects such as fried wheat dough, fruit, butter, tea bricks and dried fruit are placed in front of niches holding statues of Buddha.The first month of the Tibetan calendar features the greatest number of festivals of any month, with activities scheduled on almost a daily basis:The entire family arises early on the first day of the month to worship Buddha. They adorn their holiday best and greet each other holding Five-Cereal Containers and high-land barley wine. This is followed by drinking hot pear wine and consuming Tuba oatmeal and dromar refreshments fried in butter, all of which were prepared the previous day.The second day is dedicated to visiting relatives and friends.The Grand Summons Ceremony begins in Lhasa on the fourth day of the month. Zongkapa, the founder of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, introduced the ceremony to Lhasa in 1409 to honor Sakyamuni who subdued evil spirits. Ceremonial activities begin with lamas from Lhasa's three major monasteries reciting Buddhist sutras, lecturing on Buddhism and debating Buddhist doctrines in front of the statue of Sakyamuni in the Jokhang Monastery. Highly successful participants are granted the highest Buddhist academic title known as Lharamba Geshi. The government distributes alms to lamas during ceremonial activities, with devout Buddhists from throughout the region refilling butter lamps and presenting alms. The ceremony lasts until the 25th day of the month when the monastery greets Maitreya.

  • Au Pair-Intership program

    Au Pair-Intership program

    Au Pair China, known as a cultural exchange program with strong intercultural education components is conducted under the general guideline of International Au Pair Association (IAPA) and China Au Pair Association (CAPA). Shanghai Oubei International Au pair’s Contact Center also starts this program, helping families all around China to match with Au Pairs from all over the world. We, the agency, strive to introduce the philosophy of Au Pairing to Chinese families while exposing Chinese culture, customs, and values to foreign Au Pairs. Working as an Au pair in China makes you experience a new culture and language while working with children. This unique Au Pair program gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in Chinese culture, learn a new language and make International friends! We welcome you to learn more and become a part of our family!Internship Program-Au Pair provides an opportunity for young professionals from different countries of the world to do internships in different countries. This is a great opportunity to gain working experience and build your worldwide network. 

  • Chinese Paper Cutting

    Chinese Paper Cutting

    Paper cutting is a traditional art in China which has been making its way along the route of the long history of paper. The kind of art went after the invention of paper in Han Dynasty, Most of the paper-cutting artists are women. The themes of their works usually include everything in people's daily life from dumb things to the surroundings. Familiarity makes them understand the real spirit of the art. The main tool for paper-cutting is scissors. Once they are owned by a master of paper-cutting, they will do so well that they become so supernatural and their paper-cutting are beyond imagination flow out of his/her hands in the chattering of a common pair of scissors. Another tool for paper cutting is engraving knives which are necessary to enhance a sharpened effect or to make a delicate job. No doubt that arts come from life and serve life. Paper-cutting are very popular in the countryside. The bright colors of red, green or light blue paper-cutting provide a strong foil to set off a merry atmosphere. So they are often found in wedding ceremonies or festivals in China. And people like to decorate their windows using colorful paper-cutting of different shapes and sizes whether they be birds, animals or flowers. In different parts of china, people young or old find hope and comfort in expressing wishes with paper cuttings. For example: for a wedding ceremony, red paper cuttings are a traditional and required decoration on the tea set, the dressing table glass, and on other furniture. A big red paper character 'Xi' (happiness) is a traditional must on the newlywed's door. Upon the birthday party of a senior, the character 'Shou' represents longevity and will add delight to the whole celebration.

  • Chinese Peking Opera

    Chinese Peking Opera

    Beijing Opera is the most popular and influential opera in China with a history of almost 200 years. Beijing Opera, as the national opera, enjoys a high reputation both inside and outside China. Many foreigners have come to China to learn Beijing Opera, while many Beijing Operatroupes and famous opera actors and actresses have frequently been invited to perform abroad and have been highly appreciated by foreign audiences.Known as China's national opera, Peking Opera is a synthesis of music, dance, art and acrobatics coming from Anhui and Hubei Provinces. It was first brought into Beijing in 1790 for the birthday of the Qianlong Emperor. s mentioned earlier, specific types of facial make-up in Beijing Opera are put on the actors' faces to symbolize the personalities, characteristics, and fates of the roles.Usually, red faces have positive meanings, symbolizing brave, faithful, and wise men. Another positive color is purple, which signifies wisdom and bravery.Black faces, for their part, usually have neutral meanings, symbolizing just brave men; however, they can also represent uprightness.Blue and green faces also have neutral meanings that symbolize the hero of the bush, with the former also hinting at strength and intrepidity.Meanwhile, yellow and white faces have negative meanings that symbolize ferocious, treacherous, and crafty men.Finally, gold and silver faces symbolize mysteriousness, and stand for monsters or gods.

  • Irina from Russia

    Irina from Russia

    Dear Host family:您好! I'd like to start my first letter to you with introducing myself. My name is Irina. I'm 26 years old and I'm a 5th year student of Pedagogic University in Chelyabinsk. I would like to meet people, who need my help. I have work experience with physically-challenged children. Also now I work as an HR manager.I learn Chinese language. My level is Elementary now, but I really like it from my heart and I want to put this knowledge on practice. That is why I need to get knowledge about history of China, it's customs, traditions and way of life. That is why I need your help, because I think it will be the best thing to go to China to be commitment in everything about this country. Also I want to develop my personality, to experience authentic Chinese life in host family and to make lifelong friends abroad.I like an active rest: to go for a walk, to visit cinema, theatre, different exhibitions. I like to do wide range of creation.At the end I want to say that I like children very much and I'm sure they like me too. Whenever I'm with children I feel comfortable and forget about all problems. They can make me laugh. And I like and I can to help them too.I'm looking forward to meet you, my dear future family!Best regards,伊琳娜亲爱的家庭:   您好!首先我想要介绍一下自己。我叫伊琳娜。我26岁了,我在车里雅宾斯克师范大学就读5年了。我喜欢结交那些需要帮助的人。我有带残疾儿童的工作经验,我现在仍然在担任人力资源经理。我学习汉语,现在已经达到初级水平,但是我从内心喜欢汉语并想应用到实践。所以我想要得到有关中国历史的知识,我觉得它是一种传统,一种习俗和生活方式。所以我也需要您的帮助,因为我觉得能去中国并了解这个国家的一切是最美好的事情。同时我也想培养自己的性格,去感受中国家庭的真实生活,交一些国外的朋友。我喜欢积极的休息方式:比如去散步,看电影,去参观不同的展览品。我喜欢做有创造性的事情。最后我想说我非常喜欢孩子,我相信他们也会喜欢我。当我和孩子在一起的时候,我会有一种舒适的感觉,会忘记所有的烦恼。他们使我大笑,我也可以帮助他们。期待见到您,我未来的家人!致敬伊琳娜

  • Kateřina From Czech

    Kateřina From Czech

    Dear future family,I would like to tell you something about me. It can be helpful to realize if I am the right au pair for you. My name is Kateřina (Katherine) but the people usually call me Káťa. I’m 23 years old. I come from a big family. My parents are divorced, but it’s OK, we are happy like that J The family consist of my mother Jana and her partner Míla. And my father and his wife Olga - they live with my youngest brother Adam (5). The most of my childhood I lived with my mother and his partner, together with my siblings. My younger sister Jane (15) and Michaela (20) and older brother Vojta (25). We spent a lot of time together - playing, going out and also learning together. The older ones took care about the younger ones, so I was a big sister. J We grew up in house in Svatava, which is a small village. And during my studies at college, I moved to bigger town Sokolov into my and my brothers flat.So while I was studying I had to find some job. I was lucky, I found two ones! It was hard, because I didn’t have much time for my own activities and the both jobs took a lot of responsibility. But I successfully finished my school of Social work with “red diploma” and I got degree DiS. (qualified specialist). After finishing I was still working in both jobs as a Social Worker. The first one focused on People with disabilities. I help them to find a job and then I assist them on workplaces. And the second one was about supporting family to be self-sufficient. I had the family with five children and when the mother needed to be out of household, I took care about those children. There were little girl Evgenia (3), twins Daniela and Nicole (8), big brother František (10) and the oldest girl Monika (12). We spent a lot of time together with learning, preparing to school, cleaning a flat and also we did some free time activities like reading books, drawing, playing outdoor games and singing. I was really sad when this job was in the end. But I decided that this is the right time to go abroad. To learn another language and to know something more about different cultures, habits and traditions. And in another site I would like to bring something new to your country to your family and we can learn from each other.I like music - listening, singing and playing it by my guitar. I also like reading books, doing sports (volleyball, swimming, basketball, aikido), learning new languages and sometimes I’m drawing. I really love traveling. I’m traveling in my hometown with my family and friends. And abroad? I have been already to: Spain, Croatia, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Great Britain and the last traveling experience is China. I spend there 1 month however I think it’s not enough for this beautiful country.I hope I will be the right person for your family. And I am looking forward to meet you. JWith Regards, Káťa.亲爱的未来家庭,我想告诉你一些关于我的事。这样您就知道我是否适合您的家庭。我的名字是凯特řINA(凯瑟琳)但人们通常叫我Káťa我23岁。我来自一个大家庭。我的父母离婚了,但是一切还好,我们是快乐的,家庭包括我的母亲和她的伙伴MíLa 。我的父亲和他的妻子奥尔加-他们与我的最小的弟弟亚当(5)住在一起。我童年的时候是和母亲,她的伙伴还有我的兄弟姐妹住在一起。我的妹妹简(15)和米歇尔(20)和哥哥Vojta(25)。我们在一起的时间很多,一起出去玩,一起学习。年长的人关心年轻人,所以我是个大姐姐。我们是在斯瓦塔瓦的房子里长大,这是一个小村庄。在大学期间,我搬到索科洛夫这个大城市,住在了而我和我哥哥的公寓里。所以,当我在学习时,我必须找到一些工作。我很幸运,我找到了两个!这很难,因为我没有太多的时间花在自己的活动上,这两个工作都要承担很大的责任。但我成功地完成了我的社会工作学校的“红色文凭”,我也得到了学位。(合格的专家)。完成学业后,我仍然在两个工作中担任社会工作者。第一个重点是针对残疾人。我帮助他们找到工作,然后我在工作场所协助他们。二是关于支持家庭自给自足。我要支撑有五个孩子的家庭,当母亲需要离开家庭,我要照顾这些孩子。有个小女孩Evgenia(3),双胞胎达妮埃拉和妮科尔(8),大哥哥弗兰蒂šEK(10)和最大的女孩莫妮卡(12)。我们花了很多时间在一起学习,准备上学,打扫公寓,而且我们也做了一些空闲时间的活动,如读书,画画,户外游戏和唱歌。当这项工作结束时,我真的很伤心。但我决定,这正是出国的好时机,去学习另一种语言,了解不同文化、习惯和传统。在另一个领域,我想给您的国家带来新的东西,我们可以互相学习。我喜欢听音乐,唱歌,弹吉他。我也喜欢看书,做运动(排球,篮球,游泳,合气道),学习新的语言,有时我画画。我真的喜欢旅行。我和我的家人和朋友一起在我的家乡旅游。国外?我已经去了:西班牙,克罗地亚,意大利,希腊,英国,英国,最后的旅游体验是中国。我在那待了1个月,但我认为这是不够的,这是个美丽的国家。我希望我是您家的合适人选。我期待着与您相见。致敬Káťa.

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