Some scattered thoughts on 端午节 (Dragon Boat Festival)

First of all, 端午节安康!In English, it’s called the Dragon Boat Festival I believe. The holiday originates from the folk hero, statesman, and poet 屈原 (Qu Yuan) from 战国 (before the Qin Dynasty) drowning himself into a river out of patriotic passion. The people in order to prevent the fishes from eating his flesh threw 粽子 into the river. I don’t know all that much about the history and culture behind the holiday. It’s my first time in China during it since age 6. I am reminded of how when in 河南郑州 where I visited 轩辕故里 I actually managed to impress a few people by reciting the first few lines of Qu Yuan’s 《离骚》

帝高阳之苗裔兮,朕皇考曰伯庸。

I saw and heard in the background some study pertaining to 端午节 on TV. I also saw on 新闻联播 (and video recorded part of it on my Huawei phone, if you’re interested in seeing that, contact me) Xi Jinping’s visiting St. Petersburg with Putin. There was Xi in Russia on 新闻联播 yesterday as well.

It occurred to me to write more on this blog after I become too tired to watch 红楼梦 (I’m on the third episode now, https://v.qq.com/x/cover/c2xpl7t4eppkq7n/t00148f3yrh.html), which actually takes some mental exertion, more so than writing what I’m writing right now. I am actually reading parts of the original version as well, the ones I find more interesting, and it’s easier since I have the TV series to match with. For translating the 文言文 that I can’t understand on my own, I’m using some English translation e-book of it I had downloaded while I was still in America. This is kind of weird yes. Reminds me of how since my English isn’t all that great with literary stuff (despite being in America since age 6), when I finally read Pride and Prejudice (back in 2015 I believe), it actually occurred to me to find online a Chinese translation of it, which according to my vague memory actually helped me clear up confusion on a few parts. This using English translations to help me understand literary Chinese, it’s not the first time for me. I had done the same for 鲁迅’s 阿Q正传, with an English translation of it on marxists.org.

Something that’s pleased me much lately is that I for the first time am taking serious action to systematically correct my atrocious posture and consequent “bodily deformations,” and there are visible results already after not long. I was quite physically awkward as a kid. I was certainly not looks conscious. That certainly wasn’t good for my self-esteem growing up. I thought I was just naturally bad. Growing up Asian in (white) America made it even worse. But now that I am older and more understanding, I recognize well that this stuff can be corrected without much difficulty so long as I train systematically with some professional guidance/physical input. I had a rather lame and pathetic experience growing up in America, with some bad memories associated for sure. They haunt me still from time to time, but overall, I am quite “forward-looking.”

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