Beijing Mosque Photos +

Hi again~ This is a continuation to my previous post in which I talked about my experiences as a female Muslim foreigner living in Beijing for a year. I mentioned previously that I would be sharing some photos of some of the mosques I visited in Beijing, so this post shall be a compilation of those photos as well as some others that bear relevance.

The first series of photos were taken at the mosque in 东四 Dongsi. I was in the area with a friend and we happened to walk past the mosque in the evening. It looked closed from the outside but it was the first mosque I had seen in Beijing and was excited to see inside. The groundskeeper then saw us and was also excited about showing us around the mosque so that he could share his appreciation of it with me.

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Signs outside the entrance stating the location and name of the mosque, ‘halal’ and ‘ancient teaching’

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Inside one of the prayer rooms

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Daily prayer times in Chinese

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The groundskeeper giving us a tour

The second series of the photos are from the mosque in 牛街 Niujie, the largest mosque in China. Niujie is known as some as being the Muslim district of Beijing as it has the most Halal restaurants, and shops close together in one area. This visit took place a week or so before the commencement of Ramadan and it was in one of the Islamic shops that I found a Ramadan timetable. Niujie translates to ‘Oxen St’ which I found ironic as the area became a place of significance for myself, and the name reminded me of ‘Oxford St’ in London, the city that I live in.’Ox’ in general now reminds me of Oxford which is where I study. So it made me think of three places I was living in at the time (but not at the same time of course). I happened to visit with the same friend as last time.

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External view of the mosque in Niujie

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Sign on the left introduces the name of the mosque. The poster on the right is a prayer timetable written in Chinese and Persian

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Due to the regulation my friend was given a some cloth that was wrapped into a long skirt to cover her exposed legs

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The gatekeeper granted my friend and I free entry but I purchased a ticket as a form of support

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One of the inner pavilions

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Views into the men’s prayer hall

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Other rooms in the mosque

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Men performing the evening prayer in the hall

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Left: holy scripture. Right: Man attending the mosque for prayers.

The final photos I have chosen to include make up the “+” in the title.

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Photo of me at the Great Wall of China with the flag of Imam Hussain (a.s)

You may have to zoom in to see the details in some of the earlier photos. I was very happy to look back at these.☺️

I wanted to add that a few days after posting my last piece I changed the title from “The Funeral of Muslims” to “The Funeral of a Muslim”. It’s a very subtle difference but I altered the title due some translations I came across for the novel by Huo Da that my post was based on. The title of her novel 穆斯林的葬礼 was mostly translated as ‘The Funeral of a Muslim’, whereas my translation was a more broad interpretation. As I said previously, the title I chose was symbolic to my experiences in Beijing and once I changed the title it felt like an eery fate as the story became even more personal. You could try to explore the significance of the new title in terms of it’s literal and symbolic meaning, but I at least know what it means to me. Lastly I’m thankful and glad that the post was so well received and was able to dispel a few common misconceptions about Islam.

I really appreciate the fusion of Persian and Chinese architecture in the mosques I visited in Beijing. This design was perhaps most prominently featured at the mosque in 牛街 niu jie and I recommend you visiting the area if you go to Beijing. Let me know what you think of the photos I shared and take care of yourself till we next cross paths.💜

If you create a slideshow, good luck 世界.

此致敬礼 – From Xinyan.

 

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Bubble tea shops – Oxford!

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喂~ As promised, this post will introduce you to shops where you can buy bubble tea! I’ll be talking about things like their location, pros/cons and general 口味/flavor. 本来 I wanted this post to include a review of shops in both London and Oxford (as that’s where I’m living) but I realized it’s going to be quite lengthy. Instead I decided it’s better to separate these posts between the two cities. Today I have begun with boba stores in Oxford since they are less there than in London. I have started each section with the store name in bold and if you press the name you will find a link to its website with precise locations 等等. Lastly, the three stores I am about to introduce you to are not in order of my favourites😋

Formosan| The shop we shall start with is called Formosan and it happens to be the closest to where I was staying in Oxford! Formosan claims to be the ‘first and only tea bar of its kind in the UK’, but what’s so special about it? After talking to one of the workers about this same question he told me that the main USP of the shop is that there are no artificial flavours or colours in the syrups that are used to make their teas, and that there are no chemical additives. Quite a plus since bubble tea can contain a lot of sugar. For this reason the store markets themselves as the shop that sells ‘healthy’ bubble tea, which you can see from the poster outside that leads up into its entrance. I’d like to clear up that whilst Formosan certainly does offer a 比较 healthier alternative to the boba shops I shall go on to mention, its drinks are not ‘healthy’ in itself. Back to the poster at the entrance, the store is located in an…interesting place😅. It’s along the High St (on the left, the same side as Shepherd & Woodward and Natwest) -through an alleyway. If you exit down the opposite side of the alleyway on your way out you may soon find yourself at Christ Church college…but I digress. The location may seem off-putting to some but the shop is usually quite busy, so it’s not bad. The flavours on the menu may seem quite similar to each other but you can sample a few of the main flavours to see what suits your fancy~ If you get a topping in your drink (like tapioca or pudding) the average price is around £4.75, which can be a bit pricey. On the plus side, there is a loyalty card scheme which gets you stamps for the drinks you buy and rewards you with the 10th drink being free 🎉. You can also pay by card (there’s a sign that says it’s a £5 min spend, but it’s not strictly true); and if you go an hour before the store closing (the store currently closes at 8pm) your drink will be half price! 🎉–but you won’t get a stamp on your loyalty card. Other things to add is that there is free wifi, a toilet (discreetly hidden away too) and a very nice ‘tea room’ seating area with a table and floor cushions. And although you cannot mix flavours, there’s another branch in London! My recommendation: GLP with no ice~

Coba| Coba is quite an interesting shop. It’s a decent size store and cutely decorated with green walls, artwork and polaroid pictures hung up and displayed. There are also a couple of tables and small board games set up for people to play with friends as they have their drinks. They have the typical fruit and milk flavours, as well as milkshakes, such as an oreo milkshake you would find in an ice-cream parlour. The interesting thing is that you can not only have toppings such as tapioca in your bubble tea, but also in the milkshake! It’s worth a try, although I think tapioca tastes better in regular boba. As well as drinks, the store offers snacks! I have only tried one of their waffles, but they also offer pot ramen and a few Chinese street food style snacks. Once again for some reason Coba is also located down a sort of alleyway…but not exactly, I’m not really sure what it’s called o.O You can find the store through an opening in Corn Market St on the side opposite the Clarendon Shopping Centre. Look out for it’s own poster outside an archway, and there may even be an employee holding a sign outside. I didn’t seem to go to Coba as often as the other two options out of convenience, but it’s a good option! I like to mix flavours when a store tells me they can do this for me and if you are also like this, Coba can accommodate~ They (like most stores that allow flavour mixing) will tell you if they think the flavour will work well and if it’s a bit strange (like mine usually are) they will warn you. Expect to be met with a bit of confusion at first. They also have a loyalty stamp card scheme with the 10th drink being free🎉. A regular size drink is £3.59 but you can only pay by cash. My recommendation: Lemon fruit tea~

Chatime| Let me begin by telling you that Chattime is located in Glocester Green and has branches across the UK. There are a few tables for you to sit at with your drink, but none of the shops I’ve mentioned thus far are massively big in space. Perhaps it’s the white décor tricking me, but Chatime seems to be the most recognisable establishment for boba out of the three listed options. They offer fruit and milk tea flavours, although it would be nice if they expanded their fruit tea menu. As well as typical bubble tea they offer slushies (mushed ice drinks), which you can have with tapioca or other toppings but I wouldn’t recommend it because the ice causes the tapioca to harden faster (unless you plan to down it); tea lattes, coolers and mousse tea. The mousse tea has a layer of foam on top of the tea and you have to shake the cup to mix it in to the drink…in all honesty its just another milk tea. Also the coolers don’t seem too far from fruit teas with ice😅. But don’t get me wrong, I do like this shop and I went there a lot! Of all the boba stores in Oxford it closes latest at 10pm. They too have a loyalty card stamp scheme, and you guessed it, the 10th drink is 免费 -FREE!🎉I think a drink on average costs £4.20, however like Coba, they only accept cash and nearby cashpoints can be a bit 麻烦to get to. Strictly speaking you cannot mix flavors, however depending on the employee they may just let it pass~ Other exciting things are their promotional events. During Chinese new year they gave out red packets with special coupon prizes inside with every drink! Prizes ranged from free toppings to free drinks! My recommendation: Here, generally a green tea base and possibly extra sugar. Try the apple green tea with no ice (tastes like the green Hubba Bubba bubblegum!)~ They also have a Facebook page.

So those are the three bubble tea shops in Oxford~ There are a few restaurants and the odd ice-cream shop (down Cowley) that serve bubble tea, but I wouldn’t recommend it in comparison to the stores I’ve discussed in this post. I think I should add that this was not at all sponsored…but I wouldn’t mind XD 😛 (and I have a Chinese CV ready to go!~~)☕️

I haven’t been too well lately so I had to delay this post, but I hope you enjoyed it now that it’s come out~ Please 期待 my posts to come and be patient with me 💪🏽.

If you plan to explore some bubble tea shops, good luck 世界.

从欣妍 – From Xinyan.

Bubble tea!?

Bubble tea (a.k.a ‘boba’ by the Hipsters…开玩笑) is a tea based drink usually filled with tapioca pearls. The drink was originally made in Taiwan and is famously known as an East Asian beverage. In the recent years the drink has become increasingly popular in the West and explains why you may have seen Boba stores popping up in the UK in big shopping centres and such.

I have been asked about bubble tea many times, and so I thought it was best to answer some of the questions in a standalone post. I usually get asked when I take a friend to try it and I have to quickly brief them whilst they’re in the queue. The FAQ would be ‘what’s that black stuff in the drink?’. The answer is simply tapioca pearls (basically the ‘bubbles’). The tapioca/boba has a chewy texture like a slightly hardened jelly that you can eat along with your drink. Bubble tea usually comes with a straw that has a larger hole than normal straws so that you can suck the tapioca along with your tea. Recently shops have started to ask customers if they would like tapioca with their drink (or charge 50p extra for tapioca to be included in the drink) since many people find it unsettling to have things floating in their tea which force them to drink and chew at the same time. However there are toppings other than tapioca. Some of the most popular toppings would be aiyu jelly (which has a rather tasteless taste), grass jelly and red bean. You can even get popping boba, which is coloured tapioca pearls that have flavoured juice inside them that you taste once you bite them (often fruit flavoured).

So that’s tapioca sorted, what about the drink itself? Bubbletea is a tea based drink. Usually the teas are divided into fruit and milk. Fruit teas taste a bit like juice (which I recommend if you want something to quench your thirst), and milk teas have a milk base (so it may remind you of your English breakfast tea). Some shops also sell teas in different forms such as frozen ice, mousse and lattés. The frozen ice is sort of like a slushie and although it is quite popular with tapioca, the tapioca will harden quicker due to the freezing temperature of the drink. The mousse is also quite interesting as it has a foam layer on top of the tea that you have to shake before drinking to mix the two together. In all honesty it’s pretty much the same as a milk tea once you’ve shaken the cup, but do try it if there are interesting flavours.

Most shops have the same traditional flavours of milk tea such as Matcha (Japanese green tea), Oolong, Jasmine, Brown sugar, Chocolate; as well as standard fruit flavours such as Strawberry, Mango, Passion Fruit and Lychee. In most shops you can also mix flavours, although this is usually limited to two flavours and kept within fruit or milk tea bases. I would recommend a mixture of Mango and Passion fruit which complement each other very well, especially if you’re unsure of what to have the first time and don’t want to try something too new. You may also notice on the menu that you can have your drink with either a Green or a Black tea base. I only recently found this out, but a Green tea base is slightly weaker in terms of flavour, and a Black tea base is slightly stronger. Although I don’t pay too much attention to it, in certain shops I would recommend a Black tea base since their flavours are not always very strong, however I generally stick to using Green tea.

Once you have chosen your tea flavour(s) you will be asked if you want your drink hot or cold (although certain drinks only come in one form) and which level of sweetness you would like your drink to be. Personally I like to have my drinks cold with no ice because the ice cubes get in the way of the pearls and can also dilute the drink as they melt. I also think that milk tea drinks taste better hot than fruit teas. I’ve found that the fruit teas have a strange almost bitter aftertaste when served hot, which would probably be even stronger with a black tea base. If you want to try a hot tea, a safe option would be a hot chocolate flavoured tea which can be quite nice (if it’s mixed properly). You can make a judgement as to which flavours will taste nice hot, for example I once tried a hot Rose milk tea which brought out the rose flavour more strongly than in its cold tea counterpart but eventually made me feel a bit sick x_x Of course this is only my opinion and you should try out different flavours and combinations of teas if you get a chance so that you can find your own favourites.

As I mentioned earlier as well as being asked which temperature you would like your drink to be served as, you will also be given the choice to determine the sweetness level. Some shops are more precise than others, like some stores in Korea which will ask you to state a percentage number for how sweet you would like your drink. The most basic options are to keep the sugar level at regular, extra sweet, or less sweet. Within these levels you can sometimes request further levels of sweetness like extra extra sweet (x_x) or no sugar at all. Although it’s quite easy to keep the sugar at regular level, you could try different sugar levels to see how greatly it affects the overall taste.

The first time I saw a sign for a Bubble tea shop I imagined a Bubble Gum/magical flavoured drink that I felt the need to try! It was only a year or so later that I found another shop selling the elusive beverage, and once I found out what it really was I was quite satisfied. Incase you didn’t already guessed, 奶茶对身体不健康 –Bubble tea is quite unhealthy, so try not to have it too frequently. You can try to opt for flavours that are ‘less unhealthy’ than others, perhaps like a hot lychee green tea with less sugar. Of course the sugar levels will play a big role in this, however the drinks are mainly deemed as unhealthy because of the flavoured syrups that are sometimes mixed in with the teas and also because the tapioca itself is quite high in calories. So you have been warned~

If you ever visit Taiwan you can go to the shop where Bubble tea was originally created and have a session making your own authentic teas. From what I remember the creation of the drink was quite interesting, but I’m afraid we’ve run out of time for a history lesson today. If you would like me to expand on the topic in the future or perhaps talk about how to make your own Bubble tea at home then do let me know.

This post has already become quite long so I hope you have a good understanding of what Bubble tea is! You may now be wondering where you can purchase such a magical drink? I decided to talk about this in a separate post so stay tuned and I will reveal such details and more!~

If you try Bubble tea for the first time, good luck 世界。

从欣妍 – From Xinyan.

Chinese Music 4

In this final part of my Chinese Music series I will be sharing songs that were not included in the previous posts but still deserve to be showcased. Expect an array of songs quite different to eachother, from videos that may surprise you, to possible new favourites that need to be given a chance😝我们开始吧?

I wanted to begin with a song shown to me by 一位同学. The song is ‘Scream’ by Grimes  a sort of dark Electronica song I didn’t expect to hear in Chinese! The next song reminds me of the one I just shared, and if anyone knows what genre to classify it as, do let me know. Please listen to 第二個我 ‘Second Me’ by 路子樂隊 (known as WAY5 in English).

I thought I should show you one of the famous Chinese singers I left out in Part 1 about Chinese pop music. Jolin Tsai is very popular in Taiwan and so please enjoy her collaborative dance song ‘I’m Not Yours’. What I did learn from parts of the mv that I did watch is that the narrative of the song is somewhat mystical…in a dark sense, and that some of the English lyrics were interesting to say the least. To balance out the negative energy, here’s another pop song that I withheld for this post. Here is Hit5’s ‘Shine On Me’.

The next song can only be described as super cute😋 Without an mv I can only imagine a man in his 30s singing this while playing the guitar to a women riding away on her bicycle on a sunny day ^-^ Not quite selling it? You’ll have to listen to it yourself then; 因为爱情 (Because of Love) by Chan Faye Wong. Another song that can be described as cute but for more obvious reasons is 麒麟 Unicorn Baby’s 小小閨蜜 ‘Best Friend’.  Or is Gao YanKai’s 快樂出發 ‘Happy Departure’ cuter?

Next is 不可思議 by Aarif, who I initially noticed because of his interesting name. The title of the song (bukesiyi) is the name of an idiom meaning ‘Unimaginable’. I’m not too sure how to describe the song itself but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was actually produced in 2002. If you would prefer more of a sad song perhaps you would like ‘Things I’d never do’ by Kenji Wu. Following on is 浪费 ‘Unrequited’ a ballad by Yoga Lin. I quite like the melody so I may download this myself, as well as the next song: 宝贝 ‘Baby’ by Zhang Xuan, which has been in my head since revisiting it a few days ago.

Some things cannot be conveyed through words and need to be independently witnessed. The next song isn’t as dramatic as I’m making it out to be but do check out the video for 小水果 ‘Small Fruit’ by the Chopstick Brothers. The creative video is set out like a video game and you probably wouldn’t imagine it if you listened to the audio in isolation to the mv. The next song features a comedic mv which is also quite interesting to watch. Here’s what I translated as ‘Explosion Song’ by 黑龍 (Black Dragon). Incase you want more, here’s a bonus song similar to the last two.

Next is an upbeat humorous song called ‘Lady Bro’ by two members of the boy-group MIC. The video speaks for itself. I think it’s fitting to next show you ‘Father’ by PSY which is sung in both Korean and Chinese and describes the hardships faced by a toiling father. Here’s two more songs also on the theme of family, but in quite different styles. 我媽是我媽 ‘My mum is my mum’ and 我愛我的家 ‘I love my family’.

I gotta say I do appreciate certain stylistic features of the olden days xD Perhaps it doesn’t count as ‘olden’ but indeed the golden days, as the next song seems to be set in the 80’s; Mavis Fan’s 你的甜蜜 ‘Your Sweetness’. Yet another song I will add to my download queue is this cover of Kimberly Chen’s 爱你 ‘Love You’. When first finding this cover I remember noting that it had a rock take on the original, and although I’m no longer sure how true that is I do still like the cover~

Many songs in the playlist for this post have proved difficult to describe, the next song being no exception. Check out Wang Rong’s ‘Rolling’ for fun costumes and a funky repetitive dance number. As a contrast you can listen to the traditionally eery ‘Beauty Song’ by Zhang Ziyi from the film ‘House of Flying Daggers’. The next song also features traditional Chinese instruments, but should not sound as eery. An OST from the TV drama ‘City of Desperate Love’ . I especially like the female singer’s calming voice 称赞!

The last few songs are kind of a random mix I didn’t want to leave out. First is the dance mv of a song by the girl group 1931, which I found after talking to one of the members! I also thought of including another male pop artist, so here’s ‘I Don’t wanna lose you’ by Zhu YuanBing. I couldn’t miss out a song by G.E.M, another very popular Chinese female singer. Here is her song ‘Heartbeat’ which has an inspirational mv conveying the idea of working hard to achieve goals despite personal hardship or social out casting. Similar to this is Xiao HongRen’s ‘One More Chance’. If all of this was too much to take in you may be in need of something a little more calming. To end our playlist is ‘Flower’, an instrumental song by Jia PengFang.

What did you think of the songs I’ve shared in this post? I’d like to think a lot of the songs were quite different from eachother so it was quite fun^^ Did you find any new songs to listen to in my Chinese Music series? I had a LOT of songs to go through to create it, but that let me explore a lot of interesting songs. What do you think of Chinese music? Let me know your thoughts~

If you need to describe ‘interesting’ music videos, good luck 世界。

从欣妍 – From Xinyan.

P.s. Lastly, it may not be a song but I wanted to share a Chinese poem that epitomises the importance of tones in Chinese! x_x

Butterfly Lovers 梁祝

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The Western Valentines day festival is becoming more and more celebrated by the younger generation of modern China. However, instead of focusing on Valentines; let me tell you a legendary Chinese love story.

The love tragedy of the Butterfly Lovers is seen as the equivalent of the ‘Oriental Romeo and Juliet’ and is counted as one of China’s Four Great Folktales. It has been shared across China and other parts of East Asia for over 1600 years since its conception in the Eastern Jin Dynasty (although it has also been traced to the Tang), and has since inspired many artistic interpretations of the tale.

The title of the story in Chinese is 梁祝 (Liang Zhu) and is derived from a combination of the names of the protagonists of the story. Each version of the story has slightly altered details, which is why I have written my own collective summary.

Zhu Yingtai is the only child of the wealthy Zhu family. The story was set in a time where women were expected to stay at home and tend to household duties, however Zhu (female protagonist) yearned to pursue scholarly studies. After unsuccessfully asking her father a number of times for permission to take up studies, her father finally agreed that she could join a school if she could find one that would accept a female student. Zhu was clever and decided that she would join a school by disguising herself as a boy (similar to the actions of Hua Mulan). And so she left her home in Zhejiang to travel to Hangzhou to stay with her aunt whilst she began her school. Every morning she would disguise herself as a boy. Zhu became sworn brothers with her classmate Liang Shanbo and as the months passed by she realised she was in love. Zhu tried to drop hints of her gender, but Liang did not pick up on them. One day Zhu’s father sends her a letter telling her to return home immediately. She packs her things to leave but is saddened because she wants to stay with Liang. Liang hears of her departure and decides to accompany his ‘brother’ on his journey home. Zhu conceives a plan and tells Liang that once he finishes school and finds a job, he can ask for Zhu’s sister’s hand in marriage so that the two friends will still stay close by to each other. Zhu reminds Liang of this plan before they depart. A year passes and Liang has gotten a job and saved enough to travel to Zhu’s residence. Zhu was overjoyed to be reunited with Liang and without restrain she revealed she is actually a woman. Liang understood his feelings more clearly after learning Zhu’s true identity. Liang asked Zhu’s father for her hand in marriage but he refused, revealing that she has already been betrothed to Ma Wencai, a wealthy merchant. Liang was devastated and as he left to return, he collapsed and died. When Zhu learnt of Liang’s death she becomes miserable and consents to the marriage on the condition that the wedding procession pass by Liang’s grave. On the day of the wedding, as the procession neared Liang’s grave, the wind howled and there was a thunder storm. A lightening bolt broke open the grave and Zhu leapt inside. When her relatives came to pull her out they realised that the coffin was empty. After a moment had passed, out flew two butterflies dancing merrily together. Zhu and Liang were finally together.

As mentioned earlier, the story of the Butterfly Lovers has inspired a culture of Liang Zhu ‘art’. Examples include; operas, violin concertos and films. If you are interested in exploring these further, I have included a video link of a violin concerto inspired by the tale. The photograph at the start of the post is taken from Xinhua news, and I have included a link to a short article written by them talking about a Korean troupe (including the members shown in the photo) who had performed the story whilst touring China.

Although the story is not from our time many still find it quite relatable, but I’ll leave that for you to ponder about. 我不太喜欢爱情故事但是我很欣赏这样的古典故事~也想说这部小提琴协奏曲非常好听!What did you think of the tale?

If you want to appreciate classical Chinese love stories, good luck 世界。

从欣妍 – From Xinyan.

Chinese Music 3

Hello again! 我回来了~ As hinted at in the preview I had provided, today’s post focuses on slow Chinese music. I’m not sure of which genre to officially class it as, but I will be sharing with you some calming and slow tunes. As with the previous posts in this series, whilst I have been showcasing a range of artists, there is no way I can introduce you to all the existing Chinese musicians and artists. In addition, 虽然 I have shared songs by a few particularly popular artists like Wang Lee Hom 但是 I have purposefully tried not to bombard the posts with only the Chinese artists that are the most well known (like AngelaBaby) and instead showcase some that may be moderately or less well known, but still produce great music. Following on from this (as also mentioned in the preview) the songs from today’s post will be taken from my personal favorites >.<

The songs I will be sharing are some that I really enjoy listening to, but I will not be arranging them in any specific order of preference. The first two songs on the list are , as we move on from the theme of the previous post. 首先我们就要听 Soft Lipa’s ‘我們都有問題‘ (‘we all have problems’). The style of this song reminds me of something that Epik High would make, and I remember when I first found the song that I got excited over being able to understand a lot of the lyrics😅. The next song is another slow rap that I had saved away in a playlist I made specifically for this blog-post series, and now that it’s resurfaced I’ve realized that I quite like it. The song in question is ‘IN DA SUN’ by Teezy. I thought the animation was a cool twist too. The next song seems like natural progression of the former two. Although I wouldn’t class it as rap and my friend seems to think it’s ‘rhythm and blues’, but the label doesn’t really matter. Before we move on, take the time to listen to ‘Special Person’ by Khalil Fong.

Let’s move on to some ballad~ Here’s song that is possibly my favorite Chinese ballad, ‘Set Me Free’ by Zhang LiYin. Like many other songs in this post, it’s very calming and I find that its really nice to leave on in the background when doing small tasks. If you want to hear more of the artist, I would recommend this music video which includes her songs ‘Agape’ and ‘Not Alone’ in the form of a mini film. Next is ‘Silence’ (anjing) by Jay Chou. It’s quite a well known song and it’s another song I think can be casually left on to play as you resume tasks.

The next three songs are quite dissimilar to each other in how they would be classed within the broad category of ‘slow Chinese songs’. What I wanted to share with you first is‘Come back to me’ by Bii. It’s not wholly in Chinese as some of the lines are in Korean too, but I think that makes it all the more interesting. I did question whether to put this is the previous post; however I felt that this song does also bring a calming vibe, even if it is slightly more upbeat than the others on today’s list. Perhaps to balance this a bit I am sharing a calming piece of Chinese music. ‘What the Pipa says’ can be seen as a calming instrumental composed with traditional Chinese instruments. People often say that it’s good to listen to classical music whilst doing work (and I realized I have mentioned this in one of my posts too xD), but next time why not try listening to this? 噢 Third is a song you may very well have heard of; ‘Jasmine’/茉莉花 (molihua). The version I have shared isn’t my favorite, but that one 我找不到了. Though I do like the interpretation, I personally prefer the version my old teacher introduced to my class. I have a recording of us singing it together, but unfortunately that cannot be shared on this platform.

As I said before, none of these songs were shared in a particular order; however I did save a special song for last. If you read the preview you would have heard it already and may recall me mentioning that it’s slightly old fashioned, but something I really like. Last but not least is ‘Suzhou Nocturne’ by Bai Hong. The song is from 1944 and I feel that this gives it a beautiful antique quality.

I shared a lot of songs that I think are quite special and I hope you can find something you like. This will be the end of the main part of my Chinese Music series. Check out the previous two parts of the series if you haven’t already and let me know what you think about Chinese music!

If you want to share some of your favorite music, good luck 世界.

从欣妍 – From Xinyan.

Chinese Music 2

For the second installation of this series we will be focusing mainly on Chinese Rap (说唱) and Rock (摇滚音乐), although if you saw the preview I left for this post you may have already guessed that. For this specific post I will be exploring what I’m calling ‘hard’ rap and rock. I’m not sure if it’s a technical term, but you will understand what I mean when you listen to a few of the songs in the list. I will be leaving the softer and more mellow tunes for a later date.

Let’s begin with some rock~ To start us off with the list I will be showing you the music video for ‘Wolf’ by Weibird Wei (alliteration appreciation). This song, as well as the others on the list are by no means ‘heavy metal’ rock but you may appreciate the guitar riffs and tone of the artists’ voices. If you get scared easily I would advise you not to watch the MV as it shows semi-gory scenes of a man turning into a wolf; however you can instead watch the version of the official lyric video! The second song is by the band 五月天, literally translated as ‘Mayday’. I came across Mayday when I was in a music shop in China and decided to buy one of their albums! The song I have picked for you to listen to is a soundtrack for the movie ‘Huang Fei Hong’ (based on the eponymous KungFu legend) called ‘Your Legend’. I also noticed that despite the fact that the band tends to create rock music, the individual voices of the group are instinctively soft, creating quite a harmonious balance. On the other hand our next song by the Taiwanese rock duo, Power Station showcases slightly more rough cut voices. Listen to their song ‘Energy’ and tell me if you hear the difference.

I’m not sure why but this next song was one of my go-tos when people would ask me about Chinese rap. Without further ado take a listen to ‘U.O.E.N.O’ by PNC. I do quite like this song, but I warn that the repetitiveness may become a bit boring after a few plays. I thought I would also slip in a song by Uniq (another boy group that sings in both Chinese and Korean) called ‘EOEO’ because the title sounds so similar to the previous song (great excuse for another good song)! The next songs we will be looking at aren’t typical rap, but not quite trap either. I will leave it unlabelled as to not restrict their genres, but they follows a recent trend of flow. The first song is ‘Airforce’ by Barry Chen and features none other than current Japanese legend rapper and Airforce advocate, Kohh. The next song is ‘MTMSMBMM’ by ETZ. It has a slightly slower vibe, and I warn that I did hear a few bad words when playing it back.

Generally speaking, Chinese music isn’t recognised as popular music as it falls behind K-pop and J-pop, which is why I was pleasantly surprised when I initially came across good Chinese music of different genres such as rap. The final song of todays post is what I had included when I created the preview and shows that Chinese contemporary music does follow trends of popular world music. For your enjoyment, here is a short Chinese cover of Drake’s Hotline Bling by NEOSO 😝

For now these are all the rock and rap I will be showcasing to you~ Take a listen and maybe you will find something new you will like. 本来我听中国说唱的时候特别兴奋哈哈!希望这次你也挺开心听我给你分享的新中国歌曲~

If like me you want to listen to good Chinese rap, good luck 世界😅

从欣妍 – From Xinyan.