Special Sub-Topic: Cantonese- Language and Culture
|Hong Kong is about an 11 to 18 hour plane trip from the United States. So what is the Cantonese word for "very far"?|
ho yoon. "Plane" in Cantonese is "fay gaiy". Like most airports, there are shops. Shop workers are usually bilingual. Many of the signs are Chinese but also have English translations.
|Chinese food plays a very large part in Chinese culture. Most of the time, there is at least one seafood dish for dinner. What is "seafood" in Cantonese?|
hoi seen. Fresh fish is very common in Hong Kong, but shrimp, lobster, crab, clam, abalone, and others of the sort can be easily found too! All of these can be ordered at restaurants (aka tsow low) or made at home. At the restaurants, rice always comes with it whether you order rice or not.
|The bills of Hong Kong currency are quite colorful and with many pictures. The picture on the coins were once of the Queen's head but was changed to another picture in 1993. What was that new picture?|
a Bauhinia Flower. The Bauhinia flower is from the Bauhinia blakeana, an evergreen tree. This flower is magenta-pink and is fragrant. It is the official flower of Hong Kong. There is a statue of this flower in Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong and also appears on Hong Kong's flag. Sir Henry Blake, whom this flower is named after, was a botanist who was the governor of Hong Kong from 1898 to 1903 and found this flower on the shore of Hong Kong Island.
|There is one specific color that Chinese people love. This color is used as a theme for big events like weddings. What is this color?|
Red (aka Hoann). Red can be accompanied by gold and jade which are also quite popular. Red is considered lucky because it is the color that represents "positive energy" in the Yin Yang. It is often used as a theme color in special events like birthdays, weddings, or Chinese New Years'. At these occasions, red packets (lai see) are given out to represent giving blessings. These should not be opened right away as that would supposedly destroy the gift of good luck.
|Hong Kong is generally a very humid, hot place. Because air conditioners are high maintenance and expensive, fans are often used instead of them. What is the Cantonese word for "fan"?|
foann seen. Sometimes windows are opened too, because on the higher levels of an apartment building, there is some wind. Very few dryers are found in Hong Kong, so washed clothes are hung on the open windows to dry.
|Chinese people like to eat desserts as much as we do. Their desserts are often sweet, hot liquids served in bowls, like soup. What is this called in Cantonese?|
tong suy. A few of the more popular "tong suy's" are: red bean and sweet, black rice tong suy. cooked peanut paste- or black sesame paste-filled flour balls in sweet, ginger liquid. black sesame tong suy (thick consistency). small, clear balls and taro in coconut liquid.
|There is one hobby that has been extremely popular among Chinese. Although it is not as popular as it was before, it is still played at times, like at Chinese New Year or at family gatherings. This game is called "mah jurk" (or mah jongg, which is the more popular name). So what exactly is a "mah jurk"?|
a type of bird. There is a picture of this type of bird on 4 of the tiles in this game. The bird is colorful and has a long plume as a tail. The game is played with four people sitting on the four sides of a square table. It requires a quick, problem solving mind and a little bit of luck. It slightly resembles the card game "rummy" except with many more strict rules.
|Chinese New Year is the major celebration of the year. For many people, it is the only holiday that they do not have to work on. What date is Chinese New Year on the Gregorian calendar (the one used almost everywhere in the world)?|
Different every year. Back then, the Chinese used a calendar different from the kind we use today. It's dating system is different and so naturally the Chinese New Year date would not correspond with the calendar we use. It is different every year but is usually late January or early February.
|There are many different kinds of transportation in Hong Kong. Rails, boats, taxis, and electric cars just to name a few. But my very favorite is the double decker bus. What is the name of this in Cantonese?|
serng chung bah see. Subways that go though tunnels under the water and through mountains are another spectacular system found in Hong Kong. Moving about Hong Kong is usually pretty quick and easy but there still is traffic. For those who don't rush, electric cars (deen tseh) that look like two-leveled trolleys, are very cheap at only 2 dollars in HK money.
|Chinese, in general, are very big on manners. Upon seeing or leaving the presence of elders, one must address them properly. So if I were to leave Hong Kong and I want to say goodbye to my Grandma (mom's side), what would I say?|
joi geen, pohpoh. For some people that are more traditional, they might get angry if you don't address them. As a greeting, usually simply calling that persons name is adequate but other words may accompany that such as good morning (jo sun) or how are you (lay ho mah). In Chinese, the relatives on different sides of the family are called differently. For example, "pohpoh" is grandma on the mom's side and "mahmah" is grandma on the dad's side. Hope you liked my quiz, and next time someone talks to you about Hong Kong, I hope at least you'll remember that they speak Cantonese there. *Please Rate This Quiz*
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