“Auld Lang Syne” is not Chinese !

Nor, for that matter, is “Herge’s Adventures of Tin-Tin”.

These little nuggets of information may not appear earth-shattering to you, but they did come as quite a surprise to Amanda.

“How ?”, you might ask…

Well, quite simply Amanda thought as she had grown up with both of them that they must be Chinese and not some form of “import”.

She has just gone back to Nanning and will be coming over again in September, but the above is linked to a conversation we had one day when one of those “Anniversary” documentaries about Apollo 13 was on tv and I was struggling to get her to show any interest in it.  I was surprised that she had virtually no knowledge that man had ever been to the moon.  (Be gone, all you doubters and “humbuggers” !)

“Why would they want to do that ?”, she asked.  “There is still so much we don’t know about the Earth.”  (Good question, but one that’s much too far-reaching for this blog post, so let’s not go there…)

From that the conversation developed and I discovered that her family had not even owned a tv set until she was nearly 20 years old !  The first colour tv she had was after she first got married in her early-to-mid twenties.

This brought me to the realisation that life in China has changed even more dramatically over the past few years than I had even imagined.

Modern China is a place full of bright lights and consumerism.  Modern(ish) China, the parts away from the big towns and cities, is a vast population which (probably) yearns for all the mod-cons that the wealthier elements of society take for granted in this “new” world.

Some in the remoter parts are already on the bandwagon…  I know that on “Asia Friend Finder” some of the local people caught up in the devastation of the earthquake last year were blogging their tearful stories about what had happened to them and how frightened they were.  The fact that us in the “outside world” were able to send them messages of support only serves to prove that the 21st Century is spreading right across China.

But 25 years ago, when Amanda was growing up, tv was not even commonplace in large towns only 100 miles from Hong Kong.  Is it any wonder that so many Chinese women want to try to find Western husbands and move away to where all of these things are not only part of normal daily life but are also, comparatively, much less expensive.

Anyway, as usual I have digressed a little….

It turned out in other conversations we had (prompted by things that came up on tv) that Amanda not only knew the tune of “Auld Lang Syne” but that it is so well known in China, and such a part of the culture there, that she had always thought, without question, that it was an old Chinese song.  I actually had to look it up on the internet for her to prove that the original words were Scottish.  [Rabbie Burns (1759-96)]

Then, when there was a news article about Tin-Tin being turned into a movie she was again astounded to dicover that Herge (with an accent) was Belgian !  Again, the books were so much a part of her growing up that she had never questioned it.

No doubt as time goes on more surprising little revelations will come to light, and I wonder just how much of her “Chinese” life Amanda will discover was “imported” from the west ?

In the meantime I am missing her so much already.  I can’t wait for Sept 21st when she will be heading back to me again.

How I wish I had given her more hugs while she was here……

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