Monday, June 6, 2011

Dragon Boat

You might be wondering why I have a sudden plethora of blog posts as of late. The answer?

Dragon Boat Festival

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday are a holiday here in China called Duanwo Jie, or Dragon Boat Festival. It celebrates a famous man from Chinese legend who was basically a Daniel character falsely accused of sedition against the king and was banished because of it. According to legend he was so full of integrity he drowned himself rather than join those who plotted against Chinese society.

So down south they have dragon boat races in his honor.

Flight told me they also traditionally eat these. Inside the wraps are sticky rice with either fruit (like a date), bean paste, or sometimes meat. Flight likes the meat ones the best, but we had the date ones in office. They weren't bad.

In other news, I finally have a Chinese name. Last Friday I went out to eat with two of my Chinese coworkers from the office. Only one spoke any English so most of the night consisted in fun multilingual conversation that went something like this:
One person: "Blah blah blah"
Second person: "What?"
Followed by lots of charades.

I asked Meng XiangYu if he had an English name and he said he didn't have one yet, but wanted one. Usually Chinese ask their foreign friends to name them, so I proffered several suggestions. After passing on Elliot and Gandalf, he settled on Brad. Naturally he asked me if I had a Chinese name, which I did not. Since Dragon boat was a topic of conversation I asked him he thought Long (Dragon) might be good name. He said it needed something after it. I pondered a bit and said, "How bout Long Zhou?"

He and Sunny both agreed it was a good name. So I have officially been Christened "Long Zhou" or "Dragon Boat". I like it for several reasons:

1) I was born in 1988, so I am a Dragon according to the Chinese Zodiac.
2) I like dragons.
3) It is easy to pronounce/ remember.
4) It is associated with a festival about a cool legendary character.
5) It reminds me of the Voyage of the Dawn Treader (book, not the movie)

~Long Zhou

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