Front Page of the Day
Posted by Alice Xin Liu on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 4:50 PM
People's Daily, November 10, 2010
There is nothing like being being mentioned in People's Daily for confirming that a meme has been successful. 给力 has been used all over the Chinese internet, as a saying that could be literally translated as "giving power" but has more meaning along the lines of 带劲, which means "interesting" or "has force." In today's People's Daily efforts to become a "province strong in culture" is backed by Jiangsu province, which is "giving power" to the project.
The Baidu Baike entry for the meme says that the phrase originates in the northern China, but may also be traced to the South Min dialect (闽南话), predominantly used in Fujian and Southeast Asia. The use of it can be seen in this commercial for Intel, done in one-take, which shows an IT man showing visually the history of predicting the weather. He arrives at the point that computers will in the future be able to predict precisely when it's going to rain, and at the end of the commercial he says, "For changing the world using IT, give power!" (为改变世界，给力啊，IT)
Links and Sources
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Henry on The Eurasian Face
Caroline W on Big in China
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The Eurasian Face : Blacksmith Books, a publishing house in Hong Kong, is behind The Eurasian Face, a collection of photographs by Kirsteen Zimmern. Below is an excerpt from the series:
Big in China: An adapted excerpt from Big In China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising A Family, Playing The Blues and Becoming A Star in China, just published this month. Author Alan Paul tells the story of arriving in Beijing as a trailing spouse, starting a blues band, raising kids and trying to make sense of China.
Pallavi Aiyar's Chinese Whiskers: Pallavi Aiyar's first novel, Chinese Whiskers, a modern fable set in contemporary Beijing, will be published in January 2011. Aiyar currently lives in Brussels where she writes about Europe for the Business Standard. Below she gives permissions for an excerpt.
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+ Religion and government in an uneasy mix (2008.03): Phoenix Weekly (凤凰周刊) article from October, 2007, on government influence on religious practice in Tibet.
+ David Moser on Mao impersonators (2004.10): I first became aware of this phenomenon in 1992 when I turned on a Beijing TV variety show and was jolted by the sight of "Mao Zedong" and "Zhou Enlai" playing a game of ping pong. They both gave short, rousing speeches, and then were reverently interviewed by the emcee, who thanked them profusely for taking time off from their governmental duties to appear on the show.