WHAT NIU MEANS TODAY:
IT’S FANTASTIC

A Chinese folk adage goes that “blow the cattle and pat the horse”, which means brag and tout. But it’s hard to tell the origin of that Chinese adage.

Gu Jiegang, a renowned Chinese scholar once investigated the issue in his Chuiniu, Paima (Blow the Cattle, Pat the Horse). According to Gu, what people blow is actually the cattlehide raft. A laborer on the riverside of the Yellow River would say to anyone who is bragging, “Get away to the riverside.” The unfinished sentence means to tell the bragger to brag to the river. And “pat the horse” originates from the nomadic life in the grassland. When two friends meet, they would pat the crupper of the horse of each other’s, saying “What a good horse!” It’s the way the friends say hello to each other. But we can’t know whether this anecdote is accurate.

The Chinese character “niu” is used to express people’s admiration for something or someone that is fantastic. Beijingers would say to someone they despised, “You are a rotter.” But English-speakers may say, “You are really something.” It’s right of the opposite meaning to Chinese. But Chinese hardly blow their own trumpet.

It is a culture to brag and tout and deserves more research. Herodotus found bragging and touting was something rooted in autocracy, as seen in his History (II.80). An illustration in Dushu magazine of June 2019 was captioned with:

Do you wish people to think well of you? Don’t speak well of yourself. —Blaise Pascal

According to psychologists, bragging does good to people. One could back himself up. It’s no difference to blowing a cattlehide raft: You can’t rely on an underblown raft to sail across the Yellow River.

 

ZODIACS

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TWELVE CHINESE ZODIAC SIGNS 1,2

This set of picture books designed for children aged between 3 and 8 comes in 6 themes and 6 boxes (each box contains 2-3 books, several teaching aids and small musical instruments, and each box provides detailed teaching plan for teachers). It is expected to cover 150 class hours (to be finished in 3 years at 40 minutes a class per week and 50 class hours per year). Each box sustains the teaching for half a year or a semester, with standardized teaching contents suitable for the children of kindergartens and in the lower grades of primary schools.

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CHINESE ZODIAC AND THE 12 SYMBOLIC ANIMALS

The well-known Chinese zodiac encompasses rich cultural details. The subject is related to animals, ancient Chinese mystic arts, and ancient Chinese antiques. This book introduces the origin of the 12 symbolic animals and the meaning of each. It discusses the connections between Chinese zodiac as well as the agricultural and life activities of Han people. The book also tells fascinating stories behind the 12 animals.

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ILLUSTRATED ACCOUNT OF JIEQI: TWENTY-FOUR TRADITIONAL CHINESE SOLAR TERMS

The book making use of a great number of precious pictures and relics, Illustrated Account of Jieqi: Twenty-Four Traditional Chinese Solar Terms gives a detailed introduction to Chinese traditional seasonal divisions and its culture as well as the way to stay healthy. Readers will have a knowledge of Chinese ancients’ great achievement in agriculture and their contribution to it after reading the book.

Contact for Translation Rights:guotan@cnpubg.com

 

THE CHINESE ZODIAC

With the Chinese zodiac,every year has a different animal.

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RAT

clever, friendly, lucky, confident

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OX

hard-working,patient,simple,loving

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TIGER

strong, not afraid, loves adventure

 
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RABBIT

kind, gentle, cares about the fellings of others

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DRAGON

full of life, clever, wants to do what is right

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SNAKE

clever, charming, patient, gifted,talented at art

 
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HORSE

has a warm heart, doesn't give up, easy-going

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GOAT

polite, kind, loves family

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MONKEY

clever, full of life, kind

 
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ROOSTER

likes to dress up, happy, doesn't like to wait

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DOG

stands by others, not afraid, lively, honest

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PIG

giving, stands by others, has a warm heart