Friday, August 01, 2008

Let's Do the Olympic 4-Step!

You may have heard that China has adopted an "official" Olympic cheer, complete with a series of hand motions. With the opening ceremonies just a week away (!), here is what to listen and look for (and do?) during all of those hours of action.

While clapping twice cheer "Aoyun!" This means "Olympics" in Mandarin.

Cheer "Jia you!" while giving the thumbs-up sign with both hands. This literally means "add oil." It's essentially the equivalent of saying "Go!" in English. (We all need petrol of some sort to get us going!)

Clap twice again this time cheering "Zhongguo!"
This means "middle country" in Mandarin, which is how the Chinese people refer to their motherland. (It is the center of the sporting world for a couple of weeks...) I think I'm going to try a variant of this cheer while walking the streets of Beijing during the games. Instead of cheering "Zhongguo!", I'll scream "Meiguo!" This, as you might guess, is Mandarin for "America." (The United States is referred to as "beautiful country" by the Chinese.) I'll let you know how this goes!

Cheer "Jia you!" again but this time stretch your arms out straight up in the air on either side of your head.

So there it is..."Olympics! Add oil! China! Add oil!"

To see the Olympic 4-Step in action, check out this link (a serious news report featuring large crowds of Chinese partisans) and this link (an irreverent take on the whole "official" cheer movement).

And don't forget to jia you!



At 8:09 PM, Blogger Sharon said...

I can't wait for the Olympics! Since you like debate and good topics Steve....there seems to be world wide argument that 1/2 the WAG team from China is UNDERAGE! Complaints of documents being falsified and passports re-done with different birthdates have hit the online gymnastics fanatics! Me included! It will be interesting to see how it will be handled.

When is the official Balla departure date?


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