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What do Pepsi and the Shaolin Monks Have in Common? (Beginner)

Mar. 8, 2010

What do Pepsi and the Shaolin Monks Have in Common?

After watching this humorous Pepsi commercial, we might be led to believe that the symbol of China’s Shaolin Temple monk is American’s Pepsi tab. But in fact, the mark on Shaolin monk’s head is really called “香疤 (xiāng bā) dots made by hot incense.”
In the commercial, the foreign monk broke three pieces of bricks with his bare hands. This move is called “铁砂掌 (tiěshā zhǎng) iron palm,” because it is practiced in the “铁砂 (tiěshā) iron sand.” It is one of Shaolin 72 “secret arts.” Hands of people who have mastered this art become as hard as iron and can smash bricks or stones easily.
The movement of crushing flat a Pepsi can with one’s bare head is called “铁头功 (tiě tóu gōng) iron head.” Just like “铁砂掌 (tiěshā zhǎng) iron palm,” it is also one of Shaolin 72 “secret arts. ” Masters of this move can make sheets of iron cave in with their heads as easily as blowing off dust, let alone breaking stones.
生词 (shēngcí) Vocabulary
少林寺 (shàolínsì): n Shaolin Temple

“少 (shào)” is a polyphonic character. When it is pronounced as “shào,” it means young. For example, “少年 (shàonián) youngster.” But when it is pronounced as “shǎo,” it means little or few. For example, “少许 (shǎoxǔ) a little/ a few.” “林 (lín)” means forest. “寺 ()” means temple.

Some people may wonder why it is called Shaolin Temple, and not another name. It is because the temple is located at the foot of the “少室山 (shàoshì shān) Shaoshi Mountain,” in a “密林 (mìlín) thick forest.” So people take one character from each phrase and name the temple “少林寺 (shàolínsì).”

Example:

A: Wǒ hěn xǐhuan Zhōngguó gōngfu. Dàn wǒ gāi qù nǎlǐ xuéxí zuì zhèngzōng
我 很    喜欢    中国           功夫。 但    我   该 去  哪里 学习 最 正宗

de gōngfu ne?
的  功夫   呢?

I like Chinese Kungfu very much. But where should I go to learn the most

typical Chinese Kungfu?

B: Dāngrán shì Zhōngguó Hénán de Shàolínsì le!
当然       是 中国           河南    的 少林寺    了!

Shaolin Temple in Henan Province in China, of course!

功夫 (gōngfu): n Kungfu

“功 (gōng)” means merit; “夫 ()” means man.

Example:

Chénglóng shì guójìshàng yǒumíng de gōngfu jùxīng.
成龙           是   国际上         有名      的     功夫 巨星。

Jackie Chen is an internationally famous Kungfu star.

百事可乐 (bǎishìkělè): n Pepsi

“百 (bǎi)” means hundred. “事 (shì)” means affair. “可 ()” means can or be able to. “乐 ()” means happy. Because of every individual character’s meaning, it has come to mean that “everything goes well” in China.

Example:

A: Xīn de yìnián lǐ zhùnǐ bǎishìkělè.
新 的 一年 里 祝你 百事可乐!

Wish that everything goes well for you in the New Year!

B: Xièxiè. Nǐ yěshì.
谢谢。你 也是。

Thanks. The same to you.



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