The Curse of Da Shan

dashan.jpgDà Shān (大山) is a Canadian celebrity in China and easily the most well-known foreigner ever. He got his start doing Chinese comedy routines back when it was a big deal to have a foreigner on TV speaking Chinese. He’s still here doing all kinds of stuff, and he often appears in ads on buses and TV and stuff like that. He speaks Chinese better than most Chinese people do. And every single time I talk to someone, they bring him up. I have nothing against the guy, but I’m getting sick of hearing about him!

Usually the first or second question I get is, “What country are you from?” Then, 9 times out of 10, it goes something like this:

“Oh, you’re from Canada. Dà Shān is from Canada. Do you know who Dà Shān is?”

“Yes, I know who Dà Shān is.”

“His Chinese is great!”

“Right, not like mine.”

I can’t say I blame him. If I spoke Mandarin that good (instead of Chinglish) I’d probably be milking it for all it was worth, too. But the mixture of language envy and constantly being compared to the greatest foreign Mandarin speaker ever – in every conversation – has got to be one of the biggest curses for language students in China, especially Canadian ones!

Weekend Slogan #4
We see this one every day. It’s right outside our gate, obstructing the view of the kids playing ping-pong by the bicycle park.

实现创卫目标需要您的支持和参与
shí xiàn chuàng wèi mù biāo xū yào nín de zhī chí hé cān yù

“To realize the sanitation goal, we need your support and participation!”

3 thoughts on “The Curse of Da Shan”

  1. OH .. LOVE the slogan! I am going to print that one out and hang it in our bathroom and the kids bedrooms! what a great slogan! :)
    loved your post..
    :)-ruthie

  2. Seriously, there are enough sanitation slogans around here to put a different one in every room of your house, and your neighbours’ houses. I guess it has to do with the Olympics. They’re trying to get people to stop spitting and treating the sidewalk like a giant flat garbage can (among other things). I’ve seen several news articles about the pre-Olympic campaign to stop four big bad habits: spitting, not lining up, littering, and cussing people out in Beijing dialect.

  3. I’ll see if I can get a clearer photo of it for you on the way to class. It’s right outside our gate.

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