Qian Hongyan and Her Olympic Dream

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Qian Hongyan, who was forced to use half a basketball as her prosthetic body, has inspired millions recently with her ambition to compete as a swimmer in the 2012 Paralympics in London.

Qian Hongyan, who was forced to use half a basketball as her prosthetic body, has inspired millions recently with her ambition to compete as a swimmer in the 2012 Paralympics in London. (photo from http://www.weirdasianews.com)

Qian Hongyan lost both her legs in an accident at only three years old in 2000. Hongyan’s family wasn’t wealth enough to provide her with hi-tech equipment to help her walk, so they gave her a basketball to help her move. Hongyan used brushes as low-level crutches. She was able to travel to and from home and school by bouncing on the basketball. Five years later, doctors were finally been able to give her prosthetic legs.

The seventh national special sports-meeting was held in Kunming in May 2007. Qian Hongyan went to watch the games every day and seeing the handicapped players struggle in the matches deeply moved her. After the sports meeting, Qian Hongyan was determined to join in the special swimming club. She and her parents went to consult the opportunity with Zhang Honghu, a well known coach who has trained many handicapped swimming champions. Then, Qian Hongyan began her life in the swimming club and did professional swimming training.

“Qian Hongyan studies hard. She never grouches in training although she was confronted with many difficulties at the beginning, ” her coach said.

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Brazil’s World Cup football team to sport ‘green’ and yellow strip

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International players from each of the nine nations, sponsored by Nike, all wearing the 100% recycled shirts, pose at an event at Battersea power station in London this week. Illustration: Paul Gilham

International players from each of the nine nations, sponsored by Nike, all wearing the 100% recycled shirts, pose at an event at Battersea power station in London this week. Illustration: Paul Gilham

When Kaka and Ronaldinho stride out onto the pitch for the World Cup in South Africa this summer, few of their millions of fans are likely to notice that their yellow jerseys are made from old plastic bottles.

But five-time winners Brazil, along with Portugal and the Netherlands, will for the first time be clad in shirts made from recycled polyester in a bid to make the tournament a fraction greener. The shirts, made by Nike, will also be worn at the finals by the teams of the USA, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Serbia, and Slovenia.

Fans supporting their country can buy away kits of the 100% recycled shirts from today, with home versions available from 1 May. They will cost £50, the same price as non-recycled shirts.

It takes up to eight recycled plastic bottles to make each of the shirts, which are sourced from Japanese and Taiwanese landfill and melted down before being processed into fabric. Nike claims the process cuts energy use by 30% compared with newly manufactured polyester.

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Dad, I have to work harder!

By | Chinese calligraphy, Juesatta art, Photography, Wisdom | No Comments
Little Tang (Tang Yao-Kun) with his Chinese calligraphy writing, "dragon leaps, tiger jumps". Behind is the teacher Mr. Liu Ming-Ling.

Little Tang (Tang Yao-Kun) with his Chinese calligraphy writing, "dragon leaps, tiger jumps". Behind is the teacher Mr. Liu Ming-Liang.

Many are amazed by the calligraphy writing of our little friend Tang (Tang Yao-Kun). One day during the calligraphy class, I chatted with Yao-Kun’s father.

3 years ago, when Yao-Kun was in kindergarten, he was a naughty and hyperactive kid. His teacher always suggested to his parents of bringing Yao-Kun to Mr. Liu Ming-Liang’s class to learn Chinese calligraphy. She added calligraphy is an art, a Chinese tradition, and also would be able to let little Tang settle down and more concentrate in his study. However, father Tang and mother Tang did not know much about calligraphy and thought that it would not be as useful to little Tang as told.

The kindergarten teacher insisted. Everytime father Tang and mother Tang went to the kindergarten, the teacher suggested the same thing again and again. Due to that, the parents reluctantly agreed and brought little Tang to Mr. Liu’s calligraphy class. They were however unsuccessfully locating the place of the class, and so they gave up.

The next time they met the teacher, again she suggested the parents to bring little Tang to the calligraphy class. Father Tang and mother tang felt sorry to give any excuse since the teacher really took this matter seriously and it would be for the own good of little Tang.

Where there is a will, there is a way: father Tang and mother Tang found Mr. Liu’s calligraphy class eventually and little Tang started his class since then. In addition, little Tang did not know about Chinese calligraphy at all. He took part in half-heartly. Mother Tang was in charge of bringing little Tang to class everyday.

Months after, and little Tang stepped into primary school year one. Father Tang was asking the performance of little Tang in the calligraphy class. He was told that little Tang was an excellent and well-behaved student in class. This appraisal of Mr. Liu however was a mistake because he was mistaken of little Tang’s name with another student. According to Mr. Liu, little Tang did not perform and not well-behaved in class. Even worse criticism was given by the teacher.

Father Liu was pissed when he was told and could not agree with Mr. Liu. He decided to take over the responsibility of little Tang’s learning from his mother, putting full supervision of little Tang’s learning and started to stay during the whole period of little Tang’s calligraphy class to check on him.

Not long after that, there was a competition. Father Tang encouraged his son to take part in order to gain experience and boost the interest of his son. This would be the first competition little Tang took part; also he was nervous as he had to write in front of a bunch of people and with other children. He finished the writing though.

During the prize giving ceremony for primary school students category, prizes were announced from the consolation prizes to 2nd runner up, 1st runner up then the best prize. Prizes announced respectively, the confidence of little Liu was getting lower and lower, and disappointment was getting greater. The prize giving ceremony for primary school competitors was over, and little Liu did not win any prize. He was so disappointed.

Little Tang  insisted to stay for the later prize giving for junior high school category and high school category as he thought he might stand a chance in winning. Father Tang did not know how to explain to his son but he accompanied his son until the whole event was over. Both of the father and son were so upset. The son was let down because he didn’t win; the father was upset because the son.

During their ride back to home, both father and son didn’t speak a word. There was a moment of silence. Looking at the son, father Tang felt bad of forcing little Tang to the calligraphy class again. So he asked, “What do you want to do now?”

“Dad, I have to work harder!” he answered.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

3 to 4 years later after the first lesson of calligraphy, little Tang is 11 year-old this year. He is the star of Pay Fong 2 Primary school and many students and teachers are proud of little Tang. He has won many prizes in calligraphy competitions. The reasons behind the success are the patience of little Tang’s parents, the teaching of Mr. Liu, and also the hard work of little Tang.

Mr. Liu once told me, “Interest can be developed. Talent is nothing more important than hardwork, it only helps to acquire the skill quicker than others. The main keys of improvement are dedication and determination.” English physicist also said, “If I am anything, which I highly doubt, I have made myself so by hard work.”

Thanks so much to Mr. Liu for sharing his and his son’s learning experience with us. Hope that little Tang is able to continue with his hard work and be humble in his learning always.

Little Tang was writing at the Jonker Street of Melaka for a charity event. Little Tang's cute sister and father were just standing beside him.

Little Tang was writing at the Jonker Street of Melaka for a charity event. Little Tang's cute sister and father were just standing beside him.

“Why did little Tang learn callligraphy? Because he was interested in?” I asked.

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爸,我要更努力!

By | Chinese calligraphy, Juesatta art, Photography, Wisdom | No Comments
小朋友耀坤(右边)和嘉彬,都写了一手好字

活泼的小朋友耀坤(右边)和嘉彬,都写了一手好字

汤耀坤小朋友的书法是我们所见识到和羡慕的。我曾经问汤爸爸:“为什么他会学书法?是兴趣吗?” 

当耀坤就读幼儿园时,他是一位好动和好玩的小朋友。幼儿园的老师常常推荐汤爸爸和汤妈妈,希望他们能带耀坤去刘明亮书法老师那里去学书法。这不只是一门艺术,也能让耀坤定定性。汤爸爸和汤妈妈商量后,觉得书法没有什么用,就没有带儿子去学。但是每一次汤爸爸和汤妈妈到了幼儿园,老师还是不断的提倡书法,希望耀坤能够去学习。 

由于老师的热诚,汤爸爸和汤妈妈逼于无奈下带了耀坤去明亮老师的书法班。可是到了幼儿园的老师所指明的路行到了书法班的地区,却找不到书法班的所在。于是,他们又放弃了。 

再一次,汤爸爸和汤妈妈见到了幼儿园的老师,她还是建议耀坤去学书法。既然老师都那么坚持,汤妈妈决定送儿子去学书法了。这次他们终于找到了明亮老师的书法班,耀坤也开始上课了。他那个时候根本不了解书法,只抱着玩玩的态度去学习,每次都由汤妈妈带去书法班。 

耀坤学了不久,也是一年级了。汤爸爸有次问起明亮老师对儿子的评语,老师给了很好的评语。后来才知道老师搞错了学生,他还很不客气地批评了耀坤,说了耀坤不认真的学习态度。汤爸爸听了,真的吃不下这口气,认为老师太看不起自己的儿子。于是,他告诉汤妈妈,从今以后,他会亲自带儿子去学书法,也会留在书法班监督儿子学习。 

在不久后,有了个书法比赛。汤爸爸当然支持耀坤去参赛,希望比赛能增广儿子对书法的认识,也促进他对书法的兴趣。第一次参赛的耀坤当然非常紧张,要当着那么多群众写字,和那么多人比赛。最终,他还是完成了他的字。当主办当局宣布小学组赛果的时候,耀坤也很紧张,而且也拭目以待,希望能拿个奖项。报告奖项是由比较低的安慰奖先报告,到优秀奖三、二、一名。一个个的报告了,也报告了第一名,许多的奖项,却没有耀坤的名。当然他很失望,很沮丧。 

当报告初中和高中组的奖项时,耀坤还是抱着希望,叫爸爸不要带他离开比赛会场,可能他还会有希望得奖。汤爸爸知道儿子不肯放弃,也不知道怎么跟他解释,就一直陪着儿子到整个比赛结束了。儿子的希望最后还是破灭了。 

在回家的漫漫的路途上,汤爸爸和耀坤在车上一直没有说话。爸爸瞧见儿子很沮丧,也很心疼,觉得不忍心逼着儿子再学书法了。于是汤爸爸是对耀坤说:“耀坤,你现在想怎么办?” 

“爸,我要更努力!”耀坤回答。 

* * * * * * * * * * * *

三、四年后的今天,耀坤今年十一岁了。他不只是培二小学师生校园之光,在之后很多的书法比赛都有不错的成绩,赢了不少的奖项。耀坤能有今天的成就,全是父母的鼓励、刘老师的教导和他自己的坚持和努力。 

其实,很多兴趣是可以培养的,不一定要靠天分。刘老师和我说过:天分只能让某个人比别人更快的掌握技巧;而真正能进步的因素是靠努力。物理学家牛顿他曾这样说过:“虽然自已有某些方面的天分和才华,但仅靠天分的自然流露,没有自觉的勤奋努力是远远不够的。” 

很谢谢汤爸爸和我们分享他和儿子的学习经历。愿耀坤小朋友能继续努力,虚心学习,方能更上一层楼。 

耀坤全神贯注的写字,为春暖人间、家家贴春联的活动挥毫募款。

耀坤全神贯注的写字,为春暖人间、家家贴春联的活动挥毫募款。左为刘明亮老师。

有关汤耀坤的主题:
春暖人间、家家贴春联 - 到访文化小学、培二小学、平民小学和香林小学
春暖人间、家家贴春联 – 序幕
春暖人间,家家贴春联 – 春联义卖

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农历初七 – 人日

By | Juesatta art | 4 Comments

春节吃鱼生,已成为本地华人独特的传统习俗。

“人日”亦称“人胜节”。传说女蜗初创世,在造出了鸡狗猪牛马等动物后,并于第七天造出人来,故此初七为人的生日。所以这一天是人类的生日。汉朝开始有人日节俗,魏晋后开始重视。古代人日有戴“人胜”的习俗,
人胜是一种头饰,又叫彩胜,华胜,从晋朝开始有剪彩为花、剪彩为人,或镂金箔为人来贴屏风,也戴在头发上。此外还有登高赋诗的习俗。唐代之后,更重视这个节日。每至人日,皇帝赐群臣彩缕人胜,又登高大宴群臣。如果正月初七天气晴朗,则主一年人口平安,出入顺利。

二零一零年农历初七(人日)落于上星期六。大伙儿相约好了要去聚一聚。大家虽然期待了很久,但也都带着沉重的心情去扑约。很遗憾今年Victor和Mr Low不能参与我们出席。晚餐开始之前,Kenneth要大家保持沉默,然后为Victor哀悼一分钟。短短的一分钟让我回顾了很多很多和Victor相处的时间,他的影子他的笑容一幕幕的出现在我脑海里。
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