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Hoo boy, this song is an AWESOME find. Not only is it politically charged in the most amazing way, it’s ultra-beginner reading.

Study Easy Chinese Childrens Reading: Chinese Children's Songs, Poems and StoriesBut first, a little back story so we all know what we’re reading here (and I do hope after this my blog stays available on the mainland – gonna use some weird spacing and spelling to avoid bots). The big campaign here right now is an expansion of the “Ha rmoni ous S *ocie\ ty” campaign. It’s on every political poster on the roadsides – there are 20 such signs on my street alone. The point, basically, is to do your job in your place and not make waves, or make life uncomfortable for those around you. Sounds nice, but you can kind of see a little ways down that road, and you can understand why “harmo ny” has become a euphemism for ce n z*or*sh p. For example, whenever something “offensive” is, erm, stricken from the internet, Chinese sarcastically say that it has been “h-a r m onisd”. This concept goes right back to Confucius, whose big idea was that everyone has their duty and their place, and should follow a very strict set of rules governing what people in their position should and should not be able to do.

So the concept of har mony (和谐 – hé xié) has long been an integral part of Chinese culture, but it’s also been a point of criticism. Sadly, this whole “nail that sticks up gets hammered down” mentality is now giving the honchos a headache, because while the Chinese now have the manpower and the money to take the world economy by storm, they can’t get enough people to break away, be creative and innovate.

Amusingly, the solution to this has apparently been to put signs up all over Beijing that say: “Beijing Spirit: Patriotism, Innovation, Inclusiveness, Morality.” So now, the message is “Don’t piss anyone off, but hurry up and do something unique”.

Guess that solves that problem. NEXT!

Anyway, the below is a children’s song that has probably been made up in the last few years, teaching children why harmony is so important. There are a couple of intermediate words in the last sentence, but they’re easy to figure out.

Click to Listen

清 – qīng – Clear
密 – – Dense, thick
空 – kòng – Open, empty, unoccupied
忙 – máng – To rush around
啊 – ā – Ah!, Oh!
和谐 – hé xié – Harmony, harmonious
环境 – huán jìng – Environment
创造 – chuàng zào – to create, to bring about


蓝蓝的天上鸟儿飞,
清的水里鱼儿游,
密的森林动物跑,
空的草地孩子
  ……
!这一切多么美好!
和谐环境需要我们去创造
SHOW ENGLISH »
Birds fly in a blue blue sky,
Fish swim in the clear clear water,
Animals run in the thick thick forest,
Children run around in the open open meadow,
  ……
Oh, how wonderful everything is like this,
A harmonious environment requires us to create it.


13 comments to "The Harmonious Environment Song"

  1. I’ve been looking for something just like this to practice reading Chinese and learning new characters. Thank you!

  2. It’s kind hard to organize the words of the first sentence. Do we need always to read the text backwards?

    • I think this is more an issue of poetic license – when writing poetry or lyrics, people will switch words around a little to make the rhyme (or in this case, the cadence), work.

    • Somehow I never saw this. No, you don’t always need to read text backwards, but think of poetry and song lyrics. Sometimes you can re-organize words to make sure there’s a rhyme at the end, or that the doubled-up words can go first.

  3. Your blog is absolutely amazing! Last fall I studied abroad in Kunming, but this semester resumed a normal semester at my American college, and so I have not had time to study much Chinese since I came back. I was looking for something just like this to help me study now that summer is here! Thanks!

    • That’s very sweet, thanks! How was Kunming? I’m dying to head down there this winter but it will probably be next year.

  4. thanks soooooooooooooooo much for this blog. God bless you. i’m studying chinese as a beginner and i needed simple easy passages like this to practice. keep it up! dont stop!

  5. fdsetjy

  6. How come this poem was in my Singapore Year 1 textbook??? Anyways I am now Year 4…

  7. Is there a link to a video with the tune? Or is “s e n s o r * s h i p” an issue?


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