During Chinese New Year period, I have bought a couple of Chinese Idiom Books for my nephew in an attempt to teach him more about Chinese teachings. Truth be told, I was very much interested to read those books myself. The irony is, if you put your heart to want to teach/help someone, more often than not, you yourself is the one being help instead. You always learn something in the process of aiding someone, if you truly put your heart into it.
I managed to read through those 2 books within a week period. Actually, i have read more than that during the one week period. I bought over RM 200+ on many books from property investment, internet business, chinese teaching and chinese myth. I liked the drawings and comical side of the books. One book focused on popular sayings, while the other focused on formal chinese idioms. Both of these books were published in Singapore.
The popular saying book is simple and straight-forward. For instance, there will be a statement “yu gong yi shan”. Then, it is followed by light-hearted comic drawing of an old man trying to move a mountain that is blocking his way. Most drawings are only 2 pages full, and thus it is a light read. By glancing through the comic, I can quickly understand the message that the statement “yu gong yi shan” is trying to bring out. “yu gong yi shan” = “foolish old man trying to move mountains”. No man can move mountain but one old man is so determined to move the mountain in front of his house that he went on to carry rocks from the mountain daily. Soon enough, he managed to gather many people from his family & village to do the same, to help him.
Many other people laughed at his action and use this saying “yu gong yi shan” to describe stupid effort by someone who don’t know his own limit. But as this old man continues, the god was moved by his determination and sent 2 angels to move the mountain for him. Thus, this saying “yu gong yi shan” is now use to describe indomitable will (super strong determination). As long as we have determination, there is nothing we, human cannot achieve.
I like this short comic books on popular sayings. Sometimes, some stories written in the book are not meant to educate but more like an enactment of what has happened. The other book is much more formal and went all out to bring out many of the formal chinese idioms. This formal book can get slightly boring as the idioms are lengthy, using deep and hard-to-understand chinese words. Perhaps I will try to post one or 2 of the formal idioms here in future.