Home | Web Extra | Interactive | Radio Programs | Categories | More  
CRI Home   •About Us  •Jobs  •Contact Us 
 
 
Google  
  Local Services: Beijing | London | Sydney | Washington | Beyond Beijing

2007-04-14 Zou Ma Guan Hua
    2007-04-14 10:07:39     CRIENGLISH.com
A: Welcome back to Listeners' Garden. It's time now for our Chinese idiom.

B: Today we will have a look at the story behind 走马观花,meaning "to look at the flowers while galloping on horseback," or give a hurried glance at things.

A: uh-hum. Here is Shanshan to tell us the story.

走马观花:to look at the flowers while galloping on horseback, or give a hurried glance at things.

Noted Tang Dynasty poet Meng Jiao was outspoken and upright and hated to associate with corrupt officials. This attitude did not help his official career at all. He had taken the highest imperial examination twice, but failed both times. In the year 796, when he was nearly 50 years old, he passed the imperial examination at last! He was so happy, he wrote a poem called "After Passing the Imperial examination." A rough translation goes like this:

"My lousy old days were nothing to boast of, But royal bounties are now bestowed upon me like a golden shower. Galloping on horseback and stroked by the spring breeze. I have seen, in one day, all the capital's flowers."

Later, men of letters condensed the last two lines of the poem into the idiom 走马观花. The implication of the idiom is one gains only a superficial understanding through limited observation.

Another story about the phrase tells the story of a young lad named Gui Liang. Gui Liang was a cripple. He wanted to marry a beautiful girl, so he asked his resourceful friend, Hua Han, to be his matchmaker.

A young girl also approached Hua Han and asked him to serve as her go-between. The girl's name was Ye Qing. She had an ugly nose, but she wanted to marry a handsome young man.

The matchmaker decided these two would make a fitting couple and resolved to arrange a match. He told Gui Liang, the crippled young lad, to ride on horseback past Ye Qing's home. He asked Ye Qing, the ugly-nosed girl, to stand by the road and hold a bouquet of flowers to cover her nose.

After the meeting, the two young people were satisfied with what they saw. Gui Liang was intrigued with the girl and her elegant gesture of modesty. He murmured, "How beautiful she is! This is the very woman I want to marry."

Ye Qing was ecstatic to see the young man riding so high in the saddle, carrying himself as if he were a general. She said to herself, "This is the very man I want to marry!"

This unusual story has a happy ending. The satisfied young man and woman were soon married and lived together happily.
This is another version of the idiom "走马观花."

A: Thank you, Shanshan, for the two stories behind this Chinese idiom, both of which I think are very interesting.

B: Yes. From the second story I think we can learn that sometimes it might not be too bad to simply look on the bright side of all things.

A: Maybe. But still, if you have enough time and energy, you should take a good hard look at everything you undertake. That way, you'll gain a deep understanding of all your tasks and not just focus on the surface, especially in work and study.
Share

               
Recommend


CRIENGLISH.com claims the copyright of all material and information produced originally by our staff. No person, organization and/or company shall reproduce, disseminate or broadcast the content in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of CRIENGLISH.com.

CRIENGLISH.com holds neither liability nor responsibility for materials attributed to any other source. Such information is provided as reportage and dissemination of information but does not necessarily reflect the opinion of or endorsement by CRI.

Web Extra
Countdown to 2009
A wonderful Time of the Year: on Christmas Eve of 2008
Shenzhen Memory
When Modern Dance Meets a Lover of the East

Interactive
What makes you happy?
A recent survey shows that people feel the happiest when they reach their 60s and 70s. Is it true that we may ignore happiness when we spend all the time looking for it? [China Drive]
 Join us in Talk China
Transcend Yourself
Transcendence is one of the core concepts of the Paralympics. In your life, have you ever transcended yourself to reach a goal? Have you achieved something that you normally wouldn't be able to do? [China Drive]

Radio Programs
Find your favorite program
Ways to Listen
Via shortwave
Via local AM and FM
Via Internet
Schedules
Hosts A-Z
Help With Listening