Singing All Along

Recently, I have been watching this Chinese drama titled ‘Singing All Along’ (秀丽江山之长歌行) produced by and starred by Ruby Lin. Although I only started around episode 18 or so because my parents were watching it, I found myself slowly engrossed in it as well.

At its core, it is a romance period drama set in the midst of a chaotic world in 1st century imperial China. Hence, there are a lot of fighting and military jargon as well as political conflicts. The characters are mostly centered around the Imperial College students who has the same goal to revive the Han Dynasty and make the world peaceful again. Here, we are introduced to some of the powerful / important / noble families such as the Yin and Deng families and the Liu clan ( direct descendants of Emperor Gaozu ) who seem to exist in every province.

lihua-liuxiu
Li Hua x Liu Xiu

Our leading male character is Liu Xiu ( court name Wenshu ), the simple peasant who slowly rose to be a powerful figure due to circumstances and necessity whereas our leading female character is Yin Li Hua ( court name Yin Ji ), a strong personality with a deep interest in martial arts, swordplay and military tactics. Both of them are childhood sweethearts who literally went through thick and thin and sacrificed a lot before they can be together. From them, I learned a little bit about what it means to truly love someone. No matter what happened, they always have faith in each other and understand each others intentions although the world may not. Most importantly, they only have eyes for each other against all odds. In a world filled with so many distractions, wealth and beauty, it is easy to be swayed. But not our favorite couple, whose famous line in the series “If I were to marry,  I will only marry Yin Li Hua” becomes a recurring reminder and oath of Liu Xiu’s love for Li Hua.Their love story can probably be summed up as “Love endures”.

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Yin Shi – slightly younger looking than the actual look on screen

Besides them, love is also represented in multiple facets via the other supporting characters. One of the other major love theme is familial love. This is represented much so by Li Hua’s half elder brother, Yin Shi. Bearing the sole responsibility as the male patriarch of the Yin family after his father’s death, Yin Shi has been unwavering in preserving the family’s dignity and protecting his family members. His task is super challenging and though we may get annoyed with him at times for his strictness, we really appreciate his efforts and help in supporting Li Hua all the way. He even sacrificed his own happiness for the sake of maintaining peaceful relations between the Yin and Deng family. He is one elder brother whom we all admire and can really count on.  T_T

litong
Li Tong

Another love theme which should be mentioned is unconditional love. This is probably one of the most sincere love one can ever give to another. It is not about getting what you want, or having your feelings reciprocated. It is about giving your all to ensure that your loved one is safe and happy. This is demonstrated by Li Tong ( court name Ciyuan ), who sees the good in Liu Boji ( Liu Xiu’s younger sister )and loves her despite her petty and childish behavior. He is always patient with her and treats her with loving kindness, and would willingly give up his life for her. His sincerity and devotion is truly admirable and incomparable.

Besides love values, I also learn quite a few other things. For instance, the Chinese values. Throughout the drama, the characters can roughly be divided into two kinds: The honorable and the dishonorable ones. The honorable characters are usually morally upright and virtuous in their thought, speech and conduct. On the other hand, the dishonorable characters tend to be shifty, scheming and scandalous. Part of the internal conflicts faced by the honorable characters are usually caused by their responsibility to protect the family/clan’s pride and to focus on their goal in achieving world peace. Furthermore, being respectful and loyal to one’s parents, elders, authorities and the emperor is like an internal compass drilled into their very bones. Ranks, titles and relations play an important role in upgrading or degrading one’s status in society as well. This can be acquired via promotion or via marriage. This is also the first time I watch a coming-of-age ceremony where one is formally acknowledged as an adult and is given a court name ( secondary name ). Therefore, it is quite fun learning the various characters’ real names and court names. An honorable mention goes to Feng Yi ( court name Gong Sun – i think ). He is the most reliable and well-respected men / general among all.  Ever loyal and kind, his gentle ways and forthright attitude makes him truly a rare gem. 🙂

gongsun
Feng Yi aka Gong Sun

Last but not least, I slowly picked up some Chinese characters. While I listened and read the English subtitles, my eyes glossed over the Chinese subtitles as well. I try to recognize some of the Chinese characters and remember them whenever I can. The opening and ending song are powerful ballads which are pleasant to my ears. Thankfully, the meaning of every lyric is shown as well though I do not quite understand some of its poetical lines. However, it is still a pleasure to slowly consider the significance of the metaphors used.

Overall, it is a captivating drama which does not waste time and scenes. Every character mentioned has a specific role and every line delivers a point. Plus points for everyone looking so youthful despite their actual age being over 30!!! I get to see another Kazakh ethnic lady again, with the role of Ding Rou played by her. Though this is only a fictional tale based on a novel, I enjoyed the action, thriller scenes and touching moments. Can’t wait to finish it!

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raya hols and the heat

A rather unique week it was!

I took a day off from work and plus the two raya public holidays, I got myself a 5 day weekend. Splendid! Yen and I carpooled back to Taiping and had a smooth drive, thankfully. It was a good session of catching up and me playing DJ. I was pretty terrible at it though, haha. But practice makes perfect! =p

On my first day back home, you would have thought I slept away all my weariness. Oh no I did not! My dad recommended a few movies and I ended up watching ‘Bird on a Wire’ with him. It was an old movie but still exciting. I get to see the young Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn. Not to mention, caught up with the Chinese dramas that my family was following. The title is rather funny: The Three Heroes and Five Gallants. I suppose I enjoyed it because the word ‘gallant’ reminded me of Jiraiya ( character from Naruto ).

The next day, I did something new: Hiking up Maxwell Hill with Yen. Okay, honestly, we did not hike up the entire hill, just halfway. We made it to the third hut (check points). I was panting hard and out of breath. Yen, however, was just chill and steady. Oh man, I need to do more cardio exercises! I had a good sweat though! ^^   Aside from the green foliage, steep slopes and lots of much older people passing through, there is an interesting incident. Before we got started, I was careless with my speech and spoke a little too publicly (and loudly?) about Yen’s purse whereabouts and the mini bag I held which was used to put my water bottle. A random uncle with a small black folded umbrella chipped in to chide that I should take an umbrella instead because you never know when it might rain. Stunned, Yen and I merely gave cordial smiles and proceeded to walk up but no, he was not finished. He then cheerfully invited us to join him in the hiking trail instead. FYI, there is a bitumen-ed road where one can walk up to the top or use a hiking trail instead. Shaking our heads and politely declining, we continued our journey.  So, we walked up and up till the third hut and descended. While we passed the second hut, the random uncle was resting there with some other people. He spoke out again to us, this time, jokingly asking if we ran up since we seem to be fast. He was blissfully ignored. Yen and I ended our adventure with a refreshing sugarcane drink (for her) and coconut water (for me). It reminded me of  Kuching’s wondrous mix of sugar cane and coconut water. The combo was exquisite and thirst quenching. I missed it!

Now, I should probably mention that it was also very hot. I’ve gotten quite used to it, fortunately. My next activity would be exploring Gochisousan. It is an ‘asadora’ japanese drama, meaning the drama mostly focuses on a heroine’s life, either in a modern contemporary setting or from small to old. The English name of this J drama, Bon Appetit, is about the latter. Anne Watanabe (Ken Watanabe’s daughter) plays Meiko, a little girl with a passion for eating who blossoms into a young lady whose passion switches to cooking delicious food for the people she loves. It is an endearing drama with lots of life lessons and not to mention, good food! Heavily recommended by my father, I was soon hooked (sadly the english subtitles only begins from ep 25 onwards ). Notable mention would be the height of the main characters. It is pretty rare to have such a lanky leading lady (whopping 175cm) and the leading gentleman (amazing 189cm!!!).

Besides that, my family got to meet up with some relatives who have been traveling around and it is kind of sad to see the young kid saying “Taiping has nothing”. What do you know? Anyhow, it has been a rather quiet affair. I did not initiate any meetings or approach any of my friends for a meet up, though I did think about it. Sometimes, I feel like I want to and I need to but I just ended up hiding in my house. If it were not for Yen, I probably would be in my house only. Next time. Though, I am not sure if I am already a stranger to my friends by then…..

If you would like to know, the trip back to KL was slightly congested. We did heard a loud thud. I turned and saw the front of the car glued to the back of another. Oh my….it is a minor knock though Yen was asking, how can this accident happen when we are literally crawling on the road? We made it back safely and all is well. It is hot in KL too.

Looking forward to tomorrow! 2 new colleagues will be joining us!