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Written by: 杜牧
If you are wondering why Singapore has started to rain in these few days, it is because 清明 is around the corner. As mentioned in 二十四节气，清明 is a day (or a period before and after the actual day) when Chinese people remember and pay respect to their ancestors. Also, spring is a wet season with a lot of rain.
But, why 清明 brings rain? This can be seen from the first verse of the poem: 清明时节雨纷纷.
清明时节 = during 清明
雨纷纷 = a lot of rain
The actual day of 清明 is 5th April 2014 (lunar calendar 6th April). Chinese people will be going for 清明 soon.
The second verse shows that the people are sad.
路上行人 = the people on the road
欲断魂 = just like a person without the soul / sad
The third verse, 借问酒家何处有，writes about a person asking a cowboy where he can find a place to drink wine.
The final verse, 牧童遥指杏花村，writes that the cowboy pointing to a village far away with the apricot tree as the landmark.
牧童 = a Chinese cowboy, who tends to a herd of cattle.
遥 = far
指 = pointing
杏花村 = the village near the apricot tree
This poem writes about the weather of 清明 and the feeling of the people paying respect to their ancestors. Nonetheless, it is also a poem of hope. From the final verse, we know that there is a place to drink wine to keep yourself warm and you can rest at the place while waiting for the rain to stop.
The beauty of Chinese poem is that it gives you the picture of what is happening with few words. At the same time, you can let your imagination runs wild to imagine what will happen next. Will the person find the place as pointed out by the cowboy? Will the person feel a little happier after having some wine?
Enjoy the poem and the cooling weather!
Now is the raining season in Singapore. This song comes just in time 🙂 The title of the song is 淋雨中 (In the Rain) from 林宇中 (Rynn Lim). For those who may not know, 淋雨中 is pronounced exactly the same as 林宇中. You may want to search the song in YouTube by the keywords: 淋雨中，林宇中.
Whenever there is rain (雨) in the lyrics, the song is usually related to break-up and separation. With cry (哭) and pain (痛), you know that this is a sad song. 淋雨中 is talking about a guy who receives a break-up letter from his girlfriend, the background is the rain, which adds to the pain.
Disclaimer: The lyrics of the song is for learning purpose.
词 / 曲：林宇中
风吹乱的头发 在我眼前挣扎 把想你剪成几段 沙沙的彷徨
雨有一点急躁 在我脸上涂鸦 把心情画得乱七八糟 滴答滴答响
Chinese Language Learning Corner
- 雨 — rain
- 风 — wind
- 彩虹 — rainbow
- 眼 — eyes
- 脸 — face
- 手 — hand
- 头发 — hair
- 信 — letter
- 伞 — umbrella. There are 雨伞 and 阳伞, which is meant for a rainy day and a sunny day respectively. Anyway, differentiating two different umbrellas is troublesome, so we seldom differentiate them. 雨伞 is more commonly used, we do use 雨伞 on a sunny day 🙂
- 酷 — cool, as in “He looks cool.”
- 哭 — cry
- 痛 — pain
Hope you have learnt some Chinese words while listening to the song on a rainy day. Enjoy!