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Chinese Children’s Song: Two Tigers

“Two Tigers” (两只老虎) (liang3 zhi1 lao3 hu3) is one of my favorite songs when I was little.

In Chinese culture, tiger is regarded as the king of animals. We believe in a tiger has a power.

So we often draw tigers on new year pictures (年画) (nian2 hua4) with a wish that the tiger will help to protect our house to keep other monsters outside. Also, we believe in tiger is the symbol of richness and honor.

For this good meaning, no wonder why the tiger is so popular in Chinese culture.

Actually, the character “” (hu3) (tiger) is also a popular choice for naming a boy. By naming the boy “虎”, parents hope the boy will be energetic and honorable just as a tiger does.

In Mandarin-Chinese cultures, there are several idioms and popular words related with tiger. For example, 虎头虎脑 (hu3 tou2 hu3 nao3) (tiger head) is usually used to describe a cute looking boy with a baby fat face.

There is a famous idiom 狐假虎威 (hu2 jia3 hu3 wei1) (a fox benefited from a tiger’s power) , I will tell this story in the future.

If your father is a famous person and you gain some achievements too, people will praise you to say something like: 虎父无犬子 (hu3 fu4 wu2 quan3 zi3).

It says a father tiger has no a son dog. A capable father usually has a capable son.

If a smart person was not successful or he was used to be successful but lately broken, people will comfort him by saying something like: 虎落平川 (hu3 luo4 ping2 chuan1).

It means a tiger is forced to live at a plain. A capable person is in his hard time.

I am sure, when you know more of Mandarin-Chinese and its culture, you will find Chinese language and culture are really interesting. Even just with a single word “虎”,you can learn a lot. 

Now let’s sing the song together. Enjoy your learning.

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