Teacher’s Talk: Chinese – Lady White and Lady Autumn (Day 10)


The Chinese class and Humanities classes collaborated to perform the Chinese legend “Lady White,” which helped further demonstrate what the Chinese culture thinks about after life. It is a famous folktale about a white serpent falling in love with a human who saved her life 1,750 years ago.

The Arabic and Writing classes were invited to watch the performance.

The photo to the right shows how the white snake in the form of a beautiful woman met her love again in the rain!


  • Today in Chinese class we focused on Chinese history and mythology. We did a comic skit in collaboration with the Humanities class and had the Writing class and Arabic class. Because we had very limited time rehears, many lines of dialogue were improvised. They play was very entertaining and I quite enjoyed it. The other thing that we did today was watch a documentary about Qiu Jin (Autumn Gem), a female Chinese revolutionary in the very early 20th century. I found the documentary very empowering. —— Andrew
  • We watched a documentary called “Autumn Gem” about a revolutionary woman named Qiu Jin. She lived at the turn of the 20th century, a time of political turmoil for China, as the Qing Dynasty bowed to western powers who sought to divide up the Chinese dragon. Qiu grew up watching her brother study; his teacher then allowed her to write as well. She also learned martial art from other family members, feeding her fiery passion for women’s rights by later joining female intellectuals fighting to free China. But she had been trapped in an arranged marriage with an often-drunk man and stuck with caring for her children. She departed for the rapidly modernizing Japan with a small group of female intellectuals who desired to apply Japan’s successful ways to China. When she returned to China, she joined a secret army devoted to revolution, in which she worked by teaching females and setting up schools. But not everyone agreed with her outspoken, radical ways, which included dressing as a man, into the point she herself questioned her female body. Her ally was captured and executed after an attempt to assassinate a government official. Knowing her revolution had been beheaded, she waited for government officials to arrive at her school. They led her away for execution as the first female martyr. ——Sarah
  • I enjoyed class very much today. This morning, we collaborated with the Humanities class in order to perform a skit based on Lady White. We didn’t have much time to prepare, but to me, that only made it more fun. Some students were able to wear costumes provided by the Confucius Institute for their roles in the skit. In the afternoon, we performed the skit for the writing class and the Arabic class. I took on the role of Lady White. After the play, we learned more about Chinese dance, both classical and modern. I loved one particular dancer who appeared to become a peacock while dancing, and claimed to only derive her inspiration from nature. We also watched a dance performed by the hearing disabled. It was amazing to me that they performed so beautifully, despite being unable to hear the song. I’d love to earn more about the groups and their techniques. —— Tori
  • Today in Chinese class, we watched a movie about a woman named Qiu Jin. She was a revolutionary and a feminist during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She was trying to overthrow the current corrupt government and help women gain equal rights. In the end, she let herself be captured and executed, even though there was enough time to escape before she was arrested. However, it ended up being a good thing in the end, because her death brought more attention to the issues she was fighting. It was very interesting to learn about a strong Chinese woman. —— Katrina