"Wish You Happy Every Day": An Expat's Life in China


Dalian and the Children of the Sea
March 27, 2015, 5:58 pm
Filed under: Chinese culture, daily life in china, dalian | Tags: ,

A centerpiece of the Dalian local’s identity is that of being a child of the sea.  That’s true, at least, of my husband, who needs to live near water to feel content. He shared with me a song about growing up by the sea, called “Big Sea, My Home,” (大海啊故乡)which every Chinese person knows. So here’s a bit of Chinese culture:

大海啊故乡

And for those of you learning Chinese, here are the lyrics and their translation:

小时候妈妈对我讲
When I was young, my mother told me
大海就是我故乡
that the big sea is indeed my home.
海边出生 海里成长
Born by the sea, raised in the sea,
大海 啊大海 是我生长的地方
 oh, big sea, the place where I’ve spent my life.
海风吹 海浪涌 随我飘流四方
 As the sea wind blows, an electrical current drifts in all directions.
大海 啊大海 就像妈妈一样
Oh, big sea, you are like my mother,
走遍天涯海角 总在我的身旁
walking to the ends of the earth, yet always by my side.
小时候妈妈对我讲
When I was young, my mother told me
大海就是我故乡
that the sea is indeed my home,
海边出生 海里成长
born by the sea, raised in the sea,
大海 啊大海 是我生长的地方
oh, big sea, the place where I’ve spent my life.
海风吹 海浪涌 随我飘流四方
As the sea wind blows, an electrical current drifts in all directions.
大海 啊大海 就像妈妈一样
Oh big sea, you are like my mother,
走遍天涯海角 总在我的身旁
walking to the ends of the earth, yet always by my side.
大海 啊大海 就像妈妈一样
Oh big sea, you are like my mother,
走遍天涯海角 总在我的身旁
walking to the ends of the earth, yet always by my side.
大海啊故乡 大海啊故乡
Big sea, my home; big sea, my home;
我的故乡 我的故乡
my home, my home.

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Dalian, a city on the edge of a peninsula, is ringed with beaches — so it’s no surprise that it’s the place to be during the summer. After the long winter (seriously long — 7 months at least), everyone emerges from their homes and offices to play badminton, dance, play majiang on the street corners or just walk around the beaches.

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A misty day at the beach.

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Fujiazhuang Beach

After a long week of students crying in my office over grades, paperwork and the general motion of my daily routine, I find myself longing to chill on a rocky beach in Dalian, enjoy a cold beer (yes, you can find them in China) and munch on barbecued seafood.

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Me, enjoying a bite-sized abalone.

So excited to be going back for a short visit this summer! See you then, Dalian!

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