I just came across another music video for the same song, Welcome to Beijing, made by retirees in Heze (菏泽), Shandong province. This is a knockoff of the one made by the celebrities that I posted in the last entry. I enjoyed both. Lyrics at the end of this post.It is not uncommon in China for cities to have a retiree or senior citizens university (老年人大学). It provides a place for them to socialize, learn and practice crafts, photography, calligraphy, traditional music and opera, movie discussions and such, hobbies that they didn’t have time to do before. I bet they had fun making this music video.
Heze is a city just a little bit west of my hometown. Its claim to fame is that it is the capital of peony flowers in China. I believe it is also home to 水泊梁山, the setting to one of the classic Chinese novels, 水浒传. I can certainly tell the hint of the southern Shandong accent during their singing. Y’know, every time I hear my local dialect spoken, I get that warm and fuzzy feeling of home. Heze’s version of Mandarin is a tad different from my hometown’s, but it is close enough.
Another thing that put Heze on the map is that it has the first biomass power plant in China. The power plant is located in Shan Xian 单县, a county within the Heze Municipality. Here is a video about it, courtesy of the Green Brothers from China’s Green Beat.
Here is the translation of the lyrics for Welcome to Beijing. I copied it from here, with my own modifications to make it more accurate, in my view. Translation is not easy, the poetic beauty in the Chinese version is hard to come across without a lot of thought and time.
Let’s embrace another morning and enjoy its ever new air.
(Ying jie ling yi ge chen xi, dai lai quan xin kong qi.)
With the fragrance of tea, it smells different. But it feels great, full of friendship.
Our door is always open. We are waiting for you with open arms.
After a big hug, we’ll feel closer to each other. And surely you will love this place.
Our guests, no matter where you come from, please make yourself at home.
We promised to get together here. So welcome!
We cultivate Chinese Evergreen in the garden. All the time, it is producing a new legend.
In the soil rich in traditions, we plant. Hope everything we plant here leaves you with a great experience.
Our guests, no matter we’ve met before or not, please feel at ease.
Even if you have been here for many times, we still have a lot to talk about.
Welcome to Beijing; we will open a new world for you.
Its vibrant charm is full of vitality.
Welcome to Beijing; let’s breathe together in the sunshine.
Let’s establish new records here in China.
Our door is always open. We are open armed, ready to embrace the world.
5000-year-old China is flashing a youthful smile, waiting for the day.
Our guests, no matter where you come from, please feel at home.
We paint pictures and write poems to express the joy for your coming.
Welcome to Beijing; like moving music, our hospitality will warm your heart.
Let’s try to challenge ourselves.
Welcome to Beijing; people who have dreams are all bravo.
If only you keep the courage, miracles will happen.