In our Spring Festival video, we invite you to peer into the life of a Guilin resident who walked the same arduous path traveled by so many in China from poverty to prosperity. Join Dayong, a CLI team member since 2009, as he converses with 叶叔叔，Uncle Ye，about how the quality of life has changed for the better.
While watching the video, follow along in the below transcript for the Chinese characters, pinyin, and English translation. You can also use this link to download a PDF containing the interview transcript and vocabulary list.
Spring Festival Interview Transcript
Dayong (00:03 – 00:11)
Hello Uncle Ye! First off, can you offer a basic self-introduction?
Uncle Ye (00:11 – 00:21)
I’ll start from the beginning? I was born in 1953, so I’m 63 years old now.
Dayong (00:22 – 00:23)
What is your zodiac sign?
Uncle Ye (00:23 – 00:33)
The Snake. My son is also the Year of the Snake. And my grandson! We all happen to be the Year of the Snake.
Dayong (00:35 – 00:51)
So, I want to ask, if you could find a word, or find a feeling to describe the emotion you feel toward Spring Festival, what word would you choose?
Uncle Ye (00:52 – 01:43)
Well, I choose “truly happy.” When I was young, I always looked forward to this
time of year because it meant we could eat well. Just that simple. Life was hard. Throughout the year I’d always hope to eat a little pork, or even a chicken leg. But when we got those red envelopes with 0.2 RMB inside, it was overwhelming joy. Now, you can eat whatever you want. There’s so much good food to eat these days. The quality of life has improved drastically, no more worrying about whether we can eat. Spring Festival is now about being with your friends and your family, talking about your experiences with work, and just interacting and socializing.
Dayong (01:44 – 01:47)
How many brothers and sisters do you have?
Uncle Ye (01:47 – 01:57)
Our family has three siblings, I’m the second-oldest brother. Above me is my older brother, and below me is my younger sister.
Dayong (01:58 – 02:01)
Are your siblings both in Guilin?
Uncle Ye (02:02 – 03:03)
Yes, they’re both in Guilin.
Dayong (02:03 – 02:04)
So, when you celebrate the New Year…
Uncle Ye (02:04 – 02:30)
We spend the Spring Festival together. On the first day, we go to my older brother’s house. On the second day the family all comes to my house. And on the third day we go to my younger sister’s house. We go here and there eating at each other’s houses, talking about our previous year’s experiences and work. Usually we don’t have the time to be with each other and communicate like we do when celebrating the New Year.
Dayong (02:31 – 02:36)
So your brother and sister are both retired? Or…
Uncle Ye (02:36 – 02:39)
They’re both retired.
Dayong (02:40 – 02:47)
So, 20-30 years ago, when you and your siblings were young, how did you celebrate the Spring Festival?
Uncle Ye (02:47 – 03:06)
When we were young, we always looked forward to the morning of the first day, or even the night before, when our parents used to give us “lucky money”.
Dayong (03:06 – 03:08)
0.2 RMB was the most you received!?
Uncle Ye (03:08 – 03:25)
We were very poor back then. Our parents weren’t government officials. They didn’t work in some government office. They relied on honest manual labor to earn a living. Life was harder.
|Hànzì||Pīnyīn||Definition||Part of Speech|
|1.||春节快乐||chūnjié kuàilè||Happy Spring Festival|
|2.||盼（着）||pàn (zhe)||to hope for||v.|
|3.||欢天喜地||huāntiānxǐdì||with boundless joy; overjoyed||adv.|
|4.||钻来转去||zhuàn lái zhuàn qù||to come and go; go back and forth||idiom|
|10.||年三十晚上||nián sānshí wǎnshàng||Chinese New Years Eve night||n.|