Thursday, October 19, 2006

fuwa - where do ideas come from?

Beijing Olympics' mascots have been officially renamed "Fuwa". Get used to that name. With some 650 days for the Games' opening, we're all going to hear a lot about them in the coming months. Like many things in China, there are many symbolic meanings associated with this name. There are five Fuwa, a reference to the five Olympic rings, and they were (I quote from the Games' Official Website) "designed to express the playful qualities of five little children who form an intimate circle of friends... they also embody the natural characteristics of four of China's most popular animals - the Fish, the Panda, the Tibetan Antelope, the Swallow - and the Olympic Flame. Each of Fuwa has a rhyming two-syllable name - a traditional way of expressing affection for children in China. Beibei is the Fish, Jingjing is the Panda, Huanhuan is the Olympic Flame, Yingying is the Tibetan Antelope and Nini is the Swallow. When you put their names together - Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni - they say 'Welcome to Beijing' ...In their origins and their headpieces, you can see the five elements of nature - the sea, forest, fire, earth and sky...".
Very well then. I don't know why though (maybe it's just me), but don't they look like the Teletubbies?


mz said...

They're just kid-friendly Mighty-Morphing Power Rangers. ;)

Nelson said...

You might be right. Take a look at these photos, Fuwa in Tianamen Square doing sports, pole vaulting, cycling, lifting weight, very funny and very "Power Rangers"-like.
But then again, do you remember the Teletubbies'names? Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po. Don't they sound like Chinese names? ;-)