Awakening: How the Asian Entertainment Explosion Changed My Life

Bollywood stars, Shahruk Khan and Kajol part of the Asian Entertainment Explosion

One night, my sister accidentally stumbled upon a Shahruhk Khan (pictured above with Kajol) drama.  She had let her T.V. play in the background while working.  The music instantly caught her attention, and she became captive to the Asian entertainment explosion.  She was convinced I would similarly “fall in love.”  But, I had no interest in “reading” my video entertainment.  What I found even more off-putting is that most dramas exceed 15 hours.  Read the television for 15 hours?  No thanks!  Just give me a book.  

Relentlessly, my sister promised to stop harrassing me if I would just watch “one episode.  One “subtitled torture session” did not seem all that bad in exchange for her accepting that I was not interested in her new found hobby.

What I thought would be agonizing, turn out to be euphoric!  I then became more obsessed with Hindi dramas than her, and immediately started a DVD collection.  Within the year, I joined a Hindi language learning group, as I did not want anything to be lost in translation!

My sister, being the deep thinker she is, reasoned that if Bollywood is so captivating, perhaps the entertainment found in other Asian cultures would be similarly enticing.  Soon thereafter, Korean dramas burst into our hearts like a Jack in the Box powered by a jet engine.  Not only the dramas, but K-Pop. Oh, K-Pop where were you all my life?  

Although I am a native English speaker, my grasp of the English language is not sufficient to describe how superior I feel Korean entertainment is to that produced in the states.  

Chinese entertainment then became a regular part of our lives as well. Enter Taiwanese star, Jiro Wang (汪东城 Wāng Dōngchéng).  Is he the best Chinese actor out there?  Perhaps not, but as I mentioned in a previous blog post, one of his dramas, “It Started With a Kiss” (惡作劇之吻 Èzuòjù Zhī Wěn), was among the dramas that sparked my interest in learning Chinese. 

That said, you may be surprised to learn that it was not Jiro’s character I most connected with.  Ariel Lin and Joe Cheng shined in their lead roles.  Ariel went on to win a Golden Bell award for her performance in the sequel, “They Kiss Again” (惡作劇2吻, È Zuò Jù Èr Wěn). I also especially loved Cyndi Chaw’s portrayal of Joe’s mother.  Who wouldn’t love a mother-in-law like her character? So why do I mention Jiro whenever I discuss this drama?

Simply put, he stayed with me longer.  Whenever I love a drama, I research all of its stars to find out if there is anything more from them I might enjoy.  That is how I discovered that Jiro Wang was a member of a boy band called Fahrenheit (飞轮海 Fēilúnhǎi).  Fahrenheit provided my first exposure to Mando Pop, and thus they will always have a place in my heart.  Below are three of their songs that I have translated for your learning pleasure.  

Want to see more songs I have translated by various artists?  Click here.

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Happy Chinese learning!

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