Monday, January 7, 2008



And since we are on the subject, let’s talk about the mascots: Fuwa. Formerly known as the Friendlies (because they were friends ?) but it appeared that some people whose English is not their first language thought it says… friend lies!!!
The new name Fuwa, which is the pinyin translation of their Chinese name, was adopted in October 2006. So who are the friendly fuwa (福娃).

Each Fuwa has a rhyming two-syllable name -a traditional way of expressing affection for children in China. There are:

  • beibei, the blue one symbolizing the Fish
  • jingjing, the black one symbolizing the Panda
  • huanhuan in red symbolizing the Olympic Flame
  • yingying, the yellow one symbolizing the Tibetan Antelope
  • nini, the green one symbolizing the Swallow

When put together they make up the sentence "Beijing huanying ni" or "Beijing welcomes you" (or Welcome to Beijing)… how clever!