Saturday, May 18, 2013

Drink Soup or Eat Soup?


One student asked me why  we say "eat soup" in English, and not "drink soup". In Japanese, they say "drink soup".

The truth is, there's no grammar rule involved in this. It's just a matter of the speaker's preference. However, it is more appropriate to say "eat soup" because of several reasons. Let's start with the obvious:  First, soup is served in a bowl.--not from a drinking glass or cup, so we don't drink it. 

Second, we use a spoon or chopsticks  to put the soup into our mouths. We don't drink it the way we drink water or beer from a glass or mug.

The same student argued that soup is liquid, so it's more appropriate to drink it instead of to eat it. Oh yeah, he's got a point, but let's remember that soup is food, so we eat it. It's not a beverage like Coke or beer or juice, and this brings me back to my point that it is not served in a drinking glass.  

Third, soup is not just plain liquid. Soup means some liquid and some vegetables or meat that we chew and swallow. 

But as I mentioned above, there's no grammar rule that governs this. To say "drink soup" is also okay, but "to eat soup" is a lot more popular and more appropriate. It's up to you. Drink your soup if you want, eat your soup if you want. Just make sure not to spill it.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mount Fuji- A World Heritage


"Mount Fuji on Verge of World Heritage Listing"

"An important UNESCO panel has recommended that World Heritage status be granted to Mount Fuji, putting the iconic peak on a direct path to registration.

Japan's tallest mountain is expected to be formally listed in June when the World Heritage Committee meets in Cambodia."
 -The Japan Times News, May 01, 2013

Mount Fuji  has always been close to my heart. Long time ago, when I was a little girl with pigtails and dusty feet,  I would often stare at the vast universe and wonder where in the world exactly Japan and Mount Fuji were. My hometown is scorching in summer, and summer was the time when I would sit under one of our mango trees munching a green mango and daydream of taking a nap on the snow-capped summit of the grand mountain. Whew.

How did I know about Mount Fuji at such a young age? Well,  learning about all  Asian countries and their cultures  was and still is an important part of the Philippine curriculum for primary schools.  From our Asian History books,  we learned the cultural symbols of Japan such as ikebana, kimono, haiku, sakura, geisha, samurai, cranes, temples, shrines,  and of course, the majestic and beautiful Mount Fuji, among other things.

Our Asian history books would often compare Mount Fuji with the Philippines' pride, ***Mount Mayon, because of its beautiful symmetrical cone, similar to Mount Fuji's. This made my young, wild and weird  imagination conclude that Fuji and Mayon were actually twin sisters who had an argument and decided to live apart. (My older sisters and I would often fight, and this somehow affected the way I imagined things, but personal life is a different story. ha ha ha.)

The inclusion of Mount Fuji on the list of World Heritage Sites will be a giant leap for Japan. This will make people from all over the world get interested in Mount Fuji, which means further growth of tourism in this beautiful country.

Indeed, when Mount Fuji is formally approved as a World Heritage Site in June, I will be one of the first people to rejoice.

More information about Mayon Volcano
***Mayon Volcano is the landmark of Albay, a beautiful province in the southeastern  part of Luzon Island. Albay province is 12 hours away by bus from Manila.

Like Mount Fuji, Mayon Volcano  is a stratovolcano and it is known for its almost perfect cone. It is the most active volcano in the Philippines, and it has erupted 48 times in the past 400 years, according to Wikipedia. Its most destructive eruption occurred on February 1, 1814. It  buried Cagsawa, a thriving town where a big church once stood. After the said eruption, only the tower of the church was not buried. The tower is still there today, and it is now called Cagsawa Ruins.

                                         Mayon Volcano

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