EN-Episode 81: Happy Year of the Tiger!

Original audio (translated transcript below):

Hello, everyone, it’s Kaycee here.


It’s Chinese New Year again. First of all, I would like to wish you all a happy Year of the Tiger. Any Tiger listeners out there? I heard that people born in the Year of the Tiger are very independent, have high self-esteem, like to act alone, don’t quite get along, like to play the role of protector, but tend to rush, so they are prone to missteps, is it true?


To be honest, I don’t really believe in reading personalities from the zodiac, but it’s interesting to read about it once in a while.


Since it is the Year of the Tiger, let’s take a look at an idiom related to the tiger.
If you don’t enter a tiger’s den, you won’t get a tiger’s son. This is a compound idiom derived from a historical story. It comes from the Book of Later Han – The Biography of Ban Chao. If you do not enter a tiger’s den, how can you get a tiger’s son? It literally means that if you do not dare to go into the tiger’s den, you will not catch the tiger cub. As you may be able to guess it is actually a metaphor for if there is danger ahead, how can you succeed if you do not experience the danger yourself? How can you know the truth if you don’t practice it?


There is a story behind this idiom. During the Eastern Han Dynasty, Emperor Ming of Han sent Ban Chao and 36 warriors to the Shanshan Kingdom to make friends. At first, the Shan king was polite and treated Ban Chao and the 36 warriors well, but then the Xiongnu emissary also came and said a lot of bad things about the Han Ming Emperor to the Shan king. The Shan king was somewhat convinced, and his attitude towards these men of Ban Chao cooled down. Ban Chao thought about it, and if the Shan king handed them over to the Xiongnu, they would definitely not get out alive. But if they really fought the Xiongnu, Ban Chao’s men only had thirty-six men, far fewer than the Xiongnu, and the chances of winning were not good.


Finally, he made up his mind and said, “If we do not enter the tiger cave, we will not be able to catch the tiger cubs. We will attack the Xiongnu mission by fire in the dark, so that they will not know how many of us there are, and they will be shocked, and we can destroy them all. With these enemies destroyed, the Shan king will be frightened out of his wits and we will have accomplished a great deal, and our feats will be established.”


Sure enough, Ban Chao won and defeated the Xiongnu, and the Shan king decided to lean on the side of the Han dynasty. When Emperor Ming of Han knew all this, he also admired Ban Chao’s courage and courage and began to reappoint him.


So that’s how you get a tiger’s son if you don’t enter a tiger’s den. I hope you will all be brave enough to go after what you want in the new year. Well then, Happy Chinese New Year and we’ll see you next time!

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