I know everyone is thinking how hard it is to learn Chinese. The writing is like squirrels gone nuts and its tones are like the sound of music without Julie Andrews. Who needs it? I mean to say why bother learning the Chinese language? Just eat the food. Yes, wouldn’t it be nice just to eat Chinese food and magically like Dr Fu Manchu…. waaaaaaaaah you can speak Chinese Mandarin. That would be nice indeed.
A pig under a roof can mean home or family (jia ) and it is also a very popular name for Chinese girls. Chinese writing is made up of 214 radicals or elementary pictures. By combining the radicals of pig and roof, we get jia. This tells us a lot about the value that Chinese people place on the family and of course, the pig. In ancient China, the farmer probably valued his pig more than his wife or female daughters. Jia, ideographically also implies that the woman’s place is in the home. Sociologically speaking, language constructs realities, and intrinsic in any language are stories which hint at values shared by a group of people. It is common knowledge that we Chinese, like most sinitic or chopsticks people (i.e Japanese, Vietnamese, Koreans) have a family-centred culture; a jia culture.
A funny thing happened to me on the way to Box Hill. I stopped by and chatted with a young Chinese woman holding a gorgeous poodle. After stroking her poodle, I bade the woman goodbye and laughingly said: “Don’t turn your poodle into a noodle and eat her.” The woman gave me a reply that blew me away. Continue reading “Ancient Atrocities, Modern China”