A PIG under a Roof : Jia, Family, Guanxi & Success in Life

Jia for pig under the roofA 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.

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Ancient Atrocities, Modern China

dog eat noodlesA 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”

What No Chinatown?

Uruguayan asadoEvery now and then an incident, an experience or a story can jolt me back to who I really am. Not a very nice person. A recent trip to Montevideo, Uruguay, did that for me. I saw a dark side of my Chinese self: the ethnocentric Chinese who thinks that Chinese food is the best in the whole wide world. And no other!

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