Thursday, July 1, 2010

X is for Xièxie 谢谢

The Great Wall

I have a lot to be thankful for. We traveled safely from our small southern city in China, through Beijing, and on to the US with no troubles. I am sitting here typing this e-mail from the peaceful, temperate front porch of my parents' lake cottage as my fellas sit around me using their various electronic devices after a day out in the sun.

Xièxie 谢谢 is the Chinese word for"thank you," and while not commonly used in the past; it is becoming a little more prevalent. Such "polite language" as "please" and "thank you" are considered to create relational distance and are therefore awkward and can even carry negative connotation.

Also a Chinese person will most likely seem to brush aside or put off a compliment such as, "This meal is delicious" with an, "Oh no, it is really nothing." "The reason is because the Chinese community is much less focused on individualism than our western society is. In China, people are more concerned about the communal impression. Chinese people are very modest and not accustomed to show their feelings in public. So, when they are praised or complimented, the customary response is 'no, no!' instead of 'thank you'"(All About China)

So this Thursday, July 1st 6pm EST, I thank my Heavenly Father for bringing me home with my family to loved ones & friends and a country for which I am very grateful. I also thank Him (感谢主) for the rich and wonderful opportunity we have to live in a land so different in culture and life from our own (and yet so similar in matters of the heart).

After several weeks absence I am linking to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. You can find other X-cellent posts here.


  1. I have to admit there is bound to be some good in the practices of other cultures. So I am not going to thank you for this lesson and I won't tell you how wonderful it was to read because I wouldn't honor the tradition of the post (but hopefully you can read between the lines!!!)

  2. You are so lucky to live somewhere else for a little while and learn about another culture other than the one you were born into. I wish everyone had an opportunity to do that.
    What a handsome family you have!!

  3. The photo of your menfolk at the Great Wall are well...great! :o)
    Our younger daughter went there two or three summers ago with her Political Science class while in China for 6 weeks. It never ceases to amaze me how this could have been constructed so many years ago!

    ("Shay-Shay" this correct pronunciation? When I was in the 6th and 7th grade we lived in Taiwan. How I wish that I remembered more from the short Chinese lessons we had. How long will you be living in China?

    Blessings & Aloha!

  4. So glad that you are back, so glad that you made it safely back home. I am also a lover of the lake house scene! Will you be staying or are you going back to China? Thank you so much for the interesting information about the differences in our cultures, so many times we measure everything by how we respond to situations instead of thinking of how others might! Hae a blessed 4th, we have so much to be thankful for.

  5. I echo the sentiments previously stated.
    The excursion and acknowledgment of the characteristics, both culturally and historically (not to mention spiritual) is at the essence of our understanding one another!
    Great post...and I too agree thank heaven for this land so richly blessed!

  6. Yeah! your back blogging! I think you are so very lucky to be able to live in a different land with such an interesting history and culture! I really do hope to see you for Y!

  7. I always enjoy my visits to your posts. You share so many wonderful insights from your amazing experiences.

  8. Simply beautiful post. 谢谢

  9. What a wonderful experience to have lived there. I really enjoyed the pictures too, and the little lesson:) Debbie

  10. What a sensitive post, and it's so informative about Chinese culture. Thank you so much for sharing it.

    ..............cj Schlottman

  11. This is a great post for the letter X. As an Asian, I found compliments embarrassing, but have gotten used to it now.

  12. What a letter to come back to! X was difficult for me. Sorry very late to comment since tonight we can post our Y's. Of course I did not know this and have learned something new.


Thank you for your comments. They help me feel that I am some how connected out here in Blogland and not just writing to the air.


Related Posts with Thumbnails