Sunday, March 30, 2008

Losing Face

There is a common saying in chinese about "losing face", a synechdoche representing one's pride and dignity; embarrassment and disappointment. A person's "face" in Chinese society represented authority and power, and to "lose" it would cause great embarrassment, especially if it is made known to the public. Every man has "face", form the poor to the rich, and every man wants to maintain and keep his "face" in the best conditions. For example, a proud father might tell his son to not make him lose face when he sends him off to the army to become a soldier, his father is eventually telling his son to not bring shame onto him. I find this saying very interesting, and very creative way in expressing embarrassment. It also showed how much the Chinese people valued pride more than anything else, even over death.

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