Chinese Symbols for Family, Homesickness, Homeland, and Patriotism

Chinese Symbols for Family:

 

  • Family: 家

  • Relative: 家人

  • Hometown: 家乡

  • Homeland: 家园

  • Country:  国家

Chinese Phrases and Poems about Family:

 

  • 安居乐业: Live and work in peace and contentment. 

  • 其乐融融: Happy, cheerful, and harmony.

  • 合家欢乐: Joyful of the entire family. 

  • 丰衣足食: Have ample food and clothing.

  • 幸福美满: Happy and content.

  • 福寿安康: Happy, longevity, peace, and healthy.

  • 欢聚一堂: Joyful gathering. 

  • 金玉满堂: Gold and jade fill the hall, meaning abundant wealth or family members.​

  • 寸草春晖: Grass' gratitude cannot repay the great dedication of the sun, as kids to the great love of their parents.

  • 舐犊情深: Cow licking calf, representing deep love and care from parents to their kids.

  • 骨肉至亲: Closest and dearest kinships. 

  • 手足之情: Relationship of hands and feet, meaning deep brotherhood.

  • 天伦之乐: Family fun of the gathering of different generations.

 

  • 相敬如宾: Respecting each other like the most honorable guest, referring to a loving and respectful marriage.

  • 宜室宜家: Someone, usually a woman, nice to build a loving family with; now represents a happy family and beloved couple.  

 

  • 忠厚传家久,诗书继世长。Su Shi (1037 — 1101)

Clans that are loyal, honest, and kind can last, those who are well educated and civilized can develop and expand.

Silver Gilt Hairpin of the Song Dynasty (960 — 1279) Decorated with Figurines of Happily Married Couples

Silver Gilt Hairpin of the Song Dynasty (960 — 1279) Decorated with Figures of Happily Married Couples  — Ningguo Museum (Photo by Dongmaiying)

 

Chinese Phrases and Poems about Homesickness:

 

  • 故土难离: Difficult to leave one's homeland. 

  • 去国怀乡: Left country and miss hometown. 

  • 梦呓乡语: Speaking hometown dialect in dreams, representing deep homesickness.

  • 乡音不改: One never changes the accent, despite a long time outside the hometown.

  • 越鸟南栖: Birds from the south would nest on southward branches; meaning eternal love to one's hometown.

  • 首丘之情: Foxes would put their heads in the direction of their birthplaces before dying, representing one's homesickness, especially in older ages.   

  • 叶落归根: Leafs would go back to the root, people would return to their homelands.

falling leaves and trees
  • 独在异乡为异客,每逢佳节倍思亲。Wang Wei (701 — 761)

 

As a lonely guest in a strange land, miss family many times more during festivals. 

 

  • 此夜曲中闻折柳,何人不起故园情。Li Bai (701 — 762)

 

A bamboo flute song about farewell and homeland spread at night, made everyone feels homesick and blue.

 

  • 举头望明月, 低头思故乡。Li Bai (701 — 762)

 

Look upward is the bright moon, head down is the deep miss to hometown.

 

  • 梦绕边城月,心飞故国楼。Li Bai (701 — 762)

 

My dreams have entangled around the moon in this border city every night, my heart flies to beautiful buildings in my hometown.

Great Wall of China Under the Moon

Moon Shining on the Great Wall, Photo from Official Site of Jinshanling Great Wall.

  • 露从今夜白,月是故乡明。 Du Fu (712 — 770)

Dew turns into frost since tonight, the moon viewed at home is more bright. (Translated by Xu Yuanchong) 

  • 浊酒一杯家万里,燕然未勒归无计。Fan Zhongyan (989 — 1052)

 

Drink a cup of wine and think of my family far away, but the unsettled troubles on the border uncleared the plan to go home.

 

  • 多少天涯未归客,尽借篱落看秋风。Tang Yin (1470 — 1524)

 

Travelers scattering in the world, can only through fences to appreciate the chrysanthemums and autumn views. 

fences and pathway
 

Chinese Phrases and Poems about Homeland and Patriotism:

 

  • 国家栋梁: Pillars of the nation, representing people with big responsibilities of the country. 

  • 保家卫国: Defend one's home and country.

  • 于家为国: Devotion to people and country.

  • 爱国如家: Love one's country as own family.

  • 精忠报国: Dedicating everything to serving one's country, representing extreme loyalty. 

  • 治国安邦: Govern the state, and bring it peace and stability.  

  • 保国安民: Defend the state and bring people stable lives. 

  • 碧血丹心: Jade-pure blood and loyal heart, meaning absolute loyalty.  

  • 前仆后继: Inherit the fights of the sacrificed ones, representing continuous heroic struggles.

  • 忧国忧民: Concern about the fate of country and people. 

  • 以身许国: Dedicate oneself to the country.

Cavalry Army of the Ming Dynasty in the Painting "Ping Fan De Sheng Tu", Painted Around 1573-1620

Cavalry Army of the Ming Dynasty in the Painting "Ping Fan De Sheng Tu", Painted Around 1573-1620 - National Museum of China

  • 男儿何不带吴钩,收取关山五十州。Li He (790 — 816)

 

Why not take weapons and join the army, to take back our lost land.

 

  • 苟利国家生死以,岂因祸福避趋之。Lin Zexu (1785 — 1850)

I dedicate my life to protecting the interests of my country; shall not do things only for personal benefit, nor escape because of danger.

 

  • 三十功名尘与土,八千里路云和月。Yue Fei (1103 — 1142)

 

Three decades of fights and wins are insignificant like dust, more difficult and long battles are required to take back our lost lands. 

Emperor Zhao Gou's Imperial Edict Wrote to Yue Fei

Emperor Zhao Gou's Imperial Edict Wrote to Yue Fei, Appraising His Loyalty and Exceptional Achievement — Taipei Palace Museum

  • 人生自古谁无死?留取丹心照汗青。Wen Tianxiang (1236 — 1283)

 

Everyone will die, my loyalty will be noted on historical records and shine. 

  • 夜阑卧听风吹雨,铁马冰河入梦来。Lu You (1125 — 1210)

 

Late at night and windy and rainy outside, riding a warhorse and combating in the tempestuous river (to recover lost land) is still my dream (even I am old and sick in bed).

  • 死去元知万事空,但悲不见九州同。Lu You (1125 — 1210)

 

Everything will be irrelevant after death, but it is painful to not see our country unified. 

 

  • 封侯非我意,但愿海波平。Qi Jiguang (1528 — 1588)

 

I fight to bring people with peace, not for noble titles. 

Beacon Towers on Ming Great Wall in Jinshanling Section

Jinshanling Section of Ming Great Wall, Constructed by General Qi Jiguang During 1567 to 1582, Photo by Gucheng.

  • 黄沙百战穿金甲,不破楼兰终不还。Wang Changling (698 — 757)

 

Wearing golden armor and fighting in the desert, we shall not return if we don't conquer Loulan.

  • 看试手,补天裂。Xin Qiji (1140 — 1207)

 

Wait and see, we will patch the broken sky. 

 

To show the poet's strong will to recover the lost land of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 — 1279), like deity Nv Wa patched the broken sky in ancient Chinese Mythology.

 

  • 一寸丹心图报国,两行清泪为思亲。Yu Qian (1398 — 1457)

 

My heart is to serve the country, my tears are for missing my family.

Memorial Temple of Hero Yu Qian in West Lake of Hangzhou

Memorial Temple of Great Hero Yu Qian in West Lake of Hangzhou