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Chinese Symbols for Family, Homesickness, Homeland, and Patriotism

Chinese Characters 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.​

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)

  • 寸草春晖: Grass' gratitude cannot repay the extraordinary 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)

Loyal and honest clans can thrive and proceed; educated and civilized ones can develop and expand.

Chinese Phrases and Poems about Nostalgia

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

  • 去国怀乡: Left country and missed 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 for 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, and 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)


Alone in a strange land as a lonely guest, at festivals I miss my loved ones exponentially more. 


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


Hearing the bamboo flute song of farewell at night, who would not feel nostalgic about their homeland?


  • 举头望明月, 低头思故乡。Li Bai (701 — 762)


Raising my head I see the bright moon; looking down I pine for my hometown.


  • 梦绕边城月,心飞故国楼。Li Bai (701 — 762)


My dreams entangle around the moon of this border city every night; my heart flies to the 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.

  • 昔我往矣,杨柳依依。今我来思,雨雪霏霏。The Classic of Poetry, or The Book of Songs, or Shijing, compiled by Confucius (551 BC — 479 BC).

When I left, willow boughs swayed with the breeze; now I return, snowflakes swirling in the freeze.


  • 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
  • 海上生明月,天涯共此时。Zhang Jiuling (678 — 740)

Amidst the sea, the moon is rising tonight; loved ones far, we share the same moonlight.


  • 但愿人长久,千里共婵娟。Su Shi (1037 — 1101)

Wishing everyone longevity; always sharing moonlight even afar.


  • 今夜月明人尽望,不知秋思落谁家。Wang Jian (765 — 830)

All eyes are gazing upon the moon so bright; wondering the autumn longing would fall on whose yard tonight.

autumn moon

Chinese Phrases and Poems about Homeland and Patriotism:


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

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

  • 于家为国: Devotion to people and nation.

  • 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 the 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; I shall not do things only for personal benefit or 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 though 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 not to see our country unified. 


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


I fight to bring people 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, and 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 the 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

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