China Father’s Day Nuggets

In Mainland China, Father’s Day, the third Sunday in June, is not very well observed. It isn’t a public holiday, but expats in China might celebrate it. Perhaps some Western fathers might be honored on the day by their family, friends, or workmates.

This year’s Father’s Day falls on Sunday, June 16th.  A survey conducted in 561 universities nationwide by the news website “Youth.cn” reveals students’ relationships with their fathers revealed:

More than 79 percent of college students know their father’s birthday, compared with 21 percent who don’t.

More than 56 percent said they have a good relationship with their father, but won’t share thoughts.

Xu Jianxing from North China University of Science and Technology said he can’t forget his father’s birthday because it’s the same day as the “Dragon Boat Festival.” He usually gives him a call or sends him a video on his birthday, the report said.

Sun Jing from Wuhan University said she marks all her family’s birthdays on the calendar in her cell phone so she won’t miss them.

The report found more than 56 percent said they have a good relationship with their father, while less than 3 percent considered the relationship bad, and the rest fell somewhere in between.

But when asked about whether they will tell their “innermost thoughts” to their father, about 54 percent said no.

In China, people have the tendency to “hide” their feelings, even from close family members. But things appear to be changing, as more and more people become open-minded and want to offer affection to their loved ones.

Liu Fangfang of Chongqing Jiaotong University said her relationship with her father was “not good” since she was young. “We usually quarreled with each other, so how is it possible that I could tell him my thoughts?”

A total of 64.35 percent said their fathers are not good at “expressing” their feelings, 55.26 percent said their fathers are “responsible”, 45.45 percent said their fathers are “nice”, 42.25 percent said their fathers are “serious,” 11.41 percent considered their fathers as an “idol”, while 8.38 percent said their fathers are “scary.”

During the WWII years, Father’s Day was celebrated on August 8. The Republic of China government wanted to celebrate the soldiers who died and honor fathers.

In Chinese, “August 8” sounds very similar to the comfortable word 爸爸 (bàba) “daddy“. To break it down, 八 (bā) eighth” day of the “八 (bā) eighth” month makes two “八八 (bābā) eights” and this is how we chose this date to celebrate Father’s Day.

On Father’s Day, you can wish all the daddies of the world a “Happy Father’s Day” by saying, “父亲节快乐! (Fùqīnjié kuàilè!)

Happy Father’s Day!” “父亲 (fùqīn)” is another way to say father and the word “快乐 (kuàilè)” means happy.

So in Chinese we would switch the phrase around to “Father’s Day Happy!” Learn it and endear yourself to all the great dads of the world! When addressing your own father, you may want to show more emotion with: Bàba, wǒ ài nín! 爸爸,我 爱 您! Dad, I love you!

 What Should I Get My Dad for Father’s Day?

Leave a comment

Filed under chinese culture, workplace insights

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.