The familial and national feelings of Chinese people |
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The familial and national feelings of Chinese people

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By Kim Sewoo | | Updated: Jan 21, 2022

[Republic of Korea] Kim Sewoo, Qingdao University

Kim Sewoo (R) and his Russian classmate. [Photo provided to]

“Home is the smallest country, and country is the family for tens of thousands.” Jackie Chan’s song Country expresses his deep feelings for his country and family through the simplest lyrics. Chinese people’s feelings for home and country seem to have come down in a continuous line along the long river of history, from poet Du Fu’s “On war-torn land streams flow and mountains stand; In vernal town grass and weeds are overgrown”, “The beacon fire has gone higher and higher; Words from household are worth their weight in gold”, to Premier Zhou Enlai’s “study for the rise of China”.

Both Du’s love for his motherland and nostalgia for his family and Premier Zhou’s broad-mindedness and lofty ambition reflect the family and national feelings engraved in the bones of Chinese people.

At the beginning of 2020, a sudden epidemic broke the peaceful life, which, however, also made me realize the national unity of the Chinese people and the spirit of “sacrifice the small family for everyone”. For the sake of the safety of people’s lives and the control of the epidemic, the Chinese government adopted the decision of locking down Wuhan immediately after the outbreak, avoiding the explosive growth of the epidemic to be caused by large-scale population mobility.

The trains, which had been supposed to carry passengers returning to their hometown during the Spring Festival, were full of relief supplies from all directions and medical personnel and volunteers who came to support. Students and migrant workers who had been supposed to have a happy New Year’s Eve dinner with their families went through an extraordinary year alone in voluntary quarantine.

Thanks to their giving up the reunion of small families for the sake of everyone’s safety, the epidemic in China has been effectively controlled, which has also made China a model country for effective management of the epidemic. Also thanks to this, the number of domestic tourists in China during this year’s May Day “Golden Week” reached 230 million, realizing the miracle of tourism revenue of 113.23 billion yuan (statistics from the data center of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism).

A Russian couple who were studying in China with me also took advantage of the May Day holidays to go to the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Guangzhou to go through the marriage formalities, and they also went to Hainan for a five-day sweet honeymoon. Bless them! I really envy them!

Nowadays, some countries are still trapped in the plight of the epidemic, which is in sharp contrast to China’s “prosperous land and safe people”. I don’t mean to laugh at any country or to gloat over their misfortune. But it is worth learning that the Chinese can put the overall situation first, “sacrifice the small families for everyone”, and comply with the government’s management measures, when the personal interests conflict with the national ones.

When it comes to the feelings for home and country, I have to mention a doctor from Hunan Province whom I got to know at the Asian University in South Korea. Although his family was poor, his grades were excellent and he earned scholarships all the way through doctorate. His life was very simple, but he studied very hard.

Kim (R2) at Qingdao University's International Culture and Arts Festival [Photo provided to]

I had lost all information about him after I went to study in China, until by chance, I learned from other friends that the doctor has graduated and returned to China. I thought he would use his diploma to find a high-paying job to improve his family situation and living standards, but my friend’s words made me respect the doctor instantly.

My friend said, “He went back to his hometown in the country and has become a village teacher.” The doctor had often talked about “Study for the rise of China” and “Education is the last thing to sacrifice”. I never took it seriously, thinking he was just joking and never expecting him to do so. Never had I expected that I could also feel the family and national feelings engraved in the bones of the Chinese people in an ordinary rural student.

“I have no regret to be a Chinese in this life, and I still want to be a Chinese in the next life.” This is a comment I often see in China’s online media, whether on TikTok or Weibo. It sincerely expresses Chinese people’s love for the motherland and the pride of being Chinese. Great China, towering China. Despite of wars and vicissitudes, the Chinese people have inherited the Chinese soul, and will pass it on to future generations, without stopping.

The story is from "My Beautiful Encounter with China" Essay Competition organized by the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchanges (CSCSE).