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06/04/18 | A Note on Father's Day

I never told my father that I loved him in person, although I have missed him every day since he left this world. The older I get, the more I understand a father's love, how much I love him. "Love" is such a delightful and often-used word in America. I grow to cautiously accept it, use it, and express it.

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I was introduced to the word of LOVE when I went to elementary school in 1970's China, where all students had to solute Chairman Mao by saying "long live Chairman Mao" and "we love Chairman Mao". The word "love" is not seen to be used in Chinese love stories such as The Dream of the Red Chamber, and Liang Shanbo and Zu Yingdai(a Chinese Romeo and Juliet story). 

The use of LOVE word was (爱/愛) RARELY showed up in my earlier life. To express die-hard emotions, people would say "I really like you," they would exchange incense pouches, or even present a strip of hair... Of course, I am talking about China 30 years ago. The word of love has now been penetrated into every vein of Chinese culture, and the young Chinese say "love" as easily as their western counterparts.

 

In Japan, "love" was introduced in 18th century, and early Japanese translators were appalled by the word. "I love you" would be translated into phrases like "I would die for you" or "the moon is beautiful." Even in a passionate relationship, "su ki," or at most, "Dai su ki" (like, or like you very much) were used. Poems and presents were exchanged, and although there was no phone calls or texts, the feelings were there. These expressions of love were brewed fiercely, subtly hidden away, and quietly expressed.

 

Expressing affection towards parents is more difficult than expressing love to your lovers.

Here, we prepare some of father's favorite objects for you to express your love. 

 

C.S. Jiang