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Talking about Idioms (14)

Viewed 558 times 2017-11-29 16:52 |System category:Life

Lin Zexu (1785-1850), a statesman, thinker and poet in the Qing Dynasty, had a reputation of national hero in China for his strictly banning opium in 1840 ( see the movie Opium War). When he was the governor of Guangdong Province, he wrote down an antithetical couplet“海纳百川有容乃大 ;壁立千仞无欲则刚 ”(the sea is big as it is willing to accommodate every river; cliffs rise thousands feet as it is unwilling to lean against.)

The couplet has since been used to describe the noble character of those who are broad- minded and standing on principles and not yielding to pressure.

The idiom coming from the couplet is “海纳百川hǎi nà bǎi chuān”, which is mainly used to mean that a man’s mind should be as broad as the sea, so to be able to accommodate varieties of opinions and ideas. The idiom is also used to describe a vast and magnificent scene which covers and contains numerous things and activities.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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  • Talking about Idioms (19) 2018-1-9 12:55

    I like this idom especially in winter, as there are a lot of wheat planting in my hometown, western Shandong Province. Auspicious snow can bring a good harvest to the farmers. :)

  • Talking about Idioms (17) 2017-12-29 21:34

    Good luck would become after your failure!

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