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.what is 家 (jia)?


by Xinyu Jiang, a PhD student at TUM from Xi’an city, China. Xinyu likes to cook and enjoys watching the TV series, Merlin. She has witchy powers with which she fabricates solar cells from polymers, watches them work real-time with synchrotron tools and doesn't worry about metrics.


月饼包装盒上面写的“家” 字(The word "家" written on the moon cake packing box)










What is “家” (Jia)?

"家" is a pictographic character. From the structure of the font, the upper part is "宀", which means it is related to the house or place, and the lower part is "豕", which means pig.

The pig here can refer to the livestock raised by humans, cattle and sheep, etc., so "家" literally means the place where the livestock lives.

In ancient times, livestock was closely related to human activities, so "家" represented the relatives who lived together and the place where they lived.

Add a word “人”(people)after “家”, that is “家人”, which represents the members of the family. Add a word “老”(old) before “家”, that is “老家”,or “故乡”(literally) which means hometown, or native land.

In China, “家” has an irreplaceable place in everyone's heart. No matter how far a person goes and appreciates the beautiful scenery in other places, home will always be the most beautiful place, and family will always be the most loved one.

There is a cultural saying, "家和万事兴", stating that if there is peace in the family that means everything will prosper.

In ancient China, many poets eulogized the hometown, "月是故乡明". It means that the moon they saw at home is the brightest. A tribute to an incomparable yearning for home.


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