Chinese Language Blog

Teachers’ Day in China Posted by on Sep 2, 2019 in Culture

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Chinese Teachers’ Day will be celebrated this month on September 10th.

An old Chinese saying says: 人有三尊:君、父、师 (rén yǒu sān zūn: jūn, fù, shī). It means people have three to respect: the emperor, father, and teacher. According to the saying, a person should greatly honor the emperor who governed the country, the father who raised him, and the teacher who educated him.

Teachers in ancient China received great honor. Teachers in modern China are treated with much respect, as well.

  • 学生心里充满了对老师的感激之情。

               Xué shēng xīn lǐ chōng mǎn le duì lǎo shī de gǎn jī zhī qíng.

              Student’s heart is filled with gratitude to the teacher.   

Teachers’ Day in China (教师节 jiào shī jié) is observed annually on September 10th. It’s a day dedicated to express gratitude to teachers for their hard work and their contributions to the society. On Teachers’ Day students show their respect to their teachers by handing them small gifts (礼物 lǐ wù), such as flowers (鲜花 xiān huā) and greetings cards (贺卡 hè kǎ). Common greetings which appear in the cards are:

  • 有的同学手里抱着鲜花,有的拿着贺卡, 都向老师说几句祝福话。

               Yǒu de tóng xué shǒu lǐ bào zhe xiān huā, yǒu de ná zhe hè kǎ, dōu xiàng lǎo shī

               shuō jǐ jù zhù fú huà.

               Some students hold flowers, some hold greeting cards, they all say a few words of

               blessing to the teacher.

In this short episode of the Chinese cartoon 《棉花糖和云朵妈妈》, the sweet Mian Huatang forgets to prepare a gift for Teachers’ Day. She and her friend spend all afternoon trying to prepare a decent gift. The next day, they hand their teacher a special (特别 tè bié) gift:

But the best gift a teacher can ask for is a serious (认真 rèn zhēn) student who studies hard (努力学习 nǔ lì xué xí). This should apply not only during Teachers’ Day, but teachers want a student who performs well (好好表现 hǎo hào biǎo xiàn) through the all year long. A student who repays (报答 bào dá) his or her teacher with outstanding results (优异的成绩 yōu yì de chéng jī), is what a teacher really wishes for.

  • 给老师最好的礼物就是好好学学习。

              Gěi lǎo shī zuì hǎo de lǐ wù jiù shì hǎo hào xué xué xí.

              The best gift to give to a teacher is to study hard.

Most students never forget their teachers. Teachers’ Day became an opportunity even for graduates (毕业生 bì yè shēng) to show their respect. Some graduates return to school on that day to pay a visit to their teachers, assuring them that their hard work is still appreciated. For graduates who fail to visit their old school, the next page gives many ideas for a warm-hearted short message to send their former (昔日的 xī rì de) teacher.


Text vocabulary

老师 lǎo shī = teacher

教师 jiào shī  = teacher

节 jié = festival

教师节 jiào shī jié = Teachers’ Day

尊 zūn = to respect

感激 gǎn jī = to appreciate

礼物 lǐ wù = gift

鲜花 xiān huā = flower

贺卡 hè kǎ = greetings card

特别 tè bié = special

认真 rèn zhēn = serious, to take something seriously

努力 nǔ lì = to try hard

表现 biǎo xiàn = to perform

报答 bào dá = to repay

优异 yōu yì = outstanding

成绩 chéng jī = marks, results

毕业生 bì yè shēng = graduate

昔日的 xī rì de = former



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  1. Eugene:

    I am married to an excellent teacher and wife.

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