Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in China Series at ChineseClass101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Chinese holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 19 - Teachers' Day. In Chinese, this day is called 教师节 (jiàoshī jié).
Every September 10 is Teacher’s Day in China. There has been a long tradition of respecting teachers and valuing education in China since ancient times. People advocate respect for teachers and regard them as parental-figures.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Why is "diligent gardener" a metaphor for teachers in Chinese?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
An old saying goes 人有三尊:君、父、师 (rén yǒu sān zūn :jūn , fù , Shī), meaning “three to respect: the emperor, father, and teacher.” This saying implies that a person should maintain a great amount of respect for three people: the emperor who governs the country, the father who raised you, and the teacher who educated you. In feudal China, the twenty-seventh of the eighth lunar month, which is the birthday of Confucius or 孔子 (Kǒngzǐ) , was appointed Teacher’s Day. On this day, the emperor, with his officials, and intellectuals from all over China, would gather together to worship Confucius. This custom speaks to how valued teachers were in ancient China.
In contrast to what you may think, teachers do not receive a day off on Teacher’s Day. Instead, alumni, or 毕业生 (bìyè shēng) return to their old schools on this day to visit their teachers and express their appreciation or 感谢 (gǎnxiè). Current students also participate by giving cards to their instructors and holding class celebrations in honor of their teachers.
It is common for schools to hold ceremonies rewarding excellent teachers with flowers and certificates in appreciation for their hard work. The certificate of Annual Excellent Teacher or 学年度优秀教师 (xuénián dù yōuxiùjiāoshī), issued by upper-level authorities, is regarded as a great honor and recognition for a teacher.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Why is "diligent gardener" a metaphor for teacher?
In China, there is a metaphor that compares students to flowers, making the teachers who educate them the “gardeners” who diligently water and cultivate these “flowers,” enabling them to grow.
What did you think of this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
How do students express appreciation for teachers in your country? Please leave a comment telling us at ChineseClass101.com, and I'll see you in our next lesson. Bye!