The people in old time didn’t speak much. They considered it a shame not to be able to keep up with
their own words
The proverbs and sayings popular in this country or another help learning the national traditions. China is known to be the country of severe etiquette and ceremony. The Chinese culture is one of the most ancient in the world. Chinese proverbs and sayings were passed down from generation to generation. The Chinese literature unlike that of the Western Europe is less concerned about artistic and aesthetic perception of a reader. It was initiated by the philosophy of Ancient China and historic peculiarities of the country development. That is why China features historiographic and etiquette and philosophic trends.
The Chinese parables have always occupied a special place in literature. For instance, the Parable of Two Vases:
Well, let us suppose that one emperor had two flower vases made of fine china. Both are intricately carved and of comparable value, elegance, and beauty. Then the wind blows and one of them falls from its stand, and is broken into pieces. Painstakingly, step by step, the expert glues the pieces back together. Soon the broken vase in intact again, can hold water without leaking, is unblemished to all who see it. Yet this vase is now different from the other one. The lines along which it had broken, a subtle reminder of yesterday, will always remain discernable to an experienced eye. However, it will have a certain wisdom since it knows something that the vase that has never been broken does not: it knows what it is to break and what it is to come together.
In Chinese there are a lot of popular expression, proverbs, sayings which accumulated the tradition and entire wisdom of China. The Chinese aphorisms are supposed to attribute certain emotional colouring to speech.
In Chinese they are called “chengyu” and usually consist of four syllables. The expressions of the ancient Chinese writing language known as “wenyan” lie in the basis of chengyu. Wenyan is difficult to understand, for it differs considerably from the contemporary language. It is quite natural that knowledge of wenyan proverbs is the indication of cultural development and proper education; they have to be learnt additionally.
Nevertheless, a lot of Chinese quotes have appeared recently, and have a clear meaning.