Learn the history of needle through Chinese character for needle (針)
Covid-19 vaccine is a hot topic at this moment.
The number of vaccine receivers is ever-increasing.
Frank the tour guide just took the first jab of Sinovac vaccine yesterday.
In this post, Frank is going to introduce the Chinese character for needle and injection (針, Cantonese pronunciation: zam1) to readers.
The development of the way of writing character 針 actually shows the history of needle and acupuncture.
“An iron pestle can ground down to be a needle” is a famous Chinese idiom, which means perseverance will prevail.
Fighting Covid-19 is a difficult and lengthy challenge for the whole world.
Frank hopes China, Russia, America and other Western developed countries can help other countries to reach the herd immunity by vaccine.
Thus the world can return to normality more quickly and Frank can share more Chinese culture in his Hong Kong private tour with clients again.
Chinese character for needle (針) shows the material of making the basic sewing tool
The initial way of writing the Chinese character 針 (needle) was a simple downward vertical stroke (“丨”)!
This “丨” represented the primitive stone needle and bone needle.
People sewed simple animal skin clothes by stone or bone needle and hamstring or vine thread.
Thus people enhanced the meaning of the character by adding the horizontal stroke “一”, which means the thread, to make the way of writing the character from “丨” to “十”.
People also used the blunt stone needles to press their painful body parts to allay the symptoms.
This was the origin of Chinese acupuncture.
When Chinese got the smelting skills, people then used different metals, bronze, iron, gold, silver etc. to make the needles.
Chinese acupuncturists inserted the sharp needles into different acupoints to enhance the effectiveness of the treatments.
People then added the new component “金” to the character “十” to create the character “針”!
“金” actually represents all types of metal (“鋼”Steel, “鐵”Iron, “銅”Copper) and is the character of gold.
Chinese learned the medical equipment syringe and its function injection quite late from the Western missionaries and doctors.
Chinese eventually added another character “打” before the character “針” to create the term “打針”, which means (of a nurse or doctor) giving an injection or (of a patient) getting an injection.
An iron pestle can ground down to be a needle: perseverance will prevail
Chinese people’s needle-related idiom shows the importance of perseverance, “an iron pestle can ground down to be a needle”
Now the world need the perseverance to overcome the deadly virus.
Frank the tour guide hopes China, Russia, America and other developed countries can help people in other countries to take Covid-19 vaccine.
This is indispensable for more countries to get the herd immunity and the world to return to normality.
Frank hopes he can share Chinese culture with clients in his Hong Kong private tour again soon.