10 Sep 2016

Losing Face




Illustrating the obsession with face-management, there are literally dozens of Chinese sayings and proverbs that have to do with “face”, including:

“Men can’t live without face, trees can’t live without bark.”
ren hou lian, shu hou pi

“A family’s ugliness (misfortune) should never be publicly aired”
jai chou bu ke wai yang

“Face project”
mian zi gong chen
For example, “That new expensive airport is just another face project for local officials to suck up to their bosses.”

“Blacken one’s face”
Wang lian shang mo hei
For example, “He blackened your face to get you back for what you did.”

A traditional insult is to say that someone “has no face”.
mei you mianzi

Similarly, one of the worst things is to “lose face”.
diu lian

Via Belacqui.


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