In the last post about characters, we talked about how many HSK1-3 characters are in Jing'an Temple Metro Station. What I wanted to tell you is that to learn the Chinese characters are not as difficult and abstract as you thought.
But of course, I hope what you know/feel about the characters, goes far beyond the signs of the metro stations.
Chinese Characters, one of the most important Chinese culture basis, enjoy a long history along through the development of Chinese culture. They are blended into every Chinese people's "blood" therefore are still shaping the temperament and thinking of China today. I personally encourage every Chinese learner to learn characters as nowadays we are losing more and more connections with our ancestors and history. If you have an opportunity, don't miss it, seize this old writing system to open your oriental dimension.
Today, I'll introduce a beautiful character - "禾", a very simple character but also used very commonly as a component in many complicated characters:
See? The shape of "禾" is like a rice crop bending with heavy ears. "禾" means crop and gain. Now, let's take a look at some characters containing "禾"：秋, 季, 香.
1. 秋（qiū）- autumn
秋 contains "禾"（left part）and "火" (right part).
The oldest shape of "秋" is like this:
The top part is a cricket →; The bottom part is fire →
People hear crickets chirp a lot when autumn comes, and the fire means farmers will burn the straw after the harvest to prevent pests.
So the ancestor took "cricket" and "fire", these two most typical items to symbolize the season of autumn.
Later on, people deleted the complicated "crickets" during the simplification and kept fire(火) and the straw-crop(禾) to interpret autumn.
2. 季（jì）- season
季 contains "禾" (top part) and "子" (bottom):
"禾hé" means "crop" →
"子zǐ" means "baby" →
季 originally means "young crop" with a 子（zǐ, baby）in the bottom to indicate the young stage.
Now the meaning of "季" drifts to "season, a certain period". But there's still a connection between "young crops" and "season" right? Here's a trick for helping memorize "季": young crops need a season to harvest.
3. 香（xiāng）- good-smelling; good taste; fragran
香 contains "禾"(the top part) and "日" (the bottom part):
"禾hé" means "crop" →
"日rì" was derived from "口 (mouth)" →
The Ancient Chinese people understand "fragrance" as a tasty grain from the crop.
But I still prefer understanding "香xiāng" as 禾(crop)+日(the sun): "the sun shines over the croplands". Imagine you are standing in the picture below. What you can smell isn't the definition of "香"？
That's the "禾" story in Chinese characters! You got it?
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