Thursday, 25 May 2017

Learn one Chinese Character a day - 习 | 習

At the end of our previous character 羽, we have asked you to guess the meaning of the Oracle Script - . Have you gotten any clues?

Let us analyse it together. The modern form of  is 习 | 習. Its Simplified version - 习 is half of 羽, while the Traditional version 習 provides more information - 羽 and 白. Then maybe 習 represents white wings? However it does not sound like a useful combination though.

We shall see if we can get any help from its evolution history, as shown below: (image taken from
evolution history of 习 | 習
Looking at its Oracle Script -  again, the upper part is surely wings without doubt. What is the lower part? Recall the Oracle script of 日 -, it is the Sun actually. So  is flying Sun?

And as we have learnt during our study of 东, we know that Chinese ancestors believed that Sun is carried by a Sun Crow, as stated at Then it makes sense now -  does mean the flying Sun.
picture of 金乌 - the Sun

From this presentation of flying Sun, we can extend it to the major meanings of 习 | 習: Keep doing something consistently as a routine, like the Sun rises everyday and moves from east to west.

Get back to its evolution history, from its Oracle script  till current 习 | 習, its lower part slowly changed from 日 to 白. Recall what we have learnt with 百, 白 in 百 actually means "keep talking". So 羽 plus 白 can represent the meaning as a bird keep flapping it wings to fly, thus 習 do be able to mean keep doing something.

That is all for 习 | 習, now let us enjoy a Chinese calligraphy with 习 | 習 inside:

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