Jun 24, 2010

Tea Longevity (茶壽)

In Chinese culture, there are names for some senior ages. A senior person of 77 years old has "Happy Longevity" (喜壽), because in cursive style of Chinese calligraphy, the character for Happy, 喜, looks like Chinese characters for 77.

A person of 88 years old has "Rice Longevity", because the character for Rice, 米, has two character 八 (Eight) in it, one at the bottom, one on the top, inverted.

A person of 99 years old has "White Longevity", because the character for White, 白, is one stroke short of 百 (One hundred).

A person of 108 years old has "Tea Longevity". In the character for Tea, 茶, the top part means Twenty (廿); below it there is a 八 (Eight); further below there is a 八十 (Eighty); and finally there is another 八 (Eight). All together, the character for Tea has 20+80+8=108 in it!

Tea is one of the healthiest beverages. Of course we have reasons to think there is an actual relation between tea and longevity!

Do you know anybody who has Tea Longevity?

I think the oldest person I've ever known is my grandmother-in-law, who passed away at the age of 106. She was a strong and smart woman throughout her life. In the last a few days of her life, she still walked around fast, without a walk-stick. And she passed away suddenly in sleep. We believe she left without pain. In fact, as a rural woman who was born in 19th century, she never got any exact information about her own age or birth date. She didn't know when she was born. Her birthday was celebrated by her children and grandchildren on a "hypothetic" day every year. And people, including herself, could only guess about her age. So, we never know if she lived for 106 years, 108 years, or even more.

1 comment:

Marlena said...

My husband's aunt was 107 and lived in her own aprtment until she was 104.