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January 24, 2005

The ~ of Friendships

The Informalist considers the the "~" of friendships. "~" is a Chinese character that will not load on my browser due to the lack of the right character-set but which stands for "yuan". How do people become friends?

It all depends on ~,I believe. ~("yuan") is a Chinese word which can be roughly translated as "affinity". Yuan is a kind of mysterious connection sometimes said to have been forged from previous lifetimes. Even though yuan is essentially man-made, it still can't be contrived, which is why people who invoke yuan usually also advise one to ~~("Sui Yuan") --- to go with the flow of yuan. If there is yuan, an old Chinese saying says, one can meet even if a thousand miles lie in between them. If there is no yuan, one can be seperated by a wall and still not know each other.

Update: Thanks to an informed Flea-reader, I now hope to post the words 缘 (yuan) and 缘分 (yuanfen) properly. Just this sort of courteous tip is a perfect example of the predestined relationships of friendship and affinity made possible thanks to the blogosphere.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at January 24, 2005 01:07 AM

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