Monday, November 26, 2007

Honor thy elders

"Time-honored Quanjude brand plan further expansion"

That's a headline from today's China Daily. "Time-honored"is a phrase I hear at least once or twice a week in China. It seems odd to me, since it is hardly ever used in the US. According to Merriam-Webster, it means "honored because of age or long usage." I suppose that's a typical Chinese sentiment -- since something has been around a long time, it should be treasured and honored.

While that may be true for things like the Forbidden City and the Great Wall, should the term really be used for a 147 year old restaurant that serves really greasy duck mostly to tourists? Or how about China's relationship with South Africa? I also discovered that there is an official list of "time-honored" brands in China. There are 430 of them to be exact. At least, that was the number in 2006. Who knows, another year has passed and perhaps many more have withstood the test of time and deserve the title.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Time honored".... what happened to all those cultural relics and historical documents purged??