Chinese Tuesdays: To forget about home


I haven’t posted any chengyu [idioms] for a while. Here’s one which I’ve heard a couple of times in reference to myself: 乐不思蜀 (lèbùsīshǔ). It’s used to describe someone who is having so much fun abroad that they forget about their country and family back home. Could be especially relevant to expats staying in China over Christmas.

Shu (蜀) refers to Shu Han (蜀汉), one of the Three Kingdoms (220–280 AD). When Shu was defeated by Wei, the last emperor Liu Shan (刘禅), also known as A Dou (阿斗 – a word that has come to mean a weak and incompetent person) lived comfortably ever after in the Wei capital, where he claimed not to miss his old kingdom at all. And so the idiom was born. Almost two thousand years later, people are still saying it.

This Chinese Tuesdays post originally appeared on Sam Duncan's blog