Chinese character is the only oldest character style that is still used widely today since its appearance roughly 5000 years ago. The long-term usage and change in different area and context formed its extreme and splendor in multiple expressions. It is the base of Chinese marvelous civilization. It itself is unique and different from western letters or words absolutely, which is the root of distinction between oriental and occidental civilizations. Thanks to Chinese character, Chinese people can thoroughly show their sentiment, sorrow, surprise, joy and anger in oral and written styles. So Chinese intangible civilization is as terrifically colorful as Chinese material civilization and as the independent and particular art form, calligraphy is directly originated from Chinese character.
Nowadays, it is gradually popularizing in the international community, especially in China’s neighboring countries such as Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Thailand who are partially or once used Chinese characters as their communication tool. Chinese poem, essay, novel, and other forms of literature are perfectly nurtured by Chinese Character. Even Chinese painting is also indirectly from Chinese Character. The number of Chinese speakers and users is the largest in the world, and Chinese is also one of the five official languages in United Nations. Since the late 20th century, many Chinese Confucian Colleges have been established in many overseas countries for Chinese internationalization and enhancement of the relations between China and foreign countries by way of culture understanding and respect. Many disputes and misunderstandings mostly come from the language obstacle and cultural blocks. As the Chinese globalization, such a problem will be dissolved.
Chinese characters have many meanings, one character in different context may have more than 10 different meanings and even in the same context, the same words or characters are shown the different further meanings with negativity or positivity. Due to the preference of Chinese people, ten characters below are most popular in daily usage.
1.) Fu(福) - Blessing, Good Fortune, Good Luck
Fu is one of the most popular Chinese characters used in Chinese New Year. It is often posted upside down on the front door of a house or an apartment. The upside down fu means good luck came since the character for upside down in Chinese sounds the same as the character for came. Such a custom is strictly followed during the Spring Festival. It is posted on the doors and windows for good fortune.
2.) Lu（禄）- Prosperity
It used to mean official's salary in feudal China. Fengshui is believed to be the Chinese way to health, wealth and happiness. If you are interested in Fengshui, you may check out the book 'The Feng Shui Kit.' It is showing people’s traditional pursuit and eagerness in official advancement and money earning.
3.) Shou（寿）- Longevity
Shou also means life, age or birthday. It is generally used for blessing the senior people, for example in a family, the sons or daughters of the elder often ask their sons, daughters, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law to show their longevity blessing to their grandparents via making a bow or falling on their keens during some festivals or some special days like the birthday of the elder.
Generally,the elder is glad to listen to this auspicious word.
4.) Xi(喜) - Happiness
Double happiness is usually posted everywhere on Chinese weddings. It is made of the red paper by paper-cut. It is mostly used on the wedding day but nowadays it is not so popular as it was before. During the 1970s, people used to post the picture of Chairman Mao and Double-Happiness paper-cut in the middle of the wall. Usually there was a table nearby the wall and two chairs set on both sides of table, the parents sat there for receiving the blessing from new couples and holding the rite. They were willing to choose Chairman Mao to be the chief witness at a wedding ceremony, though it was just a picture.
5.) Cai(财) - wealth, money
Chinese often say money can make a ghost turn a millstone. It is to say money really can do a lot of things. People from the old time never give up the treasure pursuit via the just way.
6.) He(和) - harmonious
'People harmony' is an important part of Chinese culture. When you have harmonious relations with others, things will be a lot easier for you. Nowadays，it is the central slogan for social security and cultural establishment. It is mentioned by Chairman Hu Jingtao for social peace and harmony. It is good for interpersonal relations, social stability, economic development and personal education. In fact it is a part of Confucianism, there is saying goes like this: the gentlemen pursue the harmony on the basis of difference, and the commoners are the same but unharmonious. Many businessmen keep the principle of treasure-pursuing by mildness, and a blooming family is following the harmonious interaction among the family members. All of these show the importance of Harmony in Chinese people’s heart and daily life.
7.) Ai(爱) - love, affection
Ai in China is not a negative character. It is not like some foreigners misreading, it is not only for Mainzi, not means face-saving. It is even more meaningful than it in the west world. Ai could mean the affection among friends, love among family members, love between two lovers, and love for country, even the help to the help-demanders from elder, younger, strangers and even haters. For instance, Sichuan earthquake, a magnitude of 8.0 on the Richter-scale, so many people from different world do their all-out favor to the victims of earthquake-stricken area.
8.) Mei(美) - beautiful, pretty
The United States of American is called Mei Guo in the short form. Guo means country so Meiguo is a good name. Mei in China is used for describing the figure and appearance of women and also the kindness of people. Sometimes it is also for appraising highly the beauty of landscape and nature.
9.) Ji(吉) - lucky, auspicious, propitious---Hope all is well.
10.) De（德）- virtue, moral
De means virtue, moral, heart, mind, and kindness, etc. It is also used in the name for Germany, i.e., De Guo. De is generally used for illustrating highly-respected people, especially the old people.