#70 A mysterious Chinese convention – drinking hot water 神秘的中国习俗:喝热水

Podcast Transcript

大家好,欢迎回来MaoMi Chinese!





Hello everyone, welcome back to MaoMi Chinese!

Summer is coming and the weather is getting hotter and hotter, so everyone please remember to drink more water! When the weather is hot, I really want to drink a big glass of ice water. However, if you are in China, you may hear “Don’t drink ice water, drink hot water!” “Drink more hot water” is a catch-all sentence. If you are uncomfortable and have a headache, the Chinese may say to you: “Drink more hot water”. If girls are on their period, their boyfriends may also say, “Drink more hot water.” Is hot water really so magical? Why do Chinese people like drinking hot water so much? Let’s talk about drinking hot water today.

If a Chinese person goes abroad and goes to another country to eat in a restaurant, he/she will be very surprised: there is no hot water!? Yes, the vast majority of Chinese people do not like to drink cold water, nor do they like to drink ice water. They like to drink hot water. If you are in China, you may see a lot of people holding a thermos, which is just hot water. In the traditional Chinese concept, eat hot food and drink hot water, because hot food is good for the body, especially for the stomach.

In fact, Chinese people don’t like drinking hot water from the beginning. In ancient China, most Chinese people did not drink hot water, because hot water required fire and fuel, which were too expensive for most people. Many people got sick and even died from drinking water with bacteria. However, in modern society, the living conditions in China were getting better and better, and more and more people could afford fuel. Since the 1930s, China has launched the “New Life Movement”. The country encourages people to drink boiled water because boiling water can kill most bacteria and is more hygienic. Later, “drink boiling water” became a slogan in various places. There is another reason, that is, the tap water in China is not yet particularly clean and cannot be drunk directly, so it is best to boil it before drinking.

Of course, it’s so comforting to have a cup of hot water on a cold winter day. I also like to drink hot water when I have a cold because I feel better. As long as it is clean water, cold or hot, it doesn’t really matter!

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