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Siesta in Chinese culture


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#1 snowybeagle

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Posted 26 February 2006 - 11:03 PM

Can anyone share more about siestas in Chinese culture?

Siesta is a Spanish word, which come to means afternoon nap (午睡) or rest (下午休息).

Is it observed only in certain regions with climate playing the significant deterministic role?

#2 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 05:31 AM

I've never heard of afternoon nap in chinese culture, although in Taiwanese company, there are practice of afternoon nap. Are you sure it's something uniquely chinese? I believe Siesta is a spanish culture.
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"夫君子之行:靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠。" - 諸葛亮

One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang

#3 ChiangAP

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 06:17 PM

I've never heard of afternoon nap in chinese culture, although in Taiwanese company, there are practice of afternoon nap. Are you sure it's something uniquely chinese? I believe Siesta is a spanish culture.

Seen from foreign eyes, Chinese have a unique, almost comical, capacity to take a nap. Be they painters redecorating your flat during a break, moving men sleeping in their cardboard boxes after eating their bowl of 牛肉麵, school children having a compulsory siesta on their desk (all these lovely little heads, tucked tidily inside their folded arms!), naval officers in the middle of an exercise, senior scientists during a conference, bank clerks behind their counter, Chinese sleep openly, in public and without the slightest embarassement.

This is neither a personal impression, nor a sweeping generalisation for the feeling was already there a hundred years ago. Paul Claudel (1868-1955), a French writer and diplomat, then consul in Tianjin who spent more than ten years in China wrote an amusing essay in around 1920 ("Sous le signe du dragon") about the things Chinese can and cannot do, in which he states that:
".....every Chinese person can...... sleep almost everywhere at almost every possible time....".

I don't know much apout Spanish. All I know is activity in Spain seems to stop in the middle of the day for several hours while Chinese just drop and sleep on the spot.

#4 snowybeagle

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 09:30 PM

Are you sure it's something uniquely chinese?

Of course it is not a uniquely Chinese practice. I used the term siesta because it has entered into the mainstream use in the English language.

I read from wikipedia that in China, it is a constitutional right and I kinda wondered about that.

#5 urofpersia

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 10:47 PM

Seen from foreign eyes, Chinese have a unique, almost comical, capacity to take a nap. Be they painters redecorating your flat during a break, moving men sleeping in their cardboard boxes after eating their bowl of 牛肉麵, school children having a compulsory siesta on their desk (all these lovely little heads, tucked tidily inside their folded arms!), naval officers in the middle of an exercise, senior scientists during a conference, bank clerks behind their counter, Chinese sleep openly, in public and without the slightest embarassement.



I remember this during school as well, though it happened rarely when we had a free period and a teacher will ask us to rest on our desks.

Not sure how public you mean, but its not uncommon to nap in the office, on the train etc over here.

From a biological point of view, this actually may have a basis, looking at diurnal mammals (active during the day) many practise napping. It may be simply nature's way to allow us to regain some alertness. (instead of relying on stimulants)
Ur of Persia




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