I bet some of the readers here have visited China often. I've talked to a couple of visitors who have lived there over seven or eight years. This includes people that are not even Chinese. I have one simple question to ask you. The word "China" has left your mouth a dozen or as a matter of fact probably hundreds of times, but do you know why is China called "China"?
You can take your time. Patience is a virtue in China anyway. While waiting you should enjoy some Coca Cola. (Coca Cola if you are reading this, this is an excellent place for you to advertise.) (Hehe)
Why don't you gather around me? And, I will let you know.
The word China can be broken into two parts "Chi" and "Na." The word "Chi" is actually from the word "Qin," which is the first name that was given to China. During the third century, China was dividing into six countries; the king of Qin was the king that united all six nations. Qin pronounced in Chinese is "Chin."
The word "Na" comes from the word "Nation" in Persian. In the early day of China, Persia was the country that sold and traded Chinese silks, spices, and goods to the rest of the world. When people asked the Persians where the goods came from, their reply was that the goods came from the "Nation of Qin." Hence, it creates the word "Chin-Na." However, after being adapted to Western English it was shortened to "China." Pretty cool, huh?
That is what outsiders call China, but have you wondered what the Chinese people call their own country? In Mandarin, China has the name of Zhong Guo, which means the "Middle Country" or "Middle Kingdom." Does this sound familiar to you? Have you ever heard the phase "I'm the center of the universe?" I guess Chinese are big believers in that.
You can see this idea imprinted in the Chinese character for Zhong Guo.
Let's explain character by character. Now, if you look closely at the first character, you will see a line straight down and a box in the middle. A while back, Chinese people believed that the earth was flat rather than round. So, that's the reason why the line is there. The box in the middle symbolizes China is in the middle of the line, which means the kingdom in the middle of the earth. Pretty sexy, huh?
Now, for the second character; it can also be broken into two parts. The first part is the box around the character; the second part is the character inside the box. The character inside represents the weapons (spear and halberd) that the Chinese people used in ancients time to protect their country. The simple square box outside it means "Enclosure." Enclosure here means there is a protector and defender for the kingdom of China. To sum it up, Zhong Guo is another way to say the "Middle Kingdom."
Next time anybody asks, you will be right on top of it. Thank you for coming by. It is a short article, and hopefully it easy to understand. From where I am and wherever you are, have a good night and know that you are the center of the universe (hehe).