Sat, May 09, 2009
China > Mainland

Chinese too shy to say 'I love you'

2009-05-09 07:17:57 GMT2009-05-09 15:17:57 (Beijing Time)  China Daily

A girl presents her mother with a paper cup on which she had drawn a heart and also a kiss at an event on Friday to mark Mother's Day at a kindergarten in Hefei,Anhui province. [Jie Chen]

SHANGHAI: Despite great affection for their parents, many Chinese people remain "too shy" to express love for them, according to an online survey.

The poll of around 6,000 people, conducted by Beijing-based recruitment website Zhaopin.com, was conducted as the nation gears up for Mother's Day on Sunday

Although 74.6 percent of participants said they knew their mothers' birthday, only 25.5 percent would like to actually tell her "I love you".

"This figure suggests mothers occupy an important place in most participants' mind. Yet, many people still find it 'embarrassing' to express their affection," the survey's organizer said.

As to the form of celebration on Mother's Day, 67 percent of participants said they would prepare some gifts, with 70 percent saying that they would spend no more than 500 yuan ($74), while 51 percent said they planned to phone their mother because they would either be too busy at work or be away from home.

"I do love my mother deeply but I have never said 'I love you' that often. It just feels quite weird for me to say it to her in person," said Stella Wang, a 27-year-old office worker, noting that she prefers to express her feelings in writing in birthday or Christmas cards.

"I have to say that it's difficult for me to express my love for my mother. I think if I did say it out loud, it might confuse her," said Liang Hao, a 32-year-old engineer.

"Very few Chinese, at least those I know, are used to saying 'I love you' ... they may never even say it once," said Mike Denver, an American working in Shanghai as an English teacher.

Hu Shoujun, a sociology professor from Shanghai's Fudan University said: "The personality of the Chinese people is generally quiet, reserved and serious. For Chinese, it's unnecessary and even regarded as 'weird' to display their affection for relatives and friends."

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