10 Chinese Proverbs about Family

Every culture has its proverbs and wise sayings. They are not only a reflection of what that culture values, but are also a source of those people’s collective wisdom and understanding of life. It is the same with the Chinese. There are thousands of proverbs in Chinese about all aspects of life: family, studies, the weather, time… practically everything.

In this article, we will tackle ten Chinese proverbs about family, which is a vital concept in traditional Chinese culture. Chinese people attach great importance to family, because they believe the family is the foundation of society, and that whatever happens in life, the Family will always be there as a source of support, help, and comfort. What’s more, the Chinese believe a  harmonious family is the foundation of success and well-being, and a troubled Family will prevent one from achieving true happiness. Because of the way the Chinese cherish the family, they have come up with many vivid Sayings about it. Here are several:

1. 金窝,银窝,不如自家的狗窝。(Jīnwō, yínwō, bùrú zìjiā de ɡǒuwō.)

East to west, home is best.


2. 家和万事兴。(Jiā hé wànshì xīnɡ.)

A house divided against itself cannot stand.


3. 家家有本难念的经。(Jiā jiā yǒu běn nán niàn de jīnɡ.)

There is a skeleton in every house.

Every family has some issues or problems which it can’t solve.


4. 清官难断家务事。(Qīnɡɡuān nán duàn jiāwùshì.)

Even an upright official can’t gudge the trouble in a family.


5. 有其父,必有其子。(Yǒu qí fù,bì yǒu qí zǐ.)

Like father, like son.


6. 儿孙自有儿孙福。(Érsūn zì yǒu érsūn fú.)

Grandchildren will have their own fortune.


7. 家有敝帚,享之千金。(Jiā yǒu bìzhǒu, xiǎnɡ zhī qiānjīn.)

Cherish a bad broom as if it were a thousand ounces of gold.

Cherish something of little value because it is one’s own.


8. 克勤于邦,克俭于家。(Kè qín yú bānɡ,kè jiǎn yú jiā.)

Be Hard-working in your state, be prudent and economical in your home.


9. 不当家,不知柴米贵。(Bù dānɡjiā,bùzhī chái mǐ ɡuì.)

One can’t tell the cost of the fuel and rice without being the head of family.

He who takes charge of the family knows the responsibility.


10. 家丑不可外扬。(Jiāchǒu bù kě wài yánɡ.)

Do not wash your dirty linen in public.

It’s an ill bird that fouls its own nest.


Even with just these ten Chinese sayings about family, you can already see how much the family is valued in China. In fact, if you thoroughly study Chinese proverbs and sayings, whether they are about family or something else, you can not only discover a lot about what is valued and important in Chinese culture, you can not only improve your Chinese language skills and vocabulary, you will also learn important principles and lessons in life from the collective historical wisdom of the Chinese people.

If you want to learn more proverbs , you can find corresponding articles in our site.

Cecilia He

Cecilia majored in teaching Chinese as a foreign language. She has vast experience in educating her students on how to listen to and speak Chinese, and is trained to teach HSK courses. She has mastered the method and practice of teaching the structure, historical development, and relationships of languages as an academic subject, and has also done extensive research on Intercultural Communication and Sinology.