- 五十至七十年代: 你吃了吗? 这由当时的历史背景所决定. 新中国刚刚解放不久, 生产力还没有得到大力发展, 人们的温饱问题还没有得到根本解决. 所以,人们见面的问候就是-你吃了吗? 好象除了这句问候就没有其它比吃饱喝足更重要的话题了. 这句问侯语一直延续至七十年代末. 而且不分时间, 不分场合, 因此也曾闹出笑话, 让人听了有些不太舒服的感觉. 尤其当你刚从卫生间出来, 正好碰见一个熟人,他张口就问:你吃了吗? 说吃了, 不对; 说没吃, 也不对!
- 八十年代: 你在哪儿混呢? 混的怎么样啊? 这句话的意思其实是你在哪儿上班儿呢? 工作好吗? 当时所有的人都很谦虚, 尽量不给人一种骄傲自大, 显摆自己比别人强的感觉.这种问候有时也充满了一种羡慕的含义. 问话人很谦虚, 回答的人更谦虚: 咳, 混不好, 瞎混呗.
[text also in english]
- 九十年代: 你离了吗? 经过了改革开放, 人们的钱包鼓了, 思想变了, 婚姻也随着金钱和地位的变化而变化. 男人们以追求年轻,漂亮的女孩儿为骄傲; 女人以追求有钱有势的大款为目标. 在这种金钱和利益的特定环境下, 原本稳定的婚姻结构发生了彻底的变化. 不难理解,人们见面时会问”你离了吗?”这句问候.
- 二十一世纪: 你买车,买房了吗? 二十一世纪, 中国的经济飞速发展, 国人的收入有了巨大的变化.汽车和住房代表了物质财富, 是贵族生活的最基本的表现形式. 当然, 问候语也随之起了变化.”你好!”只类的问候语已跟不上时代的发展变化了.所以, 当人们见面时总是问”你买车, 买房了吗?”
以上的问候语大多发生在朋友,同事和熟人之间. 对你第一次遇到的人, 宁可问’你吃了吗?”也别问”你在哪儿混呢?”,或者“ 你买车,买房了吗?“更不要问“你离了吗?”. 当然最文明,最有礼貌, 而且任何时间, 任何场所都适合的问候语是’你好!”.
Changes of greetings
Greeting is to send one’s regards or respects to others. However, greeting can be changed at different period of time and different social background. Different greetings reflect characteristic of a particular period, life style as well as thinking.
- 50s – 70s: Have you eaten? This is very much influenced by the historical background. At that time, China was just founded and the production was not well developed, Food was still not enough for all. Therefore, when people met each other they always asked “have you eaten?”. It seemed that there was no other important things than asking “have you eaten?” Such greetings lasted to the end of 70s. People asked this sentence at anytime and anywhere. Therefore, sometimes you would feel uncomfortable when you heard this greeting. Especially when you just came out of the toilet, someone who knows you, asks you “have you eaten?” What would you answer, “yes, I’ve eaten” or “No, I haven’t.”?
- 80s: Where are you drifting along? It actually means where are you working for and how it is? At that time most of people were very modest. They tried not to show off that they had a good job in a good company. People, who asked, were modest; and people who answered, were even more modest. They just answered: “Nothing interesting, just working for the sake of making a living”.
- 90s: Didn’t you get divorced? Economy was reformed, since then, Chinese economy has been developed very fast. People got more money and their thought changed, the value of marriage changed, too. Men seeked young and beautiful girls; women aimed to seize men who had money and power. Under this ill circumstance, the marriage structure changed completely. Therefore, it was easy to understand the greeting “didn’t you get divorced?”
- 21 Century: Have you bought a car and a house? 21 century is the time that China economy is developing immensely. People’s incoming is sharply increased. A car and a house represent material wealth and a basic form of wealthy life. Obviously, the greeting is also changed to suit the development of the society. “Ni Hao” is no longer suitable. Therefore, instead of normal greeting, people often ask “Have you bought a car and a house?”
“Generally speaking, greetings change from time to time. However, what never changes is to send respects and regards to others.”
All greetings above mentioned happen among friends, colleagues and people you know well. However, when you meet someone for the first time, you’d rather ask “Have you eaten?” but don’t ask them “Where are you drifting along” or “Have you bought a car and a house?“, you should never ask ” Didn’t you get divorced?” Of course, the best greeting that suits anywhere and anytime is “Ni Hao!“