Chinese Love Letters Over a Half Century

A comparison of Chinese love letters from the 1950’s with a series of brief SMS love messages posted this week on Sina reveals just how far the concept of love has traveled in the reform era. Translated by CDT:

50.jpg (A typical marriage photo in 1950’s)

Dear Brother Cheng:

Examining our love, under the guidance of three red flags–the general line, the Great Leap Forward, and the people’s communes–in the past year (our relationship) has been following a healthy, intimate, friendly road to flourishing. The main performance is: over the past year, we wrote 95 letters, an average of 3.8 days per letter. I wrote to you 55 times, 58% of the total letters; you wrote to me 40 times, 42%. The longest among the letters was about 3,000 words, the shortest letter was more than 1,200 characters……

Over the past year, we have dated about 58 times, on average once a week. I invited you 38 times, 66% of the total dates; you invited me 20 times, accounting for 34% of the dates. The average time for each appointment was three hours. The longest was five hours, while the shortest was about one hour…

Over the past year, I visited your parents 38 times, an average of 9.6 days. You came to my home to visit my parents 36 times, an average of 10.1 days…

All the above interaction sufficiently shows: We care for each other, love each other, help each other. We are equal and we love each other with a positive attitude. Viewing this in the “divided into two” point, there are also shortcomings and deficiencies. From the data perspective, the development of (our) love for each other is uneven, and we must redouble our efforts in the future. With the pace of the Great Leap Forward, we also need to strengthen our feelings day by day.

Therefore, in the future, we should strive to focus on the word “love,” pay close attention to the word “pro-,” and implement the word “competent,” push our love to new heights, do a good job in our positions, and complete the party’s various tasks for our younger generation. During the Great Leap Forward years, we depend on the party’s leadership to create conditions for the success of our marriage and the establishment of happy families. Finally, the New Year and Spring Festival is approaching, I wish you advanced thoughts, good health, and happiness!

Your loved sister

Running hand on December 27, 1958

Here are some examples from the 21st century:qr.jpg

◆ When you see this short message, you have been severely poisoned by love, and the only antidote is to marry me. Don’t think about it any more, Let’s get married!

◆ Know what I do? Give you five choices: A: miss you B: miss you a lot C: extremely miss you D: No choice but to miss you E: All of the above.

◆ I cannot guarantee or promise you anything, but I can do this: If one day you have a feeling of hunger, then you will see that I have already smiled and starved to death in your arms.

◆ Love plus love is extreme love. Love minus love is the starting point of love. Love multiplied by love is boundless love. Love divided by love is the only love. Perhaps for you, my existence in your life is the emergence of the 100 +1 = 101. But for me, your appearance in my life is 0 +1 = 1 formula.

◆ I want to be your cell phone, hidden in your arms, held in your hands, seen by your eyes, remembered in your heart!

◆ There used to be no desert in the world. But every time I thought of you, God dropped a piece of sand. That’s how the Sahara was made! There used to be no sea in the world. Only because every time I thought of you, God dropped a tear, and there was the Pacific Ocean.

◆ If loving you is a mistake, then I invite error upon error, even if it is for my whole life!

◆ Love you, but ask for nothing. Harsh! Love you, but it has to be surreptitious. Exhausting! Love you, but prepared to be broken-hearted. Sad! Love you, by all means. Silly!

◆ Fish talks to water, “you can not see my tears, because I am in the water.” Water said, “I can feel your tears, because you are in me.”

◆ Encountering the right one at the wrong time, life is sad; Encounter the wrong one at the right time, life is a sigh; Encountering the right one at the right time, life is happiness.


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