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  • Every Chinese is a personality. He will always think for himself. He has an ancient and magnificent culture, a sense of justice, a love of freedom.

  • A Chinese knows only one thing for certain: that danger and evil spirits lurk everywhere.

  • Nothing was private in the Chinese world, nothing could be kept secret, the very word for secret also meant unlawful.

  • Nothing and no one can destroy the Chinese people. They are relentless survivors. They are the oldest civilized people on earth. Their civilization passes through phases but its basic characteristics remain the same. They yield, they bend to the wind, but they never break.

  • China is a long caravan, longer and stronger than the Wall.

  • The Chinese are a knowing people; and I daresay that is why they once made a religious odor about old age; to prevent their sons from seeing their own future.

  • Cantonese will eat anything in the sky but airplanes, anything in the sea but submarines, and anything with four legs but the table.

  • Time in China has no immediacy as in America. Here I find the swift passage of our few earthly years accepted as naturally as the fall of flower and leaf. ... I hear and speak a language in which grammar has no tense. Both scholars and illiterates, in ordinary daily speech, tell an event of centuries ago as casually as an incident of the hour. Only as my knowledge has accumulated have I been able to know whether something related happened just then or in some past dynasty.

  • born into the / skin of yellow women / we are born / into the armor of warriors.

    • Kitty Tsui,
    • "Chinatown Talking Story," The Words of a Woman Who Breathes Fire ()
  • Like most Chinese, I am basically a fatalist — too sophisticated for religion and too superstitious to deny the gods.

  • In yielding we are like the water, by nature placid, conforming to the hollow of the smallest hand; in time, shaping even the mountains to its will. Thus we keep duty and honor. We cherish clan and civilization. We are Chinese.

  • My mother is not smiling; Chinese do not smile for photographs. Their faces command relatives in foreign lands — 'Send money' — and posterity forever — 'Put food in front of the picture.' My mother does not understand Chinese-American snapshots. 'What are you laughing at?' she asks.