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Chinese Language and Culture

Why is the Chinese 'lung' a symbol of the Chinese culture?


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September 13, 2011 3:34PM

This question was a bit confusing because I don't know that lungs (the organ) are a symbol of Chinese culture. But now I'm thinking you might mean the Chinese word "long" (which is pronounced much the way "lung" is pronounced in English).

"Long" is the Mandarin word for "dragon". The dragon is the traditional symbol of the emperor, while the Phoenix is the symbol of the empress. That's why the dragon is significant to the Chinese (at least, that's about all I can fill you in on).

In the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it says that Dragon means Chinese Myth. A supernatural creature (Chinese "lung") of ancient and uncertain origin, in popular belief connected with rain and flood. The dragon is a symbol of the Emperor, of good fortune, and of the yang as opposed to the yin, and is usually beneficent being。