中国人爱喝热水的真正原因:原来是现代才发明的 [美国网评]



The real reasonwhy Chinese people like hot water: it's a modern invention

中国人爱喝热水的真正原因:原来是现代才发明的Recently a Weiboposting of the now middle-aged rock star Zhao Mingyi holding a Thermos hascaused quite a stir. Holding a Thermos is now seen as a sign that you're now inyour middle age.


This got a lot ofpeople talking about why Chinese people like water hot. I came across the talkshow 锵锵三人行, and the host talked about the Thermosphenomenon and why Chinese people like hot water. His answer really surprisedme:


In antiquity,Chinese people always liked drinking water cold, sometimes with ice. Peoplehave enjoyed ice tea since the Song dynasty.


The concept of 寒 (cold) in Chinese medicine refer to acategory of foods (green bean, durian, etc) and not thetemperature.


By the end of the19th century, foreigners established concessions in Chinese cities, and manysettlers contracted typhoid fever and died. The disease also infected thesurrounding Chinese communities, aggravated by unsanitary livingconditions.


In 1934, citiesin China advised the public only to drink water after boiling


In the 1950s,"drink hot water" has become a political slogan seen on posters.Factories and institutions start to centrally provide boiled water to theworkers. This is why you need a big thermos to store hot water for your family.


In 1959,kindergartens are instructed to feed kids with hot water 3 times a day to getthem into the habit of drinking hot water


So really,Chinese people like water hot just because it kills germs.



[–][deleted] 107points 2 days ago
That's why welaowai drink beer. Same function, but much much much older.


[–]longjiang[S]41 points 2 days ago
Yeah, I learnedthat from the PBS series "How we Got to Now", the episode"Clean", it mentioned how Dr. John Snow's map of the 1854 Londoncholera outbreak clearly showed no death at the brewery because the workersdrink beer.
Now I drink 2cans of beer everyday to fight hot water addiction.


[–]only_in_china32 points 2 days ago
Dr Jon Snow? Heknows nothing...


[–]TeRou1 3points 1 day ago
If anyone's readAll The Tea In China, in the last chapter they talk about how that someanthropologists believe that England moving from alcohol to tea for a sterilewater source greatly improved their productivity, decreased accidents, and gavethem a competitive advantage.


[–]TeRou1 2points 1 day ago
As I write this,I'm enjoying sterilized water of the fermented type. But I'm also not workingin a dangerous 19th century factory either.


[–]Draxx01 1point 1 day ago
There's someinteresting studies on the alcohol content of drinks has changed overtime. I believe the recent trends date back to Heineken'sconcerted marketing efforts labeling it as refreshing in like the 70s-90s eraof peak booze. Prior to that the main drink of choice for the UK was somethingof a much lower % that workers could drink a pint of without ill effect. Thecurrent drinking culture and drinks of choice don't reflect what pastgenerations were imbibing.


[–]mxd_richard 2points 1 day ago
easy to get fat

[–]Pkeod 3 points1 day ago
Yes, it's liquidbread.


[–]HautamakiCanada51 points 2 days ago
People naturallylike cold water for the same reason. In the wild naturally occurring ice coldwater will usually be fast running water from ice melt, so it will be clean andbacteria free. Lukewarm water normally comes from stagnant standing water whichis likely to be very high in bacteria.


[–]Gish21Japan 33points 2 days ago
So really,Chinese people like water hot just because it kills germs.
Boiling waterkills germs. It doesn't matter if the water is hot or cold when you drink it.And there is no need to heat up already clean water.


[–]HautamakiCanada27 points 2 days ago*
If it's still hotyou know it was boiled recently enough to not get recontaminated.


[–]longjiang[S] 9points 2 days ago
Yeah exactly, Iremember when I was a kid in China I always drank water boiled. Sometimesthere's no time to wait till it cools, so we just drank it warm.


[–]Smirth 5points 1 day ago
Yes it's a lotabout not trusting the water supply


[–]Addahn 5points 1 day ago
You also knowthat it actually HAS been boiled, rather than a lazy employee walking into thebackroom and pouring you a glass from the tap. Hot water is the way therestaurant can show they've put in a little effort.


[–]Gish21Japan -3points 1 day ago
Unless someone ispooping in your water, it's not going to get recontaminated. And just cause itshot doesn't mean it was ever boiled to begin with. Modern water machines cangive out hot water without boiling it
Anyway these daysthe way you know your water is safe is because it comes in sealed plasticbottles or from a tap or water machine that only give treated water. Heatingthis water up to 90 degrees doesn't make it safer.


[–]mansionsong 5points 2 days ago
My best friend,whose parents are boat people from Vietnam (now Canadian), would always boilthe tap water, put it into clean glass jugs, and let it settle to roomtemperature before drinking. It always confused me when I was younger. But nowI suppose it must be a habit from their old lives.


[–]BillyBattsShinebox13 points 2 days ago
First thoughtthat came to my head is "how the hell is hot water a moderninvention?", but that's actually a really interesting explanation.


[–]losacn 9points 2 days ago
Are there anysources other than a talk show?


[–]filthywaffles33 points 2 days ago
One big gap withthis narrative: Chinese diaspora all over the world, with ancestors whomigrated hundreds of years ago, also fetishize hot water.
But he gets extrapoints for somehow working disease-ridden foreigners in there.


[–]longjiang[S] 8points 2 days ago
That's a goodpoint, I'm wondering what's up with that. Maybe a lot of proponent of hot waterdrinking moved abroad after it already became a trend in the 30s?


[–]Domhnal 5points 1 day ago
I'm going towager like most scholars, he makes the mistake of equating the experiences ofthe landowners and wealthy with the experience of the average citizen. I can'tsee peasants all over Henan drinking ice water for their enjoyment, as bringingice to non-cold regions is a major luxury. Without digging in, I'm going towager when he says that the Chinese "enjoyed ice water" that he meansthe wealthy who were also literate enough to record their experience. When we talkdiaspora, we are not always referring to these people, whose traditions ofboiling water probably have more to do with tea culture and preference thananything else.