Qiān lǐ sòng émáo, lǐ qīng qíng yì zhòng
Translation: Goose feathers may be light for a gift; but sent from afar, they convey profound feelings.
Meaning: This proverb is actually a xiehouyu, a two-part allegorical saying. The first part is a metaphor and the second part expresses the intended meaning of the metaphor. The meaning of this xiehouyu is self explanatory: a gift may be small, but the affection or care that it conveys is more important.
The first instance of some of the text in the proverb appeared in a poem authored by Ouyang Xiu, a great writer and poet of the Song dynasty (960–1279). The story behind it, however, was told in Lushi (History of the Road) by Xu Wei, a famous painter, writer, and playright of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644).
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