Episode 5 Bestfriend-ology

Longevity experts agree that maintaining lifelong friendships is one of the secrets to living a long and purposeful life.  The idea of a woman friend who is your witness through life, was established in the 19th century in China.

Sworn sisters were women who spent time together talking with, embroidering with, and sharing everything with. While not sisters by blood, sworn sisters were held together by strong bonds, much more so than a woman had with her biological sister. Everything, from feelings, to thoughts, to emotions, to desires, were shared between sworn sisters.

More special than a sworn sister relationship was a “laotong relationship.” Essentially the same thing as a sworn sisters, but instead remained lifelong. Sworn sisters lasted until a woman married out, while a laotong relationship would last until both women died.

Between sworn sisters and laotongs, the secret language of nu shu was spoken, or more accurately, written. Nu Shu was a language only meant for women, and sworn sisters would communicate through nu shu, weather it be in songs, poems stories, etc.

Nushu, was a script used about 1000 years ago by Chinese women letter writers. Inventing this secret language that men could not understand and writing poems and letters to each other was an act of rebellion, punishable by death. Some of these letters survive and show that they wrote down the centre of each page leaving wide margins for the recipient to add her own words.


Crystal and i love the idea of a secret language, a secret language for Wabi Women.

It would be the language of longevity too!

Here is an example of the Nushu language a we talked about in our book Just Push Play-on Midlife.

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