Chinese Sixth Sense

This is one of the more odd rather than crazy stories. I reckon that everyone had at least once some strange feeling that something bad or good is happening and reacts according to that feeling. This story is about one of these feelings.

Last year, about two months before our trip and Wedding in China, my wife had a bad dream about her father. She woke up with an uncertain feeling, no memories from the dream itself but that it was something bad and had to do with her father. Like the good daughter she is a phone call was done to calm herself down. Well, it did not calm her down as no one answered on her dad’s phone so she called her mother. She picked up immediately and they talked a bit. My wife did not want to ask her mother directly about father so she wanted to see if MIL would act differently than usual. No, her crazy mother behaved same as usual so my better half asked if she could talk to her dad.


“He is not here right now”

“Where is he?”

“Outside, somewhere, getting something…from the store.”


As you can guess this answer was not really satisfying, it was actually making my wife worry more. Furthermore she heard then a voice in the background and after asking who it is her mother said its fathers good friend who is visiting. My wife knows this man so they talked on the phone for a bit, of course she asked him about worrisome father but he only told her that father will be back soon.

Just as my wife was finally calming down she heard a very strange noise in the background. A noise she knew was not from her parents home but from a hospital.


“Mom, where are you? I know that you are not at home, please tell me where father is!”

“Oh, we are outside taking a walk.”

“You just told me before that you are at home, and that sound is from a hospital!”


From this point onwards her mother admitted that they were not at home nor outside walking, but in a hospital. So my wife continued asking about her father but her crazy mom would not tell her anything but that he is fine. Then her very crazy mom gave the phone again to the friend of her father and he also tried to calm her down. Everything is fine, no need to worry was the standard thing she heard.


After what felt like ages, even to me listening to it all next to my wife, fathers friends finally said what is going on.

“Your father can’t speak right now, they just removed a good tumor from his throat. He needs to rest a bit before you can talk to him.”


FIL at our Finnish Wedding

Father-in-law always had this big knot at his throat and the doctors decided to remove the tumor as it became uncomfortable and before it would turn “bad”. My wife was very exhausted in the end and few hours later her mother gave the phone to father so he could grunt a few words of comfort to his daughter. FIL was moved to tears how his daughter had been worried about him and promised to tell her next time if something happened.


These days FIL is of course still in good health and only a damn huge scar around his throat is a reminder of the surgery.


The whole thing makes me wonder about two things. Is there really something like a sixth sense, a feeling that something is happening good or bad? And second of all, why they tried to hide the whole thing from their daughter? This seems to be not that uncommon in China as this story from London Olympics 2012 is proving.

29 thoughts on “Chinese Sixth Sense”

  1. I guess it’s the same reason why my mom didn’t tell me about my dad’s heart attack until I came back instead of saying it over the phone – until the situation is stable your wife would be crazy worrying about her dad. once he could rest after the surgery and they knew he is stable they could tell her what’s going on. it’s that bond between parents and their children πŸ˜‰

    1. So your dad is fine again? From other comments I can see that it is not that uncommon that parents don’t tell their children when something is wrong.
      My own parents always told me when something was up, sure I worried but for me it is important to know. Same applies to my friends who I asked about this topic, they all said that their parents tell them everything πŸ™‚

  2. I remember reading a story on Nicki’s blog about having a feeling. Actually, it happened to me once as well. My husband left home early one morning because he had a business meeting in Taipei. I usually never call him but that morning I just couldn’t get him off my mind. So, I did call him and he answered the phone in a panic – he was drifting to sleep while driving when I called and the phone woke him up. I guess there is something to having a ‘feeling.’ I am glad to hear that your FIL is doing well!!

    1. Your sixth sense was really a life saver then! I know myself how easy you can drift into sleep when driving, it is just horrible especially if you think what all could happen.
      I must have missed Nickis article about this topic or forgotten about it, will check about it later πŸ™‚

  3. I don’t know if I believe in the sixth sense thing as I like to think logically and rationally most of the time. Very interesting article link. My parents like to hide things from me all the time too. About a year ago when they were on holiday in Malaysia and I stayed back in Melbourne to work, they fell sick over there. I didn’t know until I heard them cough over the phone. They didn’t even admit they were sick then. A lot of Asian parents seem to want their children to have the perfect, stress-and-worry free lives.

    1. I don’t really believe in these things either but my wife has a strong believe in it and my mother is the same. Everytime she has a bad dream she tells us about it if it involves us πŸ™‚
      My parents are pretty much different, when something is up thy tell me about it. If it just some flue they don’t mention it but something bigger like surgeries etc, I am the first to know

  4. Hiding or delaying bad news is not something exclusively Chinese, one of my university classmates’ mum was diagnosed with cancer while we were preparing our final exams and she didn’t tell her daughter (my classmate) until the exams and her surgery were done…
    I do believe there is something like a sixth sense but I have never experienced it myself (luckily, I guess).

    1. I didn’t have any sixth sense experience yet myself either πŸ™‚

      I don’t know if it’s good or bad not to tell the own children about some sickness or similar. I for myself prefer to be told about it, no matter the situation. I had it myself once that my mother was very sick (cancer) and they told me bout it before a very important swimming meet. I still performed very well even though I was terribly concerned about my mother. But I guess everyone reacts differently to bad new and parents know their children the best and know how they will reacts

  5. I thinm it’s maybe natural for the parents not to worry their children. To us, it’s worrisome but maybe they feel uncomfortable that we would be investing in so much time in them? My parents like to do the same thing too and I have to persist in nagging them into telling me if they are really sick. Sometimes, they’ll just brush it off until I make them consult the doctor so I worry that they may not always tell me that they are sick. Glad to know that your FIL is doing better now…😊

    1. Usually I don’t have to push my parents at all to visit the doctor ,they are pretty good i it already. Except my dad when it comes to stuff which he thinks is not that I portent. For a year I try to convince him already to get an appointment to get his neck fixed (old age and sore muscles result in pain for him…)

  6. I think I might believe in a “sixth sense” because the night before each of my daughters was born, I had a dream that the baby would be born…and that it would be a girl!

    Also, it’s common in Japan for those diagnosed with terminal cancer not to be told. The family is told, but often the patient isn’t. It’s believed that they can enjoy their last days more that way.

    1. That is fascinating. I don’t know if that concept (of telling the family and not the patient) is brilliant or horrible. I think I’d want to know, so I could live my last days to the fullest and prepare for the inevitable. . .

      1. I suppose there is no “right way” or “wrong way”. It’s a different culture.
        Such a terrible situation is one that noone wants to experience…it’s difficult to be sure what is the best way to handle it!

        Another difference between Japanese and American (I don’t know about Chinese) doctors: if you have a fever, an American doctor says “take a bath”, but a Japanese doctor says “don’t take a bath”.
        They’re both doctors…who is correct??

      2. In the end it comes to what people are already used to. Japanese are used to their way and American to their slightly different one and each time one needs to go to a doctor in another country they will be surprised πŸ™‚

  7. Interesting. I do believe some people are more “sensitive” to things than others, but I’ve never experienced it myself. I am incredibly paranoid that my parents won’t tell me if something happens to the dog though. They’ve told me when they’ve had health issues and have been to hospital, but have intentionally neglected to do so when something has happened to the dog. I think they know which one I’ll worry over more. ^^; (That sounds terrible. Of course I worry about my parents too, but I can communicate with them easily… ^^;)

      1. I am glad Nicki shared the link to her post!! I remembered the post quite well. I also shared the same experience I had with Nicki and she told me of a woman who had a vision of where where her husband had an accident.

  8. I’ve never had a sixth sense experience, but I do believe such things can happen. Sure, you can chalk it up to coincidence, but some stories I’ve heard seem a bit too surreal for that.

    1. I know what you mean. Often enough it just seems like coincidence but for example in the case of my wife. She never really remembers her dreams but this time she knew there was something bad with her father so she called him. My mother had similar experiences over the years but I yet have to find my sixth sense πŸ™‚

  9. Hi, I think that a sixth sense, at least among relatives, is always there, is just that some people listen to it while others decide not to.

    About family/parents not telling what’s happening, well this is also common in Italy, or at least in my family…me and my mother are usually the ones sensing when something bad happens…and I hate when they that “nothing has happened”, until is actually very bad and late 😦 … I think they do so to somehow protect us, especially the likes of use living abroad…they try to give us less worries as possible, not acknowledging that this actually makes us worse…anyway I am glad that your father in law is better now and hope will be for a long time.

    1. I never had a sixth sense experience yet but perhaps I just didnt react to my “feelings” and thus lost some oportunity πŸ™‚

      I am really thankful that my parents tell me always when something is wrong with them, especially when I lived abroad for several years. Now I live again pretty much next door to them so I can check upon them πŸ™‚
      My wife on the other hand is always afraid that something is wrong with her parents as they really never ever tell her something like that

      1. I can understand her feelings well…maybe she should talk to them and let them know how bad it can be not telling anything…if she hasn’t done that already…I told my parents many times to let me know and sometimes they do 😊

  10. Hi!
    I’m new to your blog and find this topic is so interesting.
    Six sense…
    If you talking six sense in my country, it means the ability to see something which “normal” people won’t able to see such as Ghost.

    1. It seems the sixth sense has different meaning depending on the country. I know that in few it means to see ghosts and in others it is this kind of premonition that something will happen.

      From which country are you? I am myself of German and Finnish heritage where the sixth sense is more known for the premonition thing

      1. Indonesian who has Canadian-Chinese bloodline.
        My parent also believe sixth sense as premonition rather than “ability to see ghost”. While for my friend “her sixth sense” means future prediction.

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