to drink water to think; to consider root; source; origin trad. (飲水思源) 飲水 思 源 simp. (饮水思源) 饮水 思 源 Literally: “drink water, consider the source”.
Literally "when you drink water, think of its source", i.e. remember where and how the water came from. Don’t just be thankful for the water: be thankful for all the elements and processes (both past and present) that allowed you to enjoy that humble cup of water.
- → Vietnamese: uống nước nhớ nguồn (calque)