Author: wchao37

Reinvigorating the study of Chinese culture [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2005-1-18 04:40:10 |Display all floors

Yes, it should

Just a little later, we'll do.

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Post time 2005-1-30 06:08:12 |Display all floors

Long Live Confucian Thought!


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Post time 2005-1-30 17:16:26 |Display all floors

Reply: Long Live Confucian Thought!

Isn't he the guy who said:
When the people are clothed and fed, they will think about sex.

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Post time 2005-2-16 18:52:15 |Display all floors


Here is the title article wchao37 posted. I hope we can get a chance to talk about it now.

As a result of the relative backwardness of the past two centuries, plus the unchecked spread of the saying that "Chinese culture comes from the West", the theory of Western culture being the center has exerted profound and extensive influence in China. Come people's introspection of their own cultural tradition has almost gone to the extent of self-cruelty.

For decades, we have made more criticism than inheritance of our own traditional culture and more negative than confirmative, we lacked the making of conscientious summation, not to say popularization. During the "cultural revolution", culture was completely negated, implicit obedience and ignorance were initiated.

As a result of the widespread of its pernicious influence, people were ignorant about their own national culture, and lacked self-respect and self-confidence, thus causing people to look at this with wide eyes. Amid the uproar of "global integration", even among the intellectuals, some people believed that "modernization means Westernization", sooner or later, Chinese culture would inevitably be "integrated" by Westernization.

In the eyes of some people, the charge against China's traditional culture is: petrified, conservative, the dregs of feudalism, putting metaphysics above science, lack of metaphysics, etc. in short, it is incompatible with the requirements of modern society.

In my opinion, this view forgets that "tradition" is a process of flowing deformation, Chinese culture develops and changes through constant destruction of the old and establishment of the new in the hereditary process, what we need is to judge whether the development and change of Chinese culture are in step with the times and whether such change is appropriate. It must be understood that what is new is not necessary correct or good, the blowing of wind in New York followed by coughing here is not necessarily the synonym of keeping pace with the times.

Therefore, whether it is "petrified" or not should be treated with great care, it must not be echoed simply by picking it up, what's more, there are many good things in Chinese culture, not all are debris. Even debris should be analyzed to see what was broken by ourselves in the process of development and so need not be picked up again, and what was smashed forcibly by outsiders but which should be carried forward, stroking the broken pieces with light moans is only showing the people with "deep" self-intoxication.

The milk of Chinese culture has fed us for thousands of years. Leaving aside previous brilliance, even in the period considered to be hopeless, Chinese culture was relied upon to straighten up the spine of the nation and to have defeated ferocious Japanese aggressors. Today, we still rely on the main culture of the Chinese nation to realize the great cause of national rejuvenation.

Chinese culture is the crystallization of the entire history and wisdom of the Chinese nation, and the great contribution made by the Chinese nation to humankind, picking out these good things carefully, studying and summarizing them meticulously and passing them as firewood or torches from generation to generation, only by doing so can the Chinese nation go on without end. If Chinese culture is judged by Western concept, what is left in Chinese culture is, of course, only debris and something incredible and puzzling, because it is not a product of the West.

The quintessence of Chinese culture is "to exert oneself constantly" and to let "great virtue carry things". Outstanding cultures of foreign nations, after their entry into China, are to be totally or partially transformed and assimilated by Chinese culture to become part of Chinese culture. This is the main reason why Chinese culture has never been disrupted, but instead, has made constant advances.

At present, the "change of concept" is stressed, I think this is a question confronting the whole world, as the Chinese need the "change of concept", so do foreigners. That is to say, the cultures of various nations conduct dialogs on one and the same platform.

In China, the times when things were "taken in", and not "sent out" have gone forever. Chinese culture needs exchange with Western cultures on an equal footing, Chinese, first of all, need to change their concept of Chinese culture, the view holding that Chinese culture is backward and conservative is itself a non-modern and backward idea. The "change of concept" is a process of the fusion of all national cultures, not the turn of only Eastern or Chinese culture toward the West, only this is genuine cultural equality and true world culture. Chinese culture becoming a hot branch of learning is an indisputable fact. In brief, now is the time for conscientiously "renewing understanding" of Chinese culture, don't miss this chance!

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Post time 2005-8-10 09:57:16 |Display all floors

Treating Chinese culture studies more fairly

(China Daily)
Updated: 2005-06-09 11:15

Why do Chinese teenagers prefer Hollywood movies to Chinese classical literature?

Why do Chinese undergraduates achieve high scores in TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) exams, but are not able to write readable and fluent articles in their own language?

The basic reason lies in China's neglect of and bias against the studies of traditional Chinese culture, or the so-called "national studies," said Ji Baocheng, president of the Beijing-based Renmin University of China.

He warned that the indifference to "national studies" has led to a deep cultural crisis among the Chinese people, which poses a challenge to the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

As part of efforts to reinvigorate traditional Chinese culture, Renmin University of China has established the country's first school specializing in such studies.

The School of Studies of Traditional Chinese Culture will officially enroll students from September.

Ji urged a revaluation of the studies of traditional Chinese culture so the subject can play a bigger role in the country's modern cultural construction.

But his call immediately triggered a hot debate over the necessity of rejuvenating the studies of traditional Chinese culture in a modern society.

Traditional Chinese culture studies were virtually wiped out in the late 1910s and early 1920s. At that time, liberal intellectuals such as Lu Xun (1881-1936) and Chen Duxiu (1879-1942) blamed traditional Chinese culture - with Confucianism being the key part - for the country's decay and it being invaded by Western powers.

Studies of traditional Chinese culture became a synonym for backwardness.

Now an enlightenment campaign about traditional Chinese culture is badly needed to let the Chinese people know the modern value of traditional culture, proponents say.

They even suggest that studies of traditional Chinese culture regain a dominant position in the country's ideology to help solve problems which have emerged in China's modernization drive.

Opponents describe efforts to rejuvenate the studies as going against the country's modernization bid.

They are worried that the rejuvenation of the studies of traditional Chinese culture, which contain many feudal thoughts and ideology, may even damage the country's efforts to build a modern civilization.

For instance, outdated ideologies such as the "special privilege" mentality, superstition and clanship advocated by traditional Chinese culture are all natural enemies of modern thoughts such as democracy, science and the rule of law.

Furthermore, it is unrealistic and ridiculous to expect "dead knowledge" to solve the problems of modern society, opponents claim.

The crux of the debate is how to treat the studies of traditional Chinese culture in a scientific, reasonable and fair way.

Really, the studies are neither as valuable as supporters claim nor as formidable as opponents think.

Like any culture, traditional Chinese culture with its history of more than 5,000 years has good and bad aspects.

So what is needed during the process of studying is the elimination of the dross.

As has been proven in Singapore and South Korea, which promote Confucianism, some moral standards of traditional Chinese culture can live in harmony with modernization.

They include benevolence, respect for the elderly, and the promotion of hard work and diligence.

Critical studies of traditional culture can undoubtedly help the country carry forward useful parts of the culture.

Although there is a need to stay on guard against side effects from such studies such as the return of some feudal ideologies, that does not justify a complete abandonment of the studies.

We should neither overly welcome nor overly fear studies of traditional Chinese culture. They are only a branch of learning, no more and no less.

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