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This post was edited by expatter at 2012-12-6 00:07|
Prometheus2 Post time: 2012-12-5 21:26
Interesting post. Chinese may be shifting to Western religious ideals, i'm not sure, but I know the ...
Only a small percentage of Chinese are Christian and mostly those from cities, and I do not think this has reached the vast majority in the hinterlands. Certainly many Western values are being adopted in China and a big move away is that young people are starting to want their own home and independence from their family, rather than the old traditional way of four generations under one roof.
In Chinese society traditionally the Patriarch was obeyed by all and offspring did the bidding of their elders and I think that is still quite prevalent today. Parents choose the school, the university, the major, the girlfriend and even in many cases the wife. Whilst this is not so true today I believe that many young Chinese feel very obligated to pander to their parent’s choices and views. In my opinion this affects not only the structure of social intercourse and creativity between adolescents, but also how they perceive even their education and indeed the point of it.
The Chinese have for centuries followed the principles of Confucius and I believe that this ideal suited both the Emperor, who was regarded as the Patriarch of the family of China, and it also suited grandparents and parents to have the same power in their own social sphere. Add to that the education system or ‘government exam’ then one has a system which is seemingly rigidly set in stone and one of expectation rather than a looser structure which could develop through trial and error. This would conflate in the expectations of those in charge and those who obeyed, and a classic example is the government exam which I mentioned which was pure rote learning of Confucianism. This would serve to reinforce a system which had the merits of ‘it has always been done this way’, and continues to some degree in the way adolescents obey their parents and go to a university where rote learning whilst topically changed is still the expectation of rote learning. Although as I understand it the Chinese Government has sought research on Western teaching methods and are eager to change the structure of the arrogant podium based book thumping lecturer to something much more learner orientated.
I believe that filial piety and its expectations can serve only to assure the older generation that their own needs will be met when they are older rather than the needs of blossoming hearts and minds of their offspring. Additionally, the current collusive education system where the parents support the institution in all facets at the detriment of their young, and where the institution almost guarantees a pass on subjects that are learned in a way more akin to the old government exam can only hold back China’s youth in the area of creativity and free expressions in art forms.
In reality as the layers of filial piety slowly peel away we may see a more exciting and creative energy in China and hopefully by then the political system will have changed to suit a Renaissance in the East.