Filial Piety In China


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Introduction Xiao, the Chinese word for filial piety is the defining feature in Chinese culture as filial piety was extolled as the highest virtue in China for centuries. I subscribe to the school of thought that filial piety is the root of Chinese ethics and "with it all enlightening studies come into existence." Chinese society was built upon the doctrine of filial piety and that it is the theme in Chinese culture, influencing all aspects of Chinese lives. In this essay, I will examine the significance of filial piety in Chinese culture. Albeit I have no wish of making the mistake of generalization, what I seek to define is the undercurrent theme in all ...

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. I will also be analyzing the implications of the erosion of filial piety and the importance of filial piety in modern China. Traditional Filial Piety To define traditional filial piety in Chinese culture, it is imperative that I draw on the works of Confucius as Confucianism is the system that has dominated Chinese thought throughout most of history, controlling Chinese education, society and government for some 2,000 years. It would be necessary to take into account Mencius's philosophy as he was also a strong influence on Chinese culture. Xiao in traditional Chinese societies fundamentally means gratitude to one's parents for giving one life and the duty and obligation to repay one's parents for having brought one up. It means love and uncompromising respect for one's parents and total obedience to one's parents. It also means honouring one's parents after their death. However, Xiao has many other connotations in the traditional Chinese culture. It pertains to servitude towards ...

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the traditional Chinese societal and governmental systems as prescribed by Confucius are based on hierarchy. Thus, it was essential that children are trained to respect authority. Filial piety is believed to inculcate the qualities of loyalty to one's country, responsibility towards society and state. If children are taught from young to respect and obey the key authoritarian figure in the household, that is the father, they would from there learn how to respect and obey society's and government's laws and advocates. Mencius held that, " the root of the empire is in the state, and the root of the state is in the family." At the same time, their learning of filial piety would also ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 4/1/2004 06:00:32 AM
Category: Political Science
Type: Free Paper
Words: 3643
Pages: 14

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