Chinese tradition, ceremony,culture

Discussion in 'Members' Club Room' started by Hendrik_2000, Aug 9, 2016.

  1. Hendrik_2000
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    Hendrik_2000 Brigadier

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    It is good that China is now slowly return to her traditional belief and religion . I guess in fast modern live you need bearing and moral compass. The blind pursuit of material well being will not bring happiness and contentment
     
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    Hendrik_2000 Brigadier

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  3. advill
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    advill Junior Member

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    China for centuries (even before the West) has been steeped with traditions & religious beliefs. Taoism is home-grown, similar with the teachings of great Chinese philosophers/sages like Confucius. Buddhism came from India. There are sometimes misconceptions about Christianity as a "Western" religion. The Christians believe in Jesus Christ as God, born onto the Earth as a human. Jesus was NOT a European/Westerner, he was a Jew. Christians were originally persecuted by the Roman emperors who ruled over Israel, & many followers were martyred for their faith & beliefs. Christianity later spread to the West and to Asia. Early Portuguese traders and Catholic missionaries went to Macau, with the concurrence/permission from the Chinese Emperor. The first University in Asia was built & established by the Catholic Jesuits in Macau, and later a Jesuit priest was appointed a secular advisor to the Emperor in Peking. This priest also drew a World Map for the Imperial Chinese Court. Christians were never persecuted in Macau or China during that period, unlike Japan when the Japanese Ruling Shogun executed Christians for their faith, and exiled many of them. Where Islam is concerned, it spread throughout the Middle East including the borders of China like Xinxiang province. However, we are now experiencing the radicalisation of a good number of extremist Islamic followers, who have become terrorists like ISIS. It is good that China has its long standing traditions and allows religious beliefs that teaches "goodness" & charity, but not to create anarchy in any form. I believe Chinese Catholics will always remain good citizens of China. Pope Francis preaches humility, charity and respect for laws, traditions, and the well being of nations; and he leads the Catholic Church by his own examples.
     
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    Hendrik_2000 Brigadier

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    The call of home, 600.000 migrant worker going home riding a motorcycle . It must be tough riding in winter time . To lessen their suffering pit stop offering food. drink. repair shop, etc are provided by volunteer





    The joy of reunion and family get together
     
    #54 Hendrik_2000, Jan 17, 2017
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  5. advill
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    advill Junior Member

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    May I wish all my Sino-Defence Website Chinese friends "Gong Xi Fa Cai", & may the Lunar New Year be Prosperous, Progressive & Peaceful for all of you and your families. Enjoy your reunion dinner - I will with my dear wife and my fantastic Chinese Singaporean in-laws. Have to give ang-pows (red packets) to many relatives' children & some oldies too :). Respect for Tradition is always important.
     
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  7. advill
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    advill Junior Member

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    I greatly respect Chinese Culture and Tradition and all Cultures. I believe I am part Chinese (i.e. legendary Chinese). The historical story goes that ONE of the Famous Chinese Admiral Zeng He's Officers married a daughter of the Sultan of Tanjong Balai Ashan (now Indonesia - Palembang Sumatra) during one of the Admiral's 7 voyages. According to the legend, my Mother's mother was a descendent of that mixed marriage, as my maternal grandmother "Lydia" was a close relative of the then Sultan. My wife is Singaporean Chinese. In 2005, I was given a Chinese name "An Wei" (Peace) by my very good friend 85+ years old Hon. Prof Gary Ngai (former CEO and now Adviser to MAPEAL - Macau/China & Latin America Assn; and English Translator in the late 1940s & 1950s to Chairman Mao), when I was a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Macau. My children are half Chinese (perhaps more than half because of my mother's historical legend), and we celebrate Chinese festivals (Lunar New Year etc.) besides Christmas and English New Year. My family and relatives are the Minority of the Minorities Multi-cultural Singaporeans. Yesterday, I requested a visiting Chinese itinerant calligrapher at my town market place to write the Chinese characters - my Chinese name & something else, which my Chinese friends are able to read. History and tradition are important for our future generations and we the elders must relate them to our children, grand children and relatives. (BTW, regretfully I only speak English & Malay, although I look Chinese).
     

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  8. Hendrik_2000
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    I am not sure if you are Eurasian or Peranakan(Indian or Chinese). Because there are many Peranakan in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, They were instrumental in the forming early year of Singapore and Malaysia.

    Sadly the culture was declining due to adoption of English language and Christianity. Most of the young one loose their mother tongue of Peranakan language.
    The recent drive to unite all the Chinese dialect doesn't help either .
    Now most young peranakan can speak mandarin and english but loose their mother tongue

    But in recent year there is interest to revive the culture like this video




     
    #58 Hendrik_2000, Apr 9, 2017
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  9. advill
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    I am of mixed parentage - classified as "Others" not Eurasian. In Singapore since the Colonial period, my father was classified as Filipino (as his father was Filipino-Spanish). My mother was mixed as her mother was Sumatran cum legendary Chinese, & father Filipino-Spanish. My wife's family can be considered as part Pernakan (on the second grand-mother's side). There were many inter-marriages including the period, and perhaps before the time of Adm Zeng He's 7 voyages. There are also many Filipinos in the Philippines of Chinese and Spanish Ancestries. Quite complicating but interesting from the historical points of view.No major problems in multi-racial Singapore (Chinese 75%) - all races are treated as equal. Although a secular nation, there is religious freedom, except we go after religious bigots & ISIS terrorists.
     
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    Overall this is a good article but being American he can't help himself advocating for regime change of evil communist. Unfortunately Buddhist in China is not interested in regime change or politic
    But only interested in fostering good traditional Chinese value of Honesty, righteousness, and compassion. Not that different from Christianity
    China need to reacquainted with their traditional believe to give themselves moral bearing and compass

    Is a Buddhist Group Changing China? Or Is China Changing It?
    By IAN JOHNSONJUNE 24, 2017
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/24/...latest&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront
    Continue reading the main storyShare This PageChina’s economic rise in this small city in the Yangtze River Valley, and she found a foothold in the new middle class, running a convenience store in a strip mall. Yet prosperity felt hollow.

    She worried about losing her shop if she didn’t wine and dine and pay off the right officials. Recurring scandals about unsafe food or tainted infant formula made by once-reputable companies upset her. She recalled the values her father had tried to instill in her — honesty, thrift, righteousness — but she said there seemed no way to live by them in China today.

    “You just feel disappointed at some of the dishonest conduct in society,” she said.
    Then, five years ago, a Buddhist organization from Taiwan called Fo Guang Shan, or Buddha’s Light Mountain, began building a temple in the outskirts of her city, Yixing. She began attending its meetings and studying its texts — and it changed her life.

    She and her husband, a successful businessman, started living more simply. They gave up luxury goods and made donations to support poor children. And before the temple opened last year, she left her convenience store to manage a tea shop near the temple, pledging the proceeds to charity.

    Across China, millions of people like Ms. Shen have begun participating in faith-based organizations like Fo Guang Shan. They aim to fill what they see as a moral vacuum left by attacks on traditional values over the past century, especially under Mao, and the nation’s embrace of a cutthroat form of capitalism.

    Many want to change their country — to make it more compassionate, more civil and more just. But unlike political dissidents or other activists suppressed by the Communist Party, they hope to change Chinese society through personal piety and by working with the government instead of against it. And for the most part, the authorities have left them alone.

    Pilgrims and nuns during a National Day procession last fall. CreditGilles Sabrié for The New York Times

    Fo Guang Shan is perhaps the most successful of these groups. Since coming to China more than a decade ago, it has set up cultural centers and libraries in major Chinese cities and printed and distributed millions of volumes of its books through state-controlled publishers. While the government has tightened controls on most other foreign religious organizations, Fo Guang Shan has flourished, spreading a powerful message that individual acts of charity can reshape China.

    It has done so, however, by making compromises. The Chinese government is wary of spiritual activity it does not control — the Falun Gong an example — and prohibits mixing religion and politics. That has led Fo Guang Shan to play down its message of social change and even its religious content, focusing instead on promoting knowledge of traditional culture and values.

    The approach has won it high-level support; President Xi Jinping is one of its backers. But its relationship with the party raises a key question: Can it still change China?

    Avoiding Politics

    Fo Guang Shan is led by one of modern China’s most famous religious figures, the Venerable Master Hsing Yun. I met him late last year at the temple in Yixing, in a bright room filled with his calligraphy and photos of senior Chinese leaders who have received him in Beijing. He wore tannish golden robes, and his shaved head was set off by thick eyebrows and sharp, impish lips.

    At age 89, he is nearly blind, and a nun often had to repeat my questions so he could hear them. But his mind was quick, and he nimbly parried questions that the Chinese authorities might consider objectionable. When I asked him what he hoped to accomplish by spreading Buddhism — proselytizing is illegal in China — his eyebrows arched in mock amusement.

    “I don’t want to promote Buddhism!” he said. “I only promote Chinese culture to cleanse humanity.”As for the Communist Party, he was unequivocal: “We Buddhists uphold whoever is in charge. Buddhists don’t get involved in politics.”

    That has not been true for most of Master Hsing Yun’s life. Born outside the eastern city of Yangzhou in 1927, he was 10 when he joined a monastery that he and his mother passed by while searching for his father, who disappeared during the Japanese invasion of China.

    There, he was influenced by the ideas of Humanistic Buddhism, a movement that aimed to save China through spiritual renewal. It argued that religion should be focused on this world, instead of the afterworld. It also encouraged clergy to take up the concerns of the living, and urged adherents to help change society through fairness and compassion.

    After fleeing the Communist Revolution, Master Hsing Yun took that message to Taiwan and founded Fo Guang Shan in the southern port of Kaohsiung in 1967. He sought to make Buddhism more accessible to ordinary people by updating its fusty image and embracing mass-market tactics. In sports stadiums, he held lectures that owed more to Billy Graham than the sound of one hand clapping. He built a theme park with multimedia shows and slot machines that displayed dioramas of Buddhist saints.

    The approach had a profound impact in Taiwan, which then resembled mainland China today: an industrializing society that worried it had cast off traditional values in its rush to modernize. Fo Guang Shan became part of a popular embrace of religious life. Many scholars say it also helped lay the foundation for the self-governing island’s evolution into a vibrant democracy by fostering a political culture committed to equality, civility and social progress.

    Fo Guang Shan expanded rapidly, spending more than $1 billion on universities, community colleges, kindergartens, a publishing arm, a daily newspaper and a television station. It now counts more than 1,000 monks and nuns, and more than one million followers in 50 countries, including the United States.Continue reading the main story
    Photo[​IMG]

    Learning to pray at the Temple of Great Awakening in Yixing. Fo Guang Shan has spent more than $150 million on the facility. CreditGilles Sabrié for The New York Times

    Government Support

    But the group declines to offer an estimate of its following in China, where the government initially viewed it with suspicion. In 1989, an official fleeing the Tiananmen massacre took refuge in its temple in Los Angeles. China retaliated by barring Master Hsing Yun from the mainland.

    More than a decade later, though, Beijing began looking at Master Hsing Yun differently. Like many in Taiwan of his generation born on the mainland, he favored unification of China and the island — a priority for Communist leaders.

    In 2003, they allowed him to visit his hometown, Yangzhou. He pledged to build a library, and followed through a few years later with a 100-acre facility that now holds nearly two million books, including a 100,000-volume collection of Buddhist scriptures, one of the largest in China.

    Under President Xi, who started a campaign to promote traditional Chinese faiths, especially Buddhism, as part of his program for “the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” the government’s support has grown. He has met with Master Hsing Yun four times since 2012, telling him in one meeting: “I’ve read all the books that master sent me.”
     
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