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Chinese Family Concept

Chinese Family Concept

The traditional Chinese way of life, in theory, advocates the harmony and order among the individual, the family and society. The best way to accomplish this ideal is to cultivate ones mind, manage a family well and efficiently govern a country?

In traditional Chinese culture, the family is the basic unit of society, while individuals are only one part of the family. The blood relationship between the father and son is the most important element of society. The extended families of old had "four generations living under one roof". The so-called "four generations under one roof" meant the cohabitation of the father and mother, son and daughter-in-law (or daughter and son-in-law), grandson and granddaughter-in-law, the great-grandson and the great-granddaughter. While modern families increasingly include only two generations living together, the tradition and the ideal of four generations living together still remains.

The idea of tracing back ancestry is still the most powerful centripetal force of the Chinese nation. A distinguished ancestor will bring pride to his descendants for thousands of years. The many descendants of eminent leaders will not sully the name of their ancestors no matter what the consequences. Thus the harmony and stability of families and clans are the assurance of peace and the advancement of society.

Lifestyle and Culture

The culture of the Chinese people, as shown in the conduct of their daily lives, closely adheres to the precepts of Taoism. Taoism is inclined to simplicity in all things. People thoughts and feelings conform to each season as they become one with nature, acting in harmony with everything on earth, and valuing human relationships. Since one's life must respect and conform to the seasons, the jieqi (seasonal division points in the calendar) must be acknowledged. Festivals and jieqi are particularly important to the Chinese.

Not only in festivals and other special occasions, examples of Chinese culture may be seen in everyday activities of the Chinese. In playing the lute or chess, reading or painting, the important thing is not technique, but rather one's frame of mind when conducting these activities. The tea ceremony originated in China. It focuses the attention of participants on clarity of thinking and refinement. Zen Buddhism has had an extensive following in Chinese history; its practice influenced the daily habits of a great number of people. Zen Buddhism may be the best way to exemplify the mysterious quality of oriental culture.

This is a way of life that pursues harmony with nature and with others, simplicity, and a feeling of warmth and oneness with all.

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