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Observing filial piety in China

2013-09-05 16:39:01

(China Daily)




Filial piety is a concept that has been passed down from generation to generation in China for thousands of years. Most Chinese people agree that children should show filial piety to parents and other family elders, such as grandparents.

In ancient times, those who didn't treat parents well were despised by society. If an official didn't show filial piety, he was not promoted. If a scholar didn't show filial piety, his ideas were not approved by others. If a shop owner didn't show filial piety, no one would buy anything from him. And if a woman didn't show filial piety, no one would marry her. In some dynasties, having a lack of filial piety was considered a crime.

A statue of Mencius [Photo/Asianewsphoto]

There are a lot of theories and stories that teach children how to be good to their parents. Chinese philosopher Mencius gave us three examples of what it means to lack filial piety. First, if a child doesn't tell or persuade his or her parents to change the things they are doing if they are wrong. Second, if a grown child doesn't go to work to support the family because the parents are poor and old. Third, if a grown child doesn't want to marry and have a baby, then they are not living up to their filial piety duties.

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