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Unit 1

1.2 Family Influence on Values, Beliefs, and Traditions

4 min readoctober 29, 2020

emilyguo

Emily Guo

cait

Cait Levin


AP Chinese  🇨🇳

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🔮 Family Influence on Values, Beliefs, and Traditions🌟

Respect for Elders

In Chinese 🇨🇳 culture, as well as many other asian 🌏 cultures, respect for your elders 👵👴 is very important 👍, and it's based off the idea that elders have more knowledge 💭 and wisdom 🦉than the younger generations. Knowing the Confucianism 👨‍🦳 concept filial piety is valuable because it is such a core value.
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Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Filial piety (孝顺(xiàoshùn)) says that children 🧒 must respect, obey, and take care of their elders 👵👴, including their parents 👪 This is because parents provide so much to their children while they are growing up, so the children are always needing to repay 💴 that favor by obeying👂, respecting 🙏, and helping their parents for their entire lives 🧬 Even so, they are always considered indebted to their parents 🤵👰 Filial piety can be considered one of the most important traditional values to the Chinese.
The takeaway from many tales 📖 about filial piety is that if given a situation to choose between parents and children, the parents 🤵👰 should be chosen. Filial piety supports Sacrificing children for parents
Another important aspect of filial piety is food 🥖 The way of showing care 👨‍⚕️ from parents is through providing food 🥐 instead of openly declaring love 💕 As long as your parents are providing food 🥘, it shows that they still care 👩‍⚕️ and love you 🥰
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Image Courtesy of Flickr

Individuals 🧑 who follow filial piety 🙇 are treated as good 👍 children 🧒 If they are unfilial, they usually are treated as being separate 🦹 from the community and are shunned 🙅 Now, if you look at the character 孝, it's a mix of the word 老((lǎo) old) and 儿子((érzi) son). 老 is on top, while 儿子 is on the bottom. This shows the order of how the elder 👴 is above the son 🙇 and that the son is also carrying the elder. Another interpretation of this could be that family 👪 lines are meant to be continued down ⏬
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For a little background, Confucius explained the concept of filial piety in the 4th century BCE in the book 📖 孝经 (xiào jīng) (Classic of Filial Piety). This book became commonly used throughout education 📚 in China for the following centuries ⌛ Confucianism has been an extremely important part of Chinese culture.

🎇春节(chūnjié)(Chinese New Year)🎉

Annually, the Chinese New Year 🀄 is a gigantic part of tradition in China. Also known as the Lunar 🌑 New Year, it is based off the Lunar 🌕 calendar. Every year it will be celebrated sometime in January or February. Around the New Year, workers 👷 usually take about 2-3 weeks off work as a holiday to go back home and celebrate. That occurs nationwide in China, and students 👩‍🎓 get a long holiday break as well.
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Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The main aspects of this holiday are to spend time with your family 👪, put up (red) decorations🏮, and give out 红包🧧(hóngbāo)(red envelopes).
Family gatherings 👨‍👩‍👧‍👧👨‍👩‍👦‍👦 during the Lunar 🌕 New Year are considered extremely important. In fact, all the traveling 🧳 that goes on around the Chinese 🇨🇳 New Year is considered "the world's largest annual migration". Additional flights ✈️ in China 🇨🇳 are scheduled annually to accommodate its citizens. Many people will travel, in addition to flying, by trains 🚆 or cars 🚗
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Image Courtesy of Simple Wikipedia

Eating large amounts of food 🍲 together as a family 👪 is another aspect of gatherings. Some foods that are commonly eaten during the New Year meal include fish 🐟, dumplings 🥟, spring rolls, sweet rice balls, longevity noodles 🍜, and fruits 🍊🍋(round and golden ‼️).
Fish 🐟 is eaten in the wishes to prosper 🤑 during the coming year. This is because 鱼 (yú) is pronounced like to 余 (yú), meaning surplus 💰 The fish should be eaten at the end 🔚 of the night 🌃 with leftovers. There is a saying known as 年年有余 (nián nián yǒuyú), which is wish for another to always have extra. Dumplings 🥟 are eaten as well to symbolize wealth 🤑, which is because of their shape. This is because dumplings tend to look like Chinese silver ingots (shown below).
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Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

There is a legend that accompanies the usage of red in so many aspects of the Chinese New Year: 传说很久很久以前有一个怪兽。这个怪兽叫“年”。每年,在年关的时候,”年“会出来伤害人们。后来,人们发现”年“非常害怕红色、火和巨大的声音。从此以后,每到过年的时候,为了防止“年”,人们开始贴红对联和别的红的装饰。同时,每年人们都会点灯笼 (lanterns) 和爆竹(firecrackers)为了防止“年”在伤害到人民。
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Image Courtesy of Flickr

Giving out 红包🧧 during the New Year celebrations to the children is especially important. Inside the red envelopes will be money💰 (cash). The envelope🧧 is used to symbolize 🍀好运🤞 (good luck). The money 💴 in any envelope should usually be an even number, since odd numbers are used in reference to funerals⚱️ 😳 That would be a mistake you would want to stay away from! Another important ‼️ rule to remember 💭 is that 四 (4️⃣) should not be used in any form of celebration 🥳 This is because the pronunciation of 四 (sì) is very similar to 死 (sǐ), meaning death 💀
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Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Strive for Five Vocab! 🔑🔑

  • 孝顺(xiàoshùn)—Filial Piety
  • 尊重(zūnzhòn)—Respect
  • 食物(shíwù)—Food
  • 春节(chūnjié)—Chinese New Year
  • 阴历(yīnlì)—Lunar Calendar
  • 红包(hóngbāo)—Red envelopes
  • 好运(hǎo yùn)—Good Luck
  • 筷子(kuàizi)—Chopsticks
  • 过节(guòjié)—Holiday
  • 过年(guònián)—New Year
  • 钱(qián)—Money
  • 现金(xiànjīn)—Cash
  • 家庭团聚(jiātíng tuánjù)—Family Reunion/Gathering

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