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Filial Piety Revisited

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Postby earthfriendly » Sun, 06 Mar 2011 12:00 pm

tyianchang wrote:If you're directing your syllogism at Amy Chua, that's nothing to do with me unless you are implying.


It was a direct response to Amy Chua's article on WSJ where she used Confucianism to justify her method. Not referring to you.

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Postby x9200 » Sun, 06 Mar 2011 12:33 pm

earthfriendly wrote:My parents are computer illiterat so skype is not a possibility.

This is a bit off the topic but mine are neither, still this is our main way of communications. Buy a skype regular phone No for them localized in their very city/district so when you call them or they call you there is nothing more than a regular phone on their side. I also bought them a laptop and a photoframe and the only thing they have to do is to switch it on so I can remotely download photos/movies to the frame.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 06 Mar 2011 1:14 pm

x9200 wrote:
earthfriendly wrote:My parents are computer illiterat so skype is not a possibility.

This is a bit off the topic but mine are neither, still this is our main way of communications. Buy a skype regular phone No for them localized in their very city/district so when you call them or they call you there is nothing more than a regular phone on their side. I also bought them a laptop and a photoframe and the only thing they have to do is to switch it on so I can remotely download photos/movies to the frame.


Which is what I did 5 or 6 years ago for my folks as well. As I'm a Yank I didn't even have to buy them the laptop. Just got a local skype number in their town so they just make local calls and got a couple of Ceiva Picture frames and once installed, the frames, with their inbuilt modems, dial up the server once a night and if there are pic waiting to be downloaded, it will connect and download. I upload the pics to the servers from wherever I am via PC, or Phone and my sister or anybody else I give the codes to can also upload to the server and my folks will see them when they wake up. You can even control when the picture frame turns on & off and they can also make prints if they desire bye hitting a button on the frame. They can also upload their own or view their own photo like the normal frames but just inserting their memory card in the units.

Problem is though, the frames need to be in the US or Canada. Can upload from anywhere you have a data connection though.

Gotta love technology. :-)

http://www.ceiva.com/

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Postby nakatago » Sun, 06 Mar 2011 2:22 pm

I gave my mom a netbook for Christmas once and in spite her being computer illiterate she was doing ok...until I left the country and after two weeks, she called me at 6 am to ask what to do after maximizing her chat window.

:???:


She figured it out eventually; she just needed to want to do it.

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Postby Eau2011 » Sun, 06 Mar 2011 2:50 pm

x9200 wrote:
Wind In My Hair wrote:What I don't understand is why people can't just accept that filial piety is different from honor / respect. As has been pointed out, piety isn't all-wonderful. It weighs heavily sometimes, in a way that honor / respect doesn't. Many have wished themselves free of the burden of piety, whereas honor / respect is not something people wish away. It's okay to not live with piety. It doesn't make the culture that doesn't practise it inferior. I'm tempted to say this thread almost smacks of kiasu-ism, as in "You have it, we must have it too!"

Sorry for the long post. And now... let the arrows fly!

No, no arrows. As often your post is an island of sanity in the raging chaos of the battle field :)
The problem is this thread appears to be made up just to antagonize the two cultures and this is also probably the reason for this kiasuism.
I am not sure if I fully understand FP but it looks like it contains much stronger element of being unconditionally submissive what is not that foreign to the Western or Christian culture but rather obsolete nowadays.


You fully understood it.

FP does have strong element of unconditionally submissive.

In Chinese traditional culture it's said "parents are always right" 天下无不是的父母。That's one reflection of FP.

And I don't agree with it at all.
Last edited by Eau2011 on Sun, 06 Mar 2011 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby x9200 » Sun, 06 Mar 2011 2:50 pm

Ceiva looks good. Very nice idea and not necessarily for older folks. I guess it is not too heavy on the telephone bills?

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Postby Eau2011 » Sun, 06 Mar 2011 3:01 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:
Strong Eagle wrote:Why is this an exclusively Chinese issue? As I recall, the ten commandments in the Christian bible (which are actually a lot more, depending where you look) says, "Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you."

So, what's the difference?

SE, my post is not directed at you, but a general comment on this thread. Just that your post is one I find worth responding to :)

I am a Chinese cradle Catholic, and am therefore familiar with both the Christian concept of honoring parents and the Confucian concept of filial piety. I have never once used the concepts inter-changeably as to me they are different. Tyianchang is actually correct that piety has a much stronger element of duty, even obligation, than honor or respect. And not just the money aspect.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, it's hard to explain the difference in English as any English words I use will be words the "West" knows and therefore a Westerner will say "See we have it too". Something gets lost in translation. It's like saying "panache" is the same as "flair". It is, but it isn't. It's different enough for the English language to import the French word to say what all the English words can't. If 'honor' and 'respect' were enough to explain 'filial piety', then the latter term wouldn't even be necessary.

What I don't understand is why people can't just accept that filial piety is different from honor / respect. As has been pointed out, piety isn't all-wonderful. It weighs heavily sometimes, in a way that honor / respect doesn't. Many have wished themselves free of the burden of piety, whereas honor / respect is not something people wish away. It's okay to not live with piety. It doesn't make the culture that doesn't practise it inferior. I'm tempted to say this thread almost smacks of kiasu-ism, as in "You have it, we must have it too!"

Sorry for the long post. And now... let the arrows fly!


FP is not only honor and respect, on that I have agree with you.

But unconditionally submassive to the parents 无条件服从父母 is indeed the core of FP which I think it's really out of date in a modern Chinese society. And it's mostly not practised by Chinese in China anymore!

Hence, the only meaninful part of FP - "honor and respect", should be kept.

Which I absolutely cannot accept is: if parents bring the children to the world and raise them in the hope that they will get return from children, then it's totally misunderstanding of FP. For me, the love which parents give to children is unconditional.

anneteoh wrote: I mean, imagine getting such returns from your children - all of which goes without saying. A good culture to continue?
Last edited by Eau2011 on Sun, 06 Mar 2011 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Eau2011 » Sun, 06 Mar 2011 3:09 pm

x9200 wrote:
Wind In My Hair wrote:What I don't understand is why people can't just accept that filial piety is different from honor / respect. As has been pointed out, piety isn't all-wonderful. It weighs heavily sometimes, in a way that honor / respect doesn't. Many have wished themselves free of the burden of piety, whereas honor / respect is not something people wish away. It's okay to not live with piety. It doesn't make the culture that doesn't practise it inferior. I'm tempted to say this thread almost smacks of kiasu-ism, as in "You have it, we must have it too!"

Sorry for the long post. And now... let the arrows fly!

No, no arrows. As often your post is an island of sanity in the raging chaos of the battle field :)
The problem is this thread appears to be made up just to antagonize the two cultures and this is also probably the reason for this kiasuism.


Yes. :)

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Sun, 06 Mar 2011 3:12 pm

x9200 wrote:No, no arrows. As often your post is an island of sanity in the raging chaos of the battle field :)
The problem is this thread appears to be made up just to antagonize the two cultures and this is also probably the reason for this kiasuism.
I am not sure if I fully understand FP but it looks like it contains much stronger element of being unconditionally submissive what is not that foreign to the Western or Christian culture but rather obsolete nowadays.

X9200, as often your calm and kind post makes me want to hug you :)

Fair point about the purpose of the OP. Even then, either (a) "Yes it's admirable how much some people sacrifice in the name of filial piety" or (b) "No thanks, all this sacrifice-my-own-desire nonsense doesn't appeal to me" (which is Eau's position) would have been more self-assured, knowledgeable and rational responses than the "There is no difference" and "You're no better than us" tone that seemed to prevail.

Filial piety could mean unconditional submission, but not necessarily. For example, I could quarrel with my parents about what I want but in the end grudgingly do what they want instead. Or they could ask nothing of me and not demand submission at all, and yet I feel an unspoken obligation to do what's good for them rather than what's good for me.

In any case, anyone who wants a more intimate understanding of filial piety would do well to read KSL's long but excellent post on his personal experience with it (I daresay SMS could write a similar post, which would also show that filial piety is not an exclusively Chinese thing), as well as Tyianchang's astute observation that all this is usually not even explicitly taught but rather imbibed.

tyianchang wrote:FP is so ingrained in Chinese upbringing that we understand the isssues involved in it tacitly, as kls pointed out. We're not taught FP but instinctively understand what's expected of us. That's in my time though I hear the MOE is introducing FP into schools nowadays.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 06 Mar 2011 3:15 pm

x9200 wrote:Ceiva looks good. Very nice idea and not necessarily for older folks. I guess it is not too heavy on the telephone bills?


As it's a local call, there are minimal charges. So much so, my Mom has never noticed any difference in her phone bills (except for the additional taxes they keep adding). Nah, the recommend using them for families that are widespread and rightly so. I jumped on it when ceiva was in their 2nd year and have been with them ever since. It's a real boon as me mom's 84 & Dad's 85 and both are computer illiterate as well (I've wanted to try to teach mom, but she's afraid she would get into trouble with the gahmen as she hate's dem damnocrats in the Whitehouse. :lol:

Of course I have to pay a subscription for the Server Space/uplink facilities so that's what takes care of the datacharges. costs around $99/year and still a lot cheaper than most everything else with the abilities it has if I can't get 'em to learn how to use a PC.

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Postby Eau2011 » Sun, 06 Mar 2011 3:43 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote: Fair point about the purpose of the OP. Even then, either (a) "Yes it's admirable how much some people sacrifice in the name of filial piety" or (b) "No thanks, all this sacrifice-my-own-desire nonsense doesn't appeal to me" (which is Eau's position) would have been more self-assured, knowledgeable and rational responses than the "There is no difference" and "You're no better than us" tone that seemed to prevail.



Yeah, that's right. You made me think my dad did to my grandma when I was a child. Well he's always a Da Xiao Zi大孝子.

I could not explain better, but, English is not my first language.

I'm still surprised that in SG the Singaporean is also familiar with it.

What I gave to my parents is honor and respect, I take care of them, I listen to their advices, but they can never force me to do what I don't like to do (acutally they never did, they gave me enough freedom), I would never feel guilty/bad if I don't do what they like me to do. So we are a harmonic family.

I can imagine how my parents would feel if I send them a cheque during Chinese New Year because I do not have time to go back home. They will be very very sad.

So for me, money can never be replaced by family love and respect.

Surely, in case my parents have financial problems, I would also not hesitate to help them. And this, does have nothing to do with FP.

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Sun, 06 Mar 2011 3:54 pm

Eau2011 wrote:FP is not only honor and respect, on that I have agree with you.

But unconditionally submassive to the parents 无条件服从父母 is indeed the core of FP which I think it's really out of date in a modern Chinese society. And it's mostly not practised by Chinese in China anymore!

Hence, what only left in FP is honor and respect, which surely should be kept.

Which I absolutely cannot accept is: if parents bring the children to the world and raise them in the hope that they will get return from children, then it's totally misunderstanding of FP. The love which parents give to children is unconditional.

I'm with you in the sense that if I had children, I would not expect them to give me any 'returns'. It was my decision to have them, not their decision to have me, and I would want them to be free to lead their own lives.

Having said that, our choice not to personally subscribe to the traditional practice of filial piety does not change the traditional meaning. Singapore is much like modern China, where self-interest and self-determination is becoming the norm. This, as I'm trying to explain, does not mean that the younger generation does not respect and honour their parents.

Yet there are still many here who still live under the expectations of filial piety. It would be wrong to say that these people are merely respecting or honouring their parents. They are doing much more. As KSL pointed out, they are sacrificing, sometimes to a great degree, their personal desires.

anneteoh wrote:I mean, imagine getting such returns from your children - all of which goes without saying. A good culture to continue?

Lastly, I've been trying to stay out of this but I'm getting sick of so many posters making Anneteoh / Tyianchang a punching bag. And again this is not directed at Eau but a general comment. Perhaps because I haven't been personally warring with her, I read the original post in a slightly different and I think more objective light. I saw this comment as tongue-in-cheek and deliberately provocative to spark a debate, but not antagonistic right from the start. She has, after all, started two good discussion threads - this one and the Egypt one. It's because of the personal nature of fights on other threads that her original post was taken in a more negative light than need have been. Just my view.

While Anne / Tyianchang has done her share of lashing out, I'm sure I would have been equally combative if I felt attacked by so many posters all at once. At the same time, if the lady feels inclined to accept some unsolicited advice, I suggest retreating a little and ceasing the personal attacks. You make many good points and once the swords and shields are laid down and the clanging quietens, perhaps everyone will hear better what you are saying.

Let's just blame Confucius for filial piety in the first place, and let him try to make amends with some of his other writings:

"The heart of a wise man should resemble a mirror, which reflects every object without being sullied by any."

"Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves."


Sigh, another long post. I must be getting old.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 06 Mar 2011 4:00 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:
x9200 wrote:No, no arrows. As often your post is an island of sanity in the raging chaos of the battle field :)
The problem is this thread appears to be made up just to antagonize the two cultures and this is also probably the reason for this kiasuism.
I am not sure if I fully understand FP but it looks like it contains much stronger element of being unconditionally submissive what is not that foreign to the Western or Christian culture but rather obsolete nowadays.

X9200, as often your calm and kind post makes me want to hug you :)

Fair point about the purpose of the OP. Even then, either (a) "Yes it's admirable how much some people sacrifice in the name of filial piety" or (b) "No thanks, all this sacrifice-my-own-desire nonsense doesn't appeal to me" (which is Eau's position) would have been more self-assured, knowledgeable and rational responses than the "There is no difference" and "You're no better than us" tone that seemed to prevail.

Filial piety could mean unconditional submission, but not necessarily. For example, I could quarrel with my parents about what I want but in the end grudgingly do what they want instead. Or they could ask nothing of me and not demand submission at all, and yet I feel an unspoken obligation to do what's good for them rather than what's good for me.

In any case, anyone who wants a more intimate understanding of filial piety would do well to read KSL's long but excellent post on his personal experience with it (I daresay SMS could write a similar post, which would also show that filial piety is not an exclusively Chinese thing), as well as Tyianchang's astute observation that all this is usually not even explicitly taught but rather imbibed.

tyianchang wrote:FP is so ingrained in Chinese upbringing that we understand the isssues involved in it tacitly, as kls pointed out. We're not taught FP but instinctively understand what's expected of us. That's in my time though I hear the MOE is introducing FP into schools nowadays.


Thanks WIMH. :kiss:

I actually though about it. But after reading ksl's post, I decided it wasn't necessary. As we both kinda accepted it, although it's not something that was done consciously or with aforethought. It's just the way I was brought up. It just seems right, regardless of the mental costs to me on occasion and I suspect ksl as well. Sometimes, though, it's a heavy cross to bear, but one we bear willing.

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Postby Eau2011 » Sun, 06 Mar 2011 4:20 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:
anneteoh wrote:I mean, imagine getting such returns from your children - all of which goes without saying. A good culture to continue?

Lastly, I've been trying to stay out of this but I'm getting sick of so many posters making Anneteoh / Tyianchang a punching bag. And again this is not directed at Eau but a general comment. Perhaps because I haven't been personally warring with her, I read the original post in a slightly different and I think more objective light. I saw this comment as tongue-in-cheek and deliberately provocative to spark a debate, but not antagonistic right from the start. She has, after all, started two good discussion threads - this one and the Egypt one. It's because of the personal nature of fights on other threads that her original post was taken in a more negative light than need have been. Just my view.

While Anne / Tyianchang has done her share of lashing out, I'm sure I would have been equally combative if I felt attacked by so many posters all at once. At the same time, if the lady feels inclined to accept some unsolicited advice, I suggest retreating a little and ceasing the personal attacks. You make many good points and once the swords and shields are laid down and the clanging quietens, perhaps everyone will hear better what you are saying.

Let's just blame Confucius for filial piety in the first place, and let him try to make amends with some of his other writings:

"The heart of a wise man should resemble a mirror, which reflects every object without being sullied by any."

"Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves."


Sigh, another long post. I must be getting old.


WIMH, good point, we both (if not everyboday here. :) ) know: 己所不欲, 勿施于人。

Why I had to point it out because I have read her opinions about children as a mother in other posts. Especially in the post about Tiananmen, because she's pro CCP's action, I have questioned her how she will feel if her children were shot or crushed to death (after I told the story of Tiananmen mothers, they had to keep silence every June 4th.). Her answer: "I might be for or against but I would'nt blame anyone for the death of my children who took up the challenge to fight for change".

I could not comprehend what a child is meant for her from her above comment. Sorry, reading this post of her can only give me a negative light. If this is her first post, and I haven't known anything about her, I probably would not think it negatively about her.

有因才有果。
Last edited by Eau2011 on Sun, 06 Mar 2011 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Eau2011 » Sun, 06 Mar 2011 4:30 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote: While Anne / Tyianchang has done her share of lashing out, I'm sure I would have been equally combative if I felt attacked by so many posters all at once. At the same time, if the lady feels inclined to accept some unsolicited advice, I suggest retreating a little and ceasing the personal attacks. You make many good points and once the swords and shields are laid down and the clanging quietens, perhaps everyone will hear better what you are saying.

Let's just blame Confucius for filial piety in the first place, and let him try to make amends with some of his other writings:

"The heart of a wise man should resemble a mirror, which reflects every object without being sullied by any."

"Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves."


Sigh, another long post. I must be getting old.


BTW, I was the last one who's been attacked by her in that "China" thread, before that, she attacked many others.

Well, if one has no respect for others, then he/she cannot expect respect from others. That's my motto. Fair enough? :)


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