Should Traditional Chinese Etiquette Be Taught inClass?
Throughout most of China’s long history,therelationships between people were based on carefullyprescribed forms of behavior,that is,etiquette.Learning and following etiquette is soimportant that people are always judged by howclosely they follow these rules of behaviors.For thosewho do not follow those prescribed rules of conduct,they are regarded as uncivilizedbarbarians.
However,as China has been increasingly entangled in the global village,many Chinese people,especially the young,have lost some traditions because of the influences of Western cultures.According to a famous professor,the majority of Chinese college students have not hadsystematic training on traditional Chinese etiquette. As for me, traditional etiquette shouldbe taught in class.
Firstly, if college students can receive a systematic education in traditional etiquette inclass,they can get more prepared for the future. As is known,college students usually havelearnt some traditional etiquette through daily interaction with friends and relatives,but theprocess is time-consuming. They have to be sensitive enough to observe other people’sbehaviors and then know what proper behaviors in different social situations are. Sometimesthe learning process is by trial and error. They can only form right behaviors after breaking therules of conduct and being corrected by the costly consequence. If they have already taken asystematic etiquette course in college,they can follow proper etiquette and have a moreguaranteed future.
Secondly, as these meticulous rules of conduct have been formed throughout Chinesehistory,they are unique Chinese characteristics and are inseparable to Chinese culture.Withthe advent of globalization ,western culture is so influential that many young people often lookto Western customs and etiquette as being fashionable. For example, nowadays most youngwomen in China would like to wear western-style white dresses and veils at wedding whiletraditional Chinese weddings feature red gowns for brides and white is an absolute taboo. Inthe long term,if the trend to adopt western etiquette can not be curbed,the Chinesegenerations in the future will lose their cultural identity.
Furthermore, the extinction of Chinese etiquette will be to the detriment of the diversity ofglobal culture. To some extent,the course can serve to arouse college students’ cultural prideand help to preserve and further develop Chinese culture. In conclusion,taking traditionalChinese etiquette in college will not only make graduates more prepared for their future,butalso can constitute an important measure for college studentsto form Chinese culturalidentity and therefore to preserve Chinese tradition and further develop it.