Yang 1 Qianchi Yang Erin Dietel-McLaughlin First Year Composition 18 November 2010
Visual Essay: Vanishing Chinese Culture I live in a traditional family of 3. I live in Shenzhen, a city north to Hongkong that is developing explosively. I do not live with my grandparents. They live in my hometown Guiyang, a beautiful little city in the mountains. I return to my hometown every vacation.
My grandfather is a teacher in Chinese who served in a middle school. I admire my grandfather much. He taught me how to write, how to paint and how to play Chinese chess. My grandparents live in an oriental little house with everything wooden. My grandparents are both Buddhist. They live a peaceful life.
I fly between the two cities often. I have done this for years. I never questioned why until I was 13. I asked my mother why didn¶t my grandparents live with us. My mother told me that my grandfather does not like Shenzhen. He said that Shenzhen people do not have religion. They wear strange suits. They compete with each other on cars. They do not have patience for life. ³¶I see no Chinese.¶´, my mother said, ³that is how your grandfather sighed.´
I could not figure out what ³No Chinese´ meant until I asked my History teacher. He is a Buddhist, and he gave me an interesting answer ³People in Shenzhen are actually westerners
Yang 2 under the Asian looking. Or to be exact, they belong to no one. They speak Chinese but they do not know about her. They do not have faith, not even in their culture.´
It is the most annoying saying I have ever heard of that my friends have no faith in their culture. But I cannot find a way to disprove my teacher. My classmates do not know much about calligraphy, but I was train by my grandfather. My classmates cannot do Chinese paintings, but I can. They even find Chinese poems boring, which I found was really beautiful. It is annoying to think about the differences, but they are the facts.
My grandparents always say in a whiny tone that the Chinese culture is fading away. I could not understand because I myself am in an atmosphere full of Chinese elements. But for my friends, they have much more things to learn and to see, or say they have much more distracters. As for the calligraphy, I found few people got trained and fewer achieved a certification. ³You the new generations are ruining traditions.´, my grandfather said. ³You cannot make that tragedy happen.´, my grandmother said.
I do not want to face the truth, but it is real that many people are unaware of the importance of the arts and the creations, like ceramics, paintings and music pieces. Not many people will volunteer to learn and advertise to write with brushes, even few will dedicate to it. Since I live long in that atmosphere, I know quite well how my grandfather pains as he witness the vicissitudes. That is why I make this video, to demonstrate the beauty of our ancestors¶ wisdom, and to wake people up from forgetting about their culture.