Friday, February 10, 2006

Chinese culture is more than Confucianism

Dear Ma: Although Confucius (see cartoon) is still respected as a foundational teacher for the Chinese people, he is but only one of the great thinkers. There are also Lao Tzu's philosophical Taoism (Tao Jia), Han Fei Tzu's Legalism (Fa Jia), Sun Tzu's Military School (Bing Jia) and other lesser schools. Later, Buddhism from India and Christianity and Islam from the Middle East also went into China to become important elements of the Chinese culture. There have even been a Jewish community in China for, at least, the last 900 years. I think it is the cultural inclusiveness, not exclusiveness, of the Chinese civilisation that makes it lively, vibrant and enduring.