The Beijing News Commentary on funeral reform: the spread of millennia is not necessarily a bad habit.


The Beijing News Commentary on funeral reform: the spread of millennia is not necessarily a bad habit.

Original title: the spread of millennia may not be bad habits.

In the traditional Chinese society, behind the funeral culture is a complete set of rural order, with belief, discipline, punishment, value, education, inheritance and so on.

Zou Zhendong

Professor Zheng Zhenman of Xiamen University used a mouthful of Mandarin in Putian to obtain numerous fans like fish from Harvard University, so that the Chinese dialect of one or two famous Harvard University professors had been heard from Putian. Professor Zheng studies family organization, folk literature and cultural heritage. When he talks about traditional culture, his academic reports often begin with a story. The following story, he said several times.

The funeral and interment culture is a complete set of rural order

A few years ago, Professor Zheng died. He went back to his old house and suddenly found himself a "outsider". Everything was arranged by relatives and villagers. He could not put any hands in his hand, and he did not need him to intervene. He had no idea how to conduct a funeral in the countryside. He remembered what his mother used to say as a child: "If you want to do something bad, you have to climb up the mountain when you die."

This sentence has a profound influence on Zheng Zhenman. Until he became a historical scholar, he realized the rural order behind this sentence: if a person does too many bad things in his life, no one will end him after death. The dead man did not climb up the hill, but finally he dropped a coffin without anyone, not only throwing away the dead land, but also breaking the road of the afterlife.

In China's traditional society, funeral culture is not the difference between burial and cremation, or the final judgment on the mountain, not on the mountain. Behind it is a complete set of rural order, with faith, discipline, punishment, value, education and inheritance. In such a rural cultural order, a person who dares to do evil will be isolated, and a person who is willing to do good will be encouraged. In such a cultural system, bad people do not dare to do bad things, and ordinary people are more likely to become good people.

The reform of funeral and interment must not be simplified as a matter of environmental transformation, but a continuation of family traditions, local customs and folk customs. Death is not a termination of physiological behavior, but a philosophical problem. All philosophy is the answer to death. People answer life by answering death.

Attitudes towards life and death show different traditional cultural imprints.

In a book, I compare the traditional culture of life and death between Hunan's hometown and southern Fujian.

Looking at the traditional culture of a place, my observation is to see how the people in this place treat the dead. How they deal with ghosts and gods will treat the living.

Chinese traditional culture is ancestral worship, and there is a mutually beneficial and win-win community between ancestors and future generations. On the one hand, the living offspring should burn incense and give money to the dead ancestors; on the other hand, the ancestors in the spirit of heaven, but also to protect future generations to rise to wealth, peace and health.

If there is no heir, it will break the incense and become a lonely ghost and become a vulnerable group in the ghosts. For example, the city's migrants do not participate in social security, since there is no security, will come out to make trouble, ghosts a disturbance, the world on the "ghost".

My ancestral home Hunan, they treat "haunted" the method is requests the Taoist priest, the chicken painting charm drives the ghost. The function of exorcism is to send ghosts to other places and make trouble elsewhere. Hunan people are fighting philosophy. They suffer from losses, tyrants and patience. Fight with heaven, fight with the ground, and fight with spirits.

The people in the south of Fujian are different, they have the general. July is the month of ghosts every year, and the general activities have the following three purposes: first, to honor the dead ancestors; second, to recommend the unjust souls; third, to overstep the new dead ghosts. While sacrificing their ancestors, they also offer sacrifices to orphans and ghosts, which is equivalent to establishing medical insurance for migrant workers and enjoying the treatment of urban household registration. In this way, the vulnerable groups of ghosts and gods will not make trouble everywhere - this is the wisdom of Minnan people.

Why did Fujian come out of Chen Jiageng? Why is it always the best in the charity list? It is not that Fujian people are richer and kinder, but the cultural tradition of living in Fujian. Good people who are willing to be kind and charitable will emerge in endlessly. Professor Zheng Zhenman called this traditional culture "no country life", it is not anarchy, nor anti government, but a low consumption, efficient and orderly society outside the border of government power.

When the overseas Chinese drift abroad, they do not take the government and take their homes, but they can take away the culture. They are replicating this society in various countries of different systems and cultures. Why do overseas Chinese build ancestral temples, ancestral temples and family genealogy abroad? First of all, it is emotional sustenance, but the deeper reason is that we can build a society that will enable them to enjoy endless life in reality.

For thousands of years of tradition, it is worth awe.

"Custom is the most important thing in the world." Funeral culture is not to clean up the remains, the "general" as a waste treatment so simple. Coffin is not the last residence of a man after death, but also a coffins. Once we move to the coffin, what is the gap between the excavator and the traditional culture?

It may not be bad habits but traditions. It is the tradition that survives. It is not the exhibits or the dross that do not survive. Facing the Millennium River, we must be in awe of it. Don't be impulsive and let the Millennium break. Even if we need to keep pace with the times, we must leave a little humility and leave time and space to make history rivers turn slowly.

Zou Zhendong (Professor, School of Journalism and communication, Xiamen University)

Click on the entry:

There is an amazing scene in Jiangxi: robbing coffin

Editor in responsibility: Huo Yuang


Waonews is a news media from China, with hundreds of translations, rolling updates China News, hoping to get the likes of foreign netizens