“Family is the Nucleus of Society”
The Confucian idea of filial devotion is deeply embedded in Chinese society. Reading it now, six centuries after Guo Jujing wrote this ode to parental devotion, “The 24 Paragons of Filial Piety” comes off as a collection of scary bedtime stories. There is the woman who cut out her own liver to feed her sick mother, the boy who sat awake shirtless all night to draw mosquitoes away from his slumbering parents and the man who sold himself into servitude to pay for a father’s funeral.
After two years of interviews with older Chinese, the All-China Women’s Federation, along with the China National Committee on Aging, published the new guidelines. “We need family in order to advance Chinese society and improve our economic situation.”
Compared with its predecessor, the new book brims with down-to-earth suggestions for keeping parents happy in their golden years. Readers are urged to teach their parents how to surf the Internet, throw them a birthday party, buy them health insurance and visit them at least once a year. It even asks that children help widowed parents remarry, a task that some parents found objectionable.
[Originally from NYTimes: