My parents unintentionally shaped part of my cultural identity. Their pursuits on culture answered some of my inquiries but raised more questions. The reason why I write “unintentionally” is that though they treasure culture, they do not teach me doctrines like “you need to value our precious culture” but rather let me form my own values. Furthermore, they do not have a lot of opportunities to instruct me even if they want to, because I have been studying in boarding schools since Sixth Grade. However, as a dedicated observer, I can grab the focal point from most events that are related to culture and link them up in order to have a comprehensive view of how culture affects our family life. As a result, although my parents do not lead me intentionally to valuing culture, I turn out to be a firmer believer and admirer of Chinese culture than my parents, and there are several important factors related to them.
My mother, who has worked as a Chinese teacher for 22 years, definitely has huge impact on me. Knowing the treasure hidden in literature that I can take on for life, she made me practice writing and reciting the Analects of Confucius at a fairly young age (when I was 5). Thus, I learned the beauty of Chinese literature and was attracted to it easily. Literature has always been a reflection of culture. The more I read, the more I absorbed the values of ancient and modern authors, which has implicitly shaped my cultural beliefs. For instance, Laozi’s famous quote －“those who raise themselves on tiptoes cannot stand firm! Those who walk with leaping steps cannot travel far. Those who are complacent will not be enlightened. Those who are self-righteous will not be illuminated. Those who are assertive will not be honored. Those ...
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...flicting ideas. For example, most parents urge their kids to learn and they believe that their kids will do well on the tests because of their kids’ intelligence and the efforts they put in, yet they will still go to the temples to pray for their kids’ well performance on important tests. That was exactly what my mom did before my regional examination. When I asked her if she believed in souls, she said that the answer could be ambivalent. She believed in souls sometimes because of her deep remembrance of her mother, and only through this believing could she find hope and positive emotions. She did not believe in souls in other times because there was no scientific proof that souls existed. I think this is what most Chinese people tend to do, and this “self-comforting strategy” is actually very useful and fits the philosophical beliefs that underlies Chinese culture.
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