The Teachings Of The Asian Culture Essay

The Teachings Of The Asian Culture Essay

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When one thinks about female traits or characteristics within the Asian culture you are likely to think of obedience and even docility. This can especially be true of Chinese women. Why is this? Where did this behavior and belief system originate? Many scholars and cultural behaviorists would argue that Ban Zhao and Confucius played a pivotal role in this behavioral construct. Confucian teachings are the foundation upon which much of Asian society and culture have been erected. Confucius’ teachings focused on the importance of family dynamics and the need for children to obey and serve their parental figures. Confucius also stressed the need to exercise restraint and to treat others as you would have them treat you. Ban Zhao was the first, and still most influential female Confucian scholar. Through her writings on the applicability of Confucian teachings to women, she created a blueprint for what many people would consider the stereotypical behavior pattern of Chinese women. Ban Zhao was concerned by the lack of instruction for women in society. There were no guidelines for women to follow in order to be successful mothers, wives, or members of the greater society as a whole. Ban Zhao would use Confucian teachings to create these guidelines and allow for a departure from the traditional role of the female within family settings as the greater Chinese society.
Family relations are the cornerstone on which Ban Zhao focuses most of her teachings. Not only is family paramount in Chinese culture, it is also the area where a woman could have the single greatest sphere of influence. Ban Zhao simply lists three things that a wife must do in order to be successful in marriage. They are, “be modest, complete her tasks, supe...


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...onsible for child raising, and therefore could have the greatest influence upon a young boy. She could mold and teach aspects that the boy would grow up to exhibit. Ban Zhao was the first to use Confucian teachings to explicitly relate them to female expectations and values. By doing so she helped to strengthen the foundation of Asian culture and also opened the door for women to begin to enter in to some of the historically male dominated arenas. Even in modern Asian society the effects of Ban Zhao’s writings can be felt. It is especially prevalent in the more rural areas where small, traditional family units are still prevalent. Perhaps as the world becomes more inter-connected some of these values will weaken. But for many, generations of culture will prevail and we will continue to see Confucian and Ban Zhao teachings in practice throughout Southeast Asia.

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