Ancient teachings aid modern lifestyles

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Children read ancient stories at the Confucius Temple in Jilin, Jilin province. [Zhu Wanchang / For China Daily] 


Setting a trend

In Shandong, more than 2,800 villages and 700 residential communities have already set up Confucius Classrooms. Now, other provinces and regions are following suit.

Jiangsu province aims to develop a foundation to promote comprehensive teaching of moral philosophy via courses in classic Confucian thought.

In Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, all the schools under China's nine-year compulsory education system have launched activities that focus on reading traditional classics.

"Confucian teaching must come out of the ivory tower to reach people in the countryside, who are often not educated," Yan, from Shandong University, said.

As the birthplace of the sage, Qufu works to revive Confucian culture in every part of the city.

Walking around the Confucius Temple, one notices the the contrast between the roads that run alongside. Banbi street, a slate road to the west is dotted with ginkgo trees, echoing the ancient walls of the temple, while Gulou street on the east is dotted with shops, creating a modern atmosphere.

Like the two roads, the local authorities are creating new ways to promote traditional culture and exploring special ways to revive the Confucian spirit.

Since 2014, local people have been invited to join the ceremony held annually at the Confucius Temple to honor the sage and to promote love, sincerity, filial piety and benevolence.

Kong Xianglong, head of Linqian community near the Confucius family cemetery, a major scenic spot in Qufu, said almost all of the community's 1,800 residents know a fundamental tenet of Confucian teaching - that people who are untrustworthy in word are also likely to be untrustworthy in deed.

"Around 80 percent of the residents in Linqian work in tourism-related businesses. Years ago, conflicts frequently occurred between tourists and business owners, but now the disputes have disappeared, thanks to the efforts to spread Confucian thought," Kong said.

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