Dr. Qian Yuejun: Divine Performing Arts Is the Cornerstone for Rebuilding Traditional Chinese Culture (Photo)
(Clearwisdom.net) Dr. Qian Yuejun, a Chinese scholar residing in Germany, and chief editor of the Chinese newspaper Europe China Guidance, was a member of the audience at the opening of the Divine Performing Arts Chinese Spectacular in Frankfurt. He said, "The Divine Performing Arts rebuilds the Chinese moral system, and is the cornerstone for bringing Chinese traditional culture back to life."
Dr. Qian Yuejun, a Chinese scholar in Germany and chief editor of a Chinese newspaper
The following is a summary of an interview with Dr. Qian Yuejun after the performance in Frankfurt:
Spreading Traditional Culture is Reawakening Social Morality
China's culture was established over a period of 5,000 years. In other words, the process of establishing Chinese culture is also the process of building a moral system and bringing about traditional Chinese society. What I understand is that traditional social morality is the cornerstone that maintained the Chinese nation's 5,000-year-long development.
Moral development in Chinese traditional society should actually have reached the mature stage. Unfortunately, during the 50 years of the Communist regime's rule, China's traditional culture was systematically destroyed. The most deplorable aspect is that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) not only destroyed the culture, but also the social mores behind the culture. Once the moral fiber is impaired, it takes more than a mere two days to rebuild it.
We believe that bringing back to life traditional culture is rebuilding social mores. Whether it is corruption or criminal offenses in Chinese society, it has created a chaotic nightmare that is fueling the destruction of traditional morality. It is obvious that morality in Chinese society is declining.
Chinese Confucians speak of "benevolence, loyalty, courtesy, wisdom and trust." Benevolence is the first principle among Confucian principles. Buddhists speak of mercy and compassion. When living by these principles, one will try to accomplish good deeds to accumulate virtue. Everyone believes in God, thinks of one's future, thinks about one's children and hopes to instill higher principles in them. Today, many Chinese are atheists, and think nothing of doing bad deeds as long as they are not caught.
Establishing true moral values is not through preaching. For instance, Kong Zi established the Confucian theory. It began with Shi Jing, also known as the Book of Poems. The book, written at the beginning of the Zhou Dynasty, contained 305 poems. It began with the issue of common social practices, continued to teach social mores and established the Chinese culture. Only moral views established in such manner will take foothold in society.
The Buddhist culture is built on a similar concept. There are many Buddhist stories that were spread in our historical past. For example, "trim flesh to feed the hawk" or "let go of self to raise the tiger," and many similar stories were establishing through anecdotes social mores. The implication of these stories are that Buddhists are even merciful to pigeons and tigers and not just humans. Based on the above concept, I think that the Divine Performing Arts performances brings moral values to society through the arts. By their virtue, they rebuild the traditional moral value system within Chinese culture.
Divine Performing Arts Is the Stepping Stone that Rebuilds Chinese Traditional Culture
Chinese people of our generation have not been systematically taught traditional culture from the day of their birth. This means that our generation broke away from traditional Chinese culture. How can we, the people of this generation rebuild the traditional culture? Can the next generation be instilled with genuine Chinese traditional culture? This is certainly not a remote possibility, because the Divine Performing Arts has been formed, and performs and plays the pivotal role in rebuilding culture.
At the same time, the Divine Performing Arts can also help our Western friends to understand Chinese culture. We live in a globalized world. In a global world, people must be able to understand each other. It is quite clear that many Westerners do not understand the Chinese culture. If they do not understand our Chinese culture, they cannot understand the Chinese psyche. Such a situation would be detrimental to cultural, economic and political exchanges. Therefore, the Divine Performing Arts' show plays a pivotal role in spreading Chinese traditional culture to Western society.
Also, the Divine Performing Arts brings traditional Chinese culture back to the Chinese people. Divine Performing Arts is the cornerstone that will rebuild traditional Chinese culture. This will not only affect the environment outside of China, but certainly the environment inside of China. I sincerely hope that Divine Performing Arts' performances are setting an example for those in Chinese literary and art circles, showing them that Chinese culture can be revived, and is the sphere that holds the key to unlock the door for reviving morality in Chinese society. My hope is that people in China's literary and art circles will seize this opportunity. Therefore, in my opinion, Divine Performing Arts is also laying a foundation for rebuilding Chinese arts.
The Spectacular Is the Tool to Rebuild Traditional Chinese Culture
I think the overall structure of the show is quite good. Divine Performing Arts' Spectacular takes China's traditional culture as the basis on which they built their performances. This company spreads the Chinese culture from the Buddhist angle. I personally think that Buddhist culture is the foundation of Chinese culture. Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism are all seen as having been instrumental in the development of Chinese culture. But in folklore, the Buddhist culture came first.
Moreover, traditional Confucian and Buddhist thoughts are based on traditional society. However, today, the entire social environment has changed. Therefore, a link had to be developed that brings traditional culture into today's social reality. Many magnificent traditional cultures have disappeared, because of today's unsuitable modern society. Yet, cultural innovation is still not completely suppressed and is adapting to today's environment. The issue we face is how to explain these thoughts. This is where Divine Performing Arts has come in. It provides us with a very good mentality. Take "The Fruits of Goodness" as an example, under Buddha's guidance, two wayward youths changed their lives. This program unifies traditional thought and today's society.
When it comes to the dances, especially the ethnic minority dances, they are quite attractive and very colorful. The Chinese nation's ethnicities, especially those of Han background are rather reserved. They haven't established routines that express sentiment through dance. However the ethnic minorities are quite adept in singing and dancing. In my opinion, China's minorities have made quite an impact on western society. For example, not many know the true culture of Tibet. Therefore, Divine Performing Arts brings to Western society Tibetan culture through dance.
Thrilled to Hear and See the Divine Performing Arts' Orchestra
After I caught a glimpse of the Divine Performing Arts Orchestra, I was quite surprised. Then, I got excited because I had not realized that the overseas Chinese are capable of putting something like this orchestra together and especially such a large-scale orchestra. In the past, I organized two concerts, "White Rose" that spoke of the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. Because of financial difficulties, we did not use a live orchestra, but pre-recorded music. The performance of a live orchestra gives the feel as if the entire place is full of music and a melody. The pre-recorded music uses several loudspeakers and the effect is not comparable. When I realized that Divine Performing Arts could draw on such a strong and large-scale orchestra, performing live, I felt that the artistic heights that they have reached is unprecedented.
Germany is well known for its music. An art group must really perform at a high level to be able to compete in the German music environment. With the performance of Divine Performing Arts and its orchestra, German society recognized that this Chinese group is truly at a professional level. They did not bring a substandard and mediocre New Year celebration performance to German society. We again can agree that the Divine Performing Arts Orchestra can hold its candle in German society.
Dr. Qian Yuejun
Dr. Qian Yuejun is a Chinese engineer who works in Germany. In 1989, when the "June 4" sound of gunfire resounded on China's Tiananmen Square, many overseas Chinese people stepped forward and demonstrated on German streets. One of the first was the dynamic Chinese scholar Qian Yuejun. After the "June 4" incident, a German Students Association, independent of the Chinese Embassy was formed. Qian Yuejun was the president for two years. To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the June 4 massacre, he composed and organized the two "White Rose" concerts.