What Does it Mean to Say “Shen Yun Preserves and Revives Traditional Chinese Culture?”
(Clearwisdom.net) When we talk about and promote Shen Yun, we often say that Shen Yun preserves and revives Chinese culture and traditions. I had a rather shallow understanding of this concept at first. I was reiterating what I heard from others, and the "preserving Chinese culture" felt like an abstract term. I understood that the Cultural Revolution in China destroyed much of the country's cultural heritage, including paintings, artwork, and even artists. I also understood that communism in China has tried to eradicate traditional Chinese culture. But this was on a rather theoretical level.
Not long ago I realized something which took my understanding to a different level.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been eradicating Chinese culture for several decades. And all the Chinese people who were born in the period after communism started eradicating the genuine culture have grown up without having the chance to know what 5,000 years of Chinese culture means. One could say that the CCP has already blocked two generations from being connected to traditional Chinese culture. The older generation might still "know" about Chinese culture, but very soon, maybe in one more generation, there will be no memory of Chinese culture among the living Chinese people. By that time, communism would have eradicated Chinese culture, and the CCP would be the only cultural substitute, with full control over the people.
Only when I realized that already two generations have grown up without having access to Chinese culture, and that blocking just one more generation might prevent Chinese people from ever having access to Chinese culture again, I then understood what it means when we say, “Shen Yun is preserving and reviving traditional Chinese culture.” This term is exactly right.
Without Shen Yun, Chinese culture would have been eradicated after one more generation. This was shocking for me to realize.
After this realization, a new term came to my mind. The eradication of Chinese culture is like a "cultural genocide." It is not a genocide against a group of people, as we know it from the Holocaust, but it is a genocide of Chinese culture. The strange aspect in this context is that the genocide is not committed against a "foreign" group, but against its own people.
However, now there is Shen Yun in the world. Shen Yun is preserving and reviving Chinese culture, and thereby, from one perspective, stopping the "cultural genocide" against Chinese people. This is an amazing and grand mission.
Category: Journeys of Cultivation