安徽大学王慧斌：Let It Fall or Rise
Hello, everyone! My topicis Let it Fall or Rise. I would first ask you to entertain this scenario. At a future time your child approaches you and asks, “Is the panda the symbol of the United States?” Or with equal enthusiasm, “Did kung fu originate in the Western world?” The young learner, expressing an interestin this art, comments,“It is cool!I want to learn the technique to protect you!”
How will you react? By prohibiting American content in your home? By outlawing American television entirely? Definitely not.
But, how can these things, iconic of Chinese tradition, come to represent another culture thousands of kilometers away?
Before answering this question, please shiftyour attention to contemporary Chinese society. The 5000 years of brilliant history is now inundatedwith narratives, artifacts, and images from other nations. Certainly we are benefiting from the experiences brought to us from outside; brought through the saturated media presentations of a distant land.But there must be limitations or compromises. Macaois a case inpoint. Itnot only preserves the 400-year essence of oriental and occidental cultural exchange, but presents the possibility of coexistence between two diverse traditions.
We wouldbetterembrace the exotic and differentthan turnhostile and defensive. Being magnanimous is at the core of Chinese culture. Being showered withthe world’s diverse culturepreserves the integrity of that sensibility. By demonstrating our willingness to be open, wewill also demonstrate our value as a society gaining further recognition on the world stage.
Many of us on occasion dress in Western attire. We don a pair of jeans or a T-shirts without reflection. However cheongsam, Qi Pao originatingfrom Manchu - shows new signs of life as fashion. Imbued with some Western elements, cheongsam has gone beyond national borders embracing the international fashion arena.
However,caution must be exercised in this diversified world. It is still a musttoprotect and keep the uniqueness of one’s tradition and culture, whether internationally popular or not.We welcome Starbucks’ arrival in China, however,the embodiment of American fast food culture, has no place in the Forbidden City.We welcome foreign festivals, a popular diversion in China, but they should not supplant our own.
Sinceother countries can adopt our culture and glorify it, why cannotChinahighlightChinese traditions and practices? Why should not our own culture be equally appealing?
It isa pity that, as a nation, we want forvigor and vitality.Our futures are better served in rekindlingChinese traditions, not diminishing them. We, as a modern nation, must recognize the limits and liabilities inherent in excessive globalization. We cannot and should not abandon the splendid accomplishments of the past. Instead, we should become the modern harbingers of these glorious legacies. By preserving these traditions, we can serve as the new vanguard, introducing Chinese culture for generationsto come.