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Do not swindle in name of traditional culture

(People's Daily Online)

14:30, September 19, 2012

Yan Fang(R2), "the first-generation disciple" of Taichi master Li Jingwu, is found to be a cheater. (Xinhua)

In a Chinese middle school textbook, an article titled "My Father's Illness," written by Chinese writer Lu Xun, had mentioned the "sugarcane going through three years of wind and frost" and "phoenix tree first feeling autumn air," which is an irony to the mystery of Chinese medicine.

In recent years, traditional Chinese culture such as "The Book of Changes," traditional Chinese medicine and Chinese martial arts, have gradually been revived and welcomed among people. However, among the people with various intentions to join the revival of traditional culture, many are like the "miracle-working" doctor in Lu Xun's article who were very famous but were actually cheaters.

Yan Fang, "the first-generation disciple" of Taichi master Li Jingwu, is one of these cheaters. In the video, master Yan looked calm and elegant when her disciples attacked her. All of the disciples that approached her were bounced back a few meters as Yan raised her hand. The clownish online video was immediately under fire and Yan was considered a cheater by many netizens.

In the television interview on Sept. 10, a CCTV reporter personally experienced the Kung Fu of Yan and confirmed that the suddenly popular Taichi master was really suspicious.

However, there are still many people who hype traditional culture that does not conform to scientific knowledge or lack scientific basis.

Hyping traditional culture is not a rare thing but rather a universal phenomenon since deific traditional culture has its place in a China currently experiencing rapid economic development and modernization. There are both commercial and political demands for it. In addition, social psychological reasons also help to explain the phenomenon.

From the point of view of business and markets, there really are people who believe such deceitful tricks. As long as these people exist, cheaters such as Yan will have followers and students. Zhang Wuben, a pseudo health expert from China, made fat profits for his theory of all-purpose mung beans and his best-selling book. Taoist priest Li Yi, another liar of traditional culture, had charged expensive fees to teach his disciples how to cultivate themselves, earning enough money to renovate and expand his Taoist temple. These "commercial celebrities" lying in between the "culture industry" and "frauds" can always win profiteering, and have numerous followers.

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