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English>>Life & Culture

Cultural self-confidence highlights style of a great power

(People's Daily Online)

09:35, November 28, 2012

British’s Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery watched a Yu opera called “Lady General Mu Takes Command” in Luoyang when he visited China in 1961. He thought it unimaginable that how a woman can command and had an argument with accompanying personnel Xiong Xianghui. Later, Chinese side planned to entertain Montgomery with another opera called “Mulan Joins the Army” but was stopped by former Premier Zhou Enlai.

Premier Zhou was an overseas returnee so he understood that Chinese culture cannot win the respect of foreigners through indoctrination though it is good.

In 1961, Swede Cecilia Lindqvist came to Beijing to learn Chinese language and guqin, a seven-stringed plucked instrument in some ways similar to the zither. She became more and more attracted to the real world reflected by Chinese characters since the in-depth learning them. Lindqvist often fooled around in Beijing by bike, looking for the cultural deposits of China. Nobody forced her to do it.

Lindqvist was an overseas returnee so she knew that Chinese culture is not easy for foreigners to understand though it is good.

Half a century later, Chinese President Hu Jintao proposed at the 18th CPC National Congress to push forward the construction of powerful socialist cultural country and build a national, scientific and public, socialist culture that is modernization-oriented and faces the world and the future. The statement of “facing the world” has surpassed the concept of “Westernized Chinese style” proposed in the past.

During the globalization, human value had a multi-cultural integration, exchanges and collision in the process toward convergence. It needs to pack itself to face the world. Therefore, some people called the Festival of Lanterns the “Carnival in China” and Lunar Tanabata the “Valentine’s Day of China,” just like that Premier Zhou called Butterfly Lovers the “Chinese-version Romeo and Juliet.” Although being suspected of “using Western dishes to contain Chinese food,” cultural self-confidence does not mean “cultural mysophobia.”

In history, China had been holding a tolerant attitude toward almost everything. Huqin and pipa, which we called traditional Chinese music, were from Central Asia. The progress of modern China is also closely related with the introduction of advanced thinking and theories from foreign countries. However, it is not a forced introduction, such as “Communist Manifesto” translated by Chinese Chen Wangdao.

For centuries, the input of European and American culture to China is certainly greater than the output of Chinese culture, but it is not harmful. The “cultural deficit” brought a tremendous progress in China.

According to the 18th CPC National Congress, establishing high-level cultural awareness and self-confidence is the premise of building a socialist cultural power. That is to say, the style of a cultural power comes from cultural self-confidence, and the self-confidence comes from national strength and tolerance.

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