On May 26th, 2018, the Pioneer Classes of Grade 8 went to Shandong Province, starting their 4-day cultural tour. We started our journey on a rainy morning. Throughout history, Confucius is widely considered as one of the most important and influential individuals in affecting the lives of humanity. His teaching and philosophy greatly impacted people around the world and still linger in today’s society. Those are what we have learned in the classrooms – and now we get to follow in his footsteps! The curriculum-driven visit will bring history to life right before our eyes and provide us with a unique, exciting and relevant educational travel experience within a variety of areas of study.
- 岱庙 DAI TEMPLE
第一天 Day One
Located to the north of Tai’an City, the Dai Temple is the largest and most completed ancient building complex of Mount Taishan. We spent ages in the temple. We were stunned when we entered. The exterior while daunting and its grand framework and elaborate engravings can’t prepare you for the sheer size and magnificence of the interior. Standing in front of the hall, we were amazed by all the beautifully decorated archways, upturned eaves and carved details.
- 孔府孔庙 孔林 KONG FAMILY MANSION
第二天 Day Two
The Kong Family Mansion, located to the east of the Temple of Confucius, was the historical residence of the direct descendants of Confucius. Unlike humans, whose days on earth are numbered, physical structures go on to have a life of their own, becoming a central and functional part of countless people’s lives for hundreds, if not thousands, of years after they are built.
Arguably the most influential person in Chinese history, Confucius and his teachings continue to exert a deep influence on society even in modern China today. Confucius lived during a time of great chaos and conflict, known as the Spring and Autumn era. The great question of the day was: “What’s the best way to order society and government?” Confucianism is a complicated system of social and political ethics based on filial piety, kinship, loyalty and righteousness. His teachings cover a wide range of topics—from how a “true gentleman”should behave in his daily life (down to how he eats with proper decorum) to how a ruler should govern (with a benevolent concern for the well-being of his subjects). In other words, it’s a kind of moral guide and prescription for good government— one that values hierarchy, group orientation, and respect for age and tradition.
Confucianism has existed in China for several thousand years. It still has tremendous potential influence on all the aspects such as politics and economy in China. Confucian thoughts have been the most basic mainstream value of the common people of the Han nationality and other nationalities in China all through the ages. The basic values of Confucian thoughts of “rite, justice, honesty, shame, humanity, love, loyalty and filial piety” are the basic rules of consciousness for the daily conduct of most of Chinese people all the time. The courteous, friendly, gentle, honest, tolerant, earnest and industrious temperament of the Chinese nation has also gradually developed under the education of Confucianism.
- 孟庙孟府 传统成人仪礼 冠笄之礼
CAPPING CEREMONY FOR BOYS & HAIR-PINNING CEREMONY FOR GIRLS
第三天 Day Three
In ancient China, an adult ceremony is the essential ritual to show a child has grown up. It dates back to the Zhou Dynasty, enjoying a history of over 2000 years. The purpose of the ceremony was to put the ceremony receiver under various tribulations, and finally take them into the society of adults.
Societal expectations of young adults are high, they are expected to achieve independence, realize their potential, and fulfill the promise of their cultural heritage.
To every Grade 8 student, we have come of age. It’s time for us to take responsibility for ourselves, which means accepting the consequences of our actions without expecting anyone else, particularly our parents, to protect us from those consequences. It’s time for us to make independent decisions, that is, to find out who we are and how we fit into the world. There is a range of decisions that go into that.
Expect what we can, reach and be aware of the fact that sometimes life throws us a curve ball. Try to remain confident while maintaining positive aspirations. Life offers everyone a great many opportunities, during which time, young adults can, with support, live to our potential and grow into a healthy responsibly functioning adult contributing to society.