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Paying respect to ancestors good

Updated: 2014-04-15 08:18
( China Daily)

Comment on "Qingming values remain the same", (China Daily, April 4)

I do observe the traditional festival every year, but instead of making me feel sad it instills in me a sense of rejuvenation because I can "reunite" with my ancestors on the occasion. Together with all the food and offering, Qingming Festival is like having a kind of picnic with my ancestors.

Society has changed, and rapidly so in the past few decades. That's why I think youngsters would be more willing to observe the Qingming Festival if we promote it in a more positive way.

There are two important reasons why Chinese people have traditionally worshipped their ancestors. According to Buddhism, the living and the dead have the same entity. So by being kind to our ancestors, we are being kind to ourselves, and this kindness shall be extended to every living thing. You can say that filial piety, just like love, is a tool to help us overcome selfishness.

Taoism, on the other hand, views everything in terms of yin and yang, which means our place of residence, too, has two aspects - one negative, the other positive. Our normal homes are "yang" residences and our ancestors' graves "yin" residences. To be more specific, a "yin" residence (or our ancestors' house) is like the vault of the living where we store our happiness and good luck. So, no matter how you look at it, paying homage to our ancestors is always a wise thing to do.

STANLI, from China Daily forum

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(China Daily 04/15/2014 page9)