The more national, the more global

by Hui Zhou, China

It is our last weekend in Missoula. I have already started to miss everything in Missoula even though I have not left. It will be hard to say goodbye.

We are free today. Some scholars went hiking, some went shopping and some were invited to have afternoon tea by their host families.

Today is Father’s Day in the U.S. and in many countries around the world. Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers in SUSI’s group.

When I was young, we didn’t celebrate and even didn’t know Father’s Day. We only celebrated our Chinese traditional festivals. Nowadays, in the cities in China, people, especially young people celebrate lots of western festivals, such as April Fools’ Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, etc. Before some special days, people can buy Easter chocolate eggs, costumes for Halloween and Christmas decorations in shops and malls. It shows that American and western festival cultures have spread into China. I talked about celebrating festivals with some scholars and got to know people in Portugal didn’t celebrate Halloween either, but now some of them do maybe because of the English teachers.

Festival is only a part of the culture. Along with the economic globalization, different cultures mingling with one another is becoming an inevitable trend. But some Chinese young people get lost in the western festivals and children even cannot distinguish Chinese traditional festivals from those of the other countries, so how can they continue and inherit Chinese traditional festival culture? In 2008, the Chinese government set Chinese traditional festivals, such as the Tomb-sweeping Day, the Dragon Boat Festival and the Mid-autumn Festival as the legal holidays. I think this is one of the reasons.

I really agree with what Dr. Udo Fluck said, “Cherish your own culture, respect the others, otherwise you will lose your own”. In the economic development and cultural exchanges, one’s own cultural traditions should be protected. The loss of one’s own culture characteristics will basically lose its vitality and the sustainable development cannot be achieved. World culture has attracted millions of people, its charm lies in its diversity. Cultural diversity is bound to implement the requirements of the world cultural prosperity. What is called “the more national, the more of the world”. It is necessary to identify with one’s national culture and respect other cultures, learn from each other, seek common ground while shelving differences, respect the diversity of world culture and jointly promote prosperity and progress of human civilization.

Yesterday was the Dragon Boat Festival in China, and it was my mother’s birthday, too. I hope all my friends and relatives had a happy and healthy day and hope my mother had a wonderful birthday. And also best wishes from the U.S. to my father and my husband on Father’s Day!


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