中文| CONTACT US
You are here: Home Page >> Chinese Culture & History >> Text

CPPCC Member Tian Qing: Modernization Cannot Be Achieved
at the Price of Breaking Traditional Cultur

Source: China Youth Website Date: 2015-03-20



       According to a report by the China Youth website in Beijing on 12 March, “intangible cultural heritage is the root and soul. Being rootless will lead to endless drift and being soulless is like being running flesh”. At the literary and art circle meeting during the two sessions of the NPC and CPPCC, Tian Qing, Member of the CPPCC National Committee’s remarks were still focused on the topic of   protection and promoting traditional culture and intangible cultural heritage.

As Director of the Center for the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Tian Qing is called “conservative” because of his long-term commitment to the protection of intangible cultural heritage. “I am proud to protect cultural heritage and uphold the spiritual homeland”. He always believes that it is extremely important to keep traditional culture as it is and keep the genes of traditional culture unchanged. “Our modernization cannot be achieved at the price of breaking traditional culture. That is true cultural awareness”.

“Philosophical, historical and literary classics in written language, operas and folklores in oral language and traditional techniques are all part of our intangible cultural heritage”. Tian Qing said that with the development of society, a lot of the intangible cultural heritage has been lost. The protection of intangible cultural heritage seems to be protecting yesterday but in fact it is for the sake of better facing today and tomorrow.

“Over the past 30 years, we have marching rapidly on the path of modernization. However, we are sometimes too preoccupied with running forward to be conscious of where we are heading for or be able to find the path back”. Tian Qing is full of worries about the protection of intangible cultural heritage. “China started late in this endeavor and has been moving fast. That will inevitably cause some problems. First, we need to have a clear view and take a serious approach. Second, we need to seek solutions in a down-to-earth way”, said Tian Qing.

To him, the protection of intangible cultural heritage is an important hallmark of our national cultural awareness also a necessary step on the Chinese nation’s running path to modernization. “We should not blindly run forward. We should think about it and look back”. Judging from now, the disappearance of some cultural heritage is unstoppable and no effective protective measure has been found. But that should not be an excuse for our doing nothing and for letting the cultural heritage run its own course.

“It’s like when one’s parents fall ill and even the doctors say that they may not be cured. What shall we do then? I believe that most people will continue to find ways to cure their parents, because we want to honor our filial duties. We should treat cultural heritage in the same way as we treat our parents, because cultural heritage is the root of our national culture and provides the soul for our national culture”.

Tian Qing frankly said that although there has not been any specific effective measure to protect intangible cultural heritage in practice, there are still several things we can do in theory. First, “we should enable the sick parents to keep the desire to live on”, that is to say, we should enable the people concerned in cultural heritage, including the inheritors of intangible cultural heritage, to realize the importance of protecting cultural heritage and have firm commitment to protecting cultural heritage. Second, “we should take our parents to the best hospitals and give them the best medicines to make them live longer”, that is to say, we need to use all available possible means to minimize the dying speed of cultural heritage. Finally, “we should check whether there are new medicines or remedies for their illness”, that is to say, we need to continue to explore new mechanisms and methods for cultural heritage protection.