When we talk about Chinese culture, some of the things that come to mind are the philosophical and ethical teachings of Confucius and the Daoists, the colorful clothing, and the close-knit communities whose members take care of each other. But communist rule has completely wiped out any trace of such culture from the large cities and urban centers. Only rural villages now retain some vestiges of Chinese traditional culture. And once the traditions in the villages die off, Chinese culture will disappear too.
Destroying village culture
When you visit Chinese villages, you’ll instantly notice that the entire vibe is different from that of the cities. The locals are far more friendly and helpful. The social environment in the villages tends to be more peaceful, focused on looking after one’s family and community rather than blind pursuit of wealth and power. You will see people honoring their ancestors through traditional ceremonies. Many villages are actually exclusive hubs of minorities who have their own unique culture and traditions.
Unfortunately, villages are slowly disappearing in China. This is happening for two reasons. The first is that people from villages are moving to urban centers to get better jobs and pay. Even though the Communist Party boasts about bringing “development” to China, much of the progress is largely limited to cities. The rural regions have been neglected and life is pretty tough in many villages.
During the Mao era, Confucianism was regarded with disdain by the communists, who accused the ideology of being superstitious and feudal. The Party condemned Confucianism as the source of all social evils in China and actively tried to erase it from the country. Confucianism’s stress on family, respect for social hierarchy, etc., was seen as being at odds with the communist goal of absolute equality. The funny thing is that the communists ended up creating the most repressive regime in Chinese history, easily surpassing the Confucian society that they claim was “evil.”