Girl's kowtow sparks online debate about respect

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/7/10 14:47:14

A photo showing a girl kowtowing to her tutor during a traditional ceremony in East China's Jiangsu Province has gone viral on the Internet, with many criticizing the practice as outdated.

The girl, who is surnamed Chen and is in her early teens, can be seen kneeling in front of her tutor, a young man in his twenties, and kowtowing in a picture uploaded to a local forum in Changzhou last Sunday.

Both pupil and tutor are dressed in traditional Chinese clothes, and three other men, acting as eye-witnesses, can be seen sitting to one side.

"The girl is learning traditional Chinese folk arts," the uploader explained, "I didn't expect her to kowtow to the tutor."

While the ceremony was criticized by some as being outdated, the kowtow is considered necessary for those wanting to learn folk arts with a tutor, according to Li Zhen, the male tutor in the picture and an alumnus of Sichuan Conservatory of Music.

"The ceremony is retained to instill in students a sense of the responsibility they shoulder in working to preserve folk arts," Li said, "It shows respect for the tutor's efforts."

It was beneficial for Chen to show respect to her teacher in a formal way, Chen's father said.

While many Web users said the traditional kowtow was outdated. "You can't learn folk arts by kowtowing," commented NetEase user "Yitianfengyue," "you only disrespect yourself by doing so."

Some took a more balanced view. "It is a way to keep a good tutor-student relationship and cannot be dismissed simply as 'unnecessary'," said Ge Jinhua, professor at Changzhou University. "But it is inappropriate to make it a publicity stunt."

Modern Express

Posted in: ODD NEWS

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