Chinese Art of Living Are Changing
According to Wikipedia, art is the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions. It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations, and modes of expression, including music and literature. China itself is a collection of variety of arts.
“My Country and My People” is a famous book written by Lin Yutang. He explained
China, an old and mysterious country, to the world from a special art angle. With humorous language, he showed the west an animated China, showed the world an animated China. Furthermore, people of the world can realize a real China.
In this book, what makes me most impressive is the last chapter, “The Art of Living”. In
this chapter, I have studied many valuable traditional cultures that I had never known. And also, it urges me to think the meaning of life and the real pleasure of life. Thus, I got a conclusion: Chinese art of living are changing.
Fate present people not only sadness but also pleasure in their life. A foreigner can not know China until he knows its pleasure of life. The society and relationship between people is complex. Because of different environment, we should not stop changing roles. As a result, we don not know which ones are real ourselves. Therefore, Mr. Yutang said “Life is harsh
and politic is dirty and commerce is sordid, so that it would often be unfair to judge a man by his public life.”
The author listed more than 64 methods about how Chinese people spend their leisure such as eating crabs, drinking tea, flying kites, and so forth. From them, we can see Chinese’s optimistic attitude to life, which they enjoy the happiness that life present them, furthermore, the attitude reflects the spirit of humanism, which belongs to an old civilization. However, Chinese art of living are changing.
The change of Chinese art of living comes to several aspects: house, garden, food and drink.
Art of House and Garden
According to the author, here the house refers to the traditional house which has a well, a poultry yard, and a few date trees, must be able to arrange itself commodiously in space. It is not the high building with three or more floors in cities.
In China, architecture should follow the principle of harmony with nature, because in the Chinese conception the house and garden are not separate, but are parts of an organic whole.
Nowadays, the Chinese who can enjoy this kind of living are two kinds of people: one is poor peasant; the other is wealthy person. The poor peasant has a home as the same as the author has described. He has lived in countryside for several decades and always lived in the same life style, and also, he can plant a little garden in his yard. From this peaceful life, he can get a silent mood and deep thinking. The wealthy person has enough money to buy big villa with garden and arrange them by his own will no matter the villa go with the garden or how the garden be an organic whole with the villa. As to the middle class, they live in the apartment like a pigeon’s house. They have no money and place to own a garden. With the increasing number of middle class, the Chinese people who can enjoy this kind of living art
are less and less.
Art of Eating and Drinking
Mr. Yutang said, the question has often been asked as to what we eat. The answer is that we eat all the edible things on this earth. In my opinion, this answer is an excellent conclusion to Chinese habit of eating. Chinese are nature inventors of delicious dishes.
In China, eating is a valuable art and also it offered materials for TV show. No matter in cartoon or teleplay, you can see many of them are related to gourmet. That means a Chinese whose age are different can enjoy the art of eating. However, nowadays, when people enjoy the art of eating they have to take account of what they are eating. The reason is that we have to face many dangerous elements in our food. For example, magdala red(苏丹红) in
our duck eggs, melamine(三聚氰胺) in our milk, excessive pesticide in our vegetable etc..
Problem of food safety becomes more and more serious and it cause bad effect to the quality of life. Chinese people can not feel secure about their food like before and also, they can not enjoy the art of eating as well as before.
Tea-drinking is an art in itself. Special spring water, superior Longjing, cultured tea set,
and skilled operation, you can feel your mood is becoming quiet and your troubles are disappearing.
Tea is an important part of old China, but not every Chinese know it better, just like not every Chinese have Wugong. Nowadays, tea-drinking has become a culture of grandfather.
According to a survey, only 10% youth like tea, and the others like soft drink more. Even they drink tea; they will choose milk tea instead of Chinese tea. Tea-drinking is a traditional art of China, but it has the danger to disappear.
Mr. Yutang said he liked autumn very much. In my opinion, he must think the Chinese are like autumn. Its tone mellower; its color richer and it is tingled a little with sorrow and a premonition of death. Therefore, we can enjoy the art of living. However, we should succeed our splendid culture and develop it. In the course of our economic developing fast and we learn the western country, we couldn’t make our country westernize totally. We need our
own culture; we need our own art of living.