Friday, September 28, 2007

Happy Confucius Day!

The influential Chinese philosopher Confucius, whose teachings include an emphasis on exemplary moral leadership, is honored today in Hawaii with our first "Confucius Day."

September 28 was designated as Confucius Day through House Resolution 195, introduced last session by Reps. Jerry Chang, Corinne Ching and Marilyn Lee, and was adopted last April. The date is recognized as Confucius' birthday and is celebrated in countries throughout the world, including Taiwan where it is known as "Teachers' Day."

Here are some events at the University of Hawaii-Manoa for Confucius Day happening from 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Shidler College of Business, Room A-101:

- Presentation of the inaugural "Distinguished Teacher Award" to UHM Emeritus Professor John DeFrancis, internationally respected in the Chinese language and education field for his publication of a widely used Chinese language text and numerous dictionaries. He is 96 years old and still publishing.

- Wushu and Tai-chi demonstrations, Chinese poetry reading, quotations from the Confucian Analects, and Chinese music performance by UHM students, most of them former Study Abroad students with the UHM summer program in Hainan, China, known as the Hawai'i of China.

- World Premiere screening of the documentary film "Living Chinese Philosophy" by Roger Ames, a member of the UH Manoa Philosophy Department, followed by a discussion led by Ames. Filmed on location in the provinces of Hubei, Sichuan, and Shandong, and in Shanghai and Beijing, "Living Chinese Philosophy" stresses the relevance of an understanding of Confucianism and Daoism in assaying China's responses to the pressing issues of modernization.

Click here and here for more info on Confucius Day at U.H.

Here's a link to the article in the Honolulu Advertiser where this summary came from.

From the text of the resolution:

"...Confucius' philosophy emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice, and sincerity, values which gained prominence in China over other doctrines such as Legalism or Taoism during the Han Dynasty...
...Confucius championed the principles of strong familial loyalty, ancestor worship, respect of elders by their children and of husbands by their wives, and the family as a basis for an ideal government...
...Confucius also preached not doing to others what you would not do to yourself, encouraged politicians to model themselves on the ways of honorable politicians of the past, and reminded us, 'What the superior man seeks is in himself. What the mean man seeks is in others'..."
Happy Confucius Day.

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