Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chung Yeung (重陽節)

On Chung Yeung Festival, I went with my relatives to the cemetery to pay our respects to my grandparents.  As I walked around the cemetery waiting for my relatives to arrive, I noticed that, in the old days, it was lawful and quite common for a man to have two wives. 

Nowadays, in Hong Kong and most other places in the world, it is illegal to have two wives, or two husbands.  (With the major exception of certain Muslim countries, of course.)  Most people would consider this to be a sign of progress, the recognition of equal rights between men and women in marriage.  This is also one of the many changes associated with the Xinhai Revolution and the modernization of China. 

I also paid my obligatory visit to Cai Yuan Pei’s (蔡元培) grave.  He was a successful scholar in the old Qing Dynasty.  But he was deeply disappointed by the ruling class and turned into a revolutionist.  He was studying in Germany when the Xinhai Revolution 辛亥革命 broke out.  But he came back to China immediately to participate in the revolution.  He was the first Minister of Education 教育總長 of the Republic of China. 


YTSL said...

Hi StephenC --

Some (other) Hong Kongers I know are shocked by my taking photos of graves. Glad that you're not that way inclined.

Incidentally, I tell people that when I take pictures of graves I see (especially while out hiking in Hong Kong), I feel like I'm paying tribute to the people buried in them because often they are located in places with great fung shui and it appears to be a tribute to them -- and says much about the filial piety of their descendants -- that they have the final resting places that they do.

StephenC said...

Yeah, I am aware some people are sensitive about this. Hence I always try to be respectful. Particularly towards Cai Yuan Pei and others like him.