Cultural Exchange is Unavoidable — A Deliberation on Chinese-Western Cross-cultural Studies

CHEW, Cheng Hai

International Journal of Chinese Language Education; Dec 2022; Issue No. 12; p.1 - 14

Department of Chinese Language Studies, The Education University of Hong Kong
Chinese Language Program, Columbia University
Chung Hwa Book Co. (H.K.) Ltd.

Historically, an “inward-looking culture” had not only bred the “Middle Kingdom” mentality in China, but had also given rise to the concept of China’s entitlement of “receiving tributes.” It was only after the Opinion War that the Chinese sense of cultural superiority and the belief of China’s mission to “civilize foreigners with rites and music (i.e. Chinese culture)” were shaken unprecedentedly. While an “inward-looking culture” is not healthy, a lack of understanding of one’s own culture is also harmful. The lack of appreciation of one’s own culture will result in the tendency to exaggerate the contributions of foreign cultures when studying the influence of foreign cultures on China. The author argues that any meaningful comparative studies of Chinese and western cultures as well as cultural exchanges and interactions must base on self-cultural confidence and sufficient resources. Only then may one be able to study the issues objectively and come up with new perspectives.

inward-looking culture cross-cultural dialogues cultural challenges Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Government (Zizhi Tongjian)


2520-7733 (Print); 2521-4241 (Online)

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