– Traditional values

Celebrating Chinese New Year

Brian Hennessy. Cairns, Australia. January, 2024 Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival as it is known locally, is China’s longest and most important festival. It begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends on the first full moon, 15 days later. Every year has a zodiac animal: the Rat, Ox, Tiger, […]

China’s three wise men

Brian Hennessy. An Australian in China. February, 2016 Three ancient sages who lived 2500 years ago continue to influence modern Chinese society. The are Laozi, Buddha, and Confucius. These three wise men laid the foundation for a practical Chinese philosophy – a blend of the three – which has quasi-religious overtones. If you want to […]

On Confucius, culture, & government

Brian Hennessy. An Australian in China. May, 2014 Although Western people have heard many jokes about Confucius, very few understand his main ideas and how important his thinking has been to Chinese culture and society. If we are serious about understanding China it is imperative that we acquaint ourselves with this ancient sage.    On […]

Traditional Chinese values

Brian Hennessy. An Australian in China.  In order to appreciate this ancient civilisation, we should understand a few of the traditional values which underpin it. They have endured for millennia and form the bedrock of Chinese society today. A few of these values are addressed briefly below.    Understanding traditional Chinese values ______________________________________________________________ Hierarchy.  Throughout […]

Understanding China: what is Face?

Brian Hennessy. An Australian in China.  Westerners can be conscious of Face. For example, telling a white-lie can be a legitimate attempt to save Face. If we live in an expensive house in an exclusive suburb, or drive a BMW instead of a humble Holden, perhaps we are mindful of Face. For Chinese people however, maintaining Face […]

Understanding China: what is Guanxi?

Brian Hennessy. An Australian in China.  Think: Informal networks, using the back door, investing in relationships, calling in favours, underground economy, and so on. Guanxi is all of the above and more. In fact it is a highly sophisticated parallel economy which subverts a totalitarian system and its bloated, politicised bureaucracy.     Understanding China: what is Guanxi? […]

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