The 2015 Vancouver Classics Recital Awards Ceremony was a Success!

Groups of Yi-Guan Dao spread across over 80 countries worldwide continue to promote parent-child classics chanting. Chanting classes in regions such as Greater Vancouver and Greater Seattle have witnessed the establishment of moral character and drastic improvement of the Chinese language in many children. The Classics Recital Awards Ceremony is an event held once every two years. It is truly a rare celebration of the Chinese culture overseas.

The Vancouver Classics Recital Awards Ceremony this year is a remarkable event and has marked a milestone in the development of Chinese culture in Western Canada. There were 230 participants in which 107 were adults and 123 were children. The ceremony followed ancient rites to select 3 people from each of adults’ and children’s group for champion (狀元 Zhuangyuan), second place (榜眼Bangyan) and third place (探花Tanhua).

Classics education is a tradition in China. In ancient times, parents would familiarize their children with the Four Books and Five Classics at the age of 3 to establish their character and lay a foundation for learning. After many years of studying, the students would participate in governmental examinations. If they passed the exams, they would be referred as Scholars (進士 Jinshi). From the champion to third place, they would be referred as狀元 (Zhuangyuan), 榜眼(Bangyan) and 探花(Tanhua) respectively. It was an honour to be selected out by the Emperor on the candidate list.

Other than performances, we also had champion bridge crossing and a ceremony to pay respects to Confucius. Ancient Chinese valued “Heaven, Earth, Emperor, Parents and Teacher” side by side, and said that “He who teaches me for one day is my father for life,” to show respect to the teachers. Confucius is the greatest educator, politician, philosopher in China and the founder of Confucianism and is venerated by later generations as “The Greatest Sage and Teacher”. Confucius was born on September 28th, 551 BC in Lu State of the Spring and Autumn period in China, which is today’s city of Qufu in Shandong province. He lived till 73 years old and his thoughts and words are mainly contained in the “Analects of Confucius”.

While industries have been booming in recent years, many problems such as environmental crisis, mental crisis, moral crisis and value crisis have arisen and been greatly affecting the healthy development of human society. Countries such as Taiwan, Singapore, Korea and Japan that have rapid economic development however though have relatively harmonious societies. One of the most important common factors is the Confucian culture. Because of this, Confucian philosophies have been receiving attention globally and more countries are paying respects to Confucius.

In 1971, the US Congress and Senate passed legislation to make Confucius’s birthday as the Teacher’s Day. Later, California made September 28th “Confucius Day”. In 1979, UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization) made Confucius’s birthday as the World Teacher’s Day and further established the Confucius Prize to recognize outstanding individuals whom have contributed greatly to education from around the globe. Furthermore, countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia have always celebrated Confucius’s birthday or celebrated it as Teacher’s Day.

On October 28th, 2009, the US Congress has agreed to a resolution by 361 votes to 47 votes to honour Confucius’s birthday. In ancient China, the Emperor would pay respects to Confucius every year and it was a Great Celebration nationwide. Today, there are celebrations and ceremonies paying respects to Confucius every year in Taiwan, China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and the USA.

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2011 Sutra Recital