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Introduction Xiao the Chinese word for filial piety is the defining feature in Chinese culture as filial piety was extolled as the highest virtue in China for centuries I subscribe to the school of thought that filial piety is the root of Chinese ethics and with it all enlightening studies come into existence Chinese society was built upon the doctrine of filial piety and that it is the theme in Chinese culture influencing all aspects of Chinese lives In this essay I will examine the significance of filial piety in Chinese culture Albeit I have no wish of making the mistake of generalization what I seek to define is the undercurrent theme in all Chinese families which I believe is filial piety As I believe that filial piety is the common thread that runs in every Chinese family I am fully aware that my study of filial piety does not apply to every Chinese family so I can only say that I am sure filial piety endures in different forms having been infiltrated through many generations and eroded by different events In order to make my stand I will be exploring the traditional meaning of filial piety in China if and how various incidents may have impacted filial piety in China I will also be analyzing the implications of the erosion of filial piety and the importance of filial piety in modern China Traditional Filial Piety To define traditional filial piety in Chinese culture it is imperative that I draw on the works of Confucius as Confucianism is the system that has dominated Chinese thought throughout most of history controlling Chinese education society and government for some 2000 years It would be necessary to take into account Menciuss philosophy as he was also a strong influence on Chinese culture Xiao in traditional Chinese societies fundamentally means gratitude to ones parents for giving one life and the
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