Throughout most of Chinas long history,the relationships between people were based on carefully prescribed forms of behavior,that is,etiquette.Learning and following etiquette is so important that people are always judged by how closely they follow these rules of behaviors.For those who do not follow those prescribed rules of conduct,they are regarded as uncivilized barbarians.
However,as China has been increasingly entangled in the global village,many Chinese people,especially the young,have lost some traditions because of the influences of Western cultures.According to a famous professor,the majority of Chinese college students have not had systematic training on traditional Chinese etiquette. As for me, traditional etiquette should be taught in class.
Firstly, if college students can receive a systematic education in traditional etiquette in class,they can get more prepared for the future. As is known,college students usually have learnt some traditional etiquette through daily interaction with friends and relatives,but the process is time-consuming. They have to be sensitive enough to observe other peoples behaviors and then know what proper behaviors in different social situations are. Some times the learning process is by trial and error. They can only form right behaviors after breaking the rules of conduct and being corrected by the costly consequence. If they have already taken a systematic etiquette course in college,they can follow proper etiquette and have a more guaranteed future.
Secondly, as these meticulous rules of conduct have been formed throughout Chinese history,they are unique Chinese characteristics and are inseparable to Chinese culture.With the advent of globalization ,western culture is so influential that many young people often look to Western customs and etiquette as being fashionable. For example, nowadays most young women in China would like to wear western-style white dresses and veils at wedding while traditional Chinese weddings feature red gowns for brides and white is an absolute taboo. In the long term,if the trend to adopt western etiquette can not be curbed,the Chinese generations in the future will lose their cultural identity.
Furthermore, the extinction of Chinese etiquette will be to the detriment of the diversity of global culture. To some extent,the course can serve to arouse college students cultural pride and help to preserve and further develop Chinese culture. In conclusion,taking traditional Chinese etiquette in college will not only make graduates more prepared for their future,but also can constitute an important measure for college students to form Chinese cultural identity and therefore to preserve Chinese tradition and further develop it.
As people respond to incentives, they will change their behaviors if they perceive that costs or benefits change. This principle seems to find wide application in our daily lives. When college graduates learn that receiving a master degree will give them an upper hand in the job market, many decide to take part in post-graduate entrance examinations. In China, it is regarded as following suit. Though we admire those who pride themselves on sticking to their ideals and principles, odds may not be against those who follow suit.Generally speaking, there are both advantages and disadvantages of following suit.
Firstly, following suit is indicative of the fact that followers have no indispensable beliefs or fixed principles and hence they are flexible in the vicissitudes of lives. When the social context changes and opportunities arise, those followers are the first to respond and make decisions.Take the English training service for example. In early 1990s, increasing number of college graduates decided to study overseas and hence English training service was in large demand.Given that forerunners had make a fortune by providing training programs to those graduates,many businessmen just followed suit and established several training schools. Undoubtedly,those who followed suit when the market did not reach saturation did make money.
Secondly, it is noteworthy that following suit can avoid making mistakes. For those forerunners, there is no previous information at their hand, and therefore, it will take a longtime to learn and improve by trial and error. During the period of trial and error, forerunners will encounter unexpected difficulties and pressures. As a result, when those become successful in certain domains, they have proved that the path will lead to success, providing both pros and cons. On the contrary, followers need not experience the process of trial and error. They can just imitate their forerunners proven pattern of behaviors and have easier access to success.There are also some disadvantages of following suit. When there are so many followers, the world will become crowded and odds are against those later followers.
Furthermore, following suit prevents innovation and creation, which is to the detriment of our society. However, whether one should follow suit or not is not simply a to-be-or-not-to-be question. A basic assumption of individual person is that everyone is rational. So one should carefully calculate costs and benefits in specific circumstances before they decide to follow suit or not.