On July 5, the Filial Piety Association co-sponsored a one-day seminar with the Chinese government’s Confucius Institute of Hong Kong on the theme “Cultivating Filial Piety in the Contemporary World,” at the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong. We had 80 participants including academics, educators and distinguished guests from the United States, Korea, Japan, mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Prof. Thomas Hwang, World President of the Filial Piety Association, gave the welcoming remarks. He emphasized the importance of the practice of filial piety in developing character in young people, and in strengthening families to overcome problems in society.
Prof. Jia shared that the main mission of the Confucius Institute in the world is to teach Chinese. As Hong Kong is a city of Chinese, the promotion of filial piety and traditional values definitely helps to build a healthy society, she said.
Hon. Choy acknowledged the continuous efforts of the Filial Piety Association for over a decade in promoting filial piety in Hong Kong. She also shared her own experience in caring for her 93-year-old mother.
Dr. Thomas Selover gave a heartistic and insightful talk on the topic of “The Commonality of Filial Piety (Hyo Jeong).” He shared to the largely Chinese audience that filial piety is not only important to Asians, but to peoples all over the world. Dr. Selover offered a fresh perspective of the concept of filial piety by explaining the concept of hyojeong formulated by Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, as having the characteristics of “connection” and “feeling” (or sensitivity) to the situation of “the other” in a given relationship. He explained that filial piety extends beyond the family, allowing individuals, families and neighbors to live together in relationships centered on heart. Most importantly, hyojeong brings co-existence, co-prosperity and co-righteousness.
Dr. Yeung Wing Hong shared his experience in guiding his students to practice Confucius culture in his school. He focuses on character development and filial piety to parents.
In the afternoon, there was a video presentation of the “Filial Piety Celebrity Talk Show,” initiated by the Filial Piety Association and sponsored by Wong Tai Sin, the biggest Taoist temple in Hong Kong. This is an educational program for teachers to use in character development of students, featuring interviews with six celebrities who practice filial piety and are keen to serve the community. Two videos were shown, followed by small group discussions. Participants were moved by the celebrities’ stories and enjoyed sharing their own views.
Participants appreciated the seminar’s mix of academic and practical content, and suggestions for encouraging the youth to practice filial piety in their daily lives.
“It was a meaningful seminar. It’s not just an academic seminar, but with practical content for teachers to apply in moral education.” — Prof. Jia, Director, Confucius Institute, Hong Kong
“It is amazing that your Association keeps organizing seminars to promote filial piety, which is very essential in the modern society.” – Professor participant
“Most seminars on Filial Piety or Chinese Traditional Values are too theoretical and academic, not easy to connect with non-scholars. However, the Filial Piety Association seminar had both academic and practical content that enables teachers to apply filial piety culture into their teaching.” — Teacher participant