People who have ever been to Huizhou, Anhui Province will compliment the Yellow Mountains on its gorgeous scenery. Women growing up and nurtured in the Hui culture have such unique intrinsic nd extrinsic beauties that women in any other places cannot compare with.
Eudcation as the Top Priority
Women in Huizhou embody one of the essential feauture of the Hui culture putting education first. Huizhou has been a place with advanced education since ancient times. There were study rooms and academies in every village since the Ming Dynasty. Here education has been regarded as the first priority generation after generation. A girl from the big wealthy family would study under her tutor for several years before she was married. Even after they got married, women still liked to read and listen to the opera, which was quite rare in other villages in ancient China. Education became popular in Huizhou since the Ming and Qing dynasties, a number of talent women had come forth, including the three daughters of Wu Baocheng in She County who were famous painters, Shao Zhenhua in Jixi who was a popular novelist, Chenshu in Jixi who was a famous poet, and Shu Xiuwen and Sai Jinhua in Yixian who were famous movie stars. All those women received excellent education when they were young.
Women in Huizhou embraced the idea “putting education first” and put it into practice by helping their husbands and teaching their children. Hu Shi lost his father when he was three years old and his rnother hoped that Hu Shi would become a talent through study. As his mother requested, Hu Shi made a bow to the photo of Confucius every morning. Therefore, Confucianism and traditional Chinese ideas were deeply rooted in Hu Shi's mind from his early age. Those great mothers in Huizhou attached great importance to education and brought up some famous people for the country, including Cheng Dawei, famous financing expert, Wu Chengshi, master of study of Confucian classics, Zhan Tianyou, famous railroad engineering designer, Zhang Shu, famous musician, and Tao Xingzhi, famous educator.
Harmony and Diligence
Another essential feature of the Hui culture that women in Huizhou embody is harmony and diligence. Women in Huizhou have been quite hardworking and thrifty, which has helped build up a harmonious community.
Hui merchants laid the tangibly material foundation for the Hui culture, while the philosophical system of the Neo-confucianism proposed by Zhu Xi laid the theoretical foundation for the Hui culture. According to the record, in the Nan Dynasty, there was a person named Bao Anguo in Shexian, whose clan had more than 300 people living harmoniously together. Another family from the Ming Dynasty in Shexian had five generations living together. This is not a rare phenomenon in Huizhou. In such big families, women play a significant role in every aspect of housekeeping and they manage things in the family quite well. Women in Huizhou believe that “family is a place where love is talked about and demonstrated”. They love their husbands, children and other family members more than themselves, establishing a harmonious environment. Hui merchants always practice thrift and their wives also believe that practicing thrift is a virtue. Women in Huizhou are a model of diligence, thrift, goodness and self-respect.
Filial Piety and Honesty
Another essential feature of the Hui culture that women in Huizhou embody is filial piety and honesty. In a broader sense, filial piety can be indicated not only in the family but the society as well. In terms of doing business, to practice honesty is a virtue. Filial piety and honesty is the motto of women in Huizhou. Following the motto, many women have done well in getting along with others and in helping their husbands and teaching their children. Wang Maoyinis grandmother is a good example. She had a lot of difficulties in bringing up Wang Maoyin, who is the only Chinese mentioned by Karl Marx in his great works Capital.
Huizhou, an ancient village surrounded by the green mountains and clear waters, is a sweet place full of feeling. Along the alleyway or the brook, you can always find a woman and her mother-in-law or a group of women chatting while sewing.
If you go traveling in the Yellow Mountains, don't forget to visit Huizhou, the area at the foot of the mountains. Women there will give you a beautiful and unforgettable impression.