When walking around the antique Lianxi Academy and Lianxi’s former residence, I met a group of teachers, students and parents wearing ancient clothes, making me feel I was in the Song Dynasty a thousand years ago… On November 10, a study and learning tourist group of more than 350 members from Nobel Cradle Education Group, including young children, primary school teachers and students, and parents held a series of activities to experience the six classical arts of gentlemen in Lianxi Academy at Dao County of Hunan province, which was sponsored by the Special Committee for Traditional Culture of Hunan Provincial Education Association and the Study and Learning Tourism Research Branch of Hunan Association of Education Researchers, to commemorate the thousandth birthday of Zhou Dunyi, the founder of neo-Confucianism in China.
The most attractive part of this event is the systematic experience of the six classical arts of gentlemen, including pitch-pot, archery, inscription rubbing and Han Xin’s gathering soldiers. “Rites, music, archery, charioteering, calligraphy and mathematics” have been named “six classical arts of gentlemen” since the Zhou Dynasty, which were essential for ancient intellectuals to settle down and get on with their pursuit, and the core quality and basic skills for keeping upright, cultivating moral character, managing family affairs, governing the state and making the whole world tranquil and peaceful.
Nobel Cradle Education Group is the first to try recovering the traditional Chinese educational model of cultivating people by strengthening moral education—Six Classical Arts of Gentlemen in China. The research subject Research on the Creative Transformation and Innovative Development of Traditional Six Arts in Basic Education led and submitted by Deng Shijian, secretary general of the Special Committee for Traditional Culture of Hunan Provincial Education Association has been officially approved as a key provincial subject in 2017 of “The 13th Five Year” Plan for education and science of Hunan province, and the first “Six Arts of Gentlemen” Experience Park in China will also be built.
It seems that pitch-pot is an easy game as each player stands not far from a pot, but it is actually hard to pitch an arrow into the port. Before a pitch-pot game, players should bow to each other and make an obeisance by cupping one hand in the other, which can make people experience the connotations of humility. Like shooting arrows, archery in the six arts, it implies “the difficulty of winning without controlling one’s body”, that is, one cannot pitch the arrow into the pot with too much or too little strength.
In the zone for experiencing the art of calligraphy, children were seen holding dabbers in their hands, dipping them in ink and carefully dabbing the stone tablets covered with Chinese art paper… The diversified activities about the six classical arts aroused the curiosity and interest of children and their parents.
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