Guangdong Schoolchildren Kneel Before Their Parents

Parents and students under umbrellas in the rain in Guangdong, China.

Middle school students in Guangdong kneeling before their parents.

From NetEase:

A Guangzhou middle school organizes students to collectively kneel before their parents

May 4th afternoon, at Guangdong Experimental High School’s Junior High department, a special youth ceremony was held on the sports field. All of the second-year junior high students were kneeling down on the sports field, receiving in their hands a letter written to them by their parents. Many students said this was their first time “kneeling before their parents”.

A junior high school boy kneels before his mother at a Guangdong school in China.

The school principal said the youth ceremony originated from an ordinary student’s suggestion, “The student’s suggestion was very good, and now on every year the school will hold such a youth ceremony.

A father wipes away tears following a school ceremony where students kneeled before their parents.

Most parents were very moved. One father wearing black previously wore a solemn look but the moment his daughter kneeled down, his face was covered with tears. “Very moved, only today have I realized she has grown up. Normally I don’t pay too little attention to her, I feel very ashamed.”

Junior high schoolgirls at a ceremony in Guangdong where students knelt before their parents.

Adopting the “kneel before parents, receive letter” method was the result of discussion by both the teachers and the parents committee. “We believe that kneeling is China’s highest courtesy, and using this method is also the easiest way to leave students with the deepest impression in their lives.”

Comments from NetEase:

网易黑龙江省大庆市网友 [别说我是新人]:

If it were my child, I would have my child take a day off from school and not participate in this kind of activity. Father wants to foster in you the courage to stand up, not the helplessness of kneeling down.

网易山东省青岛市网友 [中山永垂不朽]:

Guangdong is the first to reinstitute feudal ethical codes, and 100 years ago it was also Guangdong who first to abolish feudal ethical codes!

网易安徽省合肥市网友 [远方有琴声]:

Child, stand upright,
don’t kneel down.
Keep your gratefulness stored in your heart,
stored in your words and thoughts.
for your daddy and mommy to understand.
Child, stand upright,
don’t kneel down.
Use courage and responsibility, self-respect and dignity,
to straighten your body.
Don’t let daddy and mommy’s tearful eyes see again the age-old helplessness and injustice.
Child, stand upright,
don’t kneel down.
Listen to daddy and mommy’s advice.
When one day the people who have raised you, loved you, cherished you have gotten old and passed,
then may you kneel down your dignified body in your heart.

网易河北省唐山市网友 [史记]:

When will we be able to see the servants kneel before their masters?


Not all ancient customs should be held in esteem. The culture of kneeling is very disagreeable to me.


The organizer’s heart is filled with servility. Does kneeling down mean one will be filial to one’s parents? Make one conscientious? So ridiculous. Confucious and Mencius’s philosophy/morality has brought great harm to people!


Only after reading the comments have I realized that some people in society today are seriously sick! Kneeling before heaven, kneeling before the land, kneeling before one’s parents. [I] Support!

网易吉林省长春市网友 [renchangwu_007]:

Washing your parents’ feet once, making them a meal once, both are better than kneeling before them.

网易河北省唐山市网友 [史记]:

Young people should have individual character and independent thinking, kneeling down is a kind of slave culture/custom.

What do you think? Do you think kneeling before one’s parents is a good or bad thing children and students to learn?

Parents and students under umbrellas in the rain in Guangdong, China.


Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


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