​Why is the Hehe culture needed by the world today?

ezhejiang.gov.cn | Updated: 2022-12-01

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The 2022 Hehe Culture Global Forum is upon us again.

In "Hehe", the first he (和) refers to concepts such as peace and harmony, and the second he (合) refers to cooperation and integration.

Scholars who advocate this culture believe the combination of the two characters into a concept is an original creation of ancient Chinese thinkers; an important factor in the sustainable development of Chinese civilization for 5,000 years is the strong cohesion and affinity of Chinese culture, the Hehe culture.

In many interviews, Roger T. Ames, a renowned sinologist, has stood with a group of Chinese scholars, speaking in fluent Chinese and citing ancient classics such as The Analects of Confucius from time to time. He is a professor of philosophy at Peking University and an honorary professor at the University of Hawaii. 

In 1966, an 18-year-old Ames went from the University of Redlands in California to Hong Kong to study for one year. "I like the warm care and love shown by the Chinese people and the tradition of harmonious family relationships," said Ames, who had since then forged an indissoluble bond with China. He later went to Columbia University, University of London, Cambridge University and other first-class universities and obtained a master's degree and a doctorate degree in Chinese language and a master's degree and a doctorate degree in Chinese philosophy. He has since spent his whole life "translating China". His translation of Chinese classics such as The Analects of Confucius, Sun Tzu's Art of War, Huainanzi, and Dao De Jing, has attracted widespread attention in academia.

The Canadian Daniel A. Bell also has a deep understanding of China. He has two identities, one of which is being a Chinese son-in-law, and the other being a foreign scholar who has lived in China and studied Confucianism for over 20 years. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University, a Master of Philosophy and a Doctor of Philosophy from Oxford University.

Ames has argued that the more you understand the essence of the Hehe culture, the more strongly you can identify with Hehe thinking and the Chinese-style initiative to promote common development by building a community with a shared future for mankind.

As a scholar, he has been teaching in Shandong University as the Dean of Political Science and Public Administration in recent years. He felt "a great sense of belonging", not only because Shandong people are hospitable and cheerful, but also because Shandong province is the hometown of Confucius and Mencius, and has unique advantages in inheriting China's fine traditional culture.

The University of Hawaii, where Ames taught, was the only international school that offered a major in Chinese philosophy. "It's a joke to say that there is no philosophy in China!" He often argues with Westerners, and he constantly explains the "Chinese wisdom" behind Confucianism and traditional culture.

"China's traditional thinking can help the world solve global challenges," Professor Bell also said in an interview.