Ancestral worship and filial piety: perspectives of older Chinese migrants

Li, Wendy (2010) Ancestral worship and filial piety: perspectives of older Chinese migrants. In: Death Studies in Aotearoa, New Zealand - a syposium. From: Death Studies in Aotearoa/New Zealand - a symposium, 11 November 2010, Hamilton, New Zealand.

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Abstract

Paying respect to ancestors is incorporated within the filial piety belief system and manifested in mourning and ancestral worship rituals in the Chinese culture. According to Confucianism, children are required to serve their parents according to ritual while they are alive and to bury and sacrifice to the parents according to ritual when they die. The death of a parent entails a complex and demanding regimen of rituals. Mourning is considered a paramount expression of filial piety. A traditional funeral for the dead parent is regarded as a demonstration of love and respect to the parent and a way of teaching filial piety to the younger generation. Paying respect to ancestors is a practice that connects individuals to their family histories, which ensures the younger generation memorises their origins and the favours they have received from ancestors. This paper explores the practices of ancestral worship among the older Chinese adults. Findings reveal that older Chinese migrants consider ancestral worship as an opportunity to express gratitude to the deceased parent(s) and ancestors. Ancestral worship is also a means for the successive generations, in particular New Zealand born generations, to connect themselves to their ancestral homeland and establish a sense of Chineseness. The practice of "falling leaves returning to their roots" contributes to the participants' cultural heritage that shapes one's life in the present.

Item ID: 18898
Item Type: Conference Item (Non-Refereed Research Paper)
Keywords: ancestral worship, filial piety, older Chinese migrants
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Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2011 05:57
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing @ 50%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920502 Health Related to Ageing @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920503 Health Related to Specific Ethnic Groups @ 50%
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