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Sports Programs

Civic Education in Beijing in Preparation for Olympics

The importance of character education and family culture are manifest in pre-Olympic civic education campaigns in China. Two women’s organizations jointly sponsor women professors lecturing in the main districts of Beijing. One is the Beijing Municipal Women’s Federation and the other the Women’s Sub-committee of the Beijing Committee of China Democratic League, which is comprised mainly of intellectuals.

Professor Yang Liping of the Beijing United University, takes great pride in her involvement in this campaign that began in May 2007. She has given more than 20 lectures in the Chaoyang and Haidian districts to several thousand people. Although the main themes of her lectures are comparative etiquette and Olympic etiquette, she seeks to raise awareness that culture and civility come from cultivating inner character and a loving family life. While smiles and volunteerism are apparent to visitors, the deeper challenge is cultivating the heart, integrity, and sincerity that should accompany the smiles and service. Such civility can continue if the focus of education is at deeper levels.

China’s tradition of Confucianism teaches disciplining one’s body and cultivating one’s heart as the beginning of all social accomplishments, including promoting world peace. Thus, the Olympics provide China with a unique opportunity not only to interact with the world’s different cultures but also to draw strength from her own traditions so that the world can understand China better and the Chinese can handle the challenges better by being open and thoughtful, connecting to their own cultural heritages. After all, since the Olympics are a global gathering of the human family, all peoples, especially the hosts, would like to demonstrate the best of their traditions in good will in order to interact peacefully and harmoniously with others both in and outside the stadium.

The Democratic League has more than 30 women professors and researchers from universities and institutes in Beijing speak in communities to promote civility, culture, and harmony. The campaign is appreciated by both the audiences and local authorities. One participant said the lecture was more helpful than ten years of reading on his own.

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