University Course Teaches Chinese Women How To Be Virtuous and ElegantPosted: 09/23/2014 9:08 am
While international relations, law, and medicine remain popular university subjects, some female students in Wuhan in central China are pursuing another path: how to become a desirable lady based on all the old virtues written in China’s ancient poems and lyrical rhymes.
Technically speaking, the students enrolled in the lady training class at Wuhan Embroidery Colleage are undergoing their equivalent of military training, local Chinese newspaper Chutian Jinbao reported on September 22.
But in this case, the students have traded their military uniforms for scissors, needles, and calligraphy brushes as they learn traditional Chinese paper-cutting, embroidery, calligraphy, make-up, body posture, literary classics, proper etiquette and even weaving techniques, according to the school.
For those who suspect this is a just a tea party or home economics class, the school apparently takes it all very seriously and said the students need to score at least 211 points in order to pass.
College dean Li Shizong says the purpose of the training is trying to teach students how to become virtuous and elegant ladies. “While students are pursuing the latest fashion trends, they shouldn’t forget about traditional virtues. A lady with all the traditional virtues can also add up to their impression scores,” the dean said.
The program started in 2009 and is open to all female students in the college, he said. By September this year, more than 200 students had enrolled.
But back in 2009 when the program first made headlines in China, critics were already speculating on what would happen to these girls. According to a saying from the Shi Jing (The Book of Poetry) written around 500 AD, “a fair and graceful lady is a good catch for a gentleman”.
But critics worry the ladies have traded their noble gentlemen for officials and businessmen with large wallets as money and power become the new virtues of today’s society.
* 窈窕淑女，君子好逑 in Chinese
Photos: Chutian Jinbao