Sunday, August 24, 2008

Jade Culture, A Mirror of Chinese Culture

The Chinese love jade because of not only its beauty, but also more importantly its culture, meaning and humanity, as Confucius said there are 11 De (virtue) in jade. Thus jade is really special in Chinese culture, also as the Chinese saying goes "Gold has a value; jade is invaluable”.

The wise have likened jade to virtue.

For them, its polish and brilliancy represent the whole of purity; its perfect compactness and extreme hardness represent the sureness of intelligence; its angles, which do not cut, although they seem sharp, represent justice; the pure and prolonged sound, which it gives forth when one strikes it, represents music. Its color represents loyalty; its interior flaws, always showing themselves through the transparency, call to mind sincerity; its iridescent brightness represents heaven; its admirable substance, born of mountain and of water, represents the earth. Used alone without ornamentation it represents chastity. The price that the entire world attaches to it represents the truth. To support these comparisons, the Book of Verse says: "When I think of a wise man, his merits appear to be like jade."' Because jade stands for beauty, grace and purity, it has been used in many Chinese idioms or phrases to denote beautiful things or people.

The beauty of jadeite and its cultural connotations

Since ancient times, men of moral integrity have been seen as processing the fine qualities of jade: tenderness, modesty, urbanity, among them. In the eyes of the Chinese, jade is not as shiny or sparkling as other precious stones such as diamonds, which some believe characterizes people who are aggressive or arrogant. Because of its physical qualities, jade, jadeite in particular, suits the artistic and intellectual tastes of the Chinese people,” said Ouyang Chiumei, a world-renown expert in jade. "The Chinese are reserved and mild. In their eyes, westerners are straight forward and aggressive, quite like the diamond."

Jade has been ever more popular till today

Jade as The Gem for Olympic Medals has wowed the whole world. Jade ornaments have remained popular up until the present day. The purchase, wearing, and giving of jade items as gifts is still very common. Jade is viewed as an ideal gift for couples making a mutual commitment, and for one's children when they get married. Even now, the Chinese retain the idea that in addition to being beautiful, jade can protect from misfortune and bring good luck.

Today, traditional forms and modern styles are combined into striking new creations, and modern technology has greatly elevated the quality of workmanship. No longer is jade for the exclusive use of emperors and noblemen; just about everyone has the means to own and wear jade. Beyond maintaining its historical role, jade artistry has been further developed with creativity and skill, and has become an indispensable part of everyday life. Jade remains an eternal symbol of China's magnificent civilization.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We usually wear jade to decorate, or to keep ourselves safe. Maybe it a little bit superstition ,however, it is also part of Chinese culture .