Chapter

Traditional Beliefs

M. A. Aldrich

in The Search for a Vanishing Beijing

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9789622097773
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207585 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789622097773.003.0017
Traditional Beliefs

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This chapter introduces a fictional Peking citizen of Chinese heritage living and thriving in the year 1760, which is roughly the middle point of Qian Long's reign. His name is Old Wu. The chapter also provides a general sketch of the spiritual worldview of Old Wu, a convivial and good natured gentleman in his fifties with a taste for rice wine, pipe tobacco, and Xin Jiang style fragrant roast lamb as well as a deep respect for tradition. Old Wu believed that each person had a two-part soul as a consequence of the division of the cosmos into yin and yang. There is a sense from the literature about Old Peking that Mrs. Wu might have had a stronger attraction to Buddhism than Old Wu. Old Wu would have applauded the synthesis implied by the views of Old Ma, who might have produced some ganja to share with Old Wu as they struck up their pipes. Further, Old Wu, with the self-confidence of tradition, would not have looked askance at Old Luke's faith.

Keywords: Old Wu; Qian Long; Old Ma; Old Luke; faith; Buddhism; Peking

Chapter.  10027 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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