Greeting List

Social Norm and Self- Discipline -- Shirley's 473rd Friendly Greeting from Beijing & Wuxi - Jan 27, 2015

Hi,Dear Friends

How are you? Have you started a wonderful new week?

It is 15 days after I wrote to you last time.

After attending the last lesson of the first semester of 2014- 2015 class year at Chinese National Academy of Arts, which was given by Mr. Miao Zaixin (he is on the first - 3rd photos)C a directors of Chinese Artists Association and a researcher of CNAA, all students who are major in Chinese flower and bird painting invited our tutors to have an early Chinese New Year Dinner on Jan 14, 2015 (we are on the 4th photo). Then I flew to Wuxi by the Tai Lake and near Shanghai, to visit my parents and to have a reunion with my brother and sister and their family members, while to meet a group of my best friends and former colleagues (they are on the 7th photo)in Wuxi Administrative Institute. Then I flew back home in Shenzhen which is next to Hong Kong and the first Special Economic Zone of China, to spend my winter vacation while to study English for taking part in the National English examination for applying my second master degree on May 31, 2015; to continue my book which I hope to hand in before I leave for Beijing in March while to prepare my graduate works at CNAA in June and my 5th cross-culture & comprehensive art exhibition in the USA in Sept, 2015.

During the time, there were many things touching my heart so that I would like to share them with you:

-- For fulfilling the wish of my father (he is on the 5th and the 6th photos) and let him see my paintings. Instead of entrusting an express company to deliver my paintings to home, I myself took them with me. However, for some of them were too big (width is over 160cm C 62.99 inches ) to be put into the luggage carrier, some air hostesses changed my seat from the 6th row to the last row which had 3 empty seats to fix my paintings. Then the head of them lent her glassed cleaning cloth to me to clean my glasses when she found that I was cleaning my glasses with a piece of tissue. After the airplane was landed at Wuxi Airport, a beautiful air hostess carried the paintings for me and helped me I go down the hanging ladder of the airplane...

Do you know? Since I fell down on the escalator and hurt myself at Beijing Airport last Sept, I have been scaring to stand on it with my luggage. So, twice in Beijing, I stood by the escalators for a while and did not dare to go on it. Twice, it was some strangers, a young man and a middle age lady helped me to carry my luggage to go through the escalators.

-- When I was in Wuxi, except I found that my father has not only gotten the best looking after by the members of my brother¨s family and in the rest home, but also, I did found that in this city, people have a quite good habit to respect the old people. Almost on all of the buses, there are the slogans relate to ^ respect the old people  ̄ and no matter in the park or the other public occasions, my father was served free and carefully. By chance, on the first day I arrived in Wuxi, the local resident¨s committee sent some Spring Festival Couplets (pasted on gateposts or door panels) to him to celebrate the Chinese New Year. And also I did find his room in his rest home is much better than mine in Beijing. :- ) and his rooms are the biggest and the best ones in my brother¨s house

In a quite happy atmosphere, all of my family members checked and commented my paintings and gave me their ^ orders  ̄ . Then we went to see my mother with flowers by her grave and I took some photos with her.

With an excited heart, I found plum blossoms opened in Wuxi, so that I could not help going to have a painting from the nature by the good accompanying of my father and my sister.

-- As soon as I came back my home in Shenzhen which is next to Hong Kong and the first Special Economic Zone of China by the South Ocean, I have not only felt the extremely comfortable in the wonderful weather like in April or May in Beijing, but also I have found something that I had met in Europe and in America have become common in Shenzhen: no matter the driver who is from the company which uses and looks after my car picked up me at Shenzhen Airport or the drivers in the other cars, as long as they saw someone going across the road, they stopped and waved their hands and asked the passerby going first. It is said it has been written into the Traffic Law of Shenzhen: if anyone refused to do it, she or he would be punished. The situation there were so many cars stopped by the roads near the schools at the time of school close has gone in Shenzhen already.

--- After making a telephone call to the house management office in the same night I came back home, the wrong lamp in the corridor re-worked at about 8:00a.m. next day.

A strong feeling is that along with the economic development, some excellent Chinese traditional virtues that had been lost in the Culture Revolution have come back to the country and the spiritual civilization of China has been developing day and day. Even though at this time, many behavior have to be performed forcedly rely on the law, I am sure along with the time, when the best social behaviors become a habit and the social norm, whole of the society civilization will be pushed on a new level.

When I write here, I cannot help smiling for I have thought some stories of mine and the word ^ self-discipline ̄ .

Yesterday, because I did not think my eyes could see clear, I cooked a fish soup as my dinner. Then at about 9:00 p.m. I was a little bit hungry. I knew clear that was a bad thing to eat at so later time, I could not help cooking something to eat. Then I felt my stomachache at the midnight and kept until this morning´ :- )

With the same situation, since I came back home, I have been working on my English or cleaning and ordering my home which I had not been in it for 4 months. I have involved myself in reading in English and doing the exercises and be attracted by the English grammar and regulations which I had not known and had not had any conception in my mind, so that I worked by my computer for over 14 hours every day and have put off my book writing once and once, until I felt my eyes seeing things unclear´ :- ) Also, in Wuxi, I totally knew if I sat on the cold stone to paint for an afternoon, the stomachache would come back to me, then I did and then my stomach ached since the same night for another two days´

Now I suddenly realize, a society or a country has to manage the behaviors of its public with law; a language has to manage its application with grammar; how about an individual who is in a freedom and works alone? Maybe except we have to follow the law and societal rules outside, I mean in the public occasions and the actions on surface, we have also to do the self-discipline always, to manage and to improve ourselves inside. As long as every one has a good habit to follow the regulation and law outside and to manage ourselves with a self-discipline, then the world will be changed better and better´

To find some good methods and to do some actual things to help people include ourselves to improve include and outside, may be the duties and obligations of an artist, an educator, a parent and all of the people themselves?

Do you agree with me? Do you have anything special to share?

You are welcome to see the photos and their notes by click the link


Shirley Yiping Zhang
Jan 27, 2015 (Beijing Time)

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