TAIZHOU, China, Nov. 3, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The awe-inspiring Qiantang River tidal bore may have its ending, but its ripples linger. Likewise, although the Hangzhou Asian Games has drawn to a successful conclusion, the romantic and gorgeous grand opening ceremony still leave many viewers around the world enchanted.
“What is the soul of the opening ceremony of Hangzhou Asian Games? It’s Hehe culture,” said Chen Weiqiang, executive secretary of the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee.
The first “He” refers to harmony, peace, neutrality, etc., and the second “He” means convergence, integration, union, etc. These two Chinese characters have different spellings and meanings, but the same Chinese pronunciation, representing a unique linguistic interpretation of the connotation of Hehe culture.
Hehe culture stands for a tolerant character that values harmony, the Golden Means, mutual understanding, open-mindedness, strong morals and respect for difference. It is a cultural concept pursued by the Chinese nation, and contains the cosmic perception featuring harmony between man and nature, the diplomatic concept advocating good ties among all nations, the social value calling for mutual respect, and the moral idea promoting kindness.
In the current era of sporadic civilization conflicts, Hehe culture has a big role to play in the world.
To trace the origin of Hehe culture, Taizhou’s Tiantai Mountain is a must-visit place, where the two Hehe gods used to live in seclusion.
In 1733, the Qing Dynasty emperor decided to honor Hanshan and Shide, two eminent monks of Tiantai in the Tang Dynasty as the two gods of Hehe.
In the Song Dynasty, Hehe culture further became the common mainstream thought of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism, and became a demonstration of the coexistence of multiple cultures in China, echoing the Global Civilization Initiative’s call for upholding the principles of equality, mutual learning, dialogue and inclusiveness among civilizations, and letting cultural exchanges transcend estrangement, mutual learning transcend clashes, and coexistence transcend feelings of superiority.
Hehe is also the common pursuit of people in many countries around the world. It has not only had a far-reaching impact in China, but also gained universal value recognition in many other countries.
As early as 1905, Hanshan’s poems were translated to Japan, where they became popular and influential. In the 1950s, it crossed the ocean to the United States, entered the mainstream Western culture circle, and even was selected into university literature textbooks. Jack Kerouac, the iconic figure of American hippie movement, once wrote the book Dharma Bums, paying tribute to Hanshan, one of the two Hehe gods.
The local government has fully harnessed the relevance of the Hehe culture to the present times, and pushed for creative transformation and innovative development of the fine traditional culture.
Since 2020, Taizhou has been promoting the cultural gene decoding project by tracing the development of Hehe cultural genes and cultivating Hehe culture IP. Local Hehe cultural genes have been transformed and utilized from multiple dimensions such as the origin, meaning, development, charm, governance and use of Hehe, according to Global Communication Center of Hehe Culture.
In Taizhou, one can encounter various places named after Hehe culture, such as Hehe Academy, Hehe Book Bar, Hehe Park, and Hehe Road. One can also enjoy many cultural performances that reflect and interpret Hehe culture. Hehe culture has also been compiled into a textbook and introduced into local primary schools.
Taizhou is not only a symbol and demonstration site of the Chinese Hehe culture, but also a dissemination platform by strengthening international cultural exchanges and cooperation around the world.
In recent years, Taizhou has carried out more than 20 cultural exchanges and more than 60 related activities on Hehe culture with the Republic of Korea, the United States, Japan, Canada and other countries.
Taizhou has set up international centers of Hehe culture in places like Dubai, Tokyo and Manila. In April this year, Taizhou brought 21 art works of Hehe culture to the 117th Paris International Exposition, shaping a representative brand of Chinese culture.
Since 2021, Taizhou has held the Hehe Culture Global Forum every year, bringing together experts and scholars from many countries around the world to discuss how to gather global consensus and wisdom with the promotion of Hehe cultural ideas.
In early November 2023, the third Hehe Culture Global Forum will be held in Tiantai County, the permanent venue of the forum, with the theme of “Hehe Culture and the Global Civilization Initiative”.
As the Global Civilization Initiative continues to gain popularity around the world, Hehe culture is expected to be embraced by more countries and cultures, opening up a new prospect of enhanced exchanges and understanding among different peoples and better interactions and integration of diversified cultures. In this way, the garden of world civilizations will be more colorful and vibrant.
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Caption: The riverside landscape of Taizhou