Why don't Chinese people bow to their elders like Korea and Japan?
I can give a different reason.
After the New Culture Movement (around the time of the May 4th Movement in 1919),Chinese people are educated to treat their traditional culture in a,”Discard the dross and take the essence”,way.
Now,the country name often goes by name of the new China，used to distinguish the past old China.
If one overemphasizes the past traditional custom,another may says he lives in the Qing dynasty.
The new money in China started to grow up after the reform and opening-up policy.On the contrary,South Korea and Japan don’t go through a revolution of blood and fire to wipe out plutocrat and old and well-known family which often are the major force of maintaining traditional relationship in East Asia.
Of course,there are quite a few clan against modern in the south of China,but compared with the plutocrat in the the other two countries,it’s like “The moon is not seen when the sun shines”.
There are some good answers here, but I think this can be simplified.
First of all, Chinese people do bow, just not as much or as often as Koreans and Japanese.
Deep bows, formal kowtows, etc. are reserved for special occasions such as in the temple, special festivals, martial arts tournaments or classes, weddings, funerals, etc.
In daily life, Chinese people still do bow, but it is often more of a subtle head bow, perhaps closer to a nod. It is friendly and natural.
Though some people say Taiwanese Chinese and Hong Kong Chinese tend to bow “more often,” I have not found that to be the case. It has much more to do with the cultivation level of the individual and the situation rather than the geographical location.
I’m a student in China and I bow to my teachers as the one of school rules.
Well, in China, people don’t like to bow to their elders because people think they’re independent and bow means living in a lower place in Chinese culture. For another reason, chinese don’t enjoy to show their ages to the others, so bowing is being harder.
I don’t know why Koreans and Japanese bow, but I guess that’s because of the rules or the tradition.
Because we went through an egalitarian revolution.
While we still respect our elders, we do not submit to them.
So nowadays we bow only to the dead, which is a perfectly reasonable compromise to me.
Except kids are sometimes asked to bow to the elderly because those little fuckers need to be kept in line.
Cultural practices are rarely coherent.
Because the more a person bows, the cheaper his bowing becomes, just like inflation. Now the Chinese only bow to the heroes of the country.
As for the elders, what they need more is care.
In fact, it is not in line with the current Chinese tradition for people to kowtow or bow to their elders. Of course, this kind of kneeling and kowtowing still exsts in some rural areas. For really good elders, we will pay more attention to them. But for me my elders are my family, and I only visit the family I want to visit.
I will not get down on my knees and will not allow my children (if I ever have one) to get down on their knees, either to me or to the government or power.
The way I express my gratitude to people is to pass quickly after a car on the road asks me to touch the brim of my hat or bow slightly.
As for my ancestors, I have not knelt down to commemorate and burn the money given to the deceased for a long time. The highest respect is to live my own life well. Others, I give my thanks at most, but they will live in my memory and pass on through my words and words, so they have not passed away.
Frankly speaking, I feel very blessed to be with my family as long as I live, but I don't have to bow down.
The best way is a restaurant is delicious, then I go more and recommend it to my friends. A person is not bad, I will cooperate with him more.
In addition, because it was in line with the United States and other European and Asia-Pacific countries, Chinese etiquette has evolved into a handshake ceremony or a medieval knight ceremony, as well as the traditional Chinese boxng ceremony and hand-crowding ceremony.
You can say that Chinese etiquette has long been passed down by Korea and Japan, and China has lost their traditions. It is true, but I don't think it's cool to follow the trend and wear Hanfu, people should have their own choice.
The tea ceremony is also a kind of etiquette with bowing. But I hate tea very much, although I know how to make tea at 1.3. But if Wei and in are free and easy as a courtesy, why do so many etiquettes. I appreciate the people and the poise of making tea, but I can't make it myself.
Treat my homage as a cup of good tea or coffee, and drink as I please, that's what I want. Rather than buying a bunch of toys for which I don’t know what to do, it’s just consumerism.
In addition,. I believe in the Datong society. This is Chinese thinking, but it is not the mainstream.
The Chinese are indeed very strange. Each region has its own etiquette and thinking, and even its own beliefs and local languages. Maybe somewhere I don't know, there is the same etiquette practice as in Japan and Korea.
You know what? Chinese culture is hard to assimilate into other cultures. China will always embrace other foreign cultures, and even 'admire' easy civilizations with a 'self-prepared' mentality, so to speak, but China's oversized population as well as its oversized society creates a kind of magical racial gift-letting go of embracing other cultures, and as a result The result was that other cultures disappeared into Chinese culture.
You can also think of Chinese culture as a big ball of white cloth, a very, very big white cloth.
When Chinese culture encounters a mass of blue, we don't talk about "cutting off the blue-stained part", but rather open our arms to embrace it, and eventually it becomes a bigger mass of "very light blue-white".
Then we meet red, and we melt it away into a larger mass of a slightly more pronounced light purple.
One by one, the colors poured down, and in the end, there was still a very high degree of certainty that we would be called the "Chinese nation".
Back on topic, the tedious etiquette of bending and bowing when meeting and speaking in honorifics has been discarded as dross.
Isn't the Chinese handshake now more civilized than bowing and kneeling?
Nowadays, Chinese people do not bow and kneel to the rich and powerful people like in ancient times, but just bow to the deceased elders, so isn't it a progress of civilization?
today’s China is rid of some of the shitty Confucius stuff that still exst in more developed places like South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong. Like Koreans and Japanese, Chinese people have the tradition of respecting elders, but not to the extent that have to bow. Despite being de ocracy class divide is more obvious in Korea and Japan than in China, in both countries you can be both financially wealthy and politically powerful, i.e., Samsung. In China you can only be one, billionaires have little politically power and officials can only be rich through corruption, which if caught are punished.
We do bow, but only in specific circumstances.
The Chinese saying about bow, is great respect. We don’t make bow a daily routine to show how precious it is.
So children bow to grandparents during Chinese new year, to wish elders happy and healthy.
Adults bow to elder for apologize or to thank for big favors.
It’s just a culture difference, no big deal.
Chinese people seldom show respect to the elders in surface form, but a lot of effort has been made to make older people feel respected, starting with the small everyday things.