Filial Piety in Chinese Culture The Reflection of Family Ethics in Chinese Proverbs

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Atichat Khamphuang


Proverb, one of the phenomena found in every language, reflects people’s worldviews and cultural values in a specific society. The emergence of proverbs undergoes the distillation from people’s ways of life, experiences, and worldviews of a specific time period to produce a set of lexicons used in language. This article aims to discuss a concept of filial piety reflecting in Chinese proverbs in terms of an ethical principle that determine value, social organization, as well as moral behavior in Chinese notion. The investigation has exhibited that the filial piety is an ethical concept emphasized by Confucius as a moral source of humans, as well as an assisting factor to establish benevolent community from family sector, which is the smallest unit in society. Since the institutionalization of Confucianism in Han Dynasty, the filial piety has taken a major role in social organization from family level in order to stabilize the state. Thus, the filial piety has expanded its role from only an ethics on how individual behave as a child to a social norm that determine Chinese sociocultural identity.


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Khamphuang, A. (2020). Filial Piety in Chinese Culture: The Reflection of Family Ethics in Chinese Proverbs. Journal of Human Sciences, 21(1), 137-157. Retrieved from
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