Famous educator remembered on birth centenary

A memorial ceremony was held in Shanghai yesterday to remember Nan Huai-Chin, a cultural master and educator who spent his life promoting traditional Chinese culture.

A MEMORIAL ceremony was held in Shanghai yesterday to remember Nan Huai-Chin, a cultural master and educator who spent his life promoting traditional Chinese culture.

Over 300 people, including family member, friends and students of Nan, attended the ceremony to mark his 100th birthday at the Hengnan Academy in Pudong. The academy was built in 2006 to promote Chinese culture in the city.

Nan spent a lifetime promoting Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism by writing over 30 books, which have been translated into eight languages.

“Master Nan’s major contribution is to let Chinese people know how great their own culture is,” said Pia Giammasi, a US translator living in Taiwan. “He worked to prevent some of China’s ancient cultures from becoming extinct and promote these old wisdoms worldwide,” she said.

Dhammachari Lokamitra, a scholar on Buddhism in India, said, “I’ve read some of Nan’s books in English and I think they are very relevant to the modern world, not just in China. His understanding and engagement to the modern world has enormous significance.”

The academy is exhibiting Nan’s calligraphy and other works. Over 130 calligraphy works, couplets and letters are on display. A bronze statue of Nan was also unveiled.

Nan’s first book, The Sea of Zen, was published in 1955.

“Nan’s works attracted a large number of Chinese youngsters,” said Lou Yulie, a professor with the Institute of Chinese Studies at Peking University.

He mediated in cross-Strait relationship in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In 1992, Nan raised investment for the Jinhua-Wenzhou Railway, the first joint-stock railway in China.

He died of pneumonia at the age of 94 in September 2012.

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