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Principal's Message - April 2024

Continuing the Spirit, Updating the Form

The theme of our 50th anniversary is "With gratitude we share our past, with courage we carve our future”. So what exactly is inheritance, and why is innovation necessary?Human beings create culture, and cultural heritage inevitably emerges alongside it. If each generation were to start from scratch, culture would not be able to accumulate, and social development would inevitably stagnate. Traditional Chinese culture develops in parallel with the dual forces of inheritance and creation, inheriting cultural spirit and innovating cultural carriers. So, what is spirit? "Spirit" refers to broad and enduring values, contrasted with the "form" that evolves with the times. We can have lotus seed paste or snowy mooncake, the unchanging spirit of the Mid-Autumn Festival is the reunion of family members. During Lunar New Year, we may give electronic red envelopes or have cartoon decorations, but the unchanging spirit is the blessings of reunion and harmony. The way we greet and show respect to our elders may vary, but the underlying spirit of hierarchy and filial piety remain unchanged. Similarly, campus layout and hardware equipment are forms that need to be updated with the times, while the school motto of Morality, Wisdom, Health, and Diligence, the exhortations in the school song, the key symbolizing wisdom in the school emblem, and the symbolism of purity resembling a dove all belong to the realm of spirit, requiring every member of the school to inherit and safeguard them. From this, we can see that what is inherited and unchanging is the spirit, while what is innovative and changing is the form. The forms in cultural life need periodic updates, and school culture also needs to keep pace with the times. Therefore, if furniture is worn out and cannot be revitalized, it must be discarded; if electronic devices are outdated, they must be replaced; if there is insufficient space on campus, it must be re-planned. Change requires courage and wisdom. It is necessary to combine the needs of the environment with innovative approaches to carry forward the educational spirit of Hoi Ping.


Reflecting on Culture, Discarding the Dross and Retaining the Essence

Is every cultural spirit worth inheriting? Every cultural group has its essence as well as its dross. Our culture emphasizes human relationships and values family, but as a result, it lacks a sense of public consciousness, making it prone to favoritism and neglecting the public good. Our adherence to tradition and a reverence for learning, on the other hand, hinders our creative consciousness and exploration. Therefore, in terms of culture, what we need is not only understanding and organization, but also constant reflection, discarding the dross and retaining the essence. This is necessary for personal growth and for the entire nation. Otherwise, inadvertently, we will be left with the worst aspects of culture, leading to negative consequences. When the Qing Dynasty ruled China in the 17th century, the Han Chinese were forced to shave their heads and wear braids. According to common sense, after the Qing Dynasty fell, this humiliating symbol would be quickly abandoned by the people. Unfortunately, this was not the case. In 1912, the Republican government issued an edict to cut off the braids. The reasons for cutting off the braids were very convincing, as the braids were seen as unclean and easily spread disease. At that time, people in China did not wash their braids for several days, and they emitted an unpleasant odor. However, surprisingly and strangely, the process of cutting off the braids did not go smoothly. Some people openly killed 27 individuals without braids, including politicians, teachers, and students. Most of these people who refused to cut off their braids were not beneficiaries of the previous dynasty. They either lacked aesthetic judgment and did not consider the braids to be unsightly, or they were unable to persuade themselves based on hygiene or convenience alone. They were willing to endure the discomfort of having lice crawling all over their heads. But what is more important is that their persistence clearly contained a strong identification with the "braids." When we see people in the late Qing Dynasty and the early Republic of China regarding ugliness as beauty, evil as good, and right and wrong as inverted, do we not feel a sense of regret? It turns out that when people become accustomed to a certain way of life and are accustomed to not questioning the things around them, they gradually lose basic rationality, aesthetic sense, and thinking ability. Therefore, in order to stay alert, we need not only to understand and inherit culture but also to reflect on ourselves, to reflect on culture, and to see if we have become stagnant, trapped by entrenched ideas. We must avoid rushing to judgment when encountering unfamiliar things or being guided by emotions and preconceptions, as this will only make us narrow-minded.



We must not think that preserving all old things is equivalent to inheritance. We must not think that stagnation is tradition, nor that innovation and change mean forgetting our ancestors. The transmission of culture refers to the continuation of spirit, not blindly adhering to everything done in the past. Imagine if all the cultural practices and beliefs of the past were blindly preserved without any evaluation or adaptation to the present, it would hinder progress and prevent the development of new ideas and perspectives. Therefore, it is crucial to strike a balance between preserving the essential values and spirit of a culture while also embracing necessary changes and innovations.


In the context of Hoi Ping, it is important to update the infrastructure, technology, and teaching methods to meet the needs of education development. This pragmatic approach ensures that the educational environment remains conducive to learning and growth. However, it is equally important to preserve the core values, principles, and symbols that represent the spirit of the school. These elements provide a sense of identity, purpose, and continuity for the members of the school community.


Furthermore, cultural reflection is necessary to identify and discard the negative aspects or outdated practices that may hinder progress. Not every aspect of a culture is worthy of preservation. By critically evaluating cultural practices, we can discard the dross and retain the essence, allowing for personal and societal growth.


In summary, cultural heritage should be approached with a balanced perspective. While it is essential to preserve the enduring values and spirit of a culture, it is equally important to adapt and innovate in response to the changing times. By reflecting on our culture and critically evaluating its practices, we can discard the negative aspects and embrace positive changes that contribute to individual and societal progress.














大家知道滿清入關時,曾強迫民眾剃髮留辮,按常理,在清朝滅亡後,這種屈辱性標誌自會被民眾迅速拋棄,可惜事實並非這樣。1912 年 民國政府頒佈剪辮令,剪辮子的理據很充分,稱辮子藏污納垢,容易傳播病菌,當時中國人的辮子幾天不洗,氣味難聞。然而,令人意外及奇怪的是,剪辮子的過程並不順利,有人公然殺害了27名「無辮之人」,包括議員、教師和學生等。這些拒絕剪辮的人,大部分不是前朝的既得利益者,他們或者缺乏審美的判斷力,並不認為辮子有礙觀瞻,而且也無法以衛生常識或純粹生活上方便説服他們,他們願意承受滿頭蝨子亂爬的不適。不過更重要的是,他們的堅持顯然包含著某種對「辮子」的強烈認同。大家看到清末民初的人以醜為美、以惡為善、是非顛倒,有沒有一點唏噓?原來,當一班人習慣了某種生活形態,習慣對身邊事物不加思索,就會連基本的理性、美感及思考能力都會慢慢失去。