Cultural strengths

Laurence Brahm works with the film crew on his latest documentary, Searching for Kung Fu.[Photo provided to China Daily]

US award-winning documentary filmmaker and development pioneer lauds major aspects behind China’s success, Alexis Hooi reports.

Many people from overseas have made a contribution to China’s development over the years. As China celebrates the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, China Daily looks at the lives and contributions of these friends from afar, who’ve not only witnessed, but also participated in, the country’s transformation over the years.

For many people in the West, kung fu ranks as one of the most popular aspects of China. However, they may not realize that the martial art is actually about nonviolent traditional Chinese principles and values, “about the social harmony that one develops through perseverance and training”, according to US award-winning documentary filmmaker Laurence Brahm.

The Chinese characters spelling kung fu include those that mean “dagger-ax” and “to stop”, Brahm says.

“So it’s the art of stopping fighting or the art of nonviolence. It’s a very important principle that should be shared today.”

The traditional values behind kung fu-of perseverance, loyalty, respect for harmony, nature, the center line and not going to extremes-should in turn be used to better understand Chinese culture, Brahm says.

Those crucial cultural foundations help form the basis of the country’s successful development, which the Communist Party of China has led and maintained, he says.

Brahm used the kung fu analogy as he took stock of the country’s achievements amid the centennial celebrations of the CPC this year. His latest documentary, Searching for Kung Fu, produced by the China Daily website, discusses the fundamental aspects of kung fu by tracing the footsteps of its masters.

Brahm, who trained in the United States as a lawyer and economist, arrived in China four decades ago and worked with the Chinese government on financial, banking and enterprise reform through the 1990s. He has written more than 20 books covering Asia.

For his major contributions to the development and greater understanding of the country, Brahm received the 2019 China Friendship Award on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.


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