Back in secondary school, I studied history, where we were taught regarding the China Cultural Revolution and The Fall of Berlin. I remember when I was in school, I constantly ponder the use of force against culture and religion.
So, What is the China Cultural Revolution?
During 1966, China Communist Leader Mao ZeDong had felt the threat from the other China leaders, and decided an uprise known as The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, which is frequently known as Cultural Revolution.
The Cultural Revolution was a disguised for Mao ZeDong, in which he wanted to preserve the ‘true’ belief of the communist party and he felt that the Soviet Unions are moving away from the communist ideology.
The Cultural Revolution is a “destruction of 4 old” campaign. The 4 old’s includes old customs, old culture, old habits and old ideas.
So, What happened during the China Cultural Revolution?
During the destruction of the 4 old, the red guards on slaughter were particularly in the realms of culture and religion.
Libraries full of historical and foreign texts were destroyed; books were burned. Temples, churches, mosques, monasteries, and cemeteries were closed down and sometimes converted to other uses, looted, and destroyed. The clergy was arrested and sent to camps while many Tibetan Buddhists were forced to participate in the destruction of their monasteries at gunpoint.
So, What happened to the temple that defeated the China Cultural Revolution?
The Deyuan Ancestral Temple 张氏宗庙德远堂 was built during the end of the Ming Dynasty and the beginning of the Qing Dynasty. During the China Cultural Revolution, the temple was disguised as a school for students to study, and it escaped the China Cultural Revolution.
So, What is so special about the Deyuan Ancestral Temple?
The grandest sight of the temple is the 21 ten metres tall stone dragon banners in front of the temple. The stone dragon banners are crafted with exquisite workmanship and peculiar model.
So, Why are the stone dragon banners built for?
The stone dragon banners are built in order to bring honor to the Zhang’s ancestor, in particular for those within the clan that has academic ranks or official titles. But now, they are built for the god of longevity and for those overseas Chinese from the clan that has succeeded in life. It has become a symbol to try hard and to do upwards and plays a positive role in promoting culture and progress within the clan.