Young Children Believe Confucius is Santa Claus!

March 17, 2008 12:00 am Last Updated: March 17, 2008 12:00 am

Preschoolers at a Chongqing City kindergarten in Chongqing Province, unanimously called out “Santa Claus” when shown a portrait of Confucius.

Teachers and Parents Shocked

According to a Chongqing Evening News report, the incident occurred during a kindergarten class in Chinese Culture and Classics. More than 30 preschoolers were shown a portrait of Confucius that had been hung on the classroom wall.

When the teacher asked who they thought the man in the poster was, the class hesitated a little. Then, altogether, the kids simultaneously answered “Santa Claus.” Both teachers and parents were speechless in shock.

After the class, a discussion was held of how to initiate early education classes of culture and tradition.

Ms. Fan, a teacher of the Culture and Classics class says that the class is designed to help young children gain understanding in traditional virtues such as filial piety, humility, humanity, and so forth. They showed a severe lack of knowledge in virtues. She said, “The regular reading style draws very little interest from the children.”

Ms. Chen, a guest teacher from Shapingba District, Chongqing Province, suggested that teachers wear traditional costumes to capture the classes' attention while introducing tradition and etiquette. She said, “Kids love to imitate, and the results are normally good.”

Children Learn Morals and Virtue From Parents

Liu Xuewei, a guest parent, believed that the essence of traditional culture is “conduct.” It is more than teaching who the sages are or how to memorize the classics.

Teaching should involve transforming the essence into action. To allow children the opportunity to learn traditional culture well, both teachers and parents need to set good examples. He says, “If the adults are being offensive and vulgar, their children will hardly be upright. However, if the adults are modest and self-disciplined, the kids will have high moral integrity.”