Cosmos and Hearth: A Cosmopolite's Viewpoint by Yi-Fu Tuan

By Yi-Fu Tuan

In a quantity that represents the end result of his life's paintings in contemplating the connection among tradition and panorama, eminent pupil Yi-Fu Tuan argues that "cosmos" and "hearth" are scales that anchor what it potential to be absolutely and fortunately human. Illustrating this competition with examples from either his local China and his domestic of the earlier 40 years, the USA, Tuan proposes a revised belief of tradition, one completely grounded in one's personal society but additionally embracing interest in regards to the international. positive and deeply human, this crucial quantity lays out a route to being "at domestic within the cosmos."

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Tibetan Buddhism (or Lamaism) is incongruously mixed with the older animistic religion of fierce gods and demons whose shrines dot the landscape. Tibetan villagers are not bothered by gross inconsistency between doctrine and practice, between (say) the prohibition against killing animals for meat and indulging in the delights of the chase and eating meat. As for the Han villagers, their religion is the traditional mix of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism that can be found throughout China. A tolerant attitude CHINA 47 to religion makes it easy for the Han Chinese to take on more Buddhist elements under the influence of their Tibetan neighbors and, again under their influence, to let religious concerns rule a larger portion of their lives.

To them, pigs are an offense to the eye, an abomination that pollutes ground and air. 50 Most of the time, the three peoples of the borderland live in peace. Tibetan and Han villagers, in particular, seem to adapt to each other's ways well. The relationship between Muslim and Han Chinese is less easy, as we have indicated: the two peoples have withdrawn more and more into themselves—into separate, almost exclusive villages, and then into separate, almost exclusive districts. Yet hostility is by no means always at the surface.

Yet the two groups prefer to live separately. Villages in the same valley are either predominantly Chinese or Muslim. In the larger towns, where separation is less marked, Muslims tend to be concentrated in certain trades such as innkeeping, cartering, muleteering, and soldiering. Mixing, where it does occur, can be close-grained. 46 The two groups live close enough to irritate each other—bitterly so when Chinese New Year happens to coincide with Muslim Ramadan. Consider what can happen. On the one side are the turmoil and high spirits of the New Year: exploding firecrackers, clashing cymbals and gongs, outdoor theatricals dangerously performed, gaudily dressed effigies of idols carried around the streets, pigs grunting in the village square, people gorging themselves with food.

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