移风易俗 – Chinese philosophy and culture

yífēng-yìsú 移风易俗

Change Social Practices and Customs

转移风气,改变习俗。“移风易俗”是“乐”的重要功能。风俗是社会群体长期以来形成的共同的行为习惯,可能会包含某些违礼的成分。群体习惯的改变十分困难,不能单纯依赖强制的规范,而是需要发挥“乐”对于人心的深刻影响。通过“乐”的教化,引导人心进入恰当的状态,进而逐渐改变社会的风气和习俗,使之自觉符合礼的要求。

This is one of the important functions of music. Social practices are common forms of behavior formed within communities over time, and they can also include aspects that do not conform to rites. Changing such widespread habits is extremely difficult and cannot be accomplished by mandatory regulations alone. This is where music comes into play by affecting and stirring people’s emotions so that they gradually change their ways and willingly conform to the requirements of rites.

引例 Citation:

◎乐者,圣人之所乐也,而可以善民心,其感人深,其移风易俗,故先王导之以礼乐而民和睦。(《荀子·乐论》)

(“乐”是圣人所喜好的,可以使百姓之心向善,对人有极强的感染力,能移风易俗,因此先王用礼乐引导民众,使他们和睦相处。)

Music was appreciated by the sage kings; it improves people’s behavior, stirs and moves them, so they change social practices and customs. Thus the sage kings guided their subjects with music and rites, so that the subjects treated each other with friendship and good will. (Xunzi)

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