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Drink Water, but Remember the SourceMoral Discourse in a Chinese Village$
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Ellen Oxfeld

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520260948

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520260948.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 29 July 2021

Everlasting Debts

Everlasting Debts

(p.114) Chapter 4 Everlasting Debts
Drink Water, but Remember the Source

Ellen Oxfeld

University of California Press

Mourning, memorialization, and care of the dead: no one would dispute that these have long played a dominant role in China. Funerals are still a core ritual in Moonshadow Pond, although they have been altered, recreated, and revised several times through the twists and turns of the Maoist and reform eras. This chapter asks what the role of funerals is in village life now and how residents of Moonshadow Pond understand them. It goes without saying that funerals in China are connected to obligation in morality. Many have found other factors at work in the time, energy, and attention that rural Chinese put into funerals, such as the fear of ancestral retribution, the desire to counteract the inauspiciousness of death, or the coveting of status among the living.

Keywords:   mourning, memorialization, China, funerals, Moonshadow Pond, reform, obligation, morality, retribution, death

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