Filial piety(孝)

Filial piety

Headword

( )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Rites of Passage > Korean Rites of Passage > Jerye

Writer ChoiGilsung(崔吉城)

The feeling of love and respect for one’s parents.

Hyo (Kor. 효, Chin. 孝, lit. filial piety) is basically a natural human feeling like parents’ love for their children. How this kind of love and feeling is institutionalized, however, is not the same in peoples and societies — that is, it can vary depending on society. Filial piety is a mutual relationship between parents and their children. In Korea, however, under the influence of Confucianism, particular emphasis is placed on children’s filial duties toward their parents. In other words, for Koreans, filial piety is a unilateral concept. Subordinate to the unilateral relationship of chinja (Kor. 친자, Chin. 親子, lit. parent and child), the concept of hyo is extended to the grandchildren’s filial piety and respect for their grandparents.

A sense of hyo, or f ilial piety, seems to have extended to the institution of filial duty (hyodo) based on social morals and ethics. Essential ethics for children, filial piety is one of their duties to their parents. In other words, it is a natural emotion and a way of fulfilling filial obligations at the same time. As their parents gave them life and raise them, the children must repay them with filial piety. Parents bestow on their children the three “gracious favors” (eunhye) of birth, upbringing, and wealth while children have the same number of obligations, that is, to carry on the family line, support their parents, and observe memorial rites after their death. The things inherited or passed down from parents including wealth, social status and human relations are at the core of the institutionalization of filial piety. This is not sufficient, however, to fully explain the concepts of hyo and eunhye. Eunhye might be understood as a reciprocal give-and-take concept, but the two concepts are not interchangeable as favors by parents and children’s filial piety are hardly equal in quality and quantity.

Filial piety

Filial piety
Headword

( )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Rites of Passage > Korean Rites of Passage > Jerye

Writer ChoiGilsung(崔吉城)

The feeling of love and respect for one’s parents.

Hyo (Kor. 효, Chin. 孝, lit. filial piety) is basically a natural human feeling like parents’ love for their children. How this kind of love and feeling is institutionalized, however, is not the same in peoples and societies — that is, it can vary depending on society. Filial piety is a mutual relationship between parents and their children. In Korea, however, under the influence of Confucianism, particular emphasis is placed on children’s filial duties toward their parents. In other words, for Koreans, filial piety is a unilateral concept. Subordinate to the unilateral relationship of chinja (Kor. 친자, Chin. 親子, lit. parent and child), the concept of hyo is extended to the grandchildren’s filial piety and respect for their grandparents.

A sense of hyo, or f ilial piety, seems to have extended to the institution of filial duty (hyodo) based on social morals and ethics. Essential ethics for children, filial piety is one of their duties to their parents. In other words, it is a natural emotion and a way of fulfilling filial obligations at the same time. As their parents gave them life and raise them, the children must repay them with filial piety. Parents bestow on their children the three “gracious favors” (eunhye) of birth, upbringing, and wealth while children have the same number of obligations, that is, to carry on the family line, support their parents, and observe memorial rites after their death. The things inherited or passed down from parents including wealth, social status and human relations are at the core of the institutionalization of filial piety. This is not sufficient, however, to fully explain the concepts of hyo and eunhye. Eunhye might be understood as a reciprocal give-and-take concept, but the two concepts are not interchangeable as favors by parents and children’s filial piety are hardly equal in quality and quantity.