Parents Good Example of Filial Piety

ByYe Shan January 15, 2024

Parents Good Example of Filial Piety

With 16 members, Jia Mingshun has a large extended family. The family lives in Qianlu, a village administered by Tianjia Town Sub-district, in Wuxue, a city in central China's Hubei Province. Jia used to be a doctor, who worked with the health center in Tianjia Town. He has been a doctor for 48 years, and he has voluntarily continued to provide medical services to the villagers since his retirement. Jia and his wife, Zhai Xiulian, have consistently urged their offspring to inherit the family's virtue of showing filial piety to the elderly. In 2023, Jia's family was named a National Most Beautiful Family.

Parents Good Example of Filial Piety

Looking After the Elderly

Both Jia and Zhai are in their 70s. The couple inherited the moral virtue of showing filial piety to elderly members of their family when they were young. "My father was a teacher, who worked away from our hometown. My mother suffered from a severe disease, and she had to lie in bed when she was nearly 40. I was 20 at that time, and I shouldered the responsibility of looking after my mother," Jia recalled. 

The then-young man's kind deeds moved Zhai, who was then his fiancée. Zhai often visited Jia's home to help take care of Jia's mother. She did not hesitate to marry Jia after his mother died. Zhai was not only a sister-in-law for Jia's younger brother and two sisters, she was also like their "surrogate mother," and she looked after the three until they grew into adults. 

"My father was in his 40s when my mother passed away, but he never thought about getting remarried. My wife and I made up our minds that we would take good care of him as he was growing older," Jia told Women of China. His family has passed on its family mottos, which emphasize the importance of "diligence, cultivation, reading, benevolence, wisdom and kindheartedness." 

Jia's grandchildren currently study in universities. Usually during holidays, they have enough time to return to their hometown to visit the elderly members of their family. Throughout the rest of the year, they make time to call their grandparents, to chat and send greetings. They have learned from their parents and grandparents the great value of filial piety.

Parents Good Example of Filial Piety

Good Reputation

After his mother died, Jia was determined to study medicine, so he would be able to help reduce people's suffering. In 1974, he began working for the clinic in his village. Later, he was formally employed by the health center of Tianjia Town. 

Jia has always voluntarily provided medical services to elderly villagers who live alone and/or in disadvantaged households. He and his wife take medicine and food to those individuals. During the past three decades, Jia has introduced revolutionary history and local "red" stories to visitors to his hometown. Living near the Yangtze River, Jia and Zhai have participated, many times, in fighting flooding. Jia and his fellow villagers take turns helping guard the flood-control dikes. Zhai and other women send their home-cooked foods to the soldiers and workers who fight the flooding. Jia and Zhai's warm deeds have won them a good reputation; as such, they have been called "a couple who fights flooding" by local media outlets.

Winning Respect

Jia and Zhai were both born into farmers' families, and their parents paid much attention to their children's education. Despite the hardships they endured when they were young, Jia and Zhai helped their siblings, and their children, receive an education. The couple's four children have passed their moral virtues on to their respective families, and they have lived in a warm and harmonious family atmosphere. 

In May 2023, Jia's family was selected a National Most Beautiful Family. "We are grateful for the approval of others, that they believe my family has done a good job. In fact, countless families across our country have all worked very well. We ought to make efforts to do better in the future," Jia said.


Photos from Interviewees and Tianjia Town Sub-district's Women's Federation

Source: Department of Family and Children's Affairs of the ACWF

(Women of China English Monthly December 2023 issue) 


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