Dear Editor,

My name is Jack Tie and I am a Research Assistant Professor at UNC Chapel Hill.
I came across an article on your website entitled “Leaflets in Hand: Divine Performing Arts at Durham Performing Arts Center” by Kate Dobbs Ariail. Actually, my family watched that show in the DPAC. My wife loved it. My 15-year old son loved it. And I just enjoyed it so much. As members of the audience, we are VERY upset by Ms. Ariail’s article. I feel so sorry for her because it seems she did not understand what the genuine Traditional Chinese Culture is, and that article is TOTALLY misleading. I am writing to bring this to your immediate attention.
Traditional Chinese Culture is deeply rooted from the ideology of Buddha School, Tao School, and Confucius. Unfortunately, it has been lost in modern China. I think this is a tragedy for our country and the traditional Chinese Culture needs to be reborn.
To me, the show performed by Divine Performing Arts is bringing the REAL traditional Chinese Culture back on stage. Their beautiful show makes me feel like I’m truly at home.
When the first program started, I noticed a lot of audience members around me couldn’t help but say “Wow!” “The Five Millennia Begin” is very similar to a story my grandfather told me when I was a boy.
When I watched the Dance “Mulan Joins the Battle”, everything was so familiar. I can still recite the poem written hundreds of years ago in China about “Mulan”. That was our homework when I was in middle school.
“The Monkey King” and “Monk Ji Gong” are so well known in China that It’s like how Americans know about Santa Clause.
Also, Chinese is a very comprehensive language. For example, we have many different ways to call China, like “Zhong Hua”, “Zhong Guo”, “Jiu Zhou”, “Hua Xia”, etc. “Shen Zhou (The Land of the Divine)” is one of them. As Chinese people, we believe our country is a precious gift from the heaven, and a lot of Chinese legends passed down are showing how the heaven sent specific people down to earth to teach our ancestors how to write, how to grow crops, how to make Chinese medicine, how to manage the country, etc. Traditional Chinese Cultural is tightly connected to the heaven. So we call the emperor or king “Tian Zi (the son of the heaven)”.
As for the issue of Falun Gong, as far as I know, it is one type of Buddha School cultivation. It teaches the values of “Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance”. Buddha School and Tao School cultivation are part of Traditional Chinese Culture. Similar to Chinese Kung Fu movies actually telling the cultivation stories of monks and martial arts masters.
Unfortunately, due to the atheist characteristic, the Chinese Communist Party has been persecuting Falun Gong since 1999. Thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been persecuted to death in detention centers, labor camps, and jails under Chinese police custody. This is truly a tragedy in China at the present time. When I saw Divine Performing Arts bring this human rights issue to the public’s attention, I am so touched by their courage. Yes! People need to know the truth. It will not only help Falun Gong, it also brings hope and sheds light to those Christians, Tibetan monks, and other “dissidents*” sent to prison by the Chinese Communist Regime.
Thank you very much for your time. For the sake of your website’s reputation, I sincerely hope the article by Ms. Ariail be taken down as soon as possible.
Jack Tie, Ph. D
Chapel Hill
*Edited 1/16/09 at the request of the author.