Old Couple in Izmir / The Four Olds

Old Couple in Izmir - The Four Olds

In 1966, the People's Republic of China launched a campaign to destroy the Four Olds: Old Customs, Old Culture, Old Habits, and Old Ideas. First, they changed the names of streets, stores and other things. They harassed intellectuals and anyone who defiantly demonstrated the Four Olds. They destroyed temples, classical architecture, paintings, literature and genealogy books. The campaign lasted, in one form or another, until the 1990's when a massive rebuilding effort to restore and rebuild the destroyed or damaged cultural sites took place. I guess in the end, they understood that iconoclasm does not exactly mean, severing oneself totally from the past. Not every old thing is bad.

Whether we like it or not, customs, culture, habits and ideas constantly change. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not. The elderly bridge the old and the new, and serve as a continuum, countering the folly of the young. Without this inter-generational continuum, we would have to reinvent customs, habits and culture, and rediscover some time-tested ideas all over again.
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