Faith and health are the new luxury goods for rich Chinese, who are choosing philosophy classes and meditation holidays over M.B.A. degrees and shopping excursions.
Over the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, some of these people are traveling as far as Hawaii for life-coaching classes or chilling out in a Buddhism-themed hotel in Putuo Mountain, a pilgrimage site near Shanghai. They are choosing tea ceremonies and vegetarian meals over partying and bargain hunting,
“We live in a society that is devoid of faith,” said Zheng Zhaoli, vice dean at the School of Philosophy at Fudan University. “Chinese people don’t have their own religion, that’s why many dedicate their pursuits to study of philosophy and literature.
An adult student at Fudan University’s School of Philosophy arranges flowers at a workshop. Every year, about 150 adults study part-time courses at the respected college in Shanghai. ENLARGE
An adult student at Fudan University’s School of Philosophy arranges flowers at a workshop. Every year, about 150 adults study part-time courses at the respected college in Shanghai.
At Fudan, a well-respected college in Shanghai, a part-time, one-year literature program for adults that started in 2006 grew so popular that it has been extended to two years. Students can make it a four-year program by double majoring in philosophy and arts.
Chinese business schools, by contrast, are struggling to attract students after booming for years. Some have condensed two-year programs into one year to bring in students. Sensing growing interest in ancient Chinese wisdom, Cheung Kong Business School, backed by the Li Ka Shing Foundation, has started to incorporate humanities and philosophy into its M.B.A. programs. Subjects include modern applications of Confucianism.
Read more at The Wall Street Journal.