Kong Xiangkai – the 75th eldest grandson of Confucius – China's great philosopher and educator [Photo/WeChat account: quzhoufb]
Over the past two decades, China has continued to spread the word abroad of its great philosopher Confucius and his teachings, as it has actively established Confucius Institutes overseas.
Kong Xiangkai – the 75th eldest grandson of Confucius – was born in January 1938 in Quzhou city in East China's Zhejiang province. He passed away on Sept 28 – on the 2,572nd birthday of Confucius, according to local media reports.
Kong was the director of the management committee of the Nanzong Confucius Temple in Quzhou. He had reportedly been diligently keeping Confucianism relevant through annual ceremonies commemorating the birth of the great thinker and educator.
Kong was instrumental in reviving the commemoration ceremony to mark the birth of Confucius in 2004, after the tradition had lapsed for more than 50 years in Quzhou.
Prior to that – and little known to most Chinese – the city of Quzhou had since the early 12th century been home to about 30,000 of Confucius's descendants, making it the second largest such community after Qufu in Shandong province.
Kong said he believed that a sense of tradition and the observing of rituals could help people understand Confucianism's role as a crucial component in modern life.
Nowadays, Quzhou has emerged as the second largest center for studying, interpreting and spreading Confucian concepts in South China.