At the turn of the new century, Yu Qiuyu embarked on another journey to visit the cradles of three great civilizations of the world. From 1999 to 2000, Yu Qiuyu drove along with Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV in tow from Greece and visited more than 10 countries, including Egypt, Israel and India. His travel notes and personal reflections of these civilizations were collected into another book called A Sigh in Millennium. In the six months after that, he traveled to another 26 countries alone and completed his book Travel No End. These travel experiences helped him complete his meditation about different cultures.
"You will not know the true face of one thing if you are involved in it, just like you can't get a whole picture of a mountain if you're inside it. I try to understand Chinese civilization through visiting other civilization's relics. I visited all the ancient civilizations. After that, I traveled to 97 European cities and compared their civilizations with ours. Through comparing to other ancient civilizations, I found the advantages of Chinese civilization, but with European culture, I also noticed the shortcomings of Chinese culture. Based on this, I finished my extensive thinking on culture."
This year, Yu Qiuyu has worked on a TV program called Qiuyu's Time for Hong Kong Phoenix TV. In a quiet and poetic atmosphere, he analyzes cultural misunderstandings and discusses hot issues, people and thoughts. He said TV programs, as a transmission medium, inspired his excitement of communication with the audience.
"There must be a reason for the vitality of our culture because it has existed for thousands of years. What I am most interested in is whether it is possible to deduce the reason for the longevity of Chinese culture and its shortcomings to the world. I wanted to tell it in a most easy way that everybody can understand."
In communication with other world cultures, the scholar believes Chinese people should readjust their look at their own culture from an international perspective. This will help them better communicate with the rest of the world in every aspect.
"For a long period of time, Chinese people have communicated with the world in a habitual unilateral way instead of from a responsive way. Now we need real integration and two-way communication with other cultures. It'll be a reciprocal process, one that we are still working on. Before that, we need to have another look at our Chinese culture, which is very important in my view."
Yu Qiuyu admits he is a different kind of intellectual who combines the sensible with knowledge. Although there may be those who don't like his style, Yu Qiuyu's name will be forever linked with the promotion of public understanding of Chinese and world cultures.
(CRI.com December 7, 2006)