Fertility And Filial Piety

Andrew Sullivan —  Aug 28 2012 @ 8:45am


A reader sends the above photo:

Re: the hooligan pigs in the Faces of the Day, such statues are found all across the Chinese cultural sphere. Here is one from central Taiwan that is even more graphic. I'ts right along a major north-south road, and made of high-quality plastic. Pigs are symbols of virility and fertility in Chinese culture, and more information on the subject can be found at Frog in a Well, the great Chinese history blog.

Another reader:

I lived near Zhengzhou for a number of years but unfortunately left before seeing that masterpiece. When it comes to depictions of filial piety, there are plenty of traditional examples that could compete for this one: the 16th Paragon of Filial Piety from the Classic of Filial Piety is where a dutiful son must eat the faeces from his sick father to determine what sort of sickness his father might succumb to. Dare to imagine a statue of that one. Blech.