What do the songs tell us about the importance of families and friends to the Zhou Chinese?
The Zhou Chinese valued their families and friends. They supported each other emotionally and materially. The mother and father made sure their children grew up well and it was the responsibility of the children to respect their parents and support them emotionally. Friendship was also important because they enjoyed having each other around despite them being peasants. They valued the friendly ties they upheld and made sure they maintained them.
What did peasants think about those who ruled them? Can you say why?
The peasants saw their leaders as people who manipulated them and took away what belonged to them and hence they did not want to be led by such people. They refer to them as ‘big rats’ to show that they took more than enough and hence were greedy. They forgot how to lead the people and were concerned about themselves rather than the people.
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From the song, the people are complaining of how the leaders took away what belonged to them and still took away more with no appreciation of what the people were doing. They knew there was a place they would be happy and hence warned their leaders about it. They did not want to have such leaders and hence anticipated for the day they would be out of there.
The Poetry of Peasant Life in Zhou China. Witness to the Past