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November Meeting – Ladder to the Clouds – A Presentation on Chinese Civil Service

November 3 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Ladder to the Clouds Flyer
David Hugus is an expert collector of Mandarin Squares.  These are the rank badges used during the Ming and Qing Dynasties that prominently adorned Chinese robes of civil and military officials. He is the co-author with Beverly Jackson of the book  Ladder to the Clouds which featured the examination process to enter Dynastic civil service and the rank badges themselves.  He is also the author of a new book on Rank Badges that should be available in the coming months.
David will talk about the examination process which was the “Ladder to the Clouds” for centuries in China.  By passing the exam anyone, not just the rich, could become a government official which was like achieving the “American Dream” only much better.  It meant social and economic wellbeing. It was a society based on meritocracy. The Chinese diplomats who came to America had passed the exam.  The early Chinese scholars who taught in American schools as well as any literate Chinese who came to America had studied the same Chinese classics that were the basis for the exam.  Even today in China and for Chinese in America the emphasis on education and passing exams such as the SAT are a legacy of the examination process of Dynastic China.
Is the examination process inherent in Chinese DNA or is a characteristic that makes Chinese Chinese?




Chinese Historical Society of Southern California
The China Society of Southern California