Norman Bailey’s list is remarkable and to my mind mostly accurate. But perhaps it is only part of the picture. There is a new brave world rising out of the old western world. In China there are tens of millions of youngsters studying western classical music and in the past few years Latin, which almost vanished from western schools curricula, is invading Chinese universities, taught mostly by catholic priests. Latin is ten times more difficult for chinese than for speakers of Indo-European languages.

This tells me that yes something is ending in the West, but something else is growing in the east. We all, not only the Chinese, I believe, have a responsibility on how this “new” will grow up.

Francesco Sisci

Francesco Sisci is an Italian sinologist, author and columnist who lives and works in Beijing. He works for the Catholic research center

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