Studying Under a Si Fu
From the culinary arts to Chinese medicine, the most formal way to study any specialized field in Chinese culture is to be accepted by a "Si Fu," or teacher.
Agreeing to accept the role of a mentor is taken very seriously, as it typically means a life-time relationship as a role model, and all the responsibilities which go with it.
Here, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Master Peter Chow talks about his experience studying under a formal Si Fu in China.
"One day as a teacher obligates a lifetime as a father."
"Si Fu" (師父) in Chinese is a formal title used by students to address their teachers as a sign of respect. "Si" (師) refers to a "skilled person," and "Fu" (父) means "father."
To the Chinese, teaching is a serious responsibility. "One day as a teacher obligates a lifetime as a father." As such, the word "Fu" is used to address one's teacher.
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