Nüerjing 女儿经 “The Classic of Girls”

The Nüerjing 女儿经 “Classic of girls” is a textbook for primary teaching for girls written by an unknown author during the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) . The most important editions of this book were made during the Wanli reign 万厉 (1573-1619), an edition with a commentary by Zhao Nanxing 赵南星 from the Tianqi reign 天启 (1621-1627), the so-called Qiushi Nüerjing 裘氏女儿经 printed by Master Gao 高氏 around the year 1622, a revised edition by He Ruilin 贺瑞麟, the Gailiang Nüerjing 改良女儿经 from the Tongzhi reign 同治 (1862-1874), and a print by the Tunxijuwen Studio 屯溪聚文堂 from the Guangxu reign 光绪 (1875-1908). The book is written in phrases that are all consisting of three characters. The book is 864 characters long, or 288 sentenctes. It explains that a girl has to obey father and mother, to work hard and to live a proper life, to speak with a low voice and to wear decent clothes. After marriages her obedience has to be given towards her parents-in-law and her husband. She has to care for their household, to establish good relationship with the neighbourhood, and to raise up her children. TheNüerjing also brings forward a lot of good examples from the past which each women should try to follow. It was very widespread because it is easy to read.

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