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Home  /  Inside China  /  Peixun 培训 - A cutting edge training, modern self-cultivation
Peixun 培训 - A cutting edge training, modern self-cultivation print version

Filling up numerous commercial ads or bulletin boards, the word '培训', (peixun - training, teaching, cultivating) has become more abundant than street snacks, indicating that in contemporary China people continuously assess their own capabilities, getting in shape for present-future career and personal challenges.  

Peixun (培训) is a word that expands throughout a wide range of meanings, from simple teaching courses to classes that focuses on acquiring a special skill, and even a more personal cultivation process. Still, nowadays there is something common in all formats of peixun in China: They all carry a sense of an extra training which would allow the 'pupil' to exceed over a certain challenge and get an extra edge for one's future success. Whether we are talking about language learning or a more psychological oriented training, peixun refers to practical, useful knowledge. The word fudao (辅导, tutor) can often accompany peixun.

When passing across bulletin boards in China, whether they are located in schools or in community residential areas (小区 xiaoqu), peixun is the word that appears most often in ad titles along with zhaopin (招聘 'job recruiting'). Actually, peixun and zhaopin go hand and hand when one is on the quest for a career and a prosperous future. In a reality where standard academic knowledge or basic training aren't sufficient conditions for finding a good job, peixun attracts people, as it is an additional training which could be the cutting-edge advantage one acquires within the contemporary rat race.

A good example is 英语培训 (yingyu peixun) - English training; most Chinese have studied English in school or high-school to a certain degree, and among them a big portion feels that they didn't reach a satisfactory level of language skills. Mastering English is considered a fantastic quality when hunting for a job, answering the demands of enterprises which have a global orientation. In such case, peixun is a class, training and a domain in which people can commit and elevate themselves towards gaining such a desired advantage.

However, as mentioned above, peixun doesn't refer only to concrete knowledge, even if the ultimate motive is practical. A class of how to speak in front of a crowd, how to provide good customer service and how to present oneself in a job interview are all activities with a psychological flavor that fit under the peixun category.

 pur_1006071617537893750_1_b38f56fd9385011ba6787789b83130fd_387  2007114521893_859
 m_a12bjyxw703c_3_304  Peixun ads: In red: 股票培训 (gupiao peixun) - Stock market training; Yellow: 广告业务员(gaogao yewuyuan) - Advertisement manager training; Black: 高考艺术培训专家 (gaokao yishu peixun zhuanjia) - Training expert for the art college entrance exams.

In Baidu Baike 百度百科 (, the 'Chinese Wikipedia', the definition of peixun states that it is an organized knowledge transfer (传递 chuandi) activity, including technical knowledge, standards and norms, information, beliefs and cultivating behaviors. It is less a cultivation of a hobby, but rather a process of obtaining useful skills. In addition to actual classes, books which teach such techniques are also referred to as peixun.

classes are popular today and though in certain domains peixun-like training may have been common also many years ago, the meaning of peixun should be seen as associated with reform-era China (1979 an onwards). Some important skills were also emphasized during the communist era, but since then, when the capitalist demon was set free and personal initiative became a desired attribute, people are looking for any possible ways to improve their CV as well as develop more abstract psychological skills, which could make them more competent in the competitive modern environment. Many private companies are obviously taking advantage of such needs and are constantly thinking of new advanced classes they could offer to attract modern-self-aware customers.

Peixun becomes tempting when people feel insecure; insecure about their own skills, insecure about their job-finding prospect and insecure about the future and the socioeconomic changes it might behold. Even when one feels successful in a certain realm, why not undergo one peixun class and put another rabbit in his or her hat?!  

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