A Brief Introduction for Chinese Culture

Topics: China, Culture of China, Song Dynasty Pages: 5 (1479 words) Published: November 21, 2012
A brief introduction for Chinese culture

Cultural background
China, as one of the four homes of the world’s earliest civilization, has a recorded history of nearly 4,000 years. Through centuries of migration, merging and development, it has formed a distinctive system of language, writing, philosophy, art and political organization, which came to be recognized as Chinese culture.

It originated from Xia, Shang and Zhou dynasty, which was known as slave culture period. Xia culture represented the early Chinese culture and Zhou culture contributed to the form of more than 2000 years of feudalism culture in China. The May 4th Movement of 1919 was also an important date because it symbolized that it entered into a new culture period.

In the spring and autumn and warring-states period, slave society gradually turned into feudalism society and a lot of thinkers sprang up with their immortal work. Among those, Confucianism was the most successful, which helped to build up the norms and values of Chinese people in the following centuries and also was used as a method for emperors to rule the country. However, after the fall of Qing dynasty, the last feudalism dynasty, Confucianism, which was seen as the product of feudalism society lose its dominant position. But its influence still lasts until now.

Besides Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism also once played an important role in ancient Chinese. Nevertheless, nowadays most of Chinese are atheists. Buddhism is the biggest religion in China with a history of about 2,000 years. Then Muslim comes the second. It is popular within minority nationalities such as Hui and Uygur. Christianism and Catholicism are also believed in by some people. However, Taoism as indigenous religion has the fewest followers.

Moreover, China is a multi-national country with quiet different 56 groups, in which Han has the largest population. Every group has its own language, customs, festivals and some fixed residence. In order to solve the problems of communication between groups and facilitates management, the government standardized language through popularizing mandarin, which is mostly based on Beijing dialect. Cultural values

The development of Chinese values can be divided into two phrases:the former is the traditional cultural values; the latter is modern cultural values, which is affected by the western culture since the 20th century.

Confucianism is the core element in traditional values. Deeply influenced by Confucianism , Chinese people tightly adhere to the Doctrine of Mean and try to avoid conflicts. Afterwards, with time going by, Confucianism experienced improvements by combining with Taoism and Buddhism. In this period, Confucianism focused on human, for example, the relationship between human and human, human and nature and so on.

Under the influence of the above factors, Chinese traditional values can be concluded into the following aspects: -believe in self struggle
‘Man’s determination can conquer the nature’ is an old Chinese saying. Chinese people believe that through their efforts they can change their life. -emphasis on the art of tolerance
Tolerance is another characteristic for Chinese nation. Chinese people won’t be easily infuriated by others. They are used to avoid conflicts and keep peace. It seems to be a little cowardly .But the truth is that many great men succeed because of temporary tolerance . -follow the majority

This is still a serious problem in today’s society. Conformist mentality has proved to have negative effect on building up one’s confidence and independence. People are not willing to express its own opinion to keep conformity with the majority and become passive. -respect the old

Respect for the old is a Chinese traditional virtue. Not like western individual consciousness, Chinese parents think it’s their duty to look after their children and do all that they can do for them. So when children grow up, they...
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