Chinese Culture and History

Posted: October 17th, 2013





Chinese Culture and History

The major feature of China is its national and cultural history. They are considered the group that has shared its original culture longer than any other group. Their writing method is said to date back to 4,000 years. They have a royal dynastic structure of government that was established back in 221BC.This government structure continued for years. Some particular empires were changed, but the dynastic system survived. From AD 1279 to 1368 during the Yuan Dynasty, foreign raiders ruled China. From AD 1644 to 1911 during the Ch’ing Dynasty, it was ruled by the Manchus. These foreigners were mainly fascinated by the Chinese culture.

In 1911, the dynastic structure of the China government was reversed. Existing until 1949 was a democratic government form. After the civil war in 1949, there was the declaration of the republic of China with the communist government that has existed in china until to today. Although the dynastic system does not exist, China’s culture remained strong in the late 20th century than any other period. In the People’s Republic, the responsibility of China concerning the world economical and political association has become indispensable. Archeological evidence explains china to be one of the frames of the human race.

In 1963, the skull of the first human in China was discovered in Shanxi Province. This skull is said to date back to 600,000 BC. Sinanthropus pekinensis remains were unearthed in 1923 at Zhoukoudianzhen near Peking. They date back to 400,000 BC. Peking man and Pithecanthropus of Java were close relatives. They lived during the Old Stone Age. An artifact of an Old Stone Age man dating back to 50,000-35,000 BC exists at the upper Zhoukoudianzhen caves. This modern man made tools out of bones and stones. He made clothes from animal hides and could make fire.

In the fourth or third millennium BC, in the New Stone Age, a great population of the ancient china began living together at established places. They practiced land cultivation and kept animals. They began making stone tools and shelters in hollow houses. They made beehive huts enclosed with reed roofs. These people were found in the North China Plain at the great bend of the Huang He. This area was adequate for agriculture in spite of the harsh winters. In 3000-2000 BC, people made pottery wherein they stored their food and drinks. Red clay pots with twirling black drawings have been found in the northwest near Yangshao village and soft black pottery near Shandong Province.

Originally, during the Xia and Shang dynasties, the Chinese worshipped their principal god Shang Di. The king and the spiritualist were the priests. The Zhou dynasty understood it as worshipping heaven. The Chinese culture believes in the existence of the spirit world. Prayers has given answers to questions and served as an alternative to medicine. The most recognized holy figures include Guan Yin, Jade Emperor and Buddha. There also exists a belief in the existence of evil. Taoist fighting mogwai and jiang shi with peach wood swords have been passed down from tradition. The fortune telling rituals are still practiced today after many years.

The earliest language to be written in China was classical Chinese. This language was often set aside for intellectuals. Calligraphy was later introduced. Artists with exceptional work were awarded prices. Literature in China has a long history. The first classic work in china, the Book of Changes, dates back to 1000 BC. In the archeological sites, remains of the Huntington culture that existed 1800 years ago have been discovered and that prove the existence of sewing craft in that age.

China first settlements were discovered in the Huang He basin. This dates from 5000 BC. In 1500–1000 BC, during the Shang dynasty, the China’s writing system emerged. This enabled the rising states of that age to attain a higher phase of development, competing in complexity with the world. After attaining success of civilization, the Lao-tse, Confucius, Mo Ti, and Mencius positioned the foundation of Chinese theoretical thought. This period was called the Chou dynasty back in 1122–249 B.C. In 246–210 BC, Emperor Ch’in Shih brought together the states that were always at war with each other. The Great Wall of China prevented the invasion from the west. Despite China protection from the west, in 206 B.C.–A.D. 220 during the Han dynasty after attaining civilization success, it performed widespread marketable trading with the West. In the golden age of Chinese history 618–907 during the T’ang dynasty, painting, sculpture, and poetry grew. Woodblock printing facilitated the manufacture of books. In 1368–1644, the Mings conquered the Yuan, dynasty. In 1271–1368, the Mings in turn were conquered by northern intruders, the Manchus

.Once the baby reached his first month, a celebration was held to honor the baby’s survival. This was because it was quite hard for the baby to reach the first month considering china’s medical growth. Visitors were invited to this party where they accompanied with gifts. The baby was named during this celebration and friends and relatives invited shared their joy. The boys were given gifts in red envelopes and girls were given expensive jewelry. Traditionally, Chinese boys were cherished more than the girls were. As a result, the party for the boys was made more noteworthy. The girl’s celebration was smaller compared to the boys. Today though, there is equality and girls are cherished just as boys. The baby’s head was also shaved during the celebration. This celebration was called the red egg ginger party.

After the mother had given birth, she was expected to relax for a month’s period since she was considered weak. This was to prevent her from contracting any infections, to enable her to heal and avoid complications. They also took a soup that was considered healthy. It contained vinegar, ginger and pigs feet. Many Chinese mothers still do this to date. After the party, the parents sent gifts to the visitors as a symbol of appreciation. A small round biscuit with pork inside was sent to the visitors as a gift. The grandparents mostly picked the baby’s name. If not so, the name could be picked to mean something. Today, the parents may choose to carry out the celebration at a restaurant together with the people to carry out the ritual. To declare the birth of a baby, parents could also decide to apply the brightly colored eggs. This is done by sending out an even number of eggs in declaration of a male child, and an odd number to announce the birth of a female child.

I am a Chinese resident and the only child in my family. This is because China has a One-Child rule. This rule has been in existence since 1970. In an effort to control population growth, China administrators approximate that China can only hold a 1% growth rate every year. It has, therefore, made it compulsory that families should have only one child. This is stricter in the main cities, but rural governments are comfortable about this since additional manual labor is needed in farming societies. However, parents who want more than one child should be fined. The only exceptions to this rule are the remarried couples. China has a population of over 1.2 billion. As a result, the Chinese people must follow this policy. An abortion is funded by the state but is not necessary.
The One-Child rule has had many penalties that include the making of an odd dilemma called the “4-2-1” problem. An only child who is also an only grand child is more likely to grow up spoilt than one who grows up with siblings. In addition, the children will not have siblings or cousins to keep them company at times. These are sensible concerns. In most cases, children are not disciplined because they know it is anticipated of them. Grandparents play a significant role in caring for children especially in cases where both parents work.

One of the ancient places for martial arts is China. China martial art is called Kung Fu. Shaolin Monastery and Wudang Mountains are situated in China. These places are exceedingly respected. When an art was initially created, it began mostly for the purpose of endurance and fighting than art. As time went, some art ways have split while others have maintained a different Chinese taste. Regardless, China has shaped some of the most famous martial artists including Wong Fei Hung. The arts have also taken part with a selection of weapons including typical 18 arms. Famous and notorious moves like Dim Mak are admired and praised in the Chinese culture.

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