China 中国

external image ChineseFlag.jpg Chinese Culture 中國文化

Chinese Culture:

    • Today there are 56 distinct ethnic minorities in China.
    • The culture is spread throughout the geographical area of China, where each region is represented by three ancestral items. For example, in Lin'an (Hangzhou) the three items are the following: tea leaf, bamboo shoot trunk and hickory nut.
    • The music of our culture dates back to the Zhou Dynasty( 1122 BC - 256 BC ) the first major written documented music Flowering Of Chinese was created for the king during the Tang Dynasty.
    • China is one of the main birth places of Eastern Martial arts, the names for it were Kung Fu or its first name Wu Shu. China Includes the well known Shaolin Monastery and the Wudang Mountains.
    • Different social classes in different eras have different fashion trends. Chinese clothing over the past hundreds of years contain the most colorful and diverse arrangements.
    • Chinese Architecture can be found over 2000 years ago. Its buildings were primarily concentrated on its symmetry. Which these style of buildings from the Forbidden City were created.
    • If we hear Chinese food, our minds will jump into think fried rice, chow mein, sweet and sour chicken. Actually there is more to that! Chinese people prepare delicious meals everyday changing our tastes. There are Beijing foods which they are famous for their Beijing Duck. Cantonese foods concntrate on steamed, stir-fried or boiled, mostly they like to eat sea food. The last one I am going to introduce is Szechuan food where the food is really spicy. This location is a poor location but really famous for all their super spicy foods, such as Spicy Egg Plants, Spicy fish Soup, Spicy Clear Noodles etc.... We could enjoy a variety of Chinese foods sharing each one of their different tastes of culture.

Surface Culture:
Respecting Elders
Always wearing red at important events
Celebrating Chinese New Year
Practicing Martial Arts
Chinese Traditional Dances

Deep Culture:
Value in gods
Following fathers name
Son carries down family name

Chinese Language:
China speaks approximately 2,548 dialects. Categorized into Dialects, Sub dialects, and Topolects. The difference between a dialect and a language is a language is bigger than a dialect, which means that there are many speakers or that language. Therefore a dialect is a subcategory of a language. At the same time they have developed a form of Chinese Alphabet, way different than the United States, but it is mainly used for pronunciation. Unlike the regular alphabet there are 37 characters having their own specialty, helping people with pronunciation and having 4 different tones.

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The most common spoken Chinese language in China is the simplified Chinese or Mandarin (Pu Tong Hua) based on the Beijing Dialect. The second most common language spoken in China is Cantonese Chinese. They both are similar because they still use the same form of Chinese (written) but spoken in another form. I myself speak 5 languages and three of them are the dialects of Chinese.

Beliefs: There are 3 main beliefs and values in China

1. Buddhism 佛教 - Started out in India by Siddhartha Gautama which spread out to most of all the countries in Southeast Asia. Its is said that "holding life that is full of suffering caused by desire and that the way to end this suffering is through enlightenment that enables one to halt the endless sequence of births and deaths which one otherwise subject."
Taoism - A famous Chinese religion, which started in the doctrines of Lao-Tzu (老子 or "Ancient Child") but later characterized by a pantheon of many gods and by the practice of alchemy, divination, and magic.
3. Confucianism 儒学 - It is the system of ethics, education, and statesmanship taught by Confucius and his disciples, stressing love for humanity, ancestor worship, reverence for parents, and harmony in thought and conduct.
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Institution: In China every child must go to school for at least 9 years, followed by six years of secondary school for ages 12 to 18. Some provinces may have five years of primary school but four years for middle school. There are three years of middle school and three years of high school. The Ministry of Education reported a 99 percent attendance rate for primary school and an 80 percent rate for both primary and middle schools. In 1985, the government enforced more tax so the education could get better, requiring university applicants to compete for school based on academic ability. The population of China has had a average only 6.2 years of schooling, but in 1986 the government set the goal of nine years of compulsory education for students by the year 2000.

Cultural Diffusion:

Long ago England had colonized China which they had brought along with them their religion. They spread Christianity all over China and building missions and churches during their stay in China. Which it had a huge impact on the citizens there because lots of buddhist monks started transferring to Christianity.

How this will effect our culture is when people from different countries come in and celebrate their holidays or celebrations and of course share their religion.

Physical Geography:

-To China's east we are surrounded by a vast ocean stretching thousands of miles across to the United States.

-To China's west there is the Himalayas a great mountain range stretching from the South West towards the North West.

-Mostly all of the surrounding countries have adapted to almost the same culture as us sharing the same religion and foods.

-It is hard to spread our culture because the countries that we could spread our culture into are a great distance away making very hard, example such as France or England.

Whiteford, Gary T. China. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2003. Print.