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China Culture

All about China. Yes, it is.
by

Lily Hannaher

on 29 May 2012

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Transcript of China Culture

China The red of the flag represents revolution, and the stars are the four social classes: farmers, working class, intellectuals, and the patriotic capitalists. Red can also represent the traditional color of the Han (who make up the majority of the country’s population). A more modern interpretation is that the biggest star stands for China, and the 4 stars national minorities Back during the Manchu dynasty, most flags were yellow (which was their traditional color). Blue represented the Mongols, white the Tibetans, and black the Hui. Religion Daoism Confucianism Ancestor Worship FLAG Chinese beliefs do not focus on a single divine being or God, such as Jews, Christians, and Muslims do. The Chinese worship all sorts of gods – gods of harvest, war, disease, etc. The oldest and most wide spread religion was ancestor worship, in traditional China. There was usually a small alter that was used to remember all deceased family members. Offerings were made to these ancestors, believing the deceased watched over them, acting as guardians. http://cippow25.deviantart.com/art/Mulan-s-Ancestors-47262803 http://images4.fanpop.com/image/polls/563000/563357_1287595987144_full.jpg The only Chinese-born religion. Lao Zi is believed to have been the founder. Daoism puts stress on harmony between humans and nature, while also advising passive behavior. But the importance of this religion faded as Buddhism grew and the government gave support to Confucianism. http://www.tekgnostics.com/images/8%20trigrams.JPG http://www.sacredlotus.com/theory/images/yinyangday.gif From the teachings of Confucius (551-479 B.C.), Confucianism focused on moral and social philosophy, stressed harmonious social order (ethical rules, respect for human dignity), and taught great respect between parents and children. http://cdn2.all-art.org/world_literature/images/c/34.jpg Until Mao Zedong died in 1976, the Communist government frowned upon organized religions. Christian churches were closed; Daoist and Buddhist groups were stripped of their priesthoods and land. Islam was left alone – mainly because the government wanted to continue with the good relations they had with Muslim countries. (a.k.a Taoism) In 1978, these policies were revised and the government became more tolerant of religion. There are many different religions celebrated by all sorts of people. Because of this, when the Communist government took control over how religion could be practiced, millions were affected. Even exposed to dangers such as persecution. Currency 1 Chinese yuan = 0.1585 US dollars http://www.lycheetravel.com/images/guide/chinese-yuan.jpg Mao Zedong is on this bill - the founder of the People's Republic of China. LANGUAGE Mandarin is the official language spoken in China. 50,000 characters exist, but only 1,500 to 2,000 characters are needed to be known if you hope for just a basic education. The written form is the easiest way of communication - since it is all very similar - verbal communication can be very difficult due to
all the varying dialects. http://www.prchinese.com/lcan.gif Characters such as these are used. The Chinese write left to right, like in english, but inside of writing horizontally, their characters normally run from the top of a page to the bottom. Writing characters with careful brushstrokes can also be considered an art form, so the order in which the strokes are painted, is important. If there are inside parts to draw, they are to be done last.
The outside lines are first
When drawing cross strokes (crosses), horizontal lines come before the downstroke. http://www.chinasoft.com.au/images/nihao.jpg http://www.scrollonline.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/ist2_2270836_written_mandarin_chinese.jpg Learn Chinese! – formal greeting of “how are you doing?” -Ni hao ma? Zenmoyang ALL INFORMAL Zao WAN'AN morning evening how's it going Huan ying Thank You Xie, xie Welcome Art The Bejing Opera hosts more than 1,000 works.
Few sets and props are used. Most actions are implied using movement. Dialogue, music, dance, etc. are all used in the theater. This is not like the Western view of an Opera. Pantomiming and acrobatics are also used Theater http://gurunsb.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/gd47763812540a-night-view-shows-th-9596.jpg http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000R3zSUWMVO8Q/s/850/850/081120-Pictobank-National-Opera-15.jpg Food Chinese cuisine has been shaped by practicality and philosophy/religion. Most peasants did not live in comfort, and the foods that were even available were scarce. Plus, fuel was not very convenient. Fast techniques for cooking developed from this - took less time to prepare, and was easy to do. http://www.mccormick.com/~/media/Images/Recipes/Recipe%20Details/Vegetables/Stir-Fry_Vegetables.ashx?w=380 Stir fry: cut all sorts of foods (meats, vegetables, etc.) in bits and pieces. Rice and other wheat products were used often, for they easily satisfied hunger. The meaning is, “to touch your heart”. A Cantonese tradition that started in tea houses. Weary farmers would stop by for a cup of tea and easy conversation after a long day of working. Many immigrants were Cantonese, they brought the dim sum tradition to the west. Dim Sum Staple Foods The south has excellent climate for agriculture. Vegetables are always included in dishes. Sea foods and fruits are also abundant here in the south. It's dry and arid in the north. Wheat is the staple food. Noodles, buns, etc. Dipping sauces are another strong characteristic A mountain-ringed basin, the west is famous for its spiced dishes. It is also abundant in vegetables here, too.
Here it's rich in fruits and vegetables. North South http://www.china-tour.cn/images/Chinese-Cuisine/Chinese-Dumplings.jpg East http://www.localwin.com/julie/system/files/lu10/Chinese_Cuisine.jpg West http://img.shanghaifocus.com/image/shanghai/Blog/food-meimaosu.jpg http://wallpapers.free-review.net/21__Chinese_spices.htm Family The More You Know... At restaurants, the host is expected to pay. Eating while on the walking down the street is also seen as impolite. Napkins are not provided, should carry your own around. Leave some food on the plates in the middle, and also on your plate: another sign of abundant food. Traditionally, family was the base of society. Family –including distant cousins- always came first, sometimes even before state. The richer the family, the larger. Poorer families were much smaller. Also, 3 generations were to live under the same roof at once. Modern: starting in the Communism era, state became number one over family. Communism was the cause of the common nuclear family (mom, dad, children in one house, grandparents in another) Still, sons are mainly issued to take care of their elderly parents. Changping, Bejing -http://justageekgirl.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/changping_dist_beijing_china.jpg http://droppedchopstick.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/dsc02077.jpg Hutongs were traditional Chinese neighborhoods – they have long narrow streets. Since the mid-20th century, these traditional neighborhoods have become increasingly rare. Marriage Rural weddings are usually bigger and include more family of both the bride and groom. Parents and matchmakers also play a much bigger role in choosing a partner for a young man/woman. Starting in 1950 with the Marriage Law, marriages were more “loose” and a couple was allowed the freedom to choose who they wanted to see. In an urban wedding, it focuses on the bride and groom as the couple instead of the joining of two families. http://www.chinapictures.org/images/chinese-wedding/1/chinese-wedding-40722180030982.jpg http://asian-japanese.org/bookpic/20103/201031114125.jpg Women & Children Traditionally, women were supporting to the men in their lives. Married women were also usually subservient to their mother-in-laws. Urban and rural areas have this in common when it comes to girls: there are fewer educated women than men, and women are not offered as many desirable jobs as men Babies are not named for about a month. A party is held after the month is over to celebrate a baby’s survival through the most vulnerable stage in its life. Geography China lies mainly in the temperate climate zone. Mountains, hills, and plateaus cover it, and only about 12% of the land are plains, or flat lands. Tibet (Xizang) lies to the west in the “lofty highlands”. The mountains and great rivers of China split it into 3 large regions: In the north is the Mongolian region. Then there’s Eastern China – 95% of the population lives here. In Eastern China, there are 3 more “sub regions”: the Northeast, the North, and the South. These can be divided by mountain ranges. http://www.chinahighlights.com/image/map/locationmap.jpg http://www.absolutechinatours.com/UploadFiles/ImageBase/20075171441168130(3).jpg http://www.filmapia.com/sites/default/files/filmapia/pub/place/huangshan-mountains-avatar-mtns-are-based-on.jpg This is the Huangshan Mountains. They are most known for their scenic beauty, and as the main point of interest in a style of ancient Chinese art. 3 main rivers The Chang Jiang (a.k.a Yangtze: the longest river) The Huang He (Yellow) The Xijang http://www.yangtzeriver.org/image/map/yzmap01.jpg The Yangtze River http://www.infobarrel.com/media/image/91712.jpg Gestures and Manners First Meetings When meeting for the first time, a handshake is common. Although, it may be held longer than what we are used to. Bows are given to high ranked or government officials, but also to the elderly. The Chinese like those who attempt to speak/learn their language; they also enjoy working on their English. Visiting Always remove shoes at the door and put on the house slippers provided by the host of the house. A small gift (such as a fruit) is appreciated. Gifts given when visiting is thought of as proper. Take and hand over presents with both hands. Traditionally, gifts will not be opened right away – to avoid embarrassment - so don't worry if your host sets your present off to the side. Avoid making compliments on objects in a host’s home. The host might feel compelled to give the object away as a gift. . . The respect for a considerate and friendly person is high. Loud behavior is judged as poor taste. Keeping one’s (or others) dignity is well founded in Chinese culture. Frankness when giving criticism should be avoided. Assuming that most American gestures won’t have any meaning in China is correct. Chinese New Year The most important holiday of the year! http://img.ibtimes.com/www/data/images/full/2012/01/23/220190-chinese-new-year.jpg The Chinese New Year happens January/February: the first new moon of the New Year. It ends on the full moon. Cleaning begins before the New Year – represents the fresh start for the New Year. Superstitions, lucky beginnings, and Confucian values are all important to the activities and celebrations that occur. On the 6th day of the New Year, Chinese go out to visit friends and other family. The youngsters go out to visit their elders to pay respects. In Chinese cities on New Year’s Day, and in Chinatowns around the world, lion dances are performed to scare away bad spirits and bad luck form the old year. http://us.123rf.com/400wm/400/400/min6939/min69391201/min6939120100001/11810256-chinese-new-year-celebration-and-lion-dance.jpg http://www.whitedragonmartialarts.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/white-dragon-lion-dance-slant1.jpg On the last day, there are parades of lanterns. This tradtion comes from another fairy tale. The Jade Emperor in Heaven was upset with a town for killing his goose; he wanted to burn the town down. But a fairy who had learned of his plans decided to help the town. The fairy told all the townsfolk to light lanterns, so when the Jade Emperor looked down on the town, it looked as though it were ablaze, even though it wasn’t. Hong bao http://knowledgenetwork.thunderbird.edu/worldcafe/files/2009/03/graham.jpg Red is considered lucky. Red packets filled with cash are exchanged at this time. Married adults only give out hong bao. The children go to many houses and may receive lots of these envelopes. A traditional story – not as common today – told to children: Bitter Moon. Referred to many of China’s poor: some families had to sell their belongings, or even their children. But once the New Year came, all valuables lost would be returned. http://scottystarnes.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/obama-chinese-bow.jpg http://ibotanicalgarden.com/ns/images/stories/pineapple-11.jpg National Day The anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China: October 1, 1949. It's celebrated the 1st and the 2nd of October. Flag raising ceremonies are held throughout the country. A fireworks display can be seen over Victoria Harbor of Hong Kong. The symbolic heart of China is Tiananmen Square (Beijing) – thousands of people gather here, the place where Mao Zedong declared the start of the modern nation. Most important official holiday of communist China. DEMOGRAPHICS POPULATION 1,343,239,923 people as of July 12 MEDIAN AGE UNEMPLOYMENT LITERACY RATE LIFE EXPECTANCY The median age is 35.5 years. Males: 34.9 Females: 36.2 Only about 6.5% are unemployed Ages 15 and over that can read and write: 92%
Attend an average of 12 years of school, similar to here in the U.S. 74 years of age is the average life expectancy This shows that of the millions of people who live there, although there is a great majority that go through schooling, there is still many (8% of the 1.3 billion people who live there) who are not able to read. Many would probably be living in the more rural communities – this is where the need for reading and writing would not be at such a high demand. Farming for the majority of the day does require 12 years of high education. Education About 150 million children go to over the 1 million primary schools all over the country. School System Education starts at the young age of 3 years old. Kindergarten lasts until the age of 6 or 7. These kindergartens are run by state organizations such as the armed forces, or non-state organizations of the neighborhood communities. The next level of education is Primary School – taken for 5 years. It’s about the equivalent to our elementary schools, from age 7 to 12. Studies including math, music, art, language (Chinese), and gym are all concentrated on in the first 3 years. The next two years, politics and natural sciences are added. Secondary School Ordinary middle schools are divided similarly – junior and senior grades with 2 or 3 years each. Junior middle school is actually the last sort of schooling most Chinese take.

The curriculum is much like ours: Politics, math, sciences (physics, bio, etc.), music and the arts, plus foreign languages …with the addition of a basic understanding of agriculture. Any sort of reward through employment, such as promotions and wages, are “at least partially determined by one’s education”. Believe that any movement forward in “modernization and industrialization” won’t happen if there lacks educated personnel. This pushes all to try their hardest in school.
Tradition continues to influence the idea that wealth can only be gained through those educated enough to achieve it and that success is in knowledge. http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/images/stories/large/2010/10/27/china_elementary_school_teachers.jpg http://taobaofieldguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/kids-with-chinese-flags.jpg http://home.vicnet.net.au/~strategu/edward-ho/primaryyukchoy.jpg Calligraphy Tied in with penmenship, this art form is said to teach "self-mastery". Calligraphers make quite an effort to create the beautiful lines needed to make great calligraphy. http://www.chinapage.com/images/bridgev.jpg http://chinesecalligraphystore.com/catalog/images/5688-chinese-calligraphy-tattoo.jpg MUSIC Chinese music is very distinct from many other styles: mainly based on a 5 tone scale. Percussion instruments (such as cymbals and gongs) also make quite a few appearances throughout Chinese traditional music. http://www.paulnoll.com/China/Music/mus-Gong-ours.jpg http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/4700/4729/chinese_gong_1_lg.gif Dress Western styled clothes can usually be seen in Urban areas; dressing up is more important when going out for both Chinese men and women. Rural Chinese, and ethnic minorities, wear clothes that resemble attire of their own cultural past. Climate also plays a more important role in what is appropriate to wear for them. Traditional dress is sometimes worn by Chinese when it comes to formal events or other traditional celebrations. Women wear a cheongsam, a simple, one-piece dress. And men wear a chang-pao, long dress with four slits on the lower sides. http://traditions.cultural-china.com/chinaWH/upload/upfiles/2009-06/22/dressed_like_thesebd7a3fa37f72cae1f4b9.jpg http://www.chinesemoods.com/images/P/aw010006gy.jpg http://blog.communicaid.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Chinese-businessman_4_hfng_i1.jpg RECREATION Board and table games are popular in China. Chinese parks may have tables for table tennis (ping-pong), Chinese chess, and the most popular: Majiang. Almost everyone knows how to play. Sometimes in these parks – earlier in the morning – you’ll see people practicing taijiquan: a therapeutic exercise that is traditional form of shadowboxing. Video games are also very popular, more so with boys than girls. They go to Internet cafes often – especially if parents do not allow them to play at home. Modern and traditional styles reflect in the recreation. Like most of China, modernization has obviously occurred, but tradition still remains an important part of all culture. Economy The large, growing economy really only ranks China at the level of a developing country; the GDP per capita verifies this. The income rises, but is not evenly distributed. The growth promises villagers of more rural type communities a better selection of food, but takes away workers from the fields and to the cities. Only 10% of the land is fertile for farming, and yet, over half of the population are farmers or work in the agriculture industry. Rice, tobacco, and corn are some examples of some products China is the world’s leader of. The country also produces manufactured goods, oil, minerals, and coal. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_3T6JM8VYC-4/SnVbVAjWekI/AAAAAAAABIQ/sCqByTZ6n3o/s400/dragon-back-rice-terrace-longsheng-01_leading.jpg http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200701/30/images/xin_420104291556643755629.jpg CURRENT ISSUES One-Child Policy Starting in 1979, the government took over the role of making the decision when it came to how much power a woman had in choosing what to do with her body. Now, there are still restrictions set on how many children a woman can have, but farther measures can also be taken – especially in more secluded communities. They can fine her, detain her, or even beat her. The family of the woman who goes against the rules of her state can also be affected – they could be held hostage, their homes destroyed.
They are deprived of any rights as a child. They are not allowed any education papers or the freedom to obtain a job.

Putting children up for adoption is another choice mothers can make. I am one of those children. My parents were under the age restrictions for bearing children. But what about the babies that are born anyway? GOVERNMENT There are 25 members in the CCP, plus 9 members in the Standing Committee. The President is elected by the 2,987 members of the National People’s Congress. The voting age is 18 in China, too. The president serves for 5 year terms, and is in the position to run for a second term. The current president of the People’s Republic of China is Hu Jintao. He Is also the general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party(CCP); considered the highest ranked position. http://rapidsavr.com/Chinese_Communist_Party_Vladimir_Lenin_conspicuous_consumption.jpg History Considered to be one of the world's oldest nations, China's history spreads over 5,000 years! 2000 B.C. Xia Dynasty The first Chinese Dynasty 221-206 B.C. Qin Dynasty The first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, was the first to unify all of China. Builder of the Great Wall and the Terracotta Warriors. Han Dynasty 206 B.C. - 220 A.D. Following the Qin Dynasty, the first Golden Age of China happens during this time. The Silk Road becomes important and thrives. 618-907 A.D. Tang Dynasty Another Golden Age occurs. The arts, science, and technology all do astoundingly well. World War II Communism During World War II, Mao Zedong (and the Communists) sought out control and made countless efforts against the KMT (Kuomintang) while also fighting against Japan in the war. 1949 Mao Zedong comes to power. Right off the bat, the chinese accept and welcome communism. 1958-61 and 1966-76 But the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution affected the country with catastrophic results. More than 40 million people died during Zedong's reign. Mao Zedong dies in 1976. 1992 The economy undergoes reform and picks up speed. 2001 China was added to the World Trade Organization 2008 The summer Olympics were held in Beijing. http://media-1.web.britannica.com/eb-media/10/75510-004-E0DA2DE8.jpg http://www.danieljrowe.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/birds-nest.jpg http://www.globalmountainsummit.org/images/terracotta-warriors/terracotta-warriors-8.jpg Architecture THE GREAT WALL THE FORBIDDEN CITY http://www.crystalinks.com/chinawallarge.gif http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_GxiXH2XYJic/TTEQz312ruI/AAAAAAAABmE/qxiktPWz9uY/s1600/Forbidden+City4.jpg The Great Wall extends over 1,500 miles. No one is quite sure of any exact dates, but it’s been estimated to have been built between 246-209 B.C. The reason for its construction was to protect the Empire from Mongolian invaders. The Forbidden City is located deep within Beijing, and believed to have been built during the Qing Dynasty.
Golden lions, guardians, and other mythical animals are all placed throughout the city – each structure placed for certain reasons - to protect and ward off evil spirits, or just for decoration. Climate Subarctic in the north. Subtropics in the south. Monsoons are common in the southeast during the summer. Trivia! 5 is an important number to Chinese culture. ie: 4 cardinal positions plus the center, 5 elements (fire, water, air, earth, metal), etc. Instead of pointing with fingers, or gesturing with an upturned palm, beckon with the fingers facing downward. Also, point with your whole hand. The offering of a piece of food with chopsticks shows respect and affection. China’s capitol can be compared directly to the United States’ capitol; Washington D.C is just one degree of latitude south of Bejing Information Technology With 859 million cell phones, and 389 million web users, China is ranked as the number one technologically savvy country in the world. They are definitely in the modern loop. But with so many people and so much technology, there are restrictions.

Television and radio medias are all affiliated with the Communist Party of China. This means, all the TV stations - all 2,000 channels - have to be and are approved only by the government. There are no privately owned television or radio stations. http://technabob.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2006/10/dolmen_fm_radio.jpg http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/how-to-unlock-cell-phone-1.jpg China has been one of the greatest international traders. Lots of things will have that familiar “made in China” sticker attached. Another thing that is almost kept strictly to China is rare earth mining. About 97% of the rare earth minerals are mined in China. These minerals provide many materials used in creating technologic parts, such as computer chips. With its fast paced way of life, China’s rapid modernization of culture has not only boosted their economy, it has also sped up some not so great things. Such as the amount of pollution that spews from their factories. Stuck in the mindset of producing as many goods in the shortest amount of time, they are also producing the most pollution with their fast work ethic. GLOBAL CONTRIBUTIONS Cites "China, flag of." Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online School Edition. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 2012. Web. 5 Apr. 2012. "China." CultureGrams Online Edition. ProQuest, 2012. Web. 5 Apr 2012. "China." CultureGrams Online Edition. ProQuest, 2012. Web. 11 Apr 2012. "Customs and Greetings." ESI 1981-2003. Web. 04 May 2012. Leppman, Elizabeth J. "China: Traditions & Etiquette." World Geography:
Understanding a Changing World. ABC-CLIO,2012. Web. 6 May 2012. Hu, C. T. "China." Lands and Peoples. Grolier Online, 2012. Web. 12 Apr. 2012. "China." Encyclopedia Americana. Grolier Online, 2012. Web. 18 Apr. 2012. Bowen, Carol. Chinese: Over 180 Classic Recipes. Queen Street House: Paragon Publishing, 1984. Print. (Pages 8-11) Taylor, Karen Lau. "Chinese New Year." World Geography: Understanding a
Changing World. ABC-CLIO, 2012. Web. 6 May 2012. Kennedy, Kerry. "Dissent, China's One Child Policy and Chen Guangcheng." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 05 May 16, 20122012. Web. 13 May 2012.
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