China. Confucianism

HistoryChina’s first great thinker and teacher name was Confucius. He came up with the golden rule, which stated: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” Confucius urged people to “measure the feelings of others by one’s own,” for “within the four seas all men are brothers.”

He traveled through China trying to persuade government leaders to follow Confucianism. Over time, he won many followers who honored him as a great teacher. China, one of the countries that can boast of an ancient civilization, has a long and mysterious history, almost 5,000 years of it! Like most other great civilizations of the world, China can trace her culture back to a blend of small original tribes which have expanded till they became the great country we have today. It is recorded that Yuanmou man is the oldest hominoid in China and the oldest dynasty is Xia Dynasty.

CultureMuch of ancient Chinese culture developed around the Confucianist philosophy that mostly showed through most of China’s history. The imperial courts were only occupied by those who had gained mastery over Confucian texts.

Over the years the traditional Confucianist outlook has been challenged by different philosophies that managed to make their way to China. The Chinese civilization is one of the world’s oldest known cultures that spans over a large area of land in East Asia. China is an ancient civilization that has many mysterious and interesting aspects in its culture. Today China is one of the leading economies in the world and has great buying power in the contemporary market. It is considered to be one of the oldest continuous civilizations known to man.

The writing system developed by the Chinese is the oldest system of writing to be in continuous use. The world has benefited by many great inventions that originated from ancient China. Paper happens to be one of those great inventions which originated in China and it wasn’t until much later that the Europeans started developing their own paper. The Chinese are also credited for developing the compass, printing machinery and gunpowder.

ClothingIn Ancient Chinese society wearing the correct attire represented that society was in order and functioning smoothly. If individuals broke the traditional dress it was viewed by the people as a sign of fracturing and disarray. It was also important to follow the traditions as if individuals abandoned these customs they were considered barbarians and occasionally foreigners.

The beliefs of Ancient Chinese society also affected the clothing of the society in accessories. The women in Ancient China as a result would often have Jade hanging on a sash tied to their clothing. The hairstyles in Ancient China were also created by cultural belief. Both the men and the women kept their hair long as it was considered disrespectful to cut one’s hair short. In Ancient China it is clear that how individuals dressed reflected much more than their own personal taste.

ReligionThe ancient Chinese are said to have three main religions: Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, with Christianity and Islam arriving only in the 7th century A.D. Confucianism is a way of life taught by Confucius in the 6th–5th century BC. Sometimes viewed as a philosophy, sometimes as a religion, Confucianism is perhaps best understood as an all-encompassing humanism that neither denies nor slights Heaven. Confucianism has been followed by the Chinese for more than two millennia. It has deeply influenced spiritual and political life in China; its influence has also extended to Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.

FoodFood in China has been the basis of life for centuries. Millet, a common crop in Northern China, has been grown since the fifth millenium BC. Rice, a common crop in Southern China, has been grown since the fourth millenium BC. Ever since then food was thought to be the basis for good health. The first Chinese crop was grown in the Upper Yellow River Valley. In order to keep up their crops, the ancient Chinese used wood and stone tools. The poor ate a roast duck or chicken, fried fish, vegetables, grains, and soup. The wealthy had many more foods such as bear paw, shark fin, and wild boar. Rice wine was drunken at these occasions.

Major LanguagesMandarin is the official spoken language and is known as putonghua (common speech) within China. It is spoken by approximately 70% of the population, although it may always be their first language. It is the language that is spoken around Beijing. Cantonese is the other major dialect and is spoken mainly in the south. It is also spoken by many members of China’s overseas communities. Dialects spoken in the south-east and south-west are Wu, Min, Hakka, Gan and Xiang.