A World of Its Own Ancient Chinese culture is a product of vast diverse landmass dotted with people from various races and ruled over by numerous dynasties.
Wu Introduction Chinese culture is so substantive in content, so comprehensive in varieties, and has had so long a history, that to its outsiders, it is very similar to the elephant before the blind men in the ancient story.
The blind men could not grasp the elephant in its entirety. They held onto some part, and from this vantage point they attempted to describe the whole animal.
The man who has Chinese culture by the feet may say that Chinese people are conservative and this explains why it is so difficult for China to accept modernization.
The man who holds Chinese culture by the ears may say that Chinese people are spontaneously artistic, and this is perhaps the reason why they have been underdeveloped in scientific thinking.
These interpretations of Chinese culture may not be mistaken, but they all commit one common fallacy: Nevertheless, an insider of Chinese culture may not be able to grasp a complete and accurate picture either, nor is he able to present it to its outsiders.
This is simply because that the one who is actually involved may still have the problem of failing to get clarity and objectivity. A lover being in love is usually unable to describe his own feeling until he has stepped out of it.
This author was born in China, educated in Chinese schools and colleges. No doubt, he had direct contact and substantial involvement with Chinese culture. But, when he was an insider of the culture, if someone asked him about the nature of this culture, he would just be startled and baffled.
It is because Chinese culture was a part of his life that he never had to question or wonder about it. He is now in a position that he can see Chinese culture with fuller clarity and greater degree of objectivity because he is no longer involved in it as his practical environment.
At the same time, he can be relatively free from the fallacy of the blind men, since he was once an insider, having a full and direct contact with the culture itself.
With this advantage of being an insider-outsider, he ventures to communicate his understanding of Chinese culture to his readers in the English speaking world. In what follows, he will give an impressionistic, phenomenological, but reflective account of Chinese culture.
He is going to present what he has observed as an insider-outsider. This consists in twelve characteristics to be presented in this essay. Agriculture As Economic Foundation The term "agriculture" as a mode of production, or as a way of economic life, does not seem to bother with any explanation.
But I would like to point out some of the qualities of this mode of life because they have shaped the character of Chinese culture. This is commonly referred to as "the lack of mobility. This may account for the origin of Chinese conservatism which will receive some attention later.
This kind of "attached to earth" and "dependent on land" attitudes also account for some moral qualities of the Chinese people, particularly, the virtue of patience. The process of the growth of a plant, from seed to full maturity, needs a certain period of time which can hardly be speeded up by human effort.
In a technological society, attempts have been made to shorten the period of time needed for production. The popular usage "instant" in "instant coffee" and "instant noodle" fully discloses the lack of patience in modern life.
But this kind of "instant" production can hardly apply to an old-fashioned agricultural process. I have learned that, in contemporary American society, in addition to instant coffee and instant noodle, a computer dating service can produce an "instant girl friend" or "instant boy friend.
From the development of the Chinese language, we have discovered many ancient characters which were names of agricultural products or natural botanical items. A very interesting phenomenon is that, the Chinese term for society is an "agricultural product.
These usages really mirror the significant role of agriculture in traditional Chinese life. Another strikingly interesting fact is the name of the founder of Chinese medical tradition. This person was a legendary figure among the ancient tribal kings who were said to have contributed significantly to Chinese culture.
I still remember, in my childhood in Canton, when I caught cold, I was taught to take a kind of herbal medicine called "Shen Nong Cha" "cha" literally means tea.
This reveals the significance of this legendary figure which in turn discloses the importance of agriculture in the Chinese tradition. Naturalistic View Of Life A naturalistic view of life is the direct offspring of the agricultural society. Farmers work on land in the open air rather than working on papers in an enclosed air-conditioned office.
Closeness to nature and direct contact with plants and animals easily develop a naturalistic view of life which is hardly found in an industrialized society. In spite of the fact that China has gradually become modernized during the last one hundred years, this naturalistic view of life is still rooted deeply into the Chinese mind of the contemporary era.
Many Chinese overseas in the American Continent have saved enough money to purchase a Caddilac, but they do not even buy a Pinto or Tercel.Article shared by.
Chinese Civilization and It’s Characteristics!
The people of ancient China were free from external influence. They contributed for the growth of a civilization which was indigenous. Chinese Civilization and It’s Characteristics! The people of ancient China were free from external influence. They contributed for the growth of a civilization which was indigenous.
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Ancient Chinese culture is a product of vast diverse landmass dotted with people from various races and ruled over by numerous dynasties.
While Confucian thoughts became its mainstay, Buddhism and Taoism reinforced its crystallization into a distinct form.