Chinese Culture: Its Characteristics To Notice


Chinese Culture: Its Characteristics To Notice

Chinese culture is a set of beliefs, customs, and artistic expressions. It is one of the oldest cultures in the world. The complexity of Chinese culture is due to not only its antiquity but also to the wide territory it represents. It includes a wide variety of traditions and even languages depending on the province or even the town.

Chinese Culture: Its Characteristics To Notice
Chinese Culture: Its Characteristics To Notice

Despite encompassing 58 ethnic groups recognized in a single Chinese identity, common characteristics can be found that point to the same identity.

Characteristics Of Chinese Culture

Languages

Due to the great extension and the variety of collectivities that it composes. In China, there are eight linguistic groups within which there are also various dialects.

The official Chinese language and, therefore, the most widespread language is a standardized form of Mandarin Chinese. Used by more than 800 million people, it is the language with the largest number of native speakers and total speakers in the world.

Mandarin is a set of dialects that began in the 6th century. It is based on the class of Mandarin used in the city of Beijing.

Religion

Religion is one of the main elements of this culture since in many cases it defines not only a way of thinking but also includes multiple artistic expressions of ritual purposes.

The main religions of China are:

  • Buddhism- Although it originated in India, it quickly spread to East Asia. Besides being a religion, it is a philosophical doctrine since it does not hold the belief in God but in certain practices that lead to a sublime state.
  • Confucianism – This religion was the official one in China until the seventh century and consists of moral and religious doctrines based on the teachings of Confucius.
  • Chinese traditional religion- It is the polytheistic religion (various gods) having the influence of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoist philosophy.

Taoism

The basic philosophical system of Chinese culture is Taoism. Although it has a religious branch, it is primarily a philosophy that is posed as a “path” (translation of tao). However, it is based on the writings of the philosophers Lao Tsé and Zhuangzi.

The symbol of Taoism is Yin Yang, which represents the duality that applies to everything in the universe. The yin is the feminine, the earth, the darkness, and the passivity. But, the yang is the masculine, the sky, the light, and the activity.

Chinese Culture: Its Characteristics To Notice
Chinese Culture: Its Characteristics To Notice

Gastronomy

Gastronomy is a fundamental part of Chinese culture. It is an inheritance that continues to transmit for hundreds of years. In addition, it is closely related to Chinese philosophy and medicine.

All Chinese food must contain fan (cereals, such as rice) and cai (vegetables and in general everything that accompanies cereals). On the other hand, the resulting dish can be considered yin (feminine) if it is tender and rich in water, such as fruits and vegetables; or yang (male) if it is fried, spicy and meat-based dishes.

Thus, solid foods are eaten with a pair of chopsticks and soups are eaten with a flat-bottomed spoon, traditionally ceramic.

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