Origin of Chinese Culture

The culture of China is one filled with mystery and complexity. This is a unique culture with many special customs and traditions. These customs and traditions are practiced in the country for many centuries. In the present, this unique culture has been exposed to the world and is bent on exploring the different fascinating factors of the oriental culture.

In China's history, China has been populated by many various ethnic groups. However, the Han Chinese group has been the predominant ethnic group throughout the whole history of China so far. The Han Chinese group has managed to survive, while many others have disappeared mysteriously without leaving behind any signs of their existence.

Within The Han Chinese group, existed many prestigious regional and linguistic diversity in the traditions and culture practiced around the nation, which occupies a large percentage of the land in East Asia. The other percentage of the land are divided into different regions that have their own cultures.

The social structure
Throughout much of China's history, some sort of monarchic rule prevailed over the masses traditionally. The person who is always at the top of the pyramid with the most power over the affairs of the state was the emperor. The society was characterized by a hierarchic system that divided the public into socio-economic classes. The Song dynasty that lasted from 960 to 1279 brought the melt down of the ancient social structure and gave birth to a new one where education was given primary importance especially for those individuals looking to become part of the bureaucracy. People, no matter which gender, were to gain mastery and week knowledge over a discipline. Specialized teachers and lessons were prepared for the females to teach them the virtues that were essential.

The various influences on the culture and traditions of China
Prominent features of the Chinese culture are mythology and spirituality. It may be said that Religion perhaps had the most profound influence on the culture and traditions of China, in this connection.

Confucianism: the philosophy that influenced the early Chinese civilization up until the advent of Taoism. Taoist sexual practices and marriage rituals became a prominent part of the Chinese society. There is a constant debate between the scholars of history as to which philosophy had the most influence in shaping the Chinese society.

With the advent of Buddhism from India the cultural practices of China underwent another transition. Many of the traditional practices that took birth under the Buddhist influence and those that were practiced before still are a prominent feature of the Chinese society.

The zodiac calendar and the festivals that revolve around it, the various religious rituals that are practiced in the country, dance performances, martial arts, opera art and other various practices outline the Chinese culture.

One cannot talk about the Chinese culture without making mention of the Chinese language and the unique writing system that they developed. The writing system developed by the Chinese is the oldest known writing system to be in continuous use. It was a system that made use of symbols which were painted using brush and ink. This practice gave birth to the art of Chinese calligraphy which is also one of the many amazing features of the Chinese culture.

The major religions and their influences on Chinese culture
The time period between 600 to 400 BC was when China was under the wraps of Confucianism and Taoist philosophies. The Taoist philosophy simply believed that progress is achieved by functioning in harmony with the surrounding nature of man. According to the belief a person’s ill behavior and wrong doings will come back to haunt him in some way or another. The key to happiness was good conduct and self restraint. But naturally such a philosophy had a huge impact on the society and the cultural values of the Chinese people.

Confucianism influenced the Chinese culture in the domains of government and family life. The rights of parents upon their children and children upon their parents were amongst the values that the Chinese learnt from Confucius. Although Buddhism is today the most widely practiced religion in China there are many aspects of the Chinese culture that reflect the influence of Confucianism.

With Buddhism came the belief in rebirth which only sought to reinforce the already existing beliefs of the Chinese. This particular dharma instilled the virtues of patience and perseverance under difficult circumstances as it claimed that life was suffering the root cause of which was craving. The idea was to strengthen the individual who was solely responsible for his own suffering. The individual was given no respite to complain or throw the blame on others for his own suffering.

Bound by their religious beliefs the Chinese are expected to behave properly in society and in the family as well. Each individual is expected to practice self restraint and there is stress on meditation to break away from being tempted by material life to the extent of becoming obsessed with it.

World of Chinese Culture