Home Chinese Culture Chinese Culture and Traditions
Chinese Culture and Traditions

China  has a history of five thousand years and has a unique culture.  It is the only continuous ancient civilization. Other ancient civilizations have changed, discontinued, withered or perished. 

What is Tao and Taoism? What is non-action, non-exertion, nongovernment in Taoism? What is the Yin-Yang theory? What is the Five-Elements theory? How can a little steel needle relieve pain and cure illnesses? Is Qigong the Chinese Yoga? What is Yi Jing, the Book of changes about? Is it a book of philosophy? A book of divination? A book of science? What is Shan Hai Jing, the Blook of Mountains and Seas about? Is it a giographical book? A travelogue? A history book? A book of mythology? A book of folklore? These are but a few citations of the mysteries and riddles of Chinese culture, the tip of an iceberg.

Chinese culture is rich and profound. It has the richest historical records. Chinese have been most historically-minded. Perhaps, China has more historical records than the whole world put together. This guess will not be far from truth. She has a great deal of historical records from the pre-Christian era, not to mention the matchless twenty-six history books of the imperial dynasties. She is not the home of Buddhism, but she boasts of the richest Buddhist scriptures.

Another area of the profundity of Chinese culture is her pre-industrial revolution science and technology. Before this revolution China had been the pace-setter not only in history and literature but also in science and technology. Unfortunately, this area had been all along neglected by the world, including China herself. Fortunately, this has been discovered and proved by the world-famous British scholar Joseph Needham. Thanks to his efforts, this has been universally accepted by the world's people as a matter of fact.

The richness of Chinese culture also finds expression in its diversity and pluralism. China has always been a country of many ethnic groups. No matter which ethnic group was dominant, be it Hans, Mongols, or Manchus, her various peoples always could live under the same roof, worshipped the same emperor. It is true that there were times of division, but division was transient. There seem to be cycles of division and unification, but unification has oulived division. All these peoples have their own legacies, but they share the same legacy as well. They form the Chinese nation.

The diversity and pluralism of Chinese culture is a tremendous asset. This is very keenly felt now. Increasing value is attached to this national treasure. Many giant western intellectuals have looked up to Chinese culture. Enlightment fathers drew inspiration from Confucianism. Some contemporary philosophers and psychiatrists have found cures for western ills in Chinese mysticism, Confucian ethics and Taoist non-government.

 
 

Popular Chinese Articles