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Chinese Culture: Rich and Unique Traditions

Chinese culture, unique and rich, is one of the oldest cultures of the world. The Chinese traditions and culture vary between the different towns, and provinces. A topic on Chinese traditions and culture would be incomplete without mentioning their food, clothes, education and architecture and transport. The historians claim that Chinese culture was very civilized and they had some unique and wonderful traditions.

Chinese Food

Chinese food is known for its aroma, color and flavor. The Chinese food, culture and traditions can be traced back to the 16th century B.C. Yi Yin, a scholar who lived during the Shang Dynasty was of the opinion that food should include flavors such as sweet, sour, bitter, piquant and salty. The reason is, the five major organs of the human body – heart, liver, spleen, lungs and kidneys, require nutritional diet. He formulated the theory of harmonization of food, which stresses on good nutritional diet to maintain good health. The traditional belief that food and medicine share the same origin is a part of Chinese tradition. This could be the reason that Chinese use scallions, garlic, dried lily buds, fresh ginger root, bamboo shoots and tree fungus in their cooking. The Chinese believe that these herbal plants have properties that prevent as well as cure various illnesses.

The dining rules are a part of theChinese tradition and culture. There are rules like how many people should be seated on a table and how the main courses are to be served. As a part of the Chinese culture, you have to sit down to have a meal. There are also rules like who should be seated first among old and young and also among men and women.

Chinese Traditional Clothes

Traditional clothing is a part of the Chinese culture. There are evidences that show that a Chinese culture, Shantingtung, which flourished 18,000 years ago, used sewing needles made of bones. There are also evidences that prove the existence of the concept of sewing and ornamentation in the early Chinese culture. However, importance of designing the clothes was recognized during the era of the Yellow Emperor and also during the reign of the Emperors Yao and Shaun. It was during the Shang dynasty, 16th to 11th century BC, that refined and sophisticated clothes were worn. The evidences show that silk was woven during this period.

The Pien-fu, the Ch’ang-p’ao and the Shen-i are the three types of Chinese traditional clothing. Pien-fu is a two-piece costume, which includes a tunic-like top that reaches the knee and an ankle-length skirt. The Ch’ang-p’ao is a long robe while the Shen-I is a combination of pien-fu and Ch’ang-p’ao. It is a tunic and a skirt sewn together to form a long robe. All the traditional Chinese garments have minimum stitches. Embroidered edgings, draped silks, decorative bands and embellishments on shoulders and wide sashes are used as ornamentation. As a part of the Chinese culture all traditional Chinese clothes are dark in color. Dark colors are preferred to the light ones. The common people for everyday-use, prefer light colors.

Chinese Architecture

The traditional Chinese architecture being a part of Chinese culture, is based on the principles of balance and symmetry. The Chinese architecture joins rectangular shapes of varying sizes to form a building. The traditional Chinese architecture uses wood as a the basic building material. Wood means life and the Chinese culture gives more importance to sustenance of life in various forms. The traditional rectangular Chinese houses are divided into several rooms, using wooden pillars and beams. The interior spaces of these houses exhibit the ethical and social values of Chinese culture.

Traditional Chinese Transportation

The historians and archaeologists state that Chinese culture had not invented any means of transportation. They also state that no form of chariots existed prior to 1200 B.C. The historians believe that chariots were used only during the Bronze Age.

Traditional Chinese Literature

The Chinese literature exhibits the understanding of the intellectuals of ancient China. The traditional Chinese literature proves that Chinese culture was one of the civilized cultures in the world. The books that narrate the culture and traditions of ancient China show that Chinese were well-versed in astrology, astronomy, poetry, constellations, calendar and so on. Zhou Dynasty was the Golden Period in Chinese literature and this dynasty is marked as the milestone of Chinese culture and tradition.

Chinese traditions and culture vary from one Chinese province to another. The large part of Chinese traditions and culture depend on spirituality. The belief in life after death and reincarnation were the part of Chinese tradition and culture.

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