East Asian age reckoning - Wikipedia
According to Chinese traditions, if you're a woman of 28 and you're still and family members, dating is an important part of Chinese culture. Plus, we'll give you some cultural context, since flirting in Chinese is about you build a romantic relationship with someone in the same way?. Read on to learn why is a Chinese love word especially used today! During this lovely day, couples go on a date or spend time together.
Its members are appointed and can be removed by the president's decree. The country is divided into twenty-three provinces, five autonomous regions, and four municipalities. Taiwan is considered the twenty-third province. At the local level, elected deputies serve in a local people's congress, a smaller-scale version of the national body, which is responsible for governing within the region and reports to the State Council.
Leadership and Political Officials. Eight registered small parties are controlled by the CCP. There are no substantial opposition groups, but there are two—the Falun Gong sect and the China Democracy Party—that the government sees as potential threats.
The Falun Gong in particular has received international attention because of the government's attempts to suppress it. The organization claims that it is a meditation group based on Buddhist and Taoist philosophies; the government considers it a cult that threatens public order and the state. The government has sent hundreds of Falun Gong members to labor camps and has imprisoned many of its leaders.
The group is legal in Hong Kong. Social Problems and Control. The legal system is a complex mixture of tradition and statute. A rudimentary civil code has been in effect sinceand new legal codes since The country continues to make efforts to improve its laws in the civil, administrative, criminal, and commercial areas.
The highest court is the Supreme People's Court, which supervises lower courts, hears appeals, and explains national laws. The crime rate is rising. Pickpocketing and petty theft are the most common offenses, but there are increasing numbers of incidents of violent crime.
Prostitution and drug use are also growing problems. Public humiliation is a common punishment for crimes such as petty theft. Prisons often put inmates to work in farming or manufacturing. The death penalty is assigned not only for violent crimes but also for acts such as bribery and corruption. The government has been known to deal harshly with political dissidents. Many participants in the Tiananmen Square protests were imprisoned, and the government continues to punish severely any displays of opposition.
The country has been cited numerous times for human rights violations. The People's Armed Police, consisting of internal security troops, is supposedly subordinate to the Ministry of Public Security but is included in the "armed forces" and in times of war acts as an adjunct to the PLA.
Service in the PLA is voluntary and highly selective. Both women and men can serve, and the army conscientiously upholds communist ideals of equality; there are no ranks in the army. As ofthere were 2.
That year, however, the government introduced a plan to cut the armed forces by half a million. Social Welfare and Change Programs State-run corporations or groups of factories often provide housing, child care, education, medical care, and other services for their employees. These organizations are called danwei, or work units.
They also provide compensation for injury and disability, old age, and survivors' pensions. Many of the government's social welfare initiatives are concentrated in the cities where housing, education, and food are subsidized; in the countryside, the burden of social welfare often falls to companies, organizations, and individual families.
The government supplies emergency relief in the case of natural disasters, including floods and crop failures. The government offers financial incentives to families that comply with its one-child policy, giving them preference in housing, health care, and other social services.
It has applied for membership in the World Trade Organization. There are a number of foreign health, development, and human rights organizations active in China, including the Red Cross, the World Health Organization, the U. Peace Corps, Amnesty International, and others. Before the twentieth century, women were confined to the domestic realm, while men dominated all other aspects of society.
The only exception was agriculture, where women's work had a somewhat wider definition. Western influence began to infiltrate the country in A merchant rents books from a sidewalk rack on a street in Tunxi.
Opportunities increased further as the country began to modernize, and under communism, women were encouraged to work outside the home. Today women work in medicine, education, business, sports, the arts and sciences, and other fields. While men still dominate the upper levels of business and government and tend to have better paying jobs, women have made considerable progress.
The Relative Status of Women and Men. Confucian values place women as strictly subordinate to men, and this was reflected in traditional society.
Christmas Traditions Around the World
Women had no rights and were treated as possessions, first of their father's and later of their husband's. The practice of foot binding was symbolic of the strictures women faced in all aspects of life.
From the age of seven, girls had their feet wrapped tightly, stunting their growth and virtually crippling them in the name of beauty. This practice was not outlawed until The procedure was inflicted mainly on upper-class and middle-class women, as peasant women needed full use of their feet to work in the fields. The rejection of many traditional values early in the twentieth century resulted in increasing equality and freedom for women. The Western presence in the nineteenth century also had an influence.
Raising the status of women was a priority in the founding of the modern state. Women played an important role in the Long March and the communist struggle against the Kuomintang, and under Mao they were given legal equality to men in the home and the workplace as well as in laws governing marriage, divorce, and inheritance.
Despite these legal measures, women still face significant obstacles, including spousal abuse and the practice of selling women and young girls as brides. Marriage,Family, and Kinship Marriage. According to custom, marriages are arranged by the couple's parents. While this system is less rigid than it once was, it is still common for young people to use matchmakers.
People take a pragmatic approach to marriage, and even those who chose their own spouses often take practical considerations as much as romantic ones into account. Weddings are usually large, expensive affairs paid for by the groom's family. For those who can afford it, Western-style weddings are popular, with the bride in a white gown and the groom in a suit and tie. The legal age for marriage is twenty for women and twenty-two for men. A marriage law enacted by the communists in gave women the right to choose their husbands and file for divorce.
While it is difficult to obtain a divorce, rates are rising. It is common for several generations to live together under one roof. After marriage, a woman traditionally leaves her parents' home and becomes part of her husband's family. The husband's mother runs the household and sometimes treats a new daughter-in-law harshly.
Although today practical reasons compel most children to leave the parents' home, the oldest son often stays, as it is his duty to care for his aging parents.
Even today, many young adults continue to live with their parents after marriage, partly because of a housing shortage in the cities. The estate generally passes to the oldest son, although, especially in the case of wealthy and powerful men, most of their personal possession traditionally were buried with them.
The remaining property went to the oldest son. Since the communists came to power inwomen have been able to inherit property. Extended family is extremely important, and the wealthy and well educated often hire genealogists to research their family trees. Family members, even distant relations, are valued above outsiders. The passing on of the family name is of great importance. If the oldest son in a family has no son of his own, he often is expected to adopt the son of his next youngest brother.
If no sons are born in the clan, a sister's son may be adopted to carry on the name. Traditionally, male babies were valued much more highly than female offspring. Girls were looked at as a liability and in times of economic hardship often were sold into lives of servitude or prostitution.
While this has changed somewhat, those attitudes have again become prevalent with the government's one-child policy. When families are allowed to have only one child, they want to ensure that it is a boy; for this reason, rates of female infanticide and abandonment have risen. While babies are highly valued, it is considered bad luck to praise them aloud. It is common to offer backward compliments, remarking on a child's ugliness.
A baby usually is not washed for the first three days after birth. On the third day, he or she is bathed, and friends and relatives come to view the new addition to the family. When a male child turns one month old, the parents throw a First Moon party. The boy's head is shaved, and the hair is wrapped in a red cloth, which, after a hundred days, is thrown in the river. This is thought to protect the child. Women usually are granted maternity leave between two months and one year, but rural women tend to go back to work earlier.
Child Rearing and Education. From a very young age, children are assigned responsibilities in both the family and the community. In the countryside, this means farm chores; in the city, it consists of housework or even sweeping the street.
Schoolchildren are responsible for keeping the classroom clean and orderly. Under communism, when women were encouraged to take jobs outside the home, child care facilities became prevalent.
Grandparents also play a significant role in raising children, especially when the mother works outside the home. Education is mandatory for nine years. Ninety-six percent of children attend kindergarten and elementary school, and about two-thirds continue on to secondary school, which lasts for three years.
In high school, students pursue either technical training or a general education. Those who receive a general education can take the extremely difficult qualifying exams to enter a university. The educational system stresses obedience and rote learning over creativity. Both traditional Confucians and the Communist Party view education as a method for inculcating values in the young.
Under Mao, the educational system suffered from propaganda and the devaluation of intellectual pursuits. Because of the size of the population, classrooms and teachers are in short supply. The country has made great progress in increasing the literacy of the general population. When the communists came to power, only 15 percent of the population could read and write. Today, thanks to mandatory schooling for children and adult education programs, the rate is over 75 percent.
Higher education is not accessible to many. Admission to the universities is extremely competitive; only 2 percent of the population attends college. In addition to the rigorous entrance examination, students are required to demonstrate their loyalty to the Communist Party.
During the summers, university students perform manual labor. The curriculum emphasizes science A mother and her children in a farming commune in Canton. Only ethnic minority families are allowed to have more than one child.
It is considered a great honor to undertake advanced study, and a university degree virtually guarantees a comfortable position after graduation. The most prestigious universities are in Beijing and Qinghua, but there are more than a hundred others scattered throughout the country.
There are technical and vocational schools that train students in agriculture, medicine, mining, and education. Etiquette Deference and obedience to elders is considered extremely important. There is a hierarchy that places older people above younger and men above women; this is reflected in social interaction. Chinese people are nonconfrontational. Saving face is of primary importance; appearing to be in the right or attempting to please someone is more important than honesty.
It is considered rude to refuse a request even if one is unable to fulfill it. The fear of losing face is a concern that governs social interactions both large and insignificant; failure to perform a duty brings shame not just on the individual, but on the family and community as well.
Individuality is often subsumed in the group identity. There is little privacy in the home or family, and housing shortages and cramped living quarters often exaggerate this situation.
People touch often, and same-sex hand holding is common. However, physical contact between men and women in public is limited. Smiling is not necessarily a sign of happiness; it can be a display of worry or embarrassment. Visiting is an important part of social life.
Guests often drop in unannounced and are invited to join the family for a meal. It is customary to bring a small gift when visiting. As a communist state, the country is officially atheist. Fifty-nine percent of the population has no religious affiliation. Twenty percent of the people practice traditional religions Taoism and Confucianism12 percent consider themselves atheists, 6 percent are Buddhist, 2 percent are Muslim, and 1 percent are Christian.
The teachings of Confucius are laid out in The Analects. It is a philosophy that stresses responsibility to community and obedience and deference to elders. Taoism, founded by Lao Tse Tsu, is more mystical and less pragmatic than Confucianism.
The tao, which translates as "the way," focuses on ideals of balance and order and often uses nature as a metaphor. It also includes elements of animism.
Taoism, unlike Confucianism, rejects rank and class. Taoists shun aggression, competition, and ambition. Buddhism, which came to the country from India, is similar to Taoism in its rejection of striving and material goods.
The goal of Buddhism is nirvana, a transcendence of the confines of mind and body. Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism are not mutually exclusive, and many people practice elements of all three in addition to worshiping various gods and goddesses, each of which is responsible for a different profession or other aspect of life.
Luck is of supreme importance in popular belief, and there are many ways of bringing good fortune and avoiding badluck. A type of geomancy called fengshui involves manipulating one's surroundings in a propitious way. These techniques are used to determine everything from the placement of furniture in a room to the construction of skyscrapers.
Many of the minority groups have their own religions. Some, such as the Dais in Yunnan and the Zhuangs in the southwest, practice animism. The Uighurs, Kazakhs, and Huis are Muslim. Tibetans follow their own unique form of Buddhism, called Tantric or Lamaistic Buddhism, which incorporates many traditions of the indigenous religion called bon, including prayer flags and prayer wheels and a mystical element.
Despite the numerous Catholic and Protestant missionaries who arrived in the country beginning in the nineteenth century, Christianity has managed to gain few converts. Christians are mostly concentrated in big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.
Confucianism and Taoism do not have central religious figures. In Buddhism, there are monks who devote their lives to prayer and meditation. Worship is usually not communal; the only group services are performed at funerals.
Today the position has political as well as religious significance. The current Dalai Lama lives in exile in India and pursues the cause of Tibetan independence. Rituals and Holy Places. Taoist temples are dominated by the roof, usually yellow or green, which is adorned with images of gods and dragons. The interior usually consists of a courtyard, a main hall with an altar where offerings are placed, and sometimes small shrines to various deities.
Buddhist temples incorporate pagodas, a design which came from India around the first century C. These temples also display statues of the Buddha, sometimes enormous sculptures in gold, jade, or stone. Worship generally takes the form of individual prayer or meditation. One form of spiritual practice that is very popular is physical exercise. There are three main traditions. Wushu, a self-defense technique known in the West as gong fu or kung fucombines aspects of boxing and weapon fighting.
Shadow boxing, called taijiquan or tai chi chuanis a series of slow, graceful gestures combined with deep breathing. The exercises imitate the movements of animals, including the tiger, panther, snake, and crane.
Qidong is a breathing technique that is intended to strengthen the body by controlling the qi, or life energy. These exercises are practiced by people of all ages and walks of life; large groups often gather in parks or other public spaces to perform the exercises together. Buddhist and Taoist temples hold special prayer gatherings to mark the full moon and the new moon. The largest festival of the year is the celebration of the new year or Spring Festival, whose date varies, falling between mid-January and mid-February.
People clean their houses thoroughly to symbolize a new start, and children are given money in red envelopes for good luck. Activities include fireworks and parades with dancers dressed as lions and dragons.
It is a time to honor one's ancestors. The birthday of Guanyin, the goddess of mercy, falls between late March and late April and is observed by visiting Taoist temples. The birthday of Mazu, the goddess of the sea also known as Tianhouis celebrated similarly. It falls in May or June. It involves symbolic bathing and water splashing that are supposed to wash away bad luck.
The Zhuangs mark the end of the plowing season in the spring with a cattle-soul festival, which includes a sacrificial ceremony and offerings of food to the cattle. Moon Festival, or Mid-Autumn Festival, in September or October is celebrated with fireworks, paper lanterns, and moon gazing. The birthday of Confucius 28 September is a time to make pilgrimages to his birthplace in Shandong Province.
A group of people practice tai chi along the main thoroughfare in Shanghai. The popular form of exercise emphasizes slow, graceful movements. Death and the Afterlife. Funerals are traditionally large and elaborate. The higher the social standing of the deceased, the more possessions and people were buried with him or her to ensure entry into the next world. Traditionally, this included horses, carriages, wives, and slaves.
Chinese mourners dress in white and wrap their heads in white cloths. Ancestor worship is an important part of the religion, and it is common Buddhist practice to have a small altar in the house dedicated to deceased family members.
Tomb-Sweeping Day, or Qingming, on 5 April, is dedicated to visiting the burial place of one's ancestors and paying one's respects. Food is often placed on graves as an offering. Ghost Month late August to late September is a time when the spirits of the dead are thought to return to earth. It is not a propitious time for new beginnings, and anyone who dies during this period is not buried until the next month.
Medicine and Health Care Traditional medicine is still widely practiced. It is an ancient, intricate system that places an emphasis on the whole body rather than specific ailments. All natural elements, including human beings, are thought to be made up of yin the female force and yang the male force. These opposing forces are part of the body's qi. Health problems are considered a manifestation of an imbalance of yin and yang, that disrupts a person's qi. Remedies to right the imbalance include snake gallbladder, powdered deer antlers, and rhinoceros horn, as well as hundreds of different combinations of herbs.
Another method of treatment is acupuncture, which involves the insertion of thin needles into the body to regulate and redirect the flow of qi. Massage techniques are also used, and doctors avoid cutting into the body. Western medical facilities are much more accessible in the cities than in the countryside. Even those who have access to Western medicine often use a combination of the two systems, but the government, which runs all the major health facilities, places a priority on Western medical practices.
Health conditions have improved significantly since Life expectancy has risen, and many diseases, including plague, smallpox, cholera, and typhus, have been eliminated. Smoking is a growing health concern, particularly since American cigarette companies have begun large-scale marketing campaigns.
It is exacerbated by prostitution, a rise in intravenous drug use, and lack of education. The Arts and Humanities Support for the Arts. The government censors the output of all artists; it is forbidden to produce work that criticizes the Communist Party or its ideals.
There is a long tradition of imperial patronage of the arts that continues today in the form of state-funded literary guilds that pay writers for their work. While providing support to writers, this system also suppresses their creative freedom.
As the economy has become more open, however, the government has decreased its support, and artists are becoming more dependent on selling their work.
Chinese poetry is not just a linguistic feat but a visual one. Classical poems express balance through both rhyme and tone as well as through the physical layout of the characters on the page. The oldest known anthology of poetry, The Book of Songs, was put together in B. One of the first individual poets, whose work is still read today, is Qu Yuan, best known for his piece called Li Sao, or The Lament.
A more popular and less elitist literary tradition developed during the Ming Dynasty with the dissemination of prose epics. Western influence in the nineteenth century led to a literature based more on the vernacular. The first writer to emerge in this new movement was Lu Xun, whose best known work is The Rickshaw Boy, which details the life of rickshaw drivers in Beijing.
During the communist revolution, literature was seen as a tool for promoting state-sponsored ideology. While the years after the Cultural Revolution saw some opening in terms of what was permissible, freedom of expression is still curtailed. Contemporary writers include Zhang Xianliang, whose work is known for its controversially sexual subject matter, and Lao Gui, whose Blood Red Dusk examines the events of the Cultural Revolution.
Painters are best known for their depictions of nature. Landscapes strive to achieve a balance between yin, the passive female force, represented by water, and yang, the male element, represented by rocks and mountains. These paintings often have writing on them, sometimes by the artist and sometimes by a scholar from a later era. The inscription can be a poem, a dedication, or a commentary on the work. Communist politicians also took to this practice, and many paintings bear the writing of Chairman Mao.
Writing is considered the highest art form, and calligraphy is said to be the deepest expression of a person's character. China has been known for sculpture and pottery since before the earliest dynasties.
The art of pottery reached its pinnacle during the Song Dynasty, when porcelain was developed. Bronze vessels have been used for thousands of years as religious artifacts. They were engraved with inscriptions, and often buried with the dead.
Jade was believed to have magical powers that could ward off evil spirits. Sculptures made of that material were placed in tombs, and sometimes corpses were buried in suits made of jade. Embroidery is practiced by women who decorate clothes, shoes, and bed linens with colorful, elaborate designs of animals and flowers. Unlike the Western scale, which has eight tones, the Chinese has five.
There is no harmony in traditional music; all the singers or instruments follow the melodic line. Traditional instruments include a two-stringed fiddle erhua three-stringed flute sanxuana vertical flute dongxiaoa horizontal flute diziand ceremonial gongs daluo. Opera is a popular traditional art form. There are at least three hundred different forms of opera from different geographic areas. The performances are elaborate and highly stylized, involving acrobatic movements and intricate makeup and costumes.
Actors play one of four types of roles: The subject matter is usually historical, and the language is archaic. Opera is not an entertainment only for the Bicycles are one of the most common modes of transportation in China's crowded cities.
There is a lively rock music scene. The most famous performers are Cui Jian and Lui Huan. Chinese film gained international acclaim in the s and s. The films of the director Zhang Yimou deal with social issues, including women's lives in the precommunist period and the ramifications of the Cultural Revolution. His films, which include Raise the Red Lantern and To Live, have often been subject to disapproval or censorship from the government. The State of the Physical and Social Sciences The Chinese have long been known for their scientific accomplishments; many discoveries and inventions credited to Western scientists were first made in China.
Among those inventions are the seismoscope an instrument used to detect earthquakesfirst created in C. A Chinese alchemist discovered gunpowder by accident in the eleventh century. Before its use in firearms was developed, its use was in fireworks. Paper was invented in China in the first century B. Despite its contributions to technological development, Chinese science is no longer in the forefront.
The country began to fall behind during the nineteenth century, and as the infrastructure and economy weakened, it could no longer keep up with the Western powers. Today, schools stress science and technology in an effort to catch up with other countries. The government prefers to concentrate its efforts on practical projects rather than in basic research, a policy that does not always please scientists and has made progress uneven.
In the s and s, China developed its technology in satellites and nuclear weaponry as well as creating a supercomputer and a hybrid form of high-yield rice. The social sciences, like the arts, have faced censorship from the communist government, and the educational system gives science and technology priority over the social sciences. Both Beijing and Shanghai have numerous museums dedicated to national history and archaeology.
There are also a number of archaeological museums in the provinces. Cook, Sarah, et al. Chinese Economy under Transition, Consumer Revolution in Urban China, Diemberger, Maria Antonia Sironi. The Roof of the World between Past and Present, Public Secrets, Private Spaces: Cinema and Civility in China, Edmonds, Richard Louis, ed.
Cultural Differences Quotes (94 quotes)
People's Republic of China after Fifty Years, Remaking the Chinese City: Modernity and National Identity, —, The Rise of Modern China, Many people give parties on Christmas Eve, and some people enjoy a big Christmas dinner at a restaurant. Shops sell plastic trees and Christmas decorations for everyone to enjoy, and Santa Claus is a popular good-luck figure. The Christmas season is ushered in with fireworks.
Jugglers and acrobats entertain, and people enjoy the merriment and feasting. In Hong Kong, which recently was restored to Chinese rule, Christmas Day is just one of seventeen public holidays.
At this time of year, people in Hong Kong also celebrate Ta Chiu, a festival of peace and renewal, by making offerings to saints and reading the names of everyone who lives in the area. The celebration lasts for three days. While not part of Christmas, the New Year is the most important celebration of the year for the Chinese people.
People travel long distances to be with their families. They decorate their homes with brightly colored banners. These banners carry messages of good wishes for the coming year. Many people exchange gifts at the New Year. Following tradition, very expensive, special presents are given only to close family members. Token gifts are given to friends and distant relations.