Part 1: option 2
Culture is an umbrella term that joins the social behavior and norms found in human culture and the data, feelings, articulations, laws, and customs (Markus and Conner 39). Aside from inborn worth, culture gives basic social and monetary advantages. With upgraded learning and well-being, improved resistance, and openings related to other aspects of a community and individuals, culture is instrumental in working on personal satisfaction and expanding general prosperity for people and networks (Markus & Conner 45). I always associate myself with one of the oldest cultures in the world, the Chinese culture. This culture can be traced back centuries of years. Some of the components and elements that make it unique and different from other cultures include ceramics, architecture, music, literature, martial arts, visual arts, cuisine, and religion.
According to the current literature, the Chinese culture is one of the ethnically diverse cultures in the modern environment. It has 56 ethnic groups, with Han Chinese being the most prominent team. In any case, most other minor ethnic gatherings must regularly converge into Han character, even though they have kept up with particular phonetic and provincial social customs (Stunning tours). This means that it is easier to find two individuals identifying as Han but behaving differently owing to the minor ethnic groups that make this group. Additionally, for instance, different gatherings of the Miao minority have various vocabularies of the Hmong-Mie dialects, Tai-Kadai dialects, and Chinese and frequently practice distinctive social traditions. Strikingly, every minority bunch has their unique customs that they associate with, different festivals, and costumes that make it easier for individuals to differentiate them while the members of these groups maintain their unique identity (Lin 3). For example, each ethnic group has unique marriage customs passed down the generation, and that makes them unique in the face of other cultures.
Another significant element of this culture that makes it unique compared to other cultures globally is religion. According to the current literature, Christianity and Islam are the two most common religions in the modern world (Qiu et al. 2). However, this is not the case in China. Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism are the three main teachings that significantly shape Chinese culture. Unlike Christianity and Islam have clear boundaries, these three religions are intertwined, and they have no clear boundaries. They each significantly contribute to the development and maintenance of the Chinese culture while also providing a source and platform for unity and collaboration. Notably, they can be instrumental in promoting a sense of collectivism instead of individualism (Dai et al. 115). It is also worth noting that this culture’s overall system of convictions and practices has changed over time to adapt to the changing business environment, especially since Shang and Zhou dynasties. During this period of essential components of spirituality, the focus was on explaining the nature of the universe and how supernatural power influences how the universe works. Current statistics suggest that more than 80% of Han Chinese are associated with Taoism, and Chinese folk religion, 10-16% follow Buddhism, while less than 3% are Christians, and 1% belong to Islam (Yan 12). This makes this unique culture considering that western teachings have not heavily influenced it compared to other cultures or regions.
Kung Fu is another significant cultural element that significantly influences the way of life for the Chinese people. The origin of the Chinese martial arts, also broadly known as Kung Fu, can be traced to the requirement for self-protection, hunting procedures, and military training in antiquated China. Hand-to-hand battle and weapons practice were essential in training. From this start, these combative techniques continued to incorporate various ways of thinking and thoughts into work, expanding its motivation from self-preservation to well-being support lastly as a type of self-development (Wei 38). Independent of the diverse Chinese ethnic gatherings, Kung Fu, mirrors all Chinese social qualities from one viewpoint. Martial arts focus on unifying human beings and nature from a philosophical perspective. This cultural aspect centers on cultivating mind and personality and awareness of the natural law (Song et al. 562). Thus, Chinese Kung Fu is more than just a fighting strategy; but it is also a lifestyle, life attitude, and personality cultivation.
Family is another significant component of this culture. It has been a vital element of society since the formulation of Chinese culture. Many aspects of Chinese life can be anchored to honoring parents or ancestors in the modern Chinese community. It is easier to see family members from different generations living in the same house because they focus on family and a sense of obligation to the elderly (Zhang et al. 1123). However, it is worth noting that the Chinese family structure has been inflexible and progressive for hundreds of years. Outstandingly, most guardians and grandparents anticipate their youngsters and grandkids to follow their instructions and desire the letter without asking questions or resisting. Unfortunately, with the changing social and cultural environment in the modern society globally and diversity and multiculturalism, this institution and cultural aspect are at risk (Lai and Wong 101). Currently, most Chinese families face significant challenges to the conventional lifestyles that threaten their conventional stability. Children nowadays move to other regions, cities, and nations searching for greener pastures. However, they do not forget their relatives back home, considering they often send a part of their salaries back home to help their parents and families (Lin 444). Unfortunately, as they get to 30 years mark, they face significant pressure to marry and move back to the village.
Finally, the cuisine is another significant element of this culture. The historical backdrop of Chinese cooking extends back for millennia and has changed from time to time because of changes in climate, imperial fashions, and changes in tastes and preferences. However, eight main Cuisines are mainly associated with this culture, including Anhui, Cantonese, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Sichuan, and Zhejiang cuisines (Wan et al. 325). They are different and unique because of the accessibility of assets, the evolving environment, geology, history, cooking styles, and way of life. For instance, Jiangsu food zeroes more on cooking methods and approaches like braising and stewing, while Sichuan food favors baking. However, it is worth noting that hairy crab is one of the popular delicacies in almost every part of China. Still, it is viral in Shanghai as it is mainly found in lakes throughout the country (Stunning tours). Peking duck and dim-sum are other popular cuisines popular outside China but still help differentiate the Chinese culture from other cultures.
According to the current literature, the jade dragon has been an essential part of Chinese culture for centuries considering that the first jade dragon was discovered or crafted in 3000BC. However, its importance to the Chinese culture continued through the Western Han Dynasty and remains one of the critical artifacts to the Chinese culture even in modern society (Song et al. 563). It is known among the Chinese nationals as the dragon stone and is more regarded in China than any other region or country in contemporary society. Although most people consider s as a predominantly greenstone, it can also be a white, pale, purple, blue, yellow, red, and grey stone. In most cases, these dragons are crafted and carved from jadeite or nephrite with sandpaper-like instruments. However, it is not easy to curve one dragon, and this has been described as one of the most expensive processes in terms of time (Dai et al. 118). Notably, it demands meticulous skills and a love for art which further exemplifies the meaning of this artifact to the Chinese culture.
As one of the oldest artifacts that define the Chinese culture is the Jade Dragon. It was discovered in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region in 1971. It represents one of the earliest jade carving crafts in Chinese history and has also been described as one of the earliest dragons carved from jade in China. It has a twisted body to half circles and is mainly 26 cm in height (Lai and Wong 106). The mythical beast is in a flying posture, even though it does not have horns, squamous, or feet and has elements of crude winged serpent pictures. This antiquity is safeguarded in the public historical center of Chinese history.
The picture of the dragon is associated with ancient people’s worship of totems. It represents power and expectation for the individuals who follow the three principle lessons in the country. Therefore, later sovereigns in old China endeavored to apotheosize themselves with the picture of winged serpents, and mythical beasts had an exceptionally high place according to customary Chinese residents. Later centuries and decades, the dragon became an important symbol in the Chinese culture, considering that they pinned high hopes on dragons for a good life and bright future (Lin 450). Through they were mainly developed as a form of jade article to represent the simplicity and plainness of the Chinese jade carving craft early on, it changed with time to become one of the crucial elements in the Chinese culture.
This artifact can also represent happiness, immortality, procreation, fertility, and activity. Based on the current reports from the Beijing service team in China, the traditional Chinese people group emphatically accepted that winged serpents lived under the world’s surface and came about just during the second month of the Chinese schedule year and brought with them rain and thunder(Lin 7). Therefore, any dragon symbols were highly and still are respected throughout China, considering that Chinese communities believe that dragons have powers beyond what men have or could imagine. Additionally, this artifact is critical in meditation, which is one of the eight branches of Chinese medicine. According to cultural beliefs, individual surroundings are incredibly significant when accounting for the three perfections of Feng Shui (Qiu et al. 316). These perfections include harmonious individuals, a perfect place, and the right timing.
Although this is one of the most important artifacts among Chinese communities and represents significant value to this community, mainstream America does not agree with these values. Considering that dragon is only prevalent in Chinese culture and has no significance in the American culture, it is hard for the Americans to understand its importance and what it represents (Wei 44). Instead, the Americans have artifacts representing values such as power or happiness widely attributed to the Chinese dragon. For example, the Americans believe in the emancipation proclamation. It represented freedom and hope for all individuals held as slaves, stating that they were subsequently free and would enjoy all rights like any other citizen in the country (Yan 11). The proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863 ad is one of the most significant artifacts in American history.
One of the striking features of the Chinese culture is its traditional medicine that continues to influence the modern health care system in the country. Notably, regular Chinese medication is established and the foundation of more than 2,500 years of Chinese clinical work, including different kinds of common prescriptions, needle treatment, back rub, exercise, and dietary treatment. Its perspective is set up on Yinyangism, moreover comprehensively known as Daoism (Zhang et al. 1123). This perspective, religion, and way of life arose in the 6th century BCE in what is presently generally known as the eastern Chinese territory. For the most part, medical care issues are viewed as disharmony or abnormality in the limits and joint efforts of yin, yang, and meridians between the human body and the environment in which they live. Treatment relies upon which example of disharmony can be recognized. The current standard Chinese drug is, for the most part, utilized globally (Dai et al. 114). It is progressively becoming an essential part of Chinese culture, and other regions, including Europe and North America, are adopting principles of Chinese medicine.
Based on the above description, it is evident that insiders hold with high regard the principles of their medicine and treatment, which have been instrumental in helping them to achieve and maintain optimal health. For example, they strongly believe in Qigong, an ancient meditation approach perceived as a healing practice that is best known for combining meditation, controlled breathing, and gentle movement (Lin 449). It is popular in China for exercise, recreation, relaxation, preventive medicine, and physical and mental healing. Meditation is geared towards the liberation of the mind and soul. The main focus is meditating on the void instead of making the mind one-pointed. Chinese medicine also believes in herbal medicine and massage, something that is not popular or highly regarded by outsiders. For nations and cultures such as American culture, they believe in technology integration in the health care industry to help diagnose, treat, and manage different healthcare problems (Song et al. 565). Outsiders are more likely to trust their treatment strategies, including the traditional visit to a health care facility for diagnosis, evaluation, treatment, and regular check-ups to reduce the risk of the condition’s progress. Notably, America has some of the greatest and biggest pharmaceutical companies and records higher prescription drugs rates than other health organizations. Therefore, it is correct to assume such outsiders might find it challenging to believe that traditional healing processes such as medication can address different health care challenges and conditions (Wei 46). To the outsiders, advanced health care systems are essential to other healthcare conditions instead of meditation or herbal medicine like in China.
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