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A Chinese Opera Essay

1714 words - 7 pages

Chinese Heritage {draw:a} {draw:a} A Chinese Opera (Beijing Opera) performance in Beijing, one of the many aspects of traditional Chinese culture People in the culture {draw:a} {draw:a} People in imperial China - Qing dynasty {text:bookmark-start} {text:bookmark-end} Identity Many ethnic groups have existed in China. In terms of the numbers, however, the pre-eminent ethnic group is the Han Chinese. Throughout history, many groups have been assimilated into neighboring ethnicities or disappeared without a trace. At the same time, many within the Han identity have maintained distinct linguistic and regional cultural traditions. The term has been used to describe the notion of ...view middle of the document...

However, this system did not cover all social groups while the distinctions between all groups became blurred ever since the commercialization of Chinese culture in the Song Dynasty (960' 1279 CE). Ancient Chinese education also has a long history; ever since the Sui Dynasty (581' 618 CE) educated candidates prepared for the Imperial examinations that drafted exam graduates into government as scholar-bureaucrats. Trades and crafts were usually taught by a sifu. The female historian Ban Zhao wrote the Lessons for Women in the Han Dynasty and outlined the four virtues women must abide to, while scholars such as Zhu Xi and Cheng Yi would expand upon this. Chinese marriage and Taoist sexual practices are some of the customs and rituals found in society. {text:bookmark-start} {text:bookmark-end} Values Most social values are derived from Confucianism and Taoism with a combination of conservatism. The subject of which school was the most influential is always debated as many concepts such as Neo-Confucianism, Buddhism and many others have come about. Reincarnation and other rebirth concept is a reminder of the connection between real-life and the next-life. In Chinese business culture, the concept of guanxi, indicating the primacy of relations over rules, has been well documented.[4] {text:bookmark-start} {text:bookmark-end} Language {draw:a} {draw:a} Chinese calligraphy written by Song Dynasty (1051-1108 CE) poet Mi Fu Main articles: Chinese language_ and _History of Standard Mandarin The ancient written standard was Classical Chinese. It was used for thousands of years, but was mostly reserved for scholars and intellectuals. By the 20th century, millions of citizens, especially those outside of the imperial court were illiterate[3]. Only after the May 4th Movement did the push for Vernacular Chinese begin. This allowed common citizens to read since it was modeled after the linguistics and phonology of a spoken language. {text:bookmark-start} {text:bookmark-end} Mythology and spirituality {draw:a} {draw:a} A Luohan, one of the spiritual figures shared between Chinese and Indian culture across different types of Buddhism. {draw:a} {draw:a} in Journey to the West Chinese religion was originally oriented to worshipping the supreme god Shang Di during the Xia and Shang dynasties, with the king and diviners acting as priests and using oracle bones. The Zhou dynasty oriented it to worshipping the broader concept of heaven. A large part of Chinese culture is based on the notion that a spiritual world exists. Countless methods of divination have helped answer questions, even serving as an alternate to medicine. Folklores have helped fill the gap for things that cannot be explained. There is often a blurred line between myth, religion and unexplained phenomenon. While many deities are part of the tradition, some of the most recognized holy figures include Guan Yin, Jade Emperor and Buddha. Many of the stories have since evolved into...

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