Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Chinese Culture Essay Example for Free

The Chinese Culture Essay Chinese people have had the world’s most successful continuous culture for the past four millennia, and culture and traditions remain prominent wherever they live. Even in the twenty-first century, Chinese people living in China, Taiwan and the United States of America still value their culture and traditions. And people from Chinese culture living in Australia and the United Kingdom follow Chinese culture and traditions in relation to their health beliefs. Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism are the main three philosophies or religions in Chinese culture. Taoism is considered both a religion and philosophy emphasizing the independence of the individual and connection to natural forces of life, Confucianism provides the moral code or ethics of behavior, and Buddhism contains the rituals of the spiritual life. Like all cultures, Chinese culture has a particular perspective on dying and death. Chinese society and its people have developed meanings about death throughout history, particularly in relation to religious beliefs, philosophical beliefs, and cultural practices. Death is a taboo and Chinese families will not discuss issues of death and dying for fear of invoking bad luck. In order to postpone bad luck associated with death, Chinese people will try to prolong the patient’s life as long as possible, while also acknowledging that death is part of the lifespan. When a person is dying Chinese people believe that dying in the main hall of the house enables an individual symbolically to join her/his ancestors represented by these tablets or the family altar. Since cremation is traditionally uncommon, the burial of the dead is a matter taken very seriously in Chinese society. Improper funeral arrangements can cause ill fortune and disaster on the family of the deceased. To a certain degree, Chinese funeral rites and burial customs are determined by the age of the deceased, cause of death, status and position in society, and marital status. According to Chinese custom, an elder should never show respect to someone younger. So, if the deceased is a young bachelor, for example, his body cannot be brought home and must remain at the funeral parlor. His parents cannot offer prayers to their son, either: Since he was unmarried, he did not have any children to whom he could perform these same rites. (This is why the body cannot come into the family home. ) If an infant or child dies, no funeral rites are performed either since respect cannot be shown to a younger person. The child is thus buried in silence. Preparation for a funeral often begins before a death has occurred. When a person is on his/her deathbed, a coffin will often have already been ordered by the family. When a death occurs in a family all statues of deities in the house are covered up with red paper (not to be exposed to the body or coffin) and all mirrors are removed (it is believed that one who sees the reflection of a coffin in a mirror will shortly have a death in his/her family). A white cloth is hung over the doorway to the house and a gong is placed to the left of the entrance if the deceased is a male, and to the right if female. Before being placed in the coffin, the corpse is cleaned with a damp towel dusted with talcum powder, and dressed in his/her best clothes (all other clothing of the deceased is burned) before being placed on a mat (or hay in rural areas). The body is completely dressed, including the footwear. 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. In general, the Chinese are a collective society with a need for group affiliation, whether to their family, school, work group, or country. In order to maintain a sense of harmony, they will act with decorum at all times and will not do anything to cause someone else public embarrassment. They are willing to subjugate their own feelings for the good of the group. Since the Chinese strive for harmony and are group dependent, they rely on facial expression, tone of voice and posture to tell them what someone feels. Frowning while someone is speaking is interpreted as a sign of disagreement. Therefore, most Chinese maintain an impassive expression when speaking. It is considered disrespectful to stare into another persons eyes. In crowded situations the Chinese avoid eye contact to give themselves privacy. The Chinese culture is one of the oldest cultures today. It is rich in diverse beliefs and religions. The culture has very deep and profound history. Many of the the old customs are even still practiced today. It was very interesting learning about this culture, and comparing it to my culture. Works Cited Cultural Approaches to Pediatric Palliative Care in Central Massachusetts . Worlds People in Central Massachusetts. N. p. , n. d. Web. 14 Apr. 2013. Cultural Approaches to Pediatric Palliative Care in Central Massachusetts . Worlds People in Central Massachusetts. N. p. , n. d. Web. 15 Apr. 2013. Cultural Facts. Cultural Facts. N. p. , n. d. Web. 14 Apr. 2013. Johnston, Alastair Iain. Cultural Realism: Strategic Culture and Grand Strategy in Chinese History. N. p. : Princeton UP, 2006. Print.

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