China is the country in East Asia with a rich culture. The ancient civilization was found near the big river that cultivates many historical periods. Today, Chinese culture is widely diverse in each province. Foreigners see this culture as a single one, but each ethnic has its own custom and tradition.
Besides in their own country, the culture spreads and influences many countries in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. Chinese people also like to live in the new location to create custom and culture with Chinese root.
Chinese Spirituality and Religion
Chinese culture cannot be separated from religion and philosophy. Western scholars often called the eastern philosophy that refers to Taoism and Confucianism. Buddhism and Chinese traditional culture mix together in order to form new and unique religion practice. Let’s discuss them one by one.
- Chinese Buddhism
Buddhism was originated from India. In general, Buddhism does not have a Supreme God to worship. After blended into Chinese tradition, Buddhism gained new ritual and spiritual practice. As similar to Buddhism sects, Chinese version also has several variations.
Taoism is not literally religion, but it tends to be a philosophy that Chinese adopts in their life. It has root from the ancient period that still exists in modern civilization. The core object of Taoism is harmony while living with Tao.
Confucianism is another religious practice and philosophy in China. It emerged as the new version of Tao that Confucius stated in the 5th century BCE. After that, most of cultures and customs use Confucianism philosophy until modern day.
Chinese Language and Letter
The Chinese language is known as Mandarin which spoken by the majority of Cina citizen. Today, the people are descendant from Han ethnic group where Mandarin becomes the official language. Moreover, the other languages are Wu, Cantonese, Min, and Yue.
In addition, Chinese characters have existed since the Han dynasty. It adopted pictography approach to representing one character with the single meaning. Today, Chinese characters have two categories: traditional and simplified. The mainland China uses simplified version and the traditional one can be found in Hong Kong.
Furthermore, Chinese cuisines or foods have more varieties than the other cultures. You will find traditional food from local street vendor easily. This cuisine still varies in each seller. Well, Chinese foods influence the culinary in neighbor countries such as Japan, Mongolia, Korea, and Southeast Asia region.
The main difference between Eastern and Western foods are seasoning. In Chinese cuisine, the foods use more seasoning to boost the taste. Moreover, people cook using more than one method for single ingredients. In Chinatown, these traditional foods are available for people who cannot visit China directly.
Chinese Art Calligraphy
The most popular art is calligraphy from Chinese character. In ancient time, only scholars and stirs have the proficiency to write the letter. Today, calligraphy blends in many media that you see on the following list:
- Paper and painting
- Festival decoration
- Religion practice
- Handmade product
- Digital media
During New Year, Chinese people celebrate and release the red lantern. It becomes custom and lantern embodies Chinese art. Moreover, paintings and calligraphy are the most popular Chinese culture to represent their tradition and custom, including fashion.