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Chinese civilization

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Throughout history, Chinese civilization has undoubtedly been one of the oldest and most important civilizations and cultures in the Asian region . Born in the vicinity of the Yellow River and the Blue River in the Neolithic era , it was a territory that turned out to be extremely fertile and rich in natural resources, making it possible for its population to progress at an accelerated rate , making its name remembered by always in universal history.

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What is Chinese civilization?

The Chinese civilization is one of the most extensive in the territory and it has a great variety of culturally rich peoples . It is also considered one of the cradles of modern civilization.

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Characteristics of Chinese civilization

Some of the main characteristics of Chinese civilization were:

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  • China’s current population is 1.3 billion of inhabitants , is the most populous country in the world.
  • It extends over 596,960 km2 of surface.
  • In it we find all the existing climates, an immense variety of reliefs and topographies .
  • China’s official language is standard Mandarin , derived from that spoken in Beijing.
  • The Chinese territory is made up of twenty-two provinces , five autonomous regions, four municipalities under central jurisdiction and two administrative regions.
  • Despite being a communist regime , the Chinese economy is one of the most robust in the world, which is why it is considered an emerging superpower.

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It is considered that the origin or the ” Cradle of Civilization “ China is the valley of the Yellow River , which housed villages around 5,000 BC Although this has been discussed, there is no doubt that the province of Henan , in the Valley of the River Amarillo, was the site of many early farming towns and communities.

Story

Lacking any reliable historical record, the story is based on archaeological sites and unearthed relics and Chinese mythology . The first dynasty in ancient China was the Xia Dynasty although some believe it was just a legend . Ancient China was divided into warring kingdoms for 200 years, and their reunification ushered in the era of Imperial China . The Shang Dynasty was the first to have such historical records as inscriptions on bones and bronze objects. Later, the main philosophies and religions emergedwhich were the basis of Chinese beliefs such as Confucianism and Taoism . This period was divided into three periods: the Western Zhou Dynasty , the Spring and Autumn Period, and the Warring States Period .

Later, the period of Imperial China emerged, which constitutes most of Chinese history. Chinese dynasties fell, their civilization nurtured and prospered in peacetime, and reformed after rebellions and conquests.

Political and social organization of Chinese civilization

Its political organization was characterized by dynasties dominated by emperors who were the ones who had all the power and authority . The dynasties were succeeded by an heir , who was usually their first-born male. Some time later, the Chinese bureaucracy was established , which was very important in the government and public officials were in charge of administering it. It imposed a system of payment of taxes to unite the entire region dominated by China, including legislation , to reduce conflict among different peoples of the empire.

The social structure of Chinese civilization respected hierarchies . In the hierarchy of plenitude was the emperor , who had his power by virtue or by the orders of the gods. At the next level we found the mandarins that included the governors, judges, police officers, tax collectors and supervisors of agricultural work. Then followed the peasants , who worked the fields of the landlords as tenants . And at the last level were the slaves who were prisoners of war .

Economy

The economy of Chinese civilization was mainly agriculture , growing mainly rice on the Yangtze River. They also dedicated themselves to domesticate pack animals to transport products to neighboring cities, thus beginning with the barter trade . Metallurgy was also developed to create weapons and work tools and the materials came from mining that was developed in nearby deposits, where important minerals such as iron, copper, gold and lead were exploited .

Agriculture and Livestock

Agriculture was very important to Chinese civilization and started in 7500 BC In the 1st century, multiple crops were made , seed pretreatment, rice irrigation , water capture for dry land fields in the north ; it was grown in pots and the ridge crop was given ; the fertilization , the irrigation and planting ; they also practiced recycling organic matter ; the adaptability of the soil to crops; and tools of iron . Ancient China depended on agriculture to feed the people and rice it was one of the first crops they learned to grow.

The livestock in China is such extensive and productivity is actually quite low because it is not their most important activity. However, some are dedicated to cattle , sheep , meat and wool production . Also to the cattle of goats , horses and pigs . It is more important for them to take care of the birds that are in charge of giving them meat and eggs .

Cultural manifestations

Painting

It was developed through Chinese calligraphy , which was based on the four treasures of Chinese writing: the brush , the inkwell , the ink and the paper . Similar techniques began to be used for painting and its different classifications, such as portraits , flowers and birds , landscapes and animals . They used different techniques such as quick brushstrokes , black India ink, and fine attention to detail.

Architecture

Architecture emerged with the Zhou dynasty , which served two fundamental functions: beauty and / or aesthetics and functionality . The homes of the small civilization had to be stylish and have gardens , lagoons and delicate details in the ceramics and wall patterns. Architectural works that stand out are the Pagodas , the Great Wall of China and the Army of Terracotta .

Sculpture

Not much information is available about the authors of Chinese sculpture. This is mainly because they were considered inferior and were not taken into consideration. Usually the sculptures were related to religion and were found in Buddhist and Taoist temples . They emphasized the clothing of the characters and there were many sculptures of Buddha also made figures of animals, plants and landscapes.

Ceramics

It was known primarily for porcelain , its painting techniques , innovations, and enamels . The Yangshao culture was the first one that had the main Chinese potters. They used the lathe to be able to make the finest materials and to give the pieces height.

Religion of chinese civilization

The Chinese religious system was ruled primarily by philosophy , such as Confucianism , which had a great impact on Chinese culture to this day. They also believe in Taoism and Buddhism , which are considered philosophical ideas . They believed more in the forces of nature rather than a particular divinity, they believed in the sky and in the elements, such as water , fire , earth and air . They worshiped those for which praying for them was a kind of obligatory rite .

The Chinese believed that every living thing had a duty on the ground and already had earned his place in heaven, as long as fulfilled its mission. Nor did they reject any of the foreign religions or the various beliefs that existed within their own territory. Some of their gods were:

  • The Three Pure Ones. The Daoist trinity , the highest deities. The Pure Jade , The Pure Superior , and The Great Pure .
  • Jade Emperor who was the ruler of Heaven and Earth.
  • The Eight Immortals : He Xiangu, Cao Guojiu, Li Tieguai, Lan Caihe, Lü Dongbin, Han Xiangzi, Zhang Guo Lao, and Zhongli Quan.
  • Four Heavenly Kings
  • Baosheng Dadi or the Great Emperor of life.
  • Bi Fang or the fire bird.
  • Bi Gan who was the God of abundance, health and well-being.
  • Chang E or Goddess of the Moon, Yi’s wife.
  • Cheng Huang a protective deity.
  • Chi You who was the warrior god who fought against Huang Di.

Customs and Traditions of Chinese Civilization

Some of the customs and traditions of Chinese civilization are:

  • Chinese tradition of tea , which was used to heal and to have a longer life.
  • Chinese tradition of the dragon , which is a mythological figure from China. Long snakes with four legs, it represents the yang complementing itself with the ying , the phoenix.
  • Chinese wedding tradition : weddings were prepared by families and matchmakers and before getting married they consulted a fortune-teller to see if they were compatible. The groom’s family must make various gifts to the bride’s family, including food and sweets.
  • Funeral traditions : it had the tradition of cremation through a sophisticated ritual, but this tradition was imposed by the communist regime. Despite this, burial remains the ideal funeral tradition.
  • They celebrate the Western New Year , the Chinese New Year , the Qing Ming Festival , and others.

Language

The language of Chinese civilization was the Chinese language, which is the composition of a series of Sino-Tibetan dialects , among which Mandarin is the most frequent. For this reason the official language of China is standard Mandarin, from the one spoken in Beijing . The writing is done by means of simplified Chinese characters , which replaced the traditional Chinese characters since 1956.

Feeding

His diet was and is very healthy . They ate meat and fish with large amounts of vegetables . They also used duck, turtle, game animals and eggs as food. Two of the main foods of this culture are rice and noodles , and they are foods that are consumed practically every day.

Clothing

The clothing of Chinese civilization was born through the Qing dynasty and was worn by men and women. This clothing consisted of a piece of silk that was adorned with a lace on the neck and sleeves of the dress. It was neat , elegant and very comfortable clothing , and it was a popular garment among the Chinese high elites . Currently the traditional qipao is used with a more modern cut that enhances the figure of the Chinese woman, being a traditional symbol of Chinese culture. Traditional clothing is known by the name ofHanfu , a garment very similar to the Japanese kimono , with a narrow skirt and a wide tunic with long sleeves, in light and bright and dark colors for men.

Location

It developed in a fertile plain between the Yellow and Blue rivers which was an area of ​​high agricultural productivity. In its history, the limits were established by the mentioned rivers, the China Sea and the Kuen Lun Mountains . It is currently bordered to the north by the Republic of Mongolia and Russia , to the east by the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea , to the south by the South China Sea , Vietnam , Laos, Burma, India, Bhutan and Nepal and to the west with Pakistan .

Important cities of Chinese civilization

The most important cities of Chinese civilization are the following:

  • Beijing : the most historic city in China, full of tourist sites and the birthplace of the Great Wall of China.
  • Xi’an : historical city that was the capital of China.
  • Nanjing : Chinese capital before and after World War II.
  • Luoyang : another of the Chinese capitals where the Old Town district is located.
  • Anyang , Kaifeng , Hangzhou , Yan’an , among others.

Contributions

Among the main contributions of Chinese civilization we mention:

  • The origin of paper dates back to Chinese history where mulberry bark and bamboo were used to make it, and finally rice paper was developed .
  • Along with paper, the printing press and Chinese ink were born , for writing letters and documents, they also left paper money , books, cards and calendars as an inheritance .
  • The Chinese devised a kind of compass to predict future events, based on the art called Feng shui . It was used to decide which were the best places to live or to build.
  • They inherited the porcelain which was part of the trade of the region.

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