What is Traditional Chinese culture?
What is Chinese culture? Culture is the soul of a nation.
Chinese culture has been destroyed by the Chinese Communist Party 100 years ago. This short review I will try to summarise the essential key elements of traditional Chinese culture, the true China. I am a beginning student so please bear with me in these notes.
Traditional Chinese culture has produced majestic achievements of philosophy, arts, literature and science. The Chinese Communist Party's systematic destruction of Chinese culture is an unpardonable crime. As Mao Tse Tung said, he follows neither the Tao nor the Will of Heaven.
The founding myths of Chinese history include Pangu's creation of the heaven's and earth; Neuwa creation of humanity; Sundi creation of Chinese characters; Shewangs listing of countless herbs.
The other founder of the Chinese culture is the mythical emperor Wang, who also founded Daoism.
Confucius taught about how to live in mundane life; Buddha's teachings brought compassion and salvation to China in the first century AD. Buddhism and Daoism established the macrocosmic understanding of the human life and body. All aspects of Chinese life is penetrated by these teachings including divination.
Confucianism on the other hand focused on the mundane world, and is profoundly influenced by Daoism. Confucianism starts with family ethics, teaching that filial piety and brotherly love the foundation of benevolence. Filial piety can be naturally extended to social morality and government.
Kung said "It is seldom that a person with filial love and brotherly love will be inclined to offend those above."
Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism offer the Chinese people a very stable system.
The four most renowned novels in Chinese culture exemplify this high moral level.
- The first book, Journey to the Western, concerns moral cultivation told as a pilgrimage.
- A Dream of Red Mansions, the second book, explains predestined relationship through a tragic love story.
- The third book, Outlaws of the Marsh, talks about how a hundred warrior spirits are released who turn into Robin Hoods and rob the corrupt in society.
- The fourth book, The Three Kingdoms, shows the inevitability of God's Will and fate.
The use of myths show how Chinese culture uses popular images. When thinking about moral ideas, Chinese intellectuals naturally think about these novels.
Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism all inspire people to return to kindness.
Popular operas have been important ways to bring good morals to the Chinese people. The great integrative power of Chinese culture is indicated by the way ethnic minorities gained power and then became assimilated into traditional Chinese teachings.
Then came the Chinese Communist Party, which taught "struggle against heaven and earth and mankind", and destroyed traditional Chinese culture.