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Ancient China - Language, history, food, society, lifestyle, medicine and the great wall

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Would we like to see remains of wonderful civilisations, emperors, treasures, histories, etc? Well, let us explore ancient China - the home of the Great Wall, wonderful civilisations and cultures. The Chinese language is different from others - there are about 3000-picture characters for words and phrases and is read vertically. How weird is that - all the characters must be known to be able to read a newspaper, and imagine learning up to 3000 characters compared to just 26 here!! China has an interesting history of emperors, rulers, fascinating civilisations, etc. Major events Early Chinese people have been around about 500,000 years ago. The first began settling along the most important rivers - the Yangtze and Yellow River and used stone tools while living in wooden shelters. About 4000 years ago, the people making written records and from about 2000 BC to 1900 the country was ruled by powerful families of rulers known as dynasties. Some were times of war, while others were a time of peace. Many important things happened under the rule of the dynasties, such as the building of the Great Wall of China. The dynasties ended in 1912 and a republic (country ruled by a president chosen by people) was formed. The Japanese invaded unsuccessfully in 1937 and the Communists, lead by Mao Zedong, led the republic for 50 years. The Dynasties Let us discuss the famous dynasties of China and what happened. Shang Dynasty: The Shang Dynasty was the first family of rulers, and they had power over China from 1600 to 1050 BC. In this time, cities were built in northern China, and the people developed their unique culture. Food was grown by peasants, while artists produced tools, weapons, ornaments, etc. ...read more.

Middle

People believing in Christian worship Jesus (son of Mary and Joseph), especially on Christmas Day (25th December) and Easter Day. Philosophies: Confucianism: This philosophy is the teaching of a scholar from northeastern China - Confucius. It was the state teaching of Lu from 202 BC to 1911 and said that most of the ills of society occurred as a result of people forgetting their places in life and the excellence of rulers going down. The main focus was on social relations, proper handling of things and peace and friendship in a community. A family of 3 or 4 generations was ideal and obedience to parents was one of the most necessary excellences. Daoism: Daoism does not agree with Confucius's philosophy; the followers of Daoism believe in nature's laws, instead of obeying too many man-made regulations. There would be fewer disputes and crimes when people stopped lying to obtaining things they wanted. The Communists Unfortunately, the Communists have discouraged religions in the 20th century- temples and churches have been closed and taken. Luckily, the situation eased after the death of Mao Zedong in 1977 and some Buddhist temples were reopened, while services among Christians were permitted once again. Despite that, all religious activity is cautiously watched by the Chinese government. Fascinatingly, most of the everyday things we use such as matches, umbrellas, wheelbarrows and paper were originally Chinese inventions. Let us discuss some of the most wonderful Chinese inventions: 1. Silk is one of the most beautiful fabrics and is worn by kings, queens and the rich. In early times, a little girl accidentally discovered this beautiful cloth. She noticed some worms eating the mulberry leaves of her father and dropped one of their cocoons into some hot water - and it happened to be the silk worms eating the leaves. ...read more.

Conclusion

3. The first emperor - Qin Shihuangdi was very fierce and buried scholars, while burning their books. 4. The last emperor, Puyi was only three years old when he became an emperor! 5. Rich people were sometimes very fancy with their food, and sometimes ate raw monkey brains or bear paws! 6. In the Tang Dynasty, Chang'an, one of the cities, was laid out in a square, and the emperor alone used the central gates. 7. Qin Shihuangdi, who wanted to live forever, has survived in one way - the name China is from his name. 8. Daoists worshipped a small group of immortals, who were supposed to possess magic. 9. Farmers often paid taxes in the form of grain or time working for the government. 10. Chinese names showed the importance of family - the family name was said before the personal name. 11. Puyi, the last emperor, was treated like a living god till he turned six. 12. In 1974, well diggers discovered a buried army of life-size terracotta soldiers guarding the first emperor's tomb. 13. Males were more important than females - grandmothers, mothers, and aunts were to serve the Grandfathers, fathers, and uncles. 14. Lady Xin, Marquise of Dai, died sometime around 168 BC - as a result of a heart attack after eating a large melon - up to 138 seeds were found in her body! Wow - that is remarkable! So now we know about one of the most wonderful civilisations in the world - Ancient China. Many achievements have been made in every dynasty such as building the Great Wall and inventing things we use everyday such as paper, printing, matches, etc. This civilisations has a wonderful history, sometimes of happiness, but there are also times of war. Wow! How interesting is Ancient China! ?? ?? ?? ?? 15 1 ...read more.

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