Traditional Chinese Culture
When defining culture, many people have different views. According to "the critical study about the conception and definition of culture" written by Kroeber and Kluckhohn, two American cultural anthropologists, there are more than 160 academic definitions of culture worldwide. The word “culture” originated from the Latin term with the original meaning including, cultivation, fostering, education, development, and respect in western society. In 1871, "Primitive Culture" written by Edward Taylor, a British anthropologist, described culture as a combination of abilities and behaviors that people possess such as knowledge, belief, art, morality, and law, among others.
In China, the word "culture" which is "wehua" in Chinese has existed since ancient times. The original meaning of "wen" referred to the weaving of colors, ornamentation and articles and "hua" is defined as variation, formation, and creation. There is a saying that, "all things on earth are given birth and foster growth," so the meaning of "hua" extended to transformation, indoctrination, and cultivation. The conception of "culture" in ancient China can be categorized into spiritual civilization, often corresponding to "armed force," "Kungfu" and others. These definitions contain positive idealism that demonstrates the gentle and strict way the country is governed, embracing politics and ethics. In addition, ancestors used the word "culture" as a verb, symbolizing a method and proposal of governing society. It was not only opposed to but also linked to the conquest of armed forces, which included the strategy of "trying fair means before using force" and "making policy and military achievements." Some definitions also include the traditional culture of China which include food, customs, and various traditions.
The traditional culture of China is representative of the development of Chinese civilization and the ideas that have governed society throughout history. It is considered a culture that was created by all Chinese people living in China since its inception. There are many characteristics of Chinese culture highlighted below:
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