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Showing posts with the label chinese culture

Do China, Hong Kong and Taiwan Have A Common Chinese Culture?

A while ago I had a debate with two guys from South America I met in Hong Kong. They argued that Hong Kong had lost its Chinese culture and identity, complained about the fact that the city had the same kind of buildings and shops, like McDonald's and Starbucks, one can find anywhere in the world, that people behave like Westerners. I disagreed, telling them that behind the surface of modernity, Hong Kong remained culturally Chinese. One of those guys obviously didn't like to discuss with people who had a different opinion than himself - he got upset and stormed out of the room. Talking about Chinese culture is not only in itself a very complex subject, but it is also politically sensitive, because some people mistakenly assume that "Chinese" means Communist Party and People's Republic of China (PRC). So, if you tell someone that Taiwan is culturally Chinese, they might get angry and tell you that China is not Taiwan. I don't see Chinese cul

Law In Imperial China – Confucianism And Legalism

Killing the scholars and burning the books   (anonymous 18th century Chinese painting depicting the alleged burning of books and killing of scholars under China’s first emperor Qin Shihuang; source: Wikipedia )  The legal system of imperial  China  developed from two schools of thought:  Confucianism  and  Legalism . Although both of them exerted a deep influence on China’s state-building as well as on its moral and legal traditions, at the beginning these two philosophies were bitterly opposed to each other, as they were based on entirely different principles (see: Xin Ren:  Tradition of the Law and Law of the Tradition: Law, State, and Social Control in China , 1997, p. 19). Confucianism  (儒家) originated from the teachings of  Confucius  (551 – 479 BC), a Chinese scholar, politician and philosopher who lived in the  Spring and Autumn period . The main body of the Confucian canon comprises the Four Books and the Five Classics (四書五經), texts which have been traditionally attribut

Hot Sale in Hong Kong - A Lucky Charm That Promises Wealth

This little figurine of a smiling man holding a gold ingot is a hot sale in Hong Kong at the moment. And judging by the number of luxury cars on the city's street, it is not that surprising. Perhaps it really works, so I am thinking about buying one. Getting wealthy for just 30 dollars (around 3 euros) is a pretty good deal.  The name of the figurine is 元寶財神公仔 (pinyin: Yuánbǎo cáishén gōngzǐ), which literally means: Doll of the Gold Ingot God of Wealth.  Shoe-shaped silver or gold ingots (元寶) were used as money in ancient China and they have thus become traditional symbols of wealth in Chinese culture. According to Vivien Sung, the yuanbao first appeared in the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD). In the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) they became an actual standard currency. Because the Chinese dumplings resemble the shape of gold ingots, they are also associated with wealth and are an auspicious dish to eat on New Year's Eve in various part of China (see Vivien Sung: