Arts and Culture
China’s high culture has always been closely linked to the written word, which is why literature plays a prominent role in Chinese culture. From premodern texts such as the 2000 year old ” Five Classics ” to the art of Tang poems to the great ” four novels ” of classical Chinese literature (including “The Dream of the Red Chamber”), there are countless literary works from all eras in various styles. The modern literature emerged in the course of cultural-critical movement in the early 20th century. Writers like Lu Xun turned away from the classical written language, which has its own grammar, and from then on wrote in “spoken” language. Today’s Chinese literature goes back to the pioneers of that time. In addition to the great literature, the popular way of storytelling has also survived until.
According to internetsailors, Chinese painting attaches great importance to mastering traditional painting and design techniques, but allows individual expressions of painting styles to take a back seat. The oldest preserved painted works are over 3000 years old. The Chinese landscape paintings are particularly well known. With China’s entry into modernity at the beginning of the 20th century, there was a great differentiation and individualization of painting styles, a development that continues to this day.
Due to the imagery of the Chinese writing, calligraphy has emerged as an art form on par with painting. Other well-known forms of Chinese art can be found in the fields of ceramics, carving, or the several thousand year old art of making bronze vessels. Traditional Chinese architecture is also famous.
The Chinese film is one of the newest forms of art in China. While Hong Kong and Taiwanese cinema have long shaped the style of Chinese film, directors from the PRC are now internationally visible and recognized. There are now even the first Hollywood co-productions with Chinese filmmakers.
Chinese cuisine is just as colorful and diverse as the country’s landscape and climate, from Peking duck to snake soup. Although the Chinese have practically no food taboos, especially in the south of the country, in reality they use 90 percent of the same ingredients that are offered in our markets. The recipes are easier than you think – just give them a try.
The Chinese tea plays an important role in society not only in history but also in the present. In addition to enjoying high-quality green tea, it is interesting to take part in a Chinese tea ceremony.
Before you leave the country, you should definitely familiarize yourself with the use of the so-called kuaizi, the chopsticks.
China is a country that can look back on a long and traditional religious history. Especially Buddhism and Daoism have shaped China. Nevertheless, religious organizations never played the leading political role in the meritocratic system of civil servants in the empire, as they did in Europe.
Much of everyday religious life came to a standstill during the Mao period. Especially during the Cultural Revolution, members of religious groups were persecuted and their sanctuaries destroyed thousands of times.
The 1982 constitution once again allowed Chinese citizens freedom of belief. The Chinese government officially recognizes Daoism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity. However, an important prerequisite for this is that no secular claims to power originate from a religious organization and that it is not influenced by foreign countries. Religious organizations have to register and are under state supervision.
Religious life can now be found again in all parts of the country, although a large part of the population does not belong to any religious organization. It is believed that around 200 million Chinese are Buddhists. There are also at least 20 million Muslims and 5 million Daoists. The Christian religion is also represented in China. Officially there are 23-40 million Protestants and 13-15 million Catholics, with unofficial estimates of up to 100 million people. About 5 million Catholics belong to the underground church loyal to Rome, which is officially banned in the PRC.
Despite tolerating religious life, the Chinese government is always ready to take coercive measures against any group it believes to be a threat. The best known example is the nationwide persecution of the Buddhist-influenced meditation movement Falungong since 1999. More recently, cases of governmental power against Christian churches have been reported. In the past few years, numerous church buildings in Zhejiang Province have been destroyed and hundreds of believers have been arrested.
For some time now, Chinese religious policy has increasingly focused on the control of religious communities. In 2016, new guidelines were issued that require religious groups to obey the CCP’s instructions. They are not allowed to interfere in politics, administration, justice and education. CCP officials are prohibited from adhering to any religion.