What you did not know about China
Chinese culture is a set of beliefs, customs and artistic expressions that extends over a wide territory and that combines elements transmitted by hundreds of generations with the creations of today. It is one of the oldest cultures in the world and much of the thought and customs founded thousands of years ago are still preserved. The complexity of this culture is due not only to its antiquity but also to the wide territory it represents, which includes a wide variety of traditions and even languages depending on the province or even the town. Despite encompassing 58 ethnic groups recognized in a single Chinese identity, common characteristics can be found that point to the same identity.
In China there is a great variety of languages due to the great extension and variety of communities that compose it, in China there are eight linguistic groups within which there are also various dialects. The official Chinese language and therefore the most widespread language is a standardized form of Mandarin Chinese. Used by more than 800 million people, it is the language with the largest number of native speakers and total speakers in the world. Mandarin is a set of dialects that began to be formed in the 6th century, the standardized version was configured at the beginning of the 20th century, to facilitate the communication of the population. It is based on the Mandarin form used in the city of Peking (Beijing). In this great Asian country, religion is one of the main elements of culture, since in many cases it defines not only a way of thinking but also includes multiple artistic expressions for ritual purposes. Among the main religions of China are:
- Buddhism. Although it originated in India, it quickly spread to East Asia. Besides being a religion, it is a philosophical doctrine since it does not support the belief in a god but in certain practices that lead to a sublime state.
- Confucianism. This religion was the official one in China until the 7th century and consists of moral and religious doctrines based on the teachings of Confucius.
- Chinese traditional religion. It is the polytheistic religion (various gods) influenced by Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoist philosophy.
Regarding calligraphy, which is the art of writing the signs of a language. The complexity and richness of Chinese writing has allowed calligraphy to be developed as an artistic expression of its own that exceeds literature and combines visual beauty with the meaning of the written word. Brush calligraphy is written on rice or silk paper. But some of the characters that are used today had their origin more than three thousand years ago, when the stylized forms of the brush could not be used but was written through stamps.
Did you know that traditional Chinese painting emerged as a derivation of calligraphy? That is why it stands out in its detail and uses the same elements: brushes, ink and rice paper.