Reply To: AMA About Chinese Traditional Culture

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Avatar photoMiro630

Dear Deven,

From my perspective I would not see anything tragic on the fact that chopsticks are considered one(!) of China culture aspects.

If we like it or not so our eating habits influence also our behavior. Chopsticks are pretty unique to  Asia and certainly formed/influenced part of Asian people life.

Nevertheless I would not see it in a way that this is the primary-the most important – traditional culture element 🙂

In China the problem is that the society is highly structured. Different people have different level of education (and by education I do not mean only university degree but the overall knowledge – may be general knowledge …) – it has nothing in common with the fact how smart the person is. A lot of people simply have no interest in history, sociology etc. and therefore they have also limited knowledge in this area.

Every Chinese knows Wu Ze Tian (my favorite, the only female, Chinese emperor) but absolute majority bases their knowledge just on TV series and movies … From perspective of history it’s ridiculous but there is nothing wrong with it as these people have simply little to no interest in history – you shall just understand (and at best they should as well 🙂 ) that their knowledge about her is basically …non existent …

I would dare to say that current China system is to the big extent the continuation of traditional system. As you certainly know in historical China the ruling part of society was not aristocracy like in Europe but the civil officers.

Even though many of them accumulated the property and became rich it was usually not wealth which helped them but participation in examination system (in Song dynasty about 30% of all civil officers were selected through examination system only – that’s absolutely unique ‘democratic’ principle in that time world [the rest however by family background …but still pretty unique in Medieval world]).

One could dare to say that modification of this system is applied in current China. May be therefore China also shows much healthier economical model than Western world (pls do not forget that China generally collapsed in the 19th century as a result of the whole Western world ‘attack’ on China and especially British drug trade which not only ruined the big part of especially South China population but also the whole China economy – all silver was sucked out of China – to be fair to this preceded almost collapse of British empire as the China emperor agreed to trade tea and silk only for silver, but unlike when Brits used drugs, Brits had always the choice to limit their purchases …).

Many people in China show very classical ‘Traditional Culture’ behavior pattern without realizing it’s Traditional Culture behavior.

Culture is not anything what you can wipe out so easily as it’s reflected in natural behavior of people in the families.

Culture also are not only the feast celebration habits.

In that sense current China shows a lot of continuation with its history.

But this shall not be mixed up that Traditional Culture is mimicking the procedures which were applied in the past …