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Few cultures rival the Chinese in terms of length and historical significance. One of the earliest recorded
civilizations in the world, Chinese history dates back thousands and thousands of years. From feudalism
to the rise of communism the history of China has long been one of the most colorful and evolving
cultures to write itself into the annals of time.

Along the fecund banks of the Yangtze River, Ancient Chinese History began to take shape - cultivating
rice and millet allowed these early ancestors to flourish. But ancient Chinese History really begins with
the Shang dynasty, where fact and legend begin to separate themselves - many of the most precious
treasures of Chinese culture date back to this time. From this time on, numerous warriors dynasties fought
for control of the regions that would soon make up the Chinese empire - from the early capital of Xi"an
(now home to the country"s famous Terra Cotta warriors) to the valleys surround the Yangtze, ancient
Chinese culture was marred by violence and a high turnover rate of leaders.

The introduction of imperial China finally came underneath the rule of the Qin dynasty - whose king was
able to unify a number of the warring powers that spread themselves across the mountains and rivers of
China. The Qin dynasty took many measures that led to the progress of the Chinese people to the
forefront of culture - this dynasty"s major contributions included the introduction of a written language, a
regulated form of currency and a legalist government that was able to successfully keep the tenuous peace
between formerly competing city-states. It was under the Qin dynasty that construction on the Great Wall
of China began, just one of the great legacies of Imperial China, the likes of which would last until the
successful Communist revolution in 1919.

But the Qin dynasty would not last long, quickly giving way to the Han dynasty, a family of rulers that
would oversee one of the most prosperous times in ancient Chinese history - the ground rules that the Qin
dynasty put in place were modified to fully embrace the philosophy of Confucianism. During this period,
the arts and sciences flourished, as did international trade. The Silk Road was founded during the reign of
the Han dynasty.

In the early 600s the history of China took another important turn as the empire (both the royalty and the
commoner) slowly but surely turned to Buddhism to run the country. Trade routes continued to ascend in
importance, and the city of Xi"an was debatably the largest city in the world during parts of the Han

But the Han dynasty was overthrown by a long series of revolutions, eventually ending in the hands of the
Mongols, who moved the capital city to Beijing before being unseated by the Ming dynasty. The new
rulers lasted almost 300 years, transforming China from a major player in international trade into a more
insular empire, more focused on the agricultural facets of China. Among other things, the repair and
extension of the Great Wall of China took place during this dynasty, which ended with the invasion of the
Manchus, who quickly instated the Qing dynasty. Despite their Mongolian heritage, the Qing dynasty
immediately adopted the long-held Confucian ways of government.

This was the most stable and longest lasting of all dynasties throughout the history of China - one of its
main downfalls was the costly Opium Wars, the first of which ended with the signing over of Hong Kong
to British forces. The Qing dynasty remained unable to adapt to the approaches of the outside world - the
influences of the British, French, Japanese and other capitalist forces helped lead to the end of the
celebrated dynasty, and China fell into discontent at becoming a semi-colonial outpost for invaders. The
people blamed the Manchus that remained in the Qing dynasty, leading to the famed Boxer rebellion.

Before long, the Qing dynasty was a thing of the past, something relegated to Chinese history books by
the Communist revolution. Led by Sun Yat-Sen, and Chaing Kai-shek, they in turn were defeated (or
exiled to Taiwan, in the case of Kai-Shek) by the current configuration of the Communist party, led for
over 25 years by Mao Zedong. To this day, the Communist party governs, though more and more
concessions are being made to incorporate capitalist ideas every year.

Spoken Languages:
Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect/ Kuo-yü of the Republic of
China (ROC, "Taiwan")), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-
Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, and Hakka dialects, as well as minority languages.

Written Languages:
Traditional Chinese characters are officially used in the Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. In overseas
Chinese communities other than Singapore and Malaysia, traditional characters are most commonly used,
although the number of printed materials in simplified characters is growing in Australia, USA and
Canada, targeting or created by new arrivals from mainland China. A large number of overseas Chinese
online newspapers allow users to switch between both sets.

In contrast, simplified Chinese characters are used in mainland China, Singapore and Malaysia in
official publications. The debate on traditional and simplified Chinese characters has been a long-running
issue among Chinese communities.

Chinese in the USA/ Portland
Chinese roots run deep in Portland. Gold was discovered in southern Oregon and trade in furs, lumber,
and agricultural products began between China and Portland. In 1851, the Tong Sung Restaurant and
Boarding House opened its doors in Portland. Recruiters drew Chinese men, most from the Kwangtung
Province of Canton in southern China, to work in the United States, where they endured backbreaking
labor: building bridges, tunnels, railroad beds and as miners, and on into the 20th century in the salmon
canneries, as well as in the iron, paper and textile industries.
Even so, the Chinese community faced discrimination. In 1852
the Oregon constitution barred incoming Chinese from buying or
owning property. The federal Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
prevented further immigration to the United States from China.
These laws were not repealed until 1943.

From 1880 to 1910 Portland’s Chinatown was second only to San
Francisco’s. Chinatown stretched from Taylor to Pine, and from
Third Street to the west bank of the Willamette River. Chinese
merchants catered to traditional tastes, offering housing,
groceries, clothing, medicine, and a variety of services,
restaurants and theaters. Vendors lined the streets. During
Chinese New Year, Chinatown was aglow with paper lanterns              Bow Yuen & Co. at 69 N. Fourth Ave.
and the staccato of firecrackers filled the air. Forced by a flood in 1894 and pressure from the city, Old
Chinatown was vacated. New Chinatown developed in its current location. As for Old Chinatown,
nothing remains today.

Today, people with roots in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Vietnam, among other regions, live
in and around the Portland area. Following World War II, as social and legislative discrimination
diminished, the Chinese in Portland extended their homes, work and civic activities beyond Chinatown,
and now live and work throughout the city.

Chinese who live in SE Portland along 82nd are mostly from Southern part of China and a lot of them
speak Taishan dialect (台山粵語), also known as Taishanese, which is a dialect of Cantonese. A lot of
them work in restuarants and they have very long work hours. Some of them don’t get home till after
10:30 if not later. They don’t usually get weekends off. In stead they will have Monday or Tuesday.
After a long day of work, the main entertainment is to watch Chinese Soap orperas from Hong Kong.
Many of these parents don’t speak English and they might reply on their children to be their interpreterers.

Chinese who live in other part of Portland, Beaverton, Clackamas, and Camas, WA are from Mainland
China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Vietnam. Some of them work for high tech companies, like Intel, Nike,
etc., and others have in different professions. Some of them are single income family whose moms stay
home with the kids and dads work.

Filial piety is considered the first virtue in Chinese culture. In Confucian thought, filial piety (Chinese:
孝; pinyin: xiào) is one of the virtues to be cultivated: a love and respect for one's parents and ancestors.
It is a concept originating with Confucianism which significantly transformed the way Buddhism was
practiced in China. Even today, filial piety is an essential element of Chinese culture, and since it is not a
religious concept, it has formed an acceptable part of the way the Chinese relate to their parents and
ancestors, or elders. Practicing filial piety often exists outside of China among immigrants, although the
difference between eastern and western concepts of what is due to parents has certainly produced great
tension in some families.

Most social values are derived from Confucianism and Taoism with a combination of conservatism. The
subject of which school was the most influential is always debated as many concepts such as Neo-
Confucianism, Buddhism and many others have come about. Reincarnation and other rebirth concept is a
reminder of the connection between real-life and the next-life. In Chinese business culture, the concept of
guanxi, indicating the primacy of relations over rules, has been well documented.[4]

What Chinese American Parents do to help their kids:
       Huge expectations for the kids academically.
       Massive guilt trips if their kids don't do well. Do you know how much I sacrificed, or when I was
       your age I was #1 in my class, or ...
       They have a pass/fail expectation. A is pass, everything else is Fail.
       Will have their kids go to after school tutoring for Math and English.
       Will have their kids attend SAT prep. schools that are not cheap.
       Usually less emphasis on sports, cheer, and sports related areas. Tennis and Badminton are
       Will move to a better school district for their kids.
       Will go into debt so their kids can go to a great school.
       Will pay advisors to help their kid get into a great school.
       Will go on trips to visit top schools on the East Coast. Their target is often Ivy League.
       Will push their kids with a specific career goal. Hmm, your sister will be a Dr., you will be an
       Will often go out to Starbucks if their child is studying late.
       Will always go to back to school and such.
       Will push their kids to join Orchestra and will then get top talent to tutor them with after school
       lessons (as long as the main grades don't go down).
       Will have their kids Learn Piano. In the local Piano Association, 90% of the students are either
       Chinese or Korean.
       Will tutor their kids in Math through Geometry, often higher.
       Give gifts to teachers at Christmas (even if their child dislikes the Teacher). ;-)

Chinese Resources
Asian Health & Services Center
The Asian Health & Service Center (AHSC) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization that bridge the gap
between Asian and American cultures in an effort to build a better community. The center’s vision is to
reduce health disparities and increase access to high-quality health care for all Asians. Toward this end,
the center provides an array of high-quality and culturally and linguistically relevant care to Asians,
including outpatient mental health services, disease education and management, cancer prevention and
screening, immunization and education, and senior programming.

The Oregon Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA)

The Oregon Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA), the spokes group for the Chinese
community, was formed in the late 19th century to assist Chinese individuals in their struggle with
discrimination in employment, business, and citizenship, to help Chinese who face difficulties with U. S.
immigration authorities and regulations, to arbitrate disputes among various member associations, and to
authorize and manage activities in the interest of the Chinese community and of the community as a
The CCBA is a non-profit organization and depends upon donations from the public to maintain its
operation and various activities. The CCBA is a Federal 501 C (3) organization. All contributions to it are
tax deductible. All CCBA-sponsored activities, such as the Chinese Language School and benefit dinners,
are open to the general public.

Chinese American Citizens Alliance

Founded in 1895 in San Francisco, the Chinese American Citizens Alliance has over 100 years of history
of continuous existence serving in a dual role as a social club and as a national non-partisan activist for
Chinese American empowerment and community service. The Alliance was originally conceived as a
social club. It was to be a place for self-development by the earliest native-born American citizens of
Chinese ancestry.

Northwest China Council

Established in 1980, the Northwest China Council is a non-profit, non-partisan, dues based, educational
organization, dedicated to promoting understanding of current affairs and culture of greater China, and the
Chinese Diaspora.

China Links for Students
A creative teacher has put together a wealth of links to learn about Ancient China. Learn about the
history of the Emperors. Learn about pandas and their habitat. Learn about dragons and read Chinese
fables and much more!
From Ancient China to Modern Times Learn about China from timelines, maps, and crafts projects to
What do explosives, magnetic compasses, printing, paper, silk, kites, and earthquake sensors all have in
common? They are all early Chinese inventions! Learn about China’s long technological history.
Explore Chinese, pinyin and English texts of poems by some of the greatest Chinese poets. Most of the
featured authors are from the Tang dynasty, when culture in China was at its peak, but writers from other
periods are also included.
Mountain Songs is a bilingual, database website, fully searchable, which connects ancient and some
modern Chinese poetry to the landscape which inspired the poems. It enables you to experience the same
sights that the poets themselves viewed hundreds of years ago.
Learn more about the celebrated classical gardens found in the historic city of Suzhou, in east China’s
Jiangsu Province.
Travel through a Chinese scroll painting by Xu Yang, to explore the daily life and activities of eighteenth-
century Suzhou. People, residences, shops, famous temples, and renowned scenic gardens and sites reflect
the intimate knowledge and love of the artist’s hometown.

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