Cultural identity is the identity or feeling of belonging to a group. In this way, cultural identity is both characteristic of the individual but also of the culturally identical group of members sharing the same cultural identity. China, a country with a strong cultural basis, enjoys a strong cultural orientation. This essay consists of some important cultural identities in China which have a positive effect and push the development of an active civil society, these cultural identities let us believe it may turn into an important force for progress in China.
China has successfully erected its economic prowess to become the second-largest world economy and an important player in shaping the new world economic order. If China’s success story within the economic arena is one of how integrated it has ultimately become a part of the global regime, its cultural identity will stem from how unique it is from other parts of the world. While it adds to the cultural richness of the world, such uniqueness constitutes a nation’s lifeline and bolsters its long-term vigor and vitality. No matter how developed its economy is, a country with a 5,000-year history like China which wants to be defined as being rejuvenated and it should have its own cultural identity and uniqueness in today’s world.
Therefore, Chinese people must be understood that growing economic strength is only one aspect of national rejuvenation. An indispensable part of the Chinese nation’s prosperous involves the building of its cultural national identity and dignity. And they would agree the “booming of the cultural identities” is an essential part of such an aspiration.
The first is the Chinese attire which shows Chinese cultural identities. Like President Xi Jinping’s traditional Chinese suit, which he wore at State banquet hosted by the Dutch royal family. Almost all media publications have carried large front-page photos of President Xi wearing a distinctive redesigned Zhongshan suit. His wife Peng Liyuan, who is the first lady of China, Chinese attire makes her overall look modern and elegant and well positioned to be the focus of media. Peng Liyuan and guests were all wearing Chinese-style outfits made of silk and specially designed to represent China’s rich history and old tradition in the APEC conference. They represented the image of China and had won applause from domestic audiences. It is a fusion of fashion and culture, and a large number of newspaper readers and Internet users have expressed their favor for such a formal public appearance. Besides, several Chinese students at the University of Cambridge held a Han-style photo shoot to promote traditional Chinese culture. The photos combining Chinese beauties and attractive Western architecture immediately went viral on the Internet. The Han-style costume, also known as Hanfu, is the traditional dress of the Han Chinese people. The Hanfu is now worn during some festivals or coming of age and first writing ceremonies. It is often seen in Chinese television serials, films and other forms of media entertainment. According to the Chinese student who organized this photo shoot, the idea was to introduce Chinese culture to the Western world. Amazed by the charms of Chinese culture, some foreign students are starting to take part in events organized by those Chinese students, such as a Chinese culture class, Chinese literature reading club, exhibition of Chinese calligraphy and paintings and traditional Chinese culture lectures.
The second cultural identity is every Chinese to pay attention to Chinese traditional festivals and its traditional culture and customs. With its long history of over 5000 years, China boasts a profound culture with rich and diverse traditional festivals, which are formed after a long-term process of historical and cultural sediment. The splendid and colorful living context of this time is vividly presented in these unique and interesting customs of circulated festivals. Chinese traditional festivals are celebrated according to the Chinese lunar calendar or Chinese agriculture calendar. Therefore, dates of each festival are varied in western calendar every year. But all festivals make no difference to be celebrated for good wishes for happiness, health, luck, wealth and most important, family reunion. There are some important festivals for Chinese. For example, Spring Festival（in late January or early February),people will paste spring couplets and new year paintings, shousui (stay up late), worship to gods, have dumplings, pay New Year visits, watch dragon dances and lion dances, watch the Spring Festival Gala. And Mid-Autumn Festival (August 15th) which is a happy family reunion, people will appreciate the full moon, have moon cakes and fruits.
Besides, Confucius schools also come with cultural identity. In 2004, the first Confucius school was built up in Korea and it provides a new stage for China to spread Chinese and show traditional Chinese culture. Confucius school is the best carrier for our China to step into the world. Soft power is culturally loaded. A country’s soft power rests on its resources of culture, values, and policies. Confucius school is such cultural resources which are committed to culture and language construction. Confucius school can promote and increase Chinese soft power, which is not groundless. One of China’s biggest and most -watched efforts in building its cultural soft power is the Confucius Institute, they aim to promote the learning of the Chinese language and culture to the world. The establishment of Confucius Institutes is not just to internationalize education, but furthermore Confucius Institutes are a special representation of China’s soft power which in turn is an important contribution to enforce the good image of China. For soft power, Confucius school is more good than harm. Until recent years, 316 Confucius Institutes and 337 Confucius classrooms were established in 94 countries and regions worldwide. When we look for the roots of these, we can find that our international cultural status is promoted and our cultural identity is constructed. Confucius school represents our traditional culture and Traditional culture is part of soft power, and so cultural identity can be constructed by it. Confucius school is built by the Chinese Language Council International (Han ban), and it is the headquarters of Confucius school, which serves some volunteer teachers to teach. These learners who come from many corners in the world are satisfied with Confucius school, for it meets their curiosity.
But with the development of economy and politics, the absence of psychological became more obviously, and some people think there are some problems in cultural identities. People stated to think about these problems and try to find solution, but I think Chinese culture shows openness and inclusiveness, it can be combined with many kinds of other culture. So the cultural identity of Chinese people is not only consisting of inheritance but also modernity. The problem of cultural identity of modern Chinese people is be found by more Chinese people in nowadays. But wherever we are, the fact that we are Chinese cannot change, we have same memory and the same history and we also have the same mission to make our country stronger and better.
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