What Cultural Identities are Common among China?

What Cultural Identities are Common among China?


What Cultural Identities are Common among China?

Abstract: Cultural identity is the identity or feeling of belonging to a group. It is a part of a person’s self-conception and self-perception and is related to nationality, ethnicity, religion, social class, generation, locality or any kind of social group that has its own distinct culture. 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. (Moha Ennaji, Multilingualism, Cultural Identity, and Education in Morocco, Springer Science & Business Media, 2005, pp.19-23)

China, a country with a 5000-year history, if it does not have its cultural identity, it could not go so far. Nowadays, with the development of globalization and modernization, the traditional culture faded with the older generations. Many younger generations get lost and feel confused about their cultural identity, especially the Chinese people abroad. As a result, cultural identity plays a crucial role in China. Just as the National People’s Congress Deputies said, we should strive to preserve the cultural identity, as many long-standing traditions are dying out. [2] Also, as President Xi said, we should preserve our culture, re-energize the national spirit and realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. (President, XiJinPin, 2012) This is our Chinese dream. As a Chinese, each of us should know our cultural identity.

China is a great and united country which has diverse culture. So that, in different districts, the cultural identity may differ. But there are still having typical cultural identity.

Firstly, when it comes to cultural identity, my understanding is that people of People’s Republic China are taught to stick to One China principle. It means that every Chinese are equal no matter where they come from and which part they are in. Also, one shining point of cultural identity of China is that, Chinese people live in the community and have a strong group consciousness. There is a growing sense of national pride among the people. For example, since I was young, I was told in school, to be proud of our country and cannot do anything which will influence the reputation of the country. Not only me, I think, but many Chinese people have been taught this kind of thing since they were a little kid. The nation is our home and each of us should defend it. Besides, numerous Chinese people attach the national pride to their own pride. It means that if the country loses face, they think they are losing face too, and on the contrary, if the country is with good reputation, they will be very proud and very confident to tell others or tell the world that they are Chinese.

Furthermore, they have intense patriotic spirit. Many Chinese devoted themselves to the country. And while the country has difficulties, they will make every effort to help no matter where they are. For example, in Wenchuan Earthquake, many Chinese attach them together and try their best to help those people in the disaster. Some people donated the money, food and clothes. Some people went to WenChuan as a volunteer to help the local people. Other people tried to pray and beg the blessing of the god, and hope God will help those poor people to pull through the most difficult time. This is Chinese. This is the cultural identity of China.

Secondly, mandarin Chinese is also one of the typical cultural identities of China. China is a multi-ethnic country, which makes China a country with diverse language and culture. According to the statistic in www.ethnologue.com, China has 298 kinds of language and all are living language. 274 of them are indigenous, while 24 of which are non- indigenous. As a result, China needs to have a ubiquitous language. And mandarin Chinese is that ubiquitous language. So, in china, many people speak mandarin. Though mandarin Chinese is the cultural identity of China, the other 297 kinds of language can also be the cultural identity of China, for which are the Indispensable part of Chinese language and culture.

Thirdly, another cultural identity of China is Chinese attire. Chinese attire is a kind of clothes which has Chinese style, and can embody the culture and history. The traditional Chinese attire includes Hanfu (a traditional dress of Han Chinese), Minguo-style clothing (a kind of clothes Originates during the Minguo era, and the downfall of the Qing Dynasty. People wear it to establish the formation of People’s Republic of China in 1949.), Tangzhuang (a kind of suit jacket, is popular in Tang dynasty and is usually seen in some official occasion and festival), Zhongshan suit (a suit which fuses the western style and Chinese style, it becomes popular because of Sun yat-san, the first president of PRC), and Cheongsam (a kind of clothes that shows the women beauty and elegance, is popular in Minguo era and the modern society). Here comes an example, in a traditional Chinese wedding, the couple will wear the Cheongsam. This kind of Cheongsam differs from the other cheongsam; it is a kind of red attire, with the golden dragon and phoenix interspersing, which shows a blessing that the couple will like the dragon and phoenix, live a harmonious and happy life. This is our identity. Another example is that in the APEC meeting, President Xi invited the other ministers to wear the traditional Chinese attire. And this behavior, China shows its culture to the world. And we can see that the tradition is playing an important role.

There still have various identities among China, such as Chinese sinology, the theory and the spirit of Confucius, and the heritage of culture… etc. And as a Chinese, each of us should mind out cultural identity.

Reference: [2] Preserving China’s cultural identity, Chinadaily, 03-12-2015 01:29 BJT, http://english.cntv.cn/2015/03/12/VIDE1426094890560461.shtml.

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