Kunming College of Eastern Language
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Learning about Chinese Culture

We can learn about Chinese culture from ancient Chinese books. In our country, the word "Wen" has existed in ancient times. The original meaning of "Wen" refers to the interlaced textures of various colors, with the meaning of texts and articles. "Said Wen Jie Zi" said: "Wen is the interlacing of lines and colors." It is extended to various symbolic symbols including language and characters, as well as cultural relics, etiquette systems and so on. The original meaning of "Hua" is change, generation, and creation.

The so-called "all things are born" ("Easy and the Department of the Department") is the transformation, education, cultivation, and so on. The parallel use of "Wen" and "Hua" is first seen in "Zhouyi•Bigua": "Viewing the astronomical text to observe the time change; viewing the humanities to become the world." The first to use "culture" as a word is the Liu Xiang of the Western Han Dynasty. He wrote in "Shuoyuan: Zhiwu": "The conquest of force has caused the conquered people to be unconvinced. If they do not govern the country by culture, they will be conquered by force sooner or later." In the "Buwangshi•Youyi" of the Jin Dynasty, "Chinese is a tool like martial arts technology, and the language is ultimately culture." Wang Rong of the Southern Qi Dynasty mentioned in "Sanyuesanriqushuishi•Xu": "Use a natural theory to influence the whole Society. Promote culture to the masses." These "cultural" concepts in ancient China basically belonged to the category of spiritual civilization, often corresponding to "force", "martial arts", and "barbarism." It itself contains a positive idealistic color, reflecting the "yin" and "soft" side of the strategy of governing the country. It has both political content and ethical significance. Secondly, in ancient times, this word was used as a verb. It is a method and claim for governing society. It is opposed to the conquest of force, but it is related to it and complements each other. It is necessary to explain that the term “culture” is not very popular in ancient China. The term "culture" in the modern sense is derived from Japan. Since modern times, people have discussed the concept of culture in many aspects. Liang Qichao said in "What is Culture": "All human beings can create and cultivate the past, and all the common achievements that contribute to the material and spiritual spirit of morality, utilization, and health are called culture." Liang Wei is in China. "Cultural Essentials" says: "Culture is everything that our life depends on... The original meaning of culture should be in the economy, politics, and even everything." Pang Pu advocates grasping the connotation of cultural concepts from the three levels of material, institutional and psychological. Among them, "the material aspect of culture is the most superficial; while aesthetic taste, values, ethics, religious beliefs, and ways of thinking are the deepest; various systems and theoretical systems are between the two." 

In the early 1940s, when Mao Zedong talked about the new-democratic culture, he put forward: "A certain culture is a reflection of the political and economic forms of a certain society." The Modern Chinese Dictionary defines culture as: "Culture is the sum of material wealth and spiritual wealth created in the process of social and historical development, especially spiritual wealth, such as literature, art, education, science, etc."

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Learning about Chinese Culture