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Chinese Culture >> Chinese Society Traditions >> Chinese People Lifestyle

Chinese People Lifestyle

By: Danile Lee

China has 1.2 billion people with different racial, social, economic and cultural background. Therefore, here we can only speak about the traditional or dominate lifestyle which is more or less typical of the Chinese nation as a whole.

Generally speaking, the Chinese people live a life distinct from other peoples in that they pursue such qualities as conformity to nature, harmony, and plain living as opposed to conquest of nature, individuality and material luxury. A pretty flower or a full moon can mean a lot of things for Chinese people, depending on the circumstances.

In connection with their ethics, the Chinese people's lifestyle is characterized by two considerations: Harmony between humans and nature, and harmony among humans.

This preoccupation with nature permeates all aspects of the Chinese people's life. For example, even on an outing , the Chinese people seek to integrate themselves into nature. In springtime, they admire the new-grown greenery in the summer, they appreciate the lotus in the autumn, they climb up a hill for a view of the golden season; and in the winter, they feast their eyes on the first snow.

Festivals occupy an important position in the Chinese's life. Although they offer sacrifices to gods on festivals, the gods are actually of secondary importance. Interpersonal harmony, in contrast, is of primary importance. The most important of all the festivals, of course, is the "spring festival." And even on this day, the offerings are intended for people to consume, and the gods are believed to raise no objection to this.

Chinese Culture is omnipresent. Qin ( a Chinese stringed instrument somewhat like zither), qi (Chinese chess or go), shu (calligraphy) and hua (painting) are the four most popular traditional forms of entertainment. The point is not how good you can get; rather, it is the mood and atmosphere these activities build up for the player. It is a tempering of the character. There is a dao (literally , way or path; norm, principle for everything. Playing Chinese chess or go, for example, is not just for winning . In the processing of playing. One can learn the art of self-composure and the spirit of detachment to fame and gain.

Another major element in the ordinary life of the Chinese is staying good health. Qigong is the most popular form of exercise By coordinating breathing and other physical as well as mental conditions, qigong reflects the traditional thinking of integrating humans into the universe. In connection with qigong, most people can play some taijiquan or some other "kung-fu." Chinese martial arts aim primarily at strengthening the body and cultivating the mind. It is a means of making friends not enemies.