The Chinese Culture






The Chinese Culture

It is important to understand one’s culture, not only as a means of self-identity, but also as a way of understanding the interactions one has with people from other communities. Therefore, the acknowledgement of other cultures is necessary and serves as a reminder, not of disparities in practices and beliefs, but as a commemoration of the uniqueness of one’s culture as compared to others. Personally, I am a second-generation American born Chinese individual. This gives me a particularly challenging aspect of understanding both the Chinese and American cultures with one serving as the basis of my roots and the other serving as the basis of the home I have known for the better part of my life.

One of China’s cultures, which attract a lot attention, is their new year. The Chinese New Year falls on a different date from the Western New Year. It is also celebrated in a unique way. The Americans do not celebrate it in such a way. Unlike the American culture where the Gregorian Calendar is followed, the Chinese follow the Lunisolar Calendar thus the New Year in China is referred to as the Lunar New Year. In this calendar, the New Year falls between the twenty-first day of January and the twentieth day of February if we were to place it on the Gregorian calendar (Yu, Fang & Xiaoling, 2004).

Apart from the New Year, the Chinese culture is also popular for other practices. For example, people have adopted martial arts as a sport, a way of defense and a theme in the world of movie making. The practice of Martial Arts originated from the Chinese culture. These martial arts are mostly referred to as Kung Fu, where “Kung” (gong) means merit or achievement and “Fu” means man. In plain English, they can mean “human achievement”. When they originated, the martial arts were practiced for the sake of warfare and survival. They were later incorporated into the art world when people incorporated peace into their way of living. The American culture does not have this form of art. In fact, it has adopted this art in the department of defense and the world of sport.

Unlike the American writing where the Alphabets used are also used in other writings worldwide, the Chinese writing is unique and different. One needs special training in order to read it. It is categorized as calligraphy, which has been used by many artists worldwide. The Chinese cuisine is also very popular. In fact, there are restaurants, which particularly deal with Chinese foods. The Chinese mode of dressing is also unique. The kind of dressing in America can be found in many parts of the world such as Europe. It has also been adopted by some African countries and Australia. However, the Chinese dressing, especially the dressing associated with women. Different occasions call for different kinds of dressing. The men’s dressing is also unique especially when attending a Confucian ceremony. This dressing is known as xuanduan.

With this understanding of these cultures, I am made aware of the unique nature of the differences of beliefs and practices that many individuals have. These will be particularly helpful for me at NDNU, as I would not only bring recognition of both the American and Chinese culture but also an understanding of how differences can be used to ensure interaction with other communities is efficient. I would therefore bring NDNU a great experience as an individual that is conversant with the Chinese practices of dressing, writing and the arts, and how these can be incorporated into the larger American culture. This would aid individuals from other cultures at NDNU in interacting with their American counterparts and bringing their own cultures into the institution.


Yu, D., Fang, Z., & Xiaoling, L. (2004). Chinese culture. Beijing, China: Foreign Language Press.


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