China as a country is one richly endowed with amazing culture. The Chinese seem to have a mini-world of their own and they always seem to manage to pull off living in it all by themselves. Pulling it off becomes a bit easier however when you consider the fact that they have the largest population on earth (1.35 billion). China defines everything by its own terms and has becomes successful at it too.
China though may not be the most popular country in the world in terms of press freedom, currently has 45 sites in the UNESCO Cultural heritage sites list from a total of 981, more than any other nation in the world. Chinese economy was turned around through Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms in the 70s and it has not looked back ever since. China is also the largest importer and exporter of goods on earth surprisingly piping the American market.
Chinese cultural exports have been a mainstay in homes across the globe over the past couple of years and even decades. Cultural icons like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan have are global figures that are easily recognisable across the world. Chinese movies are a particular hit with lovers of the action genre of movies. The movies have particularly given the rest of us an insight into what the culture of the Chinese looks like. Theirs is one in which there is a good bonding in family units. The reverence for elders is also something to be highly appreciated in the Chinese culture. China, as earlier stated, has its beliefs and cultural ideals and it sticks with it.
The discovery in 1974 of the Terracotta Army brings to light and perspective the depth of the Chinese culture. The Terracotta Army is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. The army in its entirety was buried alongside the emperor for protection in the afterlife. The design of these pieces, simply put is magnificent. Beautiful works of art the figures are. The figures range in height from about 5 foot 8 inches and 6 foot 2 inches. The commanders are the tallest at about 6 and half feet tall. The lower half of the kiln-fired ceramic bodies were made of solid terracotta clay, the upper half hollow. The evidence that appear on the statues point to the fact that they were also painted.
The greatest symbol of Chinese culture however is the Great Wall of China. The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of different materials running east-to-west along the ancient Chinese borders for protection against neighbouring nomadic clans. The scale and the magnificence of the wall are astounding. It has even been said that the wall is visible from space. It is even listed in the New 7 Wonders of the World.
Whether the PR of China is at the top of anyone’s list might not exactly be a forgone conclusion, but as far as a culture goes, China more than holds its own. The denial of freedom we see in the west by China of its citizens notwithstanding, Chinese culture is absolutely amazing. China is indeed a country of breath-taking culture.
By Olajide Jatto