China, is the country known as "Millennial giant", although its traditional name is Zhong guo or "country of the center", since the ideal was had that it was the most central country on earth, from a geographical, political, economic and cultural point of view.
Although the borders have varied over the centuries, its central nucleus remains intact, the one on which the birth of Chinese civilization developed: the Huanghe River basin, which due to its sediments of loes received the denomination of "Yellow earth" o "Yellow country".
We could talk about innumerable details of this special country, but in this article we have wanted to focus on three concepts (Chinese customs):
- The role that women have been playing in this civilization, over the years.
- The typical dresses of the country and its symbols.
- The traditional sports of the Chinese country.
Many, many years ago, in the oldest historical times of China, it reigned in those parts the matriarchy: the children adopted the mother's last name and not that of the father. It was normal not to know the father's name at times, it was an unimportant detail. All this "privilege" ended during the dynasty ZhouWhere the woman lost her dominant functionss. Since then, and until now, the mission of women in China was the family home, and within this, it has always been of the utmost importance.
Over the years, especially wealthy women from the highest social layers, were able to develop different alternative activities beyond the walls of the home:
- During the dynasty Pliers: there were women who could ride horses.
- During the dynasty Song and at the beginning of the dynasty YuanThere were women who could travel alone for business reasons, and there was even a Taoist nun who pioneered the cotton industry.
However, the famous practice of bandaging the feet of women, which drastically reduced their activity, since it disabled them for a multitude of functions. Although the reason for the origin of this practice is unknown, it is said that it was to differentiate Chinese women from foreign women, since the latter were considered inferior.
It was thanks to the insurrection of the Taiping, that the bandaging of the feet was prohibited, thus granting more freedom to women.
Protestant missionaries, in the late XNUMXth century, favored the introduction of girls to teaching. On the other hand, since the coming to power of the Communist Party, it has made an effort to promote equality between men and women but without abandoning some traditional family structures. It is for this reason, why even today, some families abandon girls in orphanages where they live poorly and in some cases, they are subjected to inhumane practices.
The Chinese, since ancient times, have always given it a special symbolism to their clothes. For example: the warriors of the fighting kingdoms wore two bird feathers in their headdresses. This symbolized the bravery and strength of the warrior.
One of the most notable peculiarities of traditional Chinese dress is that it is not only an external sign of elegance, but is also endowed with a certain symbolic value. All parts of this dress communicate the vital force that is inherent in them.
Main types of chinese tradition dresses are:
- El pien-fu, composed of two pieces, a tunic that reaches the knees and a skirt that reaches the ankles.
- El ch'ang-p'ao or long suit, used in both men and women.
- And finally, the shen-i, which is a mix of the previous two.
In these dresses dark colors predominate over light ones, and were made by exquisitely worked embroidery with very bright colors. The light colors were left for daily, to work, etc. The Chinese associate some colors with the seasons of the year: green represents spring; red, summer; the white, the autumn and the black, the winter.
The most traditional Chinese exercise is the 'wushu', known to us as 'Kung fu'. This self defense exercise and body training It is practiced by the Chinese people for thousands of years, and today, its practice has been intensified.
This sport consists of executing attacks and defense movements using strength and agility. There are two categories of it:
- No weapons.
- With weapons.
This sport of ancient tradition and history was invented and developed by the Chinese, both as therapy, for combat and for productive work. Inside of the 'wushu' There are different divisions and types and the weapons used in some of them are the saber, the spear, the sword, the stick or the whip, among others.
Thanks to the beauty of movements of this sport, the 'wushu' came too to the stage and to the chinese theater, where acrobatics is the most commonly seen skill.
All Chinese nationalities have always liked melee sports, fighting being the main skill developed by them.
If you are going to visit the yellow country soon or you have it as a future destination, now you know some of the many peculiarities it has. If you are interested in these types of articles where we present the origins of the different current cultures, let us know in the comments section. Thanks!