Ancient philosophy continues to influence modern day China

One thing I never quite understood about China was how closely tied the country is to its history.  The United States history encompasses less than 400 years.  Chinese history encompasses more than 5000.  This huge time disparity helps to explain the vast differences between Chinese and American cultures.  We learned that to the Chinese history is embedded in everything they do.  Their culture is derived from their rich history, the Gao Cao correlates with the civil service exams Chinese emperors would use during their reign.  The most surprising thing of all to me was the influence of Confusion, Buddhist, Legalist, and Taoist philosophies on the Chinese that still permeates into today’s modern world.  The Chinese try to govern their lives by these principles, and strive to live in a similar manner to their ancestors.  Everything from living at home to governing is influenced by these philosophies.  Contrast that with the United States; we do not have any over arching philosophies that govern how we should live our lives.  Yes we have religion, which sets a path towards living a “righteous life” but not the philosophies which have withstood the test of time in China.  The 5000 year history of China influences modern China in far more ways than I had anticipated.

-Adam Goldfeder

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