Introduction to Chinese History and Culture

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Table of Contents
Unit 1 Origins and History 1 
Text A Early Chinese History 1 
Text B The Qin and Han Dynasties 9 
Supplementary Reading The Qing Dynasty 15 
Unit 2 Territory and Environment 19 
Text A Territory of China 19 
Text B Geography of China 27 
Supplementary Reading China's Climate 35 
Unit 3 Language and Culture 41 
Text A Language of China 41 
Text B Mandarin 46 
Supplementary Reading Tea and the Chinese People 53 
Unit 4 Sports and Recreation 59 
Text A Theoretical Basis of Qigong 59 
Text B Kunqu Opera 63 
Supplementary Reading Tai Chi Chuan 68 
Unit 5 Major Cities 73 
Text A Shanghai 73 
Text B Hangzhou 77 
Supplementary Reading Hong Kong 83 
Unit 6 Education and Employment 87 
Text A Ancient Education in China 87 
Text B China's Employment Situation 94 
Supplementary Reading Basic Education in China 101 
Unit 7 Science and Technology 107 
Text A Four great inventions 107 
Text B Pharmacology 111 
Supplementary Reading Mathematics 117 
Unit 8 Traditional Holidays and Celebrations 123 
Text A Spring Festival 123 
Text B Mid—Autumn Festival 129 
Supplementary Reading Mazu Culture and Xunpu Women 135 
Unit 9 Tourism in China 141 
TextA Yunnan 141 
Text B Tibet 147 
Supplementary Reading Guilin 152 
Unit l0 Chinese Cuisine, Tea and Medicine 157 
Text A History of Chinese Imperial Food 157 
Text B Tea Culture in China 163 
Supplementary Reading Medicine of Ethnic Minorities 172 
Unit 11 Chinese Opera and MartialArts 179 
Text A Beijing Opera 179 
Text B Chinese Martial Arts 185 
Supplementary Reading Jackie Chan 191 
Unit 12 Religion and Philosophy 197 
TextA Religions in China 197 
Text B Lao Zi and His Philosophy 203 
Supplementary Reading Mo Zi and His Philosophy 207 
Unit 13 Scientist and Great Thinker 213 
TextA Hua Tuo 213 
Text B Confucius and His Thoughts 219 
Supplementary Reading Mencius and His Thoughts 224 
Unit 14 Cultural Heritage & Garden Architecture 229 
Text A The Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) 229 
Text B The Classical Gardens of Suzhou 237 
Supplementary Reading Hutong 242 
Unit 15 Reform & Development 247 
Text A Expo 2010 Shanghai China 247 
Text B Updated Policy Will Yield Win—Win Results for Foreign 
Investors and China 252 
Supplementary Reading: China Luxury Surge Pits L'Oreal Against Chiang Kai—Shek 
Descendent: Retail 258 
Key to the Exercises 265 
References 279
Sample Pages Preview
Pangu has been depicted in many ways. He sometimes appears as a dwarf with two horns onhis head, clothed in skin or leaves. He may be holding a hammer in one hand and a chisel in theother, or perhaps the symbol of yin and yang. He may also be shown holding the sun in one handand the moon in the other. He is often depicted with his companions, the four supernaturalanimals--the phoenix, the dragon, the unicorn and the tortoise. In any case, Pangu grew rapidlyand increased his height by six to ten feet daily. He hammered and chiseled a massive piece ofgranite floating aimlessly in space, and as he worked, the heavens and the earth becameprogressively wider. He labored ceaselessly for eighteen thousand years and finally he separatedheaven from earth. His body dissolved when his work was done. 
Following his death, his head became the mountains, his breath the wind and clouds, hisvoice the thunder; his left eye became the sun and his right eye the moon. His beard became thestars, his four limbs the four quadrants of the globe, his blood the rivers and his veins andmuscles the layers of the earth. His flesh became the soil, his skin and hair became the trees andplants, his seminal fluid became pearls and his marrow precious stones. His sweat turned intorain, and the parasites on his body, impregnated by the wind, began the human race. 
Through his great labor, Pangu divided chaos into Yin, represented by the Queen Mother ofthe West, and Yang, represented by the Duke of the East. These two principles gave birth to theHeavenly Emperors who were followed by the Earthly Emperors, the ancestors of the Chineserulers.
It is said that there were no men when the sky and the earth were separated. It was Nuwawho made men by moulding yellow clay. The work was so taxing that her strength was not equalto it. So she dipped a rope into the mud and then lifted it. The mud that dripped from the ropealso became men. Those made by moulding yellow clay were rich and noble, while those madeby lifting the rope were poor and low
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Introduction to Chinese History and Culture