Chinese And Indian Cultures Essay

860 words - 3 pages

Chinese and Indian CulturesChina and India have had close connections for many centuries. Similarities and differences can be found in many of their cultural aspects. Both India and China flourished as river cultures in regions surrounded by mountains. They relied heavily on agriculture which was supported by the rich soils of the river basins. (Witt, et al., 2001, p.443) Looking at the areas of religion and philosophy, architecture, and music, will bring to light some of those aspects and the reasons behind them.Religion and philosophyThe main religions in India are Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. Hinduism and Buddhism originated in India. Because the beliefs, gods, rituals and practices are so abundant, it is impossible to explain Hinduism. The label of Hindu was given to any native Indian who was not considered Christian or Muslim. The basic concepts of Hinduism are dharma, reincarnation, nirvana, yoga, and karma. Buddhism was founded by Siddartha Gautama. He was a Hindu who revolted against certain Hindu aspects. (Witt, et al., 2001, p.446-448) Gautama Buddha taught the four noble truths: that there is suffering, that suffering has a cause, that suffering has an end and that there is a path that leads to the end of suffering. (Anonymous. n. d.)Both Daoism and Confucianism originated in China at about the same time, around the sixth century B.C. China's third great religion, Buddhism, came to China from India. Together, these three faiths have shaped Chinese life and thought for nearly twenty-five hundred years. Confucianism stressed temperament, character and behavior of gentlemen. Daoism focused on health, balance, beauty, and enjoyment in the world. One dominate concept in Buddhism is the belief in some form of reincarnation. The idea that life does not end when one dies is an integral part of this religion and the culture of the Chinese people. (Witt, et al., 2001, p.469-470)Indian and Chinese ArchitectureBecause of wars and invasions in China, few buildings exist that predate the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Constructed mainly of wood and rice-paper screens, the loss could also be attributed to the instability of the materials used. One significant structure that does remain is the Great Wall, begun in the 3d cent. B.C. (Hebbar, 2003).Though temples had been built in the early history of India, like those of China, none of them have survived as they were built from wood and clay. The earliest ones to survive are the cave temples. Starting from the Mauryan period with their simple designs, the cave temples began to be more complex and sophisticated as time went on and depicted Buddhist teachings. (Hebbar, 2003)The impact of Buddhism in India's architecture, found its way to china during the Gupta dynasty. (Witt, et al., 2001, p.451-452) The...

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