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Chinese Culture Vs. Western And American Culture

3814 words - 15 pages

Chinese Culture vs. Western and American Culture
There are many different aspects on Ancient Chinese culture that differ from Western and American culture. Many things such as education, marriage, and community type can be different from what we have in our Western civilization. Although Chinese culture has evolved through many, many years some ancient traditions still uphold.
There are a wide variety of differences between the Chinese and Western cultures forms of art and literature. One example of this is the importance of architecture in China. While the Chinese build large and extravagant buildings, the history of the architecture and the buildings themselves are relatively unimportant to them. There is hard to find any ancient buildings in China or to even know if their current forms are architecture are similar to their old ones due to the lack of records kept in anything other than paintings. “The Chinese have no respect for buildings. When they fall or were destroyed, the local inhabitants come like ants and carried off any material that could be turned to use for the needs of living” (Speiser 17). So while the Chinese lack a preserving method of buildings, or rather find it to be unimportant, the Western and US culture greatly respect the art that is architecture. When the Twin Towers in New York were destroyed in 2001 it was a great devastation. Devastation that was so huge in fact that the buildings are being remodeled and rebuilt in order to form a museum in the memory of lives lost, and the importance of the building itself. The Chinese would never think of doing such a thing; they would simply pick up the usable pieces and move on.
The differences in art between western and Chinese culture grow with the addition of the importance of calligraphy. In the US calligraphy is not something of great importance at all. In fact it is a very secluded and almost unknown trait or talent. This is because most things are done electronically in western culture. Neat handwriting is nearly an unnecessary trait because so much is now typed instead of handwritten. Poetry even in its truest form in the western cultures is all typed and published into informal books or online. The Chinese culture would greatly frown upon this. The Chinese view it as an art of its own. It’s so important to them in fact that poets and writers are distinct by their handwriting and calligraphy abilities. “There is hardly anyone is Europe so well informed or so perceptive that he can say for certain whether a given specimen of writing is, or clearly is not, by, say Chao Meng-fu or Tung Ch’i Ch’ang and done with his own hand” (Speiser 18).He goes on by saying, “Calligraphy is one great category of art that remains almost a closed book for the US” (Speiser 18). The difference is likely due to language and written language differences. While the words on a page in Western cultures have very little symbolism, and are just letters in coordination with an object or idea;...

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