What got you into Chinese history and culture?
Posted 25 March 2010 - 03:49 PM
'God is my only true Lord all other's are masters that he chooses me to serve at that time.'-Sun Fin
'If todys not worth living for, live for tomorrow!'-Stephen Finch
Posted 13 April 2010 - 08:00 AM
I'm the second-generation Indonesian. My grandparents from my father's line are both from China (I don't know their exact birthplace, I wish I could trace my decendants )
Well, my interests in Chinese history began 2 years ago. I was interested in Martial arts. I really want to learn Wu Shu but father doesn't allow me . But I learned Mulan Quan and Tai Chi at my school. I was interested in them because I saw the previous 8th graders performance at my school. Tai Chi gives me alot of health benefits, my backbone is normal again now (it's a bit curved previously).
Later I was interested in Chinese history & art of war, because I played Dynasty Warriors game. I started to read San Guo Yan Yi novel and watch the Three Kingdoms film. They're really interesting.
I like music and I started to learn some Chinese musical instruments such as Pi Pa and Shan Xian 4 months ago.
The reason I joined this forum is: This is an amazing forum! It provides you with anything you want to know about Chinese history. It's fun to learn history
Posted 06 October 2010 - 04:07 AM
I learned to read and write Chinese at school, when aged 8. My teacher had been a missionary in China and (I assume) expelled when the Communists took over, and as his father was the headmaster at the school, teaching us Chinese was a way to employ him.
My English mother-in-law was born in China. Her father discovered in the 1920s some of the ancient tombs at Sian. He also saved that city from being attacked and ransacked by a warlord.
My interest now is from a study I am conducting into the divine men of Classical Antiquity, which includes Buddha and the spread of Buddhism into China, and the transmission of cultural ideas along the Silk Road. I keep a blog on this.
I look forward to learning here and discussing these issues with you.
Posted 18 May 2011 - 03:28 AM
The Chinese history and culture isnt very known to the "westerns".
I belong to the west and i believe this is very sad.
We must open your eyes and put more Chinese history in our books.
Posted 09 August 2011 - 06:12 AM
I also loved the journey to the west series..... I watched it every summer during elementary school. I also remember watching bits of Bao Qing tian and Liu Luo guo, historical with bits of fictions added in. I started reading Jin yong and other wuxia novels when I was 12, and surprisingly learned a lot of my Chinese from that (and also bits of ancient Chinese culture/ history that are semi-true)
My parents bought back a complete set of the 4 classical novels. I read through all of them in my early teens with various levels of comprehension. (I usually gleam over when the writing becomes too 'Wen yan wen'/ancient Chinese). My parents also had simple books explaining stories of different idioms that happened in history and confucious teachings explanations that I only got through a bit.
During my early 20s I got sidetracked a bit with Japanese pop culture because it was so flashy and foreign but still sort of familiar. (from both my western and Chinese view) It was definitely cool learning about how contemporary American culture and ancient Chinese culture had influenced japan into what it is today. But I wasn't able to 'get into' Japanese culture much. I think the only period I know is that nobunaga/ Hideyoshi bit. I do appreciate it but I am more interested in Chinese history. I actually found this forum cuz I got interested in ryukyu's history from a Japanese drama I was watching. And I would definitely like to spend more time learning and discussing with everyone here (since I just realized that most of my sources for Chinese history isn't the most accurate historically speaking)
Also it's interesting reading thru what some of the people here with Chinese heritage identify with. For me, I call myself a Chinese American (Canadian) but only because I think my stay in America has influenced me a lot more than Canada. I also went through varying periods of wanting to identify with china more or less. I must say though that in recent years china has changed a lot esp culturally, and that it is mostly a foreign land to me now. Everything that I thought was the 'Chinese point of view' were fed by my parents which I now believe to be the 'early 90s communism-ish traditional pov'. In fact I must say that communism then really ruined Chinese culture cuz my parents know less than me on some aspects. (or they just didn't like reading as much as me lol). And I do notice that many overseas Chinese don't have a very strong feeling of unity ESP compared to some of the other east Asians. Not saying it's good or bad but as a result I also don't really treat others with Chinese background all that different.
Posted 31 August 2011 - 12:15 PM
I realize that for most of you Chinese history and culture is also a matter of identity. For me (Italiano 100%) is instead a discovery that made me grow.
All started reading the book "The perilous frontier", i.e. the Great Wall. I realized that both Roma and China faced the elusive nomadic threat from Central Asia. But Chinese history treats 'barbarians' with more respect and through the history of China I understood better what happened to Roma.
While far apart, over the Centuries Italy and China had a lot in common, exchanged material objects, culture and finally people. The same external factors influenced our past imperial history (Xiongnu-Huns) and the axis of commerce that flowed from China to Europe passed through the Middle East and Italy, making rich both. Then came the Great Divergence and both China and Italy, the richest countries of the world, slowly went in the backstage ...
I am trying to understand ... WHY?
I read a lot but mostly from European or American writers. The limited number of Chinese scholars I had access to, were very precious.
So I am visiting China every year now hunting for books and friends. Fascinating quest. I visited 17 provinces, 3 authonomous regions, all four municipalities and both SARs. I have been in Taiwan, Singapore and other SEA countries where the overseas chinese are present.
Still I am NO chinese and I know very little about Chinese history and our transnational connection.
Stumbling on your site is a stroke of luck. I have 'Great Expectations ....'
Posted 19 May 2012 - 10:43 AM
Posted 23 June 2012 - 03:19 AM
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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:26 PM
Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:52 PM
Like my others I was originally enthralled with Chinese history as a consequence of playing Dynasty Warriors as a child. I remember that in the games they had an encyclopedia/database where one could read up on the history of the times. I remember reading through this for the first time and coming to the entry on the battle of Wu Zhang Plains. At the time, that was the final stage of the game. Then I noticed you could read beyond this in the encyclopedia. There was an epilogue of sorts, concerning the falls of each of the Three Kingdoms and the rise of the Jin dynasty. Curiosity piqued, I began to study the Jin dynasty outside of the games; primarily on Wikipedia, but also on here, many, many years ago; back when I was but a lurker. This supplanted my interest in the Three Kingdoms and remained constant throughout my teenage years, until I eventually looked toward potentially studying it professionally, leading me to where I am today.
Posted 27 January 2013 - 05:31 AM
Well, my story is quite different from most people as there's quite a bit of anger, hatred and bad experience in it. It's quite long with many relatively unrelated stories 9but trust me they are) so bear with me.
Me too, like most people here, is a 2nd-gen Singaporean, grandparents from China (鹤山，广东）, Parents born in SG. However I would describe myself as born again Chinese (ironically i am an Atheist, LOL) because I too was influenced by the sad & rather disgusting mindset of the people over here. I use to hate on China and like the US but that was when I am young. But however by the age of 15, things change, i went through some ****, and that was the time when I started becoming increasingly anti-religion which resulted in me gaining much more knowledge because i believe in 知己知彼，百战百胜 and so far this famous saying have not failed me. Somewhere along the way I started becoming politically active too, probably due to dealing with too much creationists from the US, being unhappy with how lenient governments are towards religions after all it has done and realising that my ideology is very much in line with communism (atheist state, no class & so on), which I've recently found out that Communism is rather in line with aspects from a combination of Confucianism, Mohism, Agriculturism & many other Chinese philosophies. I was also having an increased interest in the military (though i hate and despise the one i am currently in, LOL) and this is the start of regaining my cultural identity.
As i got deeper into politics, i started to found about all the lies the US govt have spilled about almost everyone and making themselves look like some saviour of the world and it is when i started to look deeper into communism, the political ideology the US label as evil and authoritarian..Soon i found out it was the opposite, though capitalism was not authoritarian, it's total anarchy was far worse than the Nazi Regime or whatever else the US termed evil. And soon after reading about communism, i was rather attracted to modern Chinese history, the largest communist country left. and since i hate the way most Singaporeans are brainwashed by the US and think that communism is evil, i became attracted to China. At the same time i was increasingly attracted to the PLA as well due to it's record in WW2, Korea and Vietnam and it being an underdog (technologically), it was a huge source of national pride and soon i became more interested in ancient Chinese warfare & weaponry.
However, things was different in where i am staying now, most people here have a negative view about the PRC even hating on them, even to point of believing in many nonsensical claims about both modern & ancient China. many of them too, hate the mainland Chinese immigrants and do not make a distinction between the black sheep and the entire nation, this what i hate about many of the people here. in fact many consider themselves superior in a way, so my way of thinking is that if you think being westernised is so glorious, why do you still keep your Chinese identity? Why do you still speak Chinese? Better still why don't you just kill yourself since you have Chinese blood flowing all around in you? it's kind of extreme but i really see such people as 汉奸, because they have lost all cultural identity and all of the Chinese customary in behaviour and so on. I have spoken to many people about this and my observations, sadly, agrees with what I've just written. So far only my closest friends would really agree with me, that being a Chinese, our culture and history defines who we really are and although i don't believe in fate, being a Chinese is something that will defined our destiny.
And with much research, i truly understand why i am proud to be a Chinese. We are 5000 years old imperially and we are at least 7000 years old culturally, no other culture or nation can be compared to us and as a culture, the children cultures we gave birth to are also around 3000 years old, largely due to them adopting the same elements as us. I may sound arrogant and sinocentric, but i am just being proud of what i am. It has change me into a better person mentally and i believe soon it will change me physically. So this why i am currently into Chinese history, because many of what is good is lost and because many of the great thinkers do not agree with each other, what would be excellent was never discovered, so i wish to combine many of these features together, philosophically, militarily, scientifically and spiritually in order to make use into a greater people and a greater empire and push us into a new golden age, one that will truly leave it's mark as the greatest period ever formed.
And so this why i am so interested in my history and my culture, because i am the Descendant of the Yellow Dragon, a person from the Middle Kingdom, a Grand and Prosperous person from HuaXia and i have sworn before and i will swear again, that I will defend my Culture till my last breath and annihilate all who try to destroy it, this is my promise as a Chinese and as a Soldier.
Posted 31 March 2013 - 04:12 PM
I am a retired man. I knew from time the daodejing but at a given point, in my mind came the curiosity to know what of historical was about the author (Lao Tzu). So, from then, I started a research, that is still open, about that point and I think that maybe in this forum I can find information and help in my research.
Posted 08 May 2013 - 04:16 AM
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