The place to ask China-related questions!
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou Shenzhen Chengdu Xi'an Hangzhou Qingdao Dalian Suzhou Nanjing More Cities>>

Categories

Close
Welcome to eChinacities Answers! Please or register if you wish to join conversations or ask questions relating to life in China. For help, click here.

By continuing you agree to eChinacities's Privacy Policy .

Sign up with Google Sign up with Facebook
Sign up with Email Already have an account? .
Posts: 97

Governor

0
0
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
0

Q: Embarassed at not knowing any Chinese history?

Maybe it's just me, but when I talk to Chinese they often (unmistakenly) guilt trip me when they make some obscure reference to Chinese history and act disappointed when I don't know.

I know Chinese history is huge, but are there 2 or 3 huge historical events that might allow me to place myself in conversations and not feel completely lost every time?

9 years 5 weeks ago in  Teaching & Learning - China

 
Answers (7)
Comments (1)
0
0
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
0

Well yeah, they've been educated to think that their 5000 years of history is extremely important, so in their eyes of course you should also know this!

Julias who?

Don't let it get to you too much if you don't know. I'm sure there's plenty of history from your country that they don't know about. It's just the position you're in.

If you know between the different dynasties, and who their rulers were I think that would help.

Report Abuse
9 years 5 weeks ago
 
Posts: 9206

Emperor

0
0
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
0

Every where has 5000 years of history,,, or more,, Troy existed prior,, Egypt was well advanced prior,,Egypt had writting prior,,,North America had it first immigration 15,000 BC, still it continues... Laughing out loud Laughing out loud
The Chinese built a wall and kept fixing it...Marco Polo visited about 1275 and showed the Chinese how to make Italian noodles....what I find interesting is the first Emporer Qui Shi Huang was buried 200BC with all those Terra Cotta Warriors,,,there were 20 families that moved there to watch the site and 20 villiages are still there. Yet until roughly 25 years ago,no one had any idea of the burial grounds.
Try reading a time line of history, that may be easier to remember..

Report Abuse
9 years 5 weeks ago
 
Posts: 9206

Emperor

0
0
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
0

and Eskimos have more than 5000 years also,,, building out of ice,, eating blubber Smile Smile

try this link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Chinese_history

Report Abuse
9 years 5 weeks ago
 
Posts: 650

Governor

0
0
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
0

10years Culture revolution, 1976 TIan An Men Event~ Not so many Chinese know this, so if u study this a little bit, and talk with them, they will feel embarrassed.

Report Abuse
9 years 5 weeks ago
 
0
0
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
0

There are claims to say that China entered both America and Africa before European settlers. I don't think anybody is superior to anyone else.

The cultural revolution didn't DELETE history.

Report Abuse
9 years 5 weeks ago
 
Posts: 1006

Shifu

0
0
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
0

Even most locals don't know all their history, let alone their own geography (it amazes me how little my adult students know about China in fact at times!) but it does impress them if you know the "basics". Talking to them about TM 1989, Tibet, etc... Doesn't win you any points I usually save myself the trouble and avoid the topics all together...

Report Abuse
9 years 5 weeks ago
 
Posts: 1933

Shifu

0
0
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
0

I have two degrees in history (not focusing on China) and when I moved here I thought I'd do as much research into China as I can.

Now, the Chinese are always going "We have five thousand (or more) years of history. We are the smartest, best, most ethical, etc etc etc." and hold it over your head. They don't realize - ironically - the confucian bias in saying that, nor do they realize that we measure ethics and intelligence by accomplishment and ability rather than by the ancestors but whatever bragging is annoying and how come the Iraqis aren't the most intelligent, ethical people on earth? Because Chinese civilization is nothing compared to Mesopotamia. Hell, the Pantheon in relatively young Rome has how many centuries on dayanta, China's oldest building?

Actually, practically no one in China can do much more than name the (major) dynasties and a few bits and bobs about sanguo. Most of what they know about history come from those heavily anachronistic, cheesy TV shows they watch. The parts of Chinese history that don't make good shows or movies are completely unknown. Most of the material culture has been destroyed, and the wealthy body of literature is inaccessible, as few people nowadays can read classical Chinese, which was the written standard until the 1910s.

Chinese history is quite interesting and well worth investigating, but to the average Zhou it's just another mindless, racial-supremacist slogan.

Here are two or three events like you asked:

1) The Yellow Emperor, the common ancestor of all Chinese, was the son of a God and a dragon and possibly a person as well, depending on who told that story. He was attacked by an army of metal people so he summoned some pokemon to battle for him. Then he established a kingdom bigger than any other kingdom to have ever existed. Then a different dragon (not his mom) got upset by a hole in the sky that was made by a monster who had a tantrum after he lost a battle with the God of Flame. The dragon fixed the hole and in the process sent a powerful psychic burst of energy the Emperor's first minister which contained all the secrets of Chinese writing.

The Chinese insist that this story is 100% scientific, including the atheist government. Declare that this is anything but pure scientific truth will get you death threats.

2) If Chinese history is 5000 years old, there essentially a 1500 year gap here (or 2500 for 6000, 3500 for seven thousand years history, etc) where not much happened except for the odd mythological BS.

Then came a whole bunch of more historical complicated stuff which would take ages to write about. Confucius and wars, mostly.

3) Qin and Han: The kingdom of Qin united all the Chinese-speaking and a lot of non-Chinese speaking areas into one Empire, giving birth to China the country (the culture had been around for longer, but under different flags). Qin quickly collapsed, then a civil war which the Chinese love, then Han established a more-or-less stable empire. This was about the time of ancient Rome, more or less.

4) Three Kingdoms: After Han collapsed, China split in three. Sometimes more than that. Lots of wars. This is what a lot of video games, movies and shows are about. When Chinese talk about Chinese history, this is mostly it. Lots of people killing each other and being noble. Ask them what year any of these events happen and prepare for an inaccurate guess.

5) Then China reunited (Sui) but that fizzled out and the Tang dynasty took over. Among other things, this saw a major cultural Renaissance. The Chinese claim to admire this period of time, but are completely unfamiliar with any of the art and literature, except for a few names. Tang was hit with the most violent civil wars in history, but the cultural momentum outlasted it.

6) The rest is a blur of Jurchen, Mongolians, Ming, and Manchus to most Chinese. They literally know nothing about the rest of Chinese history save a few names but they are absolutely certain that bad things happened and it was all the fault of foreigners. Especially me and Obama: I have been assured that me and Obama have been personally causing trouble for China for over a thousand years and have been personally blamed for every event they could remember the name of. Just the other day I was reminded how me and Obama both destroyed Xi'an in 907, started the Opium wars in the 1850s, and invented genetically modified food in order to hurt China's population growth. Man, me and Obama sure have had some crazy times together!

Modern China: A long history has made the Chinese the smartest and most ethical, and clearly better than all foreigners. However China is still poor because it suffers from constant foreign sabotage. Every foreign country is jealous of China's history, and dedicates every second to thinking about China and every nuclear weapon in the world is pointed at China's museums.

Report Abuse
9 years 5 weeks ago
 
Know the answer ?
Please or register to post answer.

Report Abuse

Security Code: * Enter the text diplayed in the box below
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <img> <br> <p> <u>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Textual smileys will be replaced with graphical ones.

More information about formatting options

Forward Question

Answer of the DayMORE >>
A: Going to HK would be the best bet I reckon, especially if you were loo
A:Going to HK would be the best bet I reckon, especially if you were looking for a church wedding. Chinese weddings are pretty grim IMO - you go to a barren govt dept with souless officials and navigate red tape so some guy can give you a red stamp and a marriage book. You get expensive pictures taken of you both posing in places you'd never go to in everyday life that is somehow supposed to represent your wedding, then a while later it's off to a restaurant where a game show host kind of guy makes sure it's as tacky as possible while the guests eat as fast as they can so they can leave as soon as they finish eating and gave you money. Hell, I'd go to Thailand or the Philippines and get married in Paradise.   -- Stiggs