Culture is an important force for human survival and development. Every sublimation of human civilization is accompanied by the historical progress of culture. The Chinese nation has an ancient civilization of more than 5,000 years. In the long-term historical process, the Chinese nation has encountered numerous difficulties and obstacles, but all of them have been defeated in the end. The core reason is that the Chinese culture created by the Chinese has provided a strong spiritual support for the Chinese nation to overcome difficulties and keep growing. Excellent traditional Chinese culture is an important part of Chinese culture. Carrying forward the excellent traditional Chinese culture is conducive to casting a strong sense of community for the Chinese nation and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
First, the Essence of Chinese Excellent Traditional Culture
Chinese traditional culture refers to the Chinese culture created, inherited and continuously developed by all ethnic groups living in China since Yanhuang period. It is the overall representation of various thoughts, cultures and concepts in the history of the Chinese nation. Is the crystallization of thousands of years of Chinese civilization. It is the concentrated expression of the basic values of the Chinese nation. Its contents include from Laozi, Confucius, Wang Xizhi, Li Bai, Du Fu, Su Shi, Xin Qiji, Guan Hanqing and Cao Xueqin, to’ Lu Guo Mao Ba Lao Cao’, to Nie Er, Xinghai Xian, Mei Lanfang, Qi Baishi and Xu Beihong; from The Book of Songs and Chu Ci to Han Fu, Tang Poetry, Song Ci, Yuan Qu and Ming and Qing novels; from Biography of King Gesar, Manas to Jiangger, etc., there are numerous literary and artistic works in the history of the Chinese nation; including Chinese traditional thought, writing, language, calligraphy, music, martial arts, quyi, chess, festivals, folk customs, architecture and other material and intangible cultures; includes the material culture and spiritual culture jointly created by all ethnic groups in different historical periods.
Excellent Chinese traditional culture refers to the spiritual and material cultural resources in Chinese traditional culture that meet the requirements of the new era, conform to the socialist core values, and benefit the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The basic spirit of Chinese excellent traditional culture is mainly manifested in the unity of nature and man, people-oriented, vigorous and promising, and harmony as the most important. Excellent Chinese traditional culture has established “the way of etiquette” in social mode, “the way of gentlemen” in personality mode and “the golden mean” in behavior mode. Excellent Chinese traditional culture is the excellent content of Chinese traditional culture that keeps pace with the times, never goes out of fashion and is permanently inherited. It represents the development direction of Chinese culture, represents the spiritual temperament of the Chinese nation, which has a significant impact on the thinking mode and lifestyle of the Chinese nation. To carry forward the excellent Chinese traditional culture is to take a foothold in China and look at the world with the vision and thinking of the new era, and to combine inheriting the excellent Chinese traditional culture with firmly building the consciousness of the Chinese nation community, so as to provide assistance for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
2.Characteristics of Chinese Excellent Traditional Culture
Excellent Chinese traditional culture is jointly created by all ethnic groups in China. All ethnic groups in China started from diversity. In the long-term exchanges and exchanges, although peace and war accompanied each other, cultural exchanges and exchanges never stopped, and a stable and unified Chinese excellent traditional culture was formed in the process. Since 1840, in the process of resisting foreign aggression, exploring China’s road and changing China’s destiny, the vitality and cohesion of Chinese excellent traditional culture have become stronger. All ethnic groups in China have jointly built great projects such as the Great Wall, Dujiangyan, Grand Canal, Forbidden City and Potala Palace. Co-created great works such as The Book of Songs, Chu Ci, Han Fu, Tang Poetry, Song Ci, Yuan Qu, Ming and Qing novels, etc. Together, they have inherited the great epic poems of King Gesar, Manas to Jiangger, etc. As President Xi Jinping said, “The reason why Chinese culture is so splendid and profound lies in its inclusive nature”.
Excellent Chinese traditional culture is inclusive and all rivers run into sea. Its inclusive development has made the Chinese civilization endless and brilliant. First of all, it is reflected in the mutual learning and absorption between different local schools of thought. In the Spring and Autumn Period, Confucius completed the foundation of Chinese Confucianism by only describing and clarifying the theories of the predecessors,but not create by ourselves, believing and loving ancient things. During the Warring States Period, Confucianism, Mohism, Taoism, Law and other schools of thought contended and blossomed, learning from each other and learning from each other. During the period of Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty, Dong Zhongshu blended Confucianism, Law and Mo, which made Confucianism the representative of the cultural spirit of the Chinese nation in the Western Han Dynasty. During the Wei and Jin Dynasties, metaphysics succeeded in integrating Confucianism and Taoism and became an important thought at that time. Secondly, it is reflected in the mutual learning and absorption of foreign cultures. Buddhism originated in ancient India, and after it was introduced into China, it merged with Chinese Confucianism and Taoism, forming a Buddhist culture with Chinese characteristics, forming a unique Buddhist theory, and spreading Buddhism from China to Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia and other places. Islam was introduced into China at the beginning of the 9th century, and it quickly merged with Chinese traditional Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism culture. Herry Liu, Wang Jingzhai and other Muslim scholars combined Islamic teachings with Chinese traditional culture and “interpreted the scriptures with Confucianism”, thus realizing the sinicization of the texts of Islamic teachings. In the late Ming and early Qing Dynasties, Western missionaries brought Catholicism to China, and they developed rapidly among Chinese people deeply influenced by Confucianism by “combining Confucianism”, “supplementing Confucianism” and “combining Catholicism and Confucianism”.
Excellent traditional Chinese culture is the deepest cultural soft power of the Chinese nation. During the Spring and Autumn Period, a hundred schools of thought contended and created a splendid source of Chinese culture. Confucianism valued humanity, Taoism valued heaven, and Mo valued science and technology, which brought out the best in each other and complemented each other. National unity and ethnic integration have created a good atmosphere for the prosperity of Chinese culture and the uninterrupted civilization of 5,000 years. British historian Toynbee praised the Chinese for “successfully uniting hundreds of millions of people politically and culturally than any other nation in the world.” President Xi Jinping pointed out: “The rich philosophical thoughts, humanistic spirit, educational thoughts and moral concepts of China’s excellent traditional culture can provide beneficial enlightenment for people to understand and transform the world, for governing the country and for moral construction.”
To sum up, the Chinese excellent traditional culture, the joint creation of all ethnic groups in China, is the deepest cultural soft power of the Chinese nation. Carrying forward the excellent Chinese traditional culture is conducive to enhancing the recognition of all ethnic groups to the Chinese nation, enhancing the cohesion of the Chinese nation, and building a strong sense of community of the Chinese nation. Therefore, we must study Chinese excellent traditional culture comprehensively and systematically from the perspective of national identity, socialist core values, exchanges and mutual learning among different ethnic groups, and must be under the guidance of the correct thought of building the Chinese nation’s community consciousness, so as to offer wisdom for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
(Yang Zhaojun, Ph.D. candidate in the School of Ethnology and Sociology of Minzu University of China, is mainly engaged in ethnology and ethnic culture research.
Ma Fang, associate professor of Marxism College, North Minzu University, mainly studies the casting of the Chinese nation’s sense of community, theory of literature and art).