CHINA- THE OLDEST CIVILIZATION ON EARTH. A  land founded on extraordinary customs and ritual.Celebrated in monuments without equal.Preserved in thousands of years of learning.A country that is home to the greatest population on the planet-  1.3 billion people.A nation that is set to become the worlds next superpower.

This is the story of the fastest growing country on earth, of the dreams and challenges driving its people of individual struggle and triumph.How is the worlds largest communist state becoming its powerful economy? Can this ancient civilization survive its breakneck journey into the future? And what is the price of this world wind of change?

This is the story of the greatest transformation on earth, and of the people living at its heart.

This is the story of life, BEHIND THE GREAT WALL.


≈ Shang Dynasty  (17th to 11th cent. BC)
*Oracle bones / Jiaguwen - pieces of bone  from a turtle plastron (belly of a turtle )
                                           - where the  first Chinese scripts were carved, recording the royal divinations.

≈ Zhou Dynasty (11th. cent.-221 BC)

- longest dynasty in Chinese history.
- era of great cultural and intellectual expansion in China.
- The Golden Age of Chinese Philosophy (Confucianism and Taoism)

-  Kung being his proper name , Fu signifying revered, and tze signifying teacher.
- The  Father of Confucianism
- Author of The Analects

         The Analects (Lun-yü)  is a collection of moral and ethical principles enunciated by the Chinese thinker Confucius (K’ung Fu-tzu) in conversations with his disciples. These principles set standards for individual conduct and the administration of government and community. After Confucius died in 479 BC, his followers compiled his teachings in the form of dialogues between him and his students. The resulting collection highly influenced educational, social, and cultural thought in China and elsewhere. 
General Theme of The Analects
         Running through the teachings of Confucius is this theme: A man should lead an upright life, educate himself, and contribute to the betterment of society. The superior man, he says, respects elders, cultivates the friendship of good people, presides over his subordinates with a fair and even hand, continually educates himself, overflows with love for fellow human beings, and in general sets a good example for others to follow. 
        The passages in The Analects are terse and easy to understand. Many of these passages, though presented in the form of conversation, are epigrams that stand alone as wise and memorable admonitions. The statements make frequent use of parallel structure and antithesis, as in the following passages from The Analects
         The Master said, "If a man in the morning hear the right way, he may die in the evening without regret" (Book 4, Chapter 8).
         The Master said, "Is virtue a thing remote? I wish to be virtuous, and lo! virtue is at hand" (Book 7, Chapter 29).

         -  maxims, ethical codes, or morality  found in the Analects.

1. The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.
2. The superior man loves his soul; the inferior man his property.
3. The superior man blames himself; the inferior man blames others.
4. To think twice is quite enough.
5. Do not worry about the people not knowing you, but strive to be worth knowing.
6. Men are born pretty much alike but through their habits , they grow farther and farther apart.
7. Reading without thinking gives one a disorderly mind; thinking without reading makes one flighty.
8. When a country is in order, it is a shame to be a poor and common man; when a country is in chaos, it is a shame to be rich and official.
9. To repay evil with kindness is the sign of a generous character; to repay kindness with evil is the sign of a criminal.
10. Do not do to others what you don’t want others do unto you.
-Five ancient Chinese books used in Confucianism as the basis of studies. These books were compiled or edited by Confucius himself.

They are:

Title (English)
Title (Chinese)
Brief Description
Shih- Ching
- A collection of 305 poems divided into 160 folk songs, 105 festal songs sung at court ceremonies, and 40 hymns and eulogies sung at sacrifices to gods and ancestral spirits of the royal house.
Shu - Ching
- A collection of documents and speeches alleged to have been written by rulers and officials of the early Zhou period .
-The oldest Chinese narrative.
Li- Chi
- Compilation of  ancient rites and rituals , social forms and court ceremonies.
I Ching
- Book of divination or oracles which later became a fortune teller’s handbook for the interpretation of omens, dreams etc…
Līn Jīng
- A historical record of the state of Lu, Confucius's native state, 722–481 BC, compiled by himself, with implied condemnation of  murder, incest, etc...

The Classic of Music  is sometimes considered as the sixth classic but destroyed due to accidental  burning of the books.

- Lao means "venerable" or "old", Tzu, means "master".
- The Father of Taoism
- Author of The Tao Te Ching (The Way and Its Power)

-Tao (the way) ,Te (strength/virtue) , Ching (scripture)
- It is based on the idea that the tao is the natural path of the universe. The wise man simply follows
  the tao and does not try to interfere with, alter, or stop the natural process. Unhappiness is caused   
  by trying to thwart the tao.
- Rules of duty and allegiance,  and of ritual and good manners would not be needed if a world gone
- It has 81 chapters containing the  teachings about   the wisdom of appearing foolish, the advantage
  of being humble, the benefit of yielding to the enemy, and the futility of seeking power.

      “The best soldier does not attack. The superior fighter succeeds without violence. The greatest conqueror wins without struggle. The most successful manager leads without dictating. This is intelligent non aggressiveness. This is called the mastery of men.”

Tang Dynasty (618–906 A.D.)
- A period of great intellectual and poetry writing activity.
- introduction of widespread woodblock printing
- Perfecting one's skills in the composition of poetry became a required study for those wishing to pass
   imperial examinations/selection of government bureaucracy.

● Jintishi
      -"modern-form poetry", or regulated verse developed from Tang Dynasty onwards.

● Gushi
      - a poem with no formal constraints unlike Jintishi .
      - The form was therefore favored for narrative works and by writers seeking a relaxed or
        imaginative style
      - Li Po is the most prominent of writing Gushi

- One of the greatest Chinese poets during Tang dynasty.
- Known as Transcendent, Wine, Immortal and Immortal in Exile.


         Most of Li Po's works are lost, but almost 2000 poems were collected in 1080. Li Po is best known for his pieces describing voyages through imaginary landscapes. Li Po prefers older poetic forms such as songs or ballads. Some themes expressed in Li Po's works are the sorrows of those separated by the demands of duty and the relief found in wine. He also wrote about friendship, solitude, the passage of time, and the joys of nature. Some of his works are "Saying Goodbye to Meng-Hao Ran," "Leaving a Friend," "Bitter Love," "River Trip from Bai Di," "The River Merchant's Wife," "Down the Mountain," "Li Po Alone Drinking," and many more. Actually, Li Po had no great regard for his poems himself; he is said to have made thousands of them into paper boats which he sailed along streams.

         According to legend, Li Po drowned while drunkenly leaning from a boat to embrace the moon's reflection on the water. Most scholars believe he died from cirrhosis of the liver or from mercury poisoning due to Taoist longevity elixirs.

By Li Po

≈ Song Dynasty (960-1279 A.D.)
- The development of two kinds of literature: Ci (poetry) and Sanwen (prose)
- The invention of movable type printing by Bi Sheng

≈ Ming  Dynasty (1368 - 1644 A.D.)
-development of novels.
- the four great classical novels  commonly counted by scholars to be the most influential of classical Chinese fiction. Well known to most Chinese readers of the 21st century.(They are not to be confused with the Four Books of Confucianism.) It influenced the creation of many stories, theater, movies, games, and other entertainment throughout East Asia, including China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.
These are the four novels:
Three Kingdoms (historical)
Water Margin (action/kung fu)
Journey to the West(fantasy)


            Ancient Chinese women led a very tough life. They had to face discrimination in each and everything. They were ill treated and embarrassed at every stage of their lives. They were treated differently from men.They were deprived of education. They were humiliated before men everywhere. Confucian principles governed their lives. Confucian had set these rules in his analects.

            As per Confucian women were inferior to men. Men and women were not equal in his eyes. And hence, they were not considered worthy to receive education and to be literate. The ancient Chinese women had led this unbearable life for almost 2000 years.
            Their whole life was controlled by the male member of the family. Before marriage it was the father and after marriage it was the husband. They were also not given any names. They were called as daughter no1, daughter no2 and so on. On the birth of a baby girl some humiliating customs were practiced.

            Ancient Chinese women had to serve their husbands like slaves. They were not given any freedom to raise their voices. The only job which the ancient Chinese women had was to bear sons and take care of their husbands houses. Ancient Chinese widows were not allowed to remarry. If they do so they were awarded the death penalty.

            However, ancient Chinese men were allowed to have more than one wife. Wives  had no right to express their rights and feelings. Empress Wu was considered to be one of the famous women of ancient China. In such a strict and harsh environment, Empress Wu challenged these norms of the society by becoming the first women to rule the ancient China. It was during her reign that the position of women in ancient China was elevated. Empress Wu was responsible to set up the matriarchal society in the ancient China. During her reign the biographies of famous women were written. In her views it was very important for a ruler to rule his kingdom like a mother who dotes on her child.


Terra Cotta Warriors
Xi'an, Shaanxi Province

In 1974, while digging a well in the city of Xi'an, Chinese farmers discovered an underground tomb filled with 8,000 statues of ancient Chinese warriors. Created around 221 B.C., these 8,000 terra cotta warriors are said to guard Emperor Qin's tomb. 

Hanging Monastery
Mount Hengshan, Shanxi Province

Located at the foot of Mount Hengshan on the west cliff of Jinxia Gorge, the Hanging Monastery has been filling visitors with wonder for over 1,400 years. The ancient, sacred shrine stands fifteen stories above the ground and is supported only by its weathered, wooden beams. In spite of centuries of the harshest climate conditions, including a massive earthquake in 1303, the Hanging Monastery has remained unscathed. The reason for its resilience may be the structure itself. The Hanging Monastery was actually built into the sides of the cliff, giving its 40 cave rooms extra stability.

 The Great Wall
Jiayuguan Pass, Gansu Province (West) to Shanhaiguan Pass, Hebei Province (East)
Perhaps China's most iconic man-made structure is its massive Great Wall. Stretching over 4,000 miles from Jiayuguan Pass in the West to Shanhaiguan Pass in the East, the Great Wall easily lives up to its name. Construction of the Great Wall began under Emperor Qin in 221 B.C. and continued up until the Qing Dynasty. The purpose of the wall was to protect the Chinese empire from any attacking armies. 

Leshan Buddha
Leshan City, Sichuan Province
The Leshan Buddha is the largest Buddha in the world. Over 1,000 years ago, the Leshan Buddha was carved out of a cliff by devoted Buddhist monks; it took over 90 years to build.The statue stands over 233 feet high and over 90 feet wide. According to local legend, the river waters located nearby used to be treacherous and took many lives over the years. After the Leshan Buddha was created, the turbulent waters calmed and life in Leshan City thrived. 

Mount Wudang
Wudang, Hubei Province

The slopes of Mount Wudang are adorned with magnificent temples, palaces and bridges -- each built in harmony with the surrounding landscape. The tranquil town of Wudang is home to the Golden hall, one of China's most sacred sites..Also known for its martial arts- both Tai Chi and Wudang Kung Fu were first practiced on the mountain. 

Shi Bao Zhai Temple
Yangtze River (south bank)
Located on the south bank of the mighty Yangtze River, the Shi Bao Zhai Temple stands 12 stories high and is attached to a cliff without a single nail. Before the temple was built, followers had to risk their lives in order to pay homage to the statues of Buddha at the top of the mountain. The temple withstood the test of time through its windows. The special windows allow the wind to be absorbed during inclement weather, protecting the temple from any possible damage. 

Forbidden City
Beijing, China

The Forbidden City in Beijing is the largest ancient palace in the world. For over 500 years, it has represented Chinese political power. Stretching over 7 million square feet and containing over 10,000 rooms, the Forbidden City was built to represent God's palace in heaven. Before the 20th century, the public was not allowed to enter the Forbidden City. The punishment for unauthorized entry to the Forbidden City was beheading.