中国华文教育网
汉族The Han ethnic group(2)
2010年04月20日 16:35

  The Han

  The Han is the most populous ethnic group not only in China, but also throughout the world. It was formed after the ancient Chinese nation assimilated and merged with many other ethnic groups. Since the Han Dynasty, it was called the Han.

  The Han ethnic group has a recorded history of about 4,000 years, the people are scattered throughout China, and the commonly used language is Chinese. The Chinese language has a long history with a rich vocabulary. The current Chinese characters are square ones, which evolved from ancient Chinese charactersa carved on tortoise shells or animal bones and an ancient languageb used in inscriptions on bronze objects. As early as the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), the Han had begun large-scale irrigation and water conservancy projects; the Dujiang Weirs in Sichuan Province built in early Warring States Period (475-221 BC) still function today. The techniques they invented for sericulture, weaving brocade, producing tea and making porcelain continue to thrive; the invention of papermaking, printing, the compass and gun powder made outstanding contributions to the development of world culture and scientific technology. The Han have also made great achievements in literature and arts: The Songs of Chu, Yuefu (folk songs or ballads in the Han style) of the Han Dynasty, ci poetry of the Song Dynasty, zaju (poetic drama set to music, usually consisting of four acts called zhe, with one character having the singing role throughout) of the Yuan Dynasty, and the novels of the Ming and Qing dynasties are the cultural high points of each era. Systematically complete historical works faithfully recorded the course of the Chinese nation. Calligraphy, painting, and architectural arts of a great antiquity have their unique charm, and many excellent works remain to be appreciated by today's generations. Many Han ideologists, scientists, men of letters, artists, statesmen and strategists, with prestige beyond national border, also emerged.

  The Han people have a deep sense of patriarchal clan. It is considered an important event and also a critical act of filial piety to offer sacrifices to the ancestors and to produce a male heir to continue the family line. The Han people attach most importance to the Spring Festival; besides, they have the Lantern Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival and the Mid-autumn Festival, etc.

  Through their long historical development, the Han people have forged extensive political, economic links and cultural exchanges with other fraternal nationalities. Because of their preponderance and long history, they have tended to always play a leading role in state affairs.

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