Technology of Ethnic Minorities in China

In order to spur the technological development in ethnic minorities’ regions, the Chinese government has adopted a series of preferential policies as follows: it gives priority to the cultivation and training of science and technology personnel from ethnic groups, admits minority students to public universities according to special enrollment plans, opens classes on campus exclusively for minority students and establishes popular majors in minorities universities or colleges to bring up more people with relevant expertise that are in short supply in society. Meanwhile, it has taken effective measures to train the existing technology personnel from minority groups, help introduce more talents and advanced equipment for minority people and their regions and upgrade traditional industries and products to enhance the business performance. Moreover, the Chinese government has established and improved the system for technology promotion in rural and pasture areas in order to boost the education and training of practical technology and help translate scientific achievements into real productivity in these regions. In addition, it has adopted some preferential policies concerning work condition and living standard to encourage more science and technology experts to make achievements in ethnic minorities’ regions. Last but not least, the government has urged the developed regions in other parts of China to take measures to expand their technology assistance to minority regions. These measures include: inviting experts to take a part-time job in minority regions, encouraging technology personnel to give lectures or work for a short-term period in these regions, help train their counterparts from ethnic groups and carry out technology cooperation with them. At present, a number of research institutes which are related to the national economy development, the need of people’s life and the actual condition of ethnic groups have been established in regions where ethnic minorities live and the scientific research system with various disciplines and research team with corresponding research orientations have also been shaped.

Statistics shows that the number of scientists and engineers from ethnic minority regions has reached nearly 100 thousand and these technology experts are playing an increasingly important role in the scientific and technological advancement of our country. Some of them are academicians of Chinese Academy of Science and Chinese Academy of Engineering, some leaders of scientific projects, and some outstanding contributors for translating scientific achievements into real products. For instance, academician Wang Shiwen of Chinese Academy of Science, who comes from Hui nationality, devotes herself to the clinic and scientific research and teaching of cardiopathy and first aid study for the elderly and makes remarkable contribution to the development of medical study of elderly people in China as an emerging discipline. Academician Wei Yu of Chinese Academy of Engineering, who comes from Zhuang nationality, holds the doctorate of the Technological University of Aachen in Germany and is one of the trial-blazers of electro-biology and bio-computation as brand-new arenas in the world. Senior researcher of agricultural science Zheng Huiyu, who comes from Korean nationality, dedicates herself into the study of breeding and variety resources of soybean and one of her masterpieces is the Jilin No.20 Soybean with small granule.

Nationalities Whose Population Is above 5 Million

Han Nationality

Han people enjoy the largest population among China’s 56 nationalities and this population size also ranks first in the world. At present, the number of Han people has reached about 1.2 billion. Originally known as “Cathay”, Han people used to live in the central part of China; later, it assimilated and integrated with other nationalities and eventually boasts a 5 thousand years’ history of civilization. Since the beginning of Han Dynasty, the name “Han” was adopted to call this nationality. Han nationality has its own spoken and written language, which belong to Chinese-Tibetan language family. Its language falls into 8 categories of dialect, namely, dialect of northern China, dialect of south of the lower reaches of Yangtze River, Hunan dialect, Jiangxi dialect, Hakka dialect, dialect of southern Fujian, dialect of northern Fujian and Cantonese and the common language of these 8 dialects is Mandarin. Chinese letter is one of the most ancient letters in the world; it evolved from inscriptions on bones or tortoise shells of the Shang Dynasty and Nuchen letters and eventually became present-day Chinese characters. There are altogether over 80 thousand Chinese characters, among which about 7000 are commonly used. At present, Chinese has become one of the international languages. The staple food of Han people is grain crop and meat and vegetables are the non-staple foodstuffs. Over the long period of development, Han people have developed the habit of having three meals for each day and rice and flour serve as two major components of their staple food. In addition, other coarse crops, such as corn, sorghum, cereal and potato, are also part of the staple food in different regions of China. Due to various factors, there are varied types of cuisine in the food culture of Han people and when it comes to the Han and other nationalities’ preference of taste of food, people living in different parts of China are often termed as follows: the southern citizens are lovers of sweet food, the northern of salty food, the eastern of hot food and the western of sour food. At present, there are 8 typical cuisines with unique flavors in different parts of China, including Hunan cuisine, Sichuan cuisine, cuisine of northeastern China and Cantonese food. Wine and tea are two major beverages for Han people. Being the place of origin of tea and one of the first developers of brewing technology, China boasts long history of wine and tea culture. Except for wine and tea, some products made of fruits also serve as beverages for people in varied regions and seasons. There are myriads of festivals for Han people and China’s Lunar New Year is the most traditional one. Besides, the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month of lunar calendar, the Tomb-sweeping day on Apr.5th, the Dragon Boat Festival on the 5th day of the fifth lunar month and the Middle Autumn Day on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month are also important festivals. Continue reading Nationalities Whose Population Is above 5 Million

General Introduction of Nationalities in China

China is a united and multi-national country, which is also one of the most populous ones in the world. At present, there are 1.3 billion people from 56 nationalities in China.

The nationalities in China include: Han, Mongolian, Hui, Tibetan, Uygur, Miao, Yi, Zhuang, Bouyei, Korean, Manchu, Dong, Yao, Bai, Tujia, Hani, Kazakh, Dai, Li, Lisu, Va, She, Gaoshan, Lahu, Shui, Dongxiang, Naxi, Jingpo, Kirgiz, Tu, Dahur, Mulao, Qiang, Bulang, Sala, Maonan, Gelo, Sibo, Achang, Pumi, Tajik, Nu, Ozbek, Russian, Owenke, Deang, Baoan, Yugu, Jing, Tartar, Dulong, Oroqen, Hezhe, Monba, Luoba, Jinuo. In addition, there are a few people from unidentified nationalities in China. Continue reading General Introduction of Nationalities in China

Han Dynasty

Liu Bang, established the Han Empire and settled down in the capital Chang’an.

During the 7-year dominion of Hangaozu, the central regime was further reinforced and the policy “Recuperate and Multiply” was adopted. After Hui’s succession, the empress of Hangaozu gained power. who was one of the rare women rulers in the history of China. Wen succeeded to the throne in 183 BC. Wen, followed by his son, Jing, stuck to the policy of “Recuperate and Multiply”, decreased taxation and promoted the economy of the empire. (The Enlightenment of Wen/Jing) Continue reading Han Dynasty

Song Dynasty

In 960 AD, Zhao Kuangyin launched Chenqiao Mutiny and seized the power. Song Dynasty was established, putting an end to the divisive situation. Song Dynasty lasted 319 years until it was overthrown by Yuan. The Song Dynasty was divided into the Northern period and Southern period. During the Northern period, Qidan tribe established Liao (947-1125 AD) in the further northern part of China. The Dangxiang tribe established Xixia (1038-1227) to the northwest of Song. In 1115 Nvzhen tribe established Jin in the north and defeated Liao. In 1127 Jin made its way in Kaifeng, capital of Song Dynasty and took captive of Emperor Huizong and Qinzong. The reign of Northern Song was over. However, in the southern city of Yintianfu, Zhaogou succeeded to the crown of his predecessors to become Gaozong of Song.  Later, he moved the capital to Lin’an which was the beginning of the Southern Song period. Differing from Northern Song, which confronted and battled with Liao, Xia and Jin, Southern Song is a dynasty that compromised and declined from inception. Continue reading Song Dynasty

The Aztecs

The Aztecs

The term, Aztec, is a startlingly imprecise term to describe the culture that dominated the Valley of Mexico in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Properly speaking, all the Nahua-speaking peoples in the Valley of Mexico were Aztecs, while the culture that dominated the area was a tribe of the Mexica (pronounced “me-shee-ka”) called the Tenochca (“te-noch-ka”). At the time of the European conquest, they called themselves either “Tenochca” or “Toltec,” which was the name assumed by the bearers of the Classic Mesoamerican culture. The earliest we know about the Mexica is that they migrated from the north into the Valley of Mexico as early as the twelfth century AD, well after the close of the Classic Period in Mesoamerica. They were a subject and abject people, forced to live on the worst lands in the valley. They adopted the cultural patterns (called Mixteca-Pueblo) that originated in the culture of Teotihuacán, so the urban culture they built in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries is essentially a continuation of Teotihuacán culture.

The peoples of Mesoamerica distinguished between two types of people: the Toltec (which means “craftsman”), who continued Classic urban culture, and the Chichimec, or wild people, who settled Mesoamerica from the north. The Mexica were, then, originally Chichimec when they migrated into Mexico, but eventually became Toltecs proper.

The history of the Tenochca is among the best preserved of the Mesoamericans. They date the beginning of their history to 1168 and their origins to an island in the middle of a lake north of the Valley of Mexico. Their god, Huitzilopochtli, commanded them on a journey to the south and they arrived in the Valley of Mexico in 1248. According to their history, the Tenochca were originally peaceful, but their Chichimec ways, especially their practice of human sacrifice, revolted other peoples who banded together and crushed their tribe. In 1300, the Tenochcas became vassals of the town of Culhuacan; some escaped to settle on an island in the middle of the lake. The town they founded was Tenochtitlan, or “place of the Tenochcas.”

A peice of Mayan Jade showing the high level of artistry achieved by mesoamerican craftsmen.

Relations between the Tenochcas and Culhuacan became bitter after the Tenochcas sacrificed a daughter of the king of Culhuacan; so enraged were the Culhuacans that they drove all the Tenochcas from the mainland to the island. There, the Tenochcas who had lived in Culhuacan taught urban culture and architecture to the peoples on the island and the Tenochcas began to build a city. The city of Tenochtitlan is founded, then, sometime between 1300 and 1375.

The Tenochcas slowly became more powerful and militarily more skilled, so much so that they became allies of choice in the constant conflicts between the various peoples of the area. The Tenochcas finally won their freedom under Itzacoatl (1428-1440), and they began to build their city, Tenochtitlan, with great fervor. Under Itzacoatl, they built temples, roads, a causeway linking the city to the mainland, and they established their government and religious hierarchy. Itzacoatl and the chief who followed him Mocteuzma I (1440-1469) undertook wars of conquest throughout the Valley of Mexico and the southern regions of Vera Cruz, Guerrero, and Puebla. As a result, Tenochtitlan grew dramatically: not only did the city increase in size, precipitating the need for an aqueduct system to bring water from the mainland, it grew culturally as well as the Tenochcas assimilated the gods of the region into their religion.

A succession of kings followed Mocteuzma I until the accession of Mocteuzma II in 1502; despite a half century of successful growth and conquest, Tenochca culture and society began to suffer disasters under Mocteuzma II. First, tribute peoples began to revolt all over the conquered territories and it is highly likely that Tenochca influence would eventually have declined by the middle of the sixteenth century. Most importantly, the reign of Mocteuzma II was interrupted by the invasion of the Spaniards under Cortez in 1519-1522.