How the Great Wall of China Affects Modern Chinese Culture
For centuries the Great Wall of China has been a potent symbol of China and its people. Strong and sturdy, the Great Wall is impregnable withstanding attacks from outside forces. Yet it has for centuries invited trespassers from all directions, including Mongols, Manchus and other nomadic tribes who have invaded China at various points in history. But most famous are the countless Chinese who, by fleeing to the wall for protection, were forced to leave their ancient way of life behind them.
As a result, the Great Wall was to become known as “the only home of Man in this world”. The grandiose architecture of the wall has also been used as a model for other buildings, such as Beijing’s National Stadium and the Beijing subway system. The Great Wall is thus one of China’s most famous cultural assets, and is seen every summer by millions of tourists from all over the world. Still, the Great Wall is a symbol of many things: of China’s past, its present and its future.
Romanian Nomadic Peoples: Their Culture and Their Role in Developing Eastern Europe
Cultural influences from the outside world, through trade and colonization, have shaped myriad aspects of Asian society. In China, for example, foreign cultural elements from the West have gradually transformed traditional Chinese culture. Over the last 200 years, Chinese art and literature have been influenced by Western styles, adding to the great diversity that exists in contemporary Chinese culture.Another part of China affected by external cultural influences is today’s Romania. The Romanian people have a significant presence in today’s Mongolia and in many parts of Eastern Europe thanks to nomadic tribes that migrated to those areas during medieval times. Following a process of acculturation, they adopted many elements from the cultures they encountered while moving from place to place, altering their traditional culture accordingly. This article explores the role of Romanian nomads in the history of Eastern Europe and their significant contribution to shaping this region’s culture.
The Romanian people are a North-European ethnic group which, following a process of acculturation, adapted many aspects of an East Asian culture during medieval times. They were considered for centuries as a part of the Mongolian empire, but became an independent state in 1877, marking the beginning of Romania’s modern history. Their first kings relied on the army in protecting their state. Military leaders, such as Alexandru Ioan Cuza and Carol I, were employed to fight against Ottoman Turkey. Military leaders further promoted the Romanian society and gave it much historical importance. However, a successful Romanian monarchy wasn’t achieved until the late 1800s when King Carol I was appointed as Prince Regent of Wallachia (present-day Romania’s Moldavian region), by general Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary. A few years later, in 1881, Carol I was appointed as Prince of Romania. His political views and respect toward the Romanian people gave him a generous contribution to the development of the country and its modern music, literature, architecture and education (Centrul Cultural Roman).
The Rape of Nanjing in 1937
Early in the morning of November 30, 1937, at 4:40 a.m., the Japanese Imperial Army began its shelling of Nanjing—the capital city of China at that time and today the capital city of Jiangsu Province. The battle lasted for four days, and a large number of citizens lost their lives. Though Nanjing was eventually conquered by Japan and the Chinese government relocated to Chungking (today’s Chongqing), the war continued on and off for eight years. In 1939, Japan invaded China with a force of one million soldiers and in just six weeks conquered the entire country. After twenty-two years of Japanese occupation, China finally regained its sovereignty in October 1949. During the eight years of war, Nanjing was bombed by a total of 168,000 aerial bombs and more than 130 million rounds of artillery shells were fired at it. The only thing left standing in the city were three walls that had been built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).