Chinese History/Others


In Chinese architecture the visual impact of the width of the buildings was very important but the most important is the emphasis on the horizontal axis.

The projected hierarchy and importance and uses of buildings in traditional Chinese architecture are based on placement of buildings in a property/complex buildings with doors facing the front of the property are considered more important than those faces the sides.

For the commoners their houses tended to follow a set pattern: the centre of the building would be a shrine for the deities and the ancestors, which would also be used during festivities. On its two sides were bedrooms for the elders; the two wings of the building were for the junior members of the family, as well as the living room, the dining room, and the kitchen, although sometimes the living room could be very close to the centre.

Certain architectural features that were reserved solely for buildings built for the Emperor of China one example is the use of yellow roof tiles yellow having been the Imperial colour, yellow roof tiles still adorn most of the buildings within the Forbidden City. Only the Temple of Heaven, however, uses blue roof tiles to symbolize the sky

Buddhist architecture follows the imperial style. A large Buddhist monastery normally has a front hall, housing the statue of a Bodhisattva, followed by a great hall, housing the statues of the Buddhas. Accommodations for the monks and the nuns are located at the two sides. Some of greatest examples of this come from the 18th century temples of the Puning Temple and the Putuo Zongcheng Temple. Buddhist monasteries sometimes also have pagodas, which may house the relics of the Gautama Buddha; older pagodas tend to be four-sided, while later pagodas usually have eight-sides.

Vegetarianism is not uncommon or unusual in China, though, as is the case in the West, it is only practiced by a relatively small proportion of the population. The Chinese vegetarians do not eat a lot of tofu. Most Chinese vegetarians are Buddhists, following the Buddhist teachings about minimizing suffering. Chinese vegetarian dishes often contain large varieties of vegetables (e.g. bok Choy, shiitake mushroom, sprouts, corn) and some imitation meat.

Pork is generally preferred over beef in Chinese cuisine due to economic and aesthetic reasons; the pig is easy to feed and is not used for labor, and is so closely tied with the idea of domesticity that the character for "home" depicts a pig under a roof ("家" for home is made of "宀" for roof and "豕" for pig).

In most dishes in Chinese cuisine, food is prepared in bite-sized pieces (e.g., vegetable, meat, doufu), ready for direct picking up and eating. Traditionally, Chinese culture considered using knives and forks at the table barbaric due to fact that these implements are regarded as weapons. It was also considered ungracious to have guests work at cutting their own food. Fish are usually cooked and served whole, with diners directly pulling pieces from the fish with chopsticks to eat, unlike in some other cuisines where they are first filleted.