Beijing in glance
To equate Beijing and New York, Beijing only needs 100 years. While New York needs at least 2000 years. --- Bill Clinton, the former US president.
On the earth human's most magnificent single project may be the Beijing City which designed as domicile of emperor to release this place is the universal center. The whole city is deeply immersed in the criteria of ceremony and rituals. Its remarkable and miraculous graphics Design presents us abundant ideas and enlightenments for current urban construction. --- said by an authorized American architect.
As a world wonder, the whole graphics design of Beijing City is symmetrical and lucid. It is the eximious architecture and the peak of the great civilization. ---said a Danish architecture Expert.
There is no any other capital around the world are qualified to be the counterpart of this grand city.--- Marco Polo illustrated Beijing when it was the capital of Yuan Dynasty. Holding the 29th Olympics will surely make Beijing more impressive and famous as one world center of politics, culture, economy and education, other than its alluring landscapes, time-honored history, and essence of oriental civilization. --- a common foreign tourist.
In some way, Beijing is the best one to show the features of capital culture in China through its splendid architectures.The magnificent architectures built on hills or highlands remind people of the authority, richness, honor, and dignity as well as the capital culture which has been lasted for thousand years.
In China's history, roughly the ancient imperial capitals are located at the north of Huanghe River, such as Xian, Kaifeng, Luoyang and Beijing. Among those ancient imperial capitals, Beijing is unique and famous for its longest span of time as one imperial capital since it accepted as the southern capital of Liao Dynasty. In other words, Beijing could be regarded as the quintessence for researching on Chinese capital culture. As the national power center of China, Beijing is the representative of China's influence and the holy-land of worship. Tours of Beijing are mostly highlighting the traveling of the urban culture. The ancient places of interest like Imperial palace, Beihai Park, Summer Palace and The Temple of Heaven. The modern includes Tiananmen Square, the Great Hall of the People, and rite of raising the national flag and so on. All of the ancient and modern places of interest show the value and charm of capital culture. Therefore, outsiders who firstly visit Beijing will take some pictures on the Tiananmen Square and go around the Great Hall of the People, which usually is the symbol of homeland. Capital culture brings a lot of unique cultural phenomenon that only happens in Beijing.
As the capital of several dynasties, Beijing acted as the center of China's top authority and politics for a long time. The large amount of governmental departments or branches and embassies of other countries have released his special status. The great policies concerning national economy and the people's livelihood are issued from here. Diversity of information or news gathers here at home and abroad, even many bamboo telegraphs extends from here to the all directions. In this situation, the political sensitivity and political consciousness of Beijing are generally higher than peoples in other area. There is an interesting saying goes like this no matter what kind of words Beijing citizens dare to say; no matter what kind of things the citizens in the north eastern zone of China dare to do; no matter what kind of clothes shanghai citizens dare to wear and no matter what kind of food Cantonese dare to eat this saying indeed tells the different culture from one another. Beijing people dare to criticize the current affairs. They have the strong sense of political responsibility. People living around the Yangtze River usually talk about the family trifles and business. While Beijing people just talk about the affairs of state as they drink tea in the tea caf. However, it was risky in the past. Hence, when Lao She, who was a famous playwright and writer in China, was designing the set and scene of drama of Teahouse, a highlight was shown in details. There was a notice written in Chinese No National Affairs it is a good tradition for Beijing people having such an awareness of caring for current affairs, destiny and future of this country.
Beijing is also the center of China's science, technology and culture, which attract numerous elites and experts. There are 65 colleges or universities, as well as 388 national scientific research institutions. More than 100,000 well-educated graduates go towards the society. Roughly 80,000 people are engaging in the research on science and technology. 50% of academicians from Chinese Academy of Engineering and Chinese Academy of Sciences are gathering in Beijing. The amount of talented people is ranked first place in China. Beijing's children own the incomparable advantage of education. Thanks to the large number of the colleges or universities, the number of matriculates from the national college entrance examination is up to 70%. Moreover, the largest number of top-level management talents, doctors, masters and university graduates has Beijing be the center of Chinese human resources. What elses, Beijing also has the highest rate of popularization of compulsory education. It is a fact that high-quality Beijingers activities often show the superior culture tastes. They are ambitious, magnanimous, insightful and foresighted. Beijing is a typical consuming city. The national largest output in science, technology and culture straightforwardly fixes the cultural industry and hi-tech industry as the direction of Beijings economic development in the future.
As the center of dignitary and authority after Beijing succeeded in becoming the capital of China is one of capital cultural characteristics. The officialdom gradually extends to each corner of Beijing, even some average civilians are used to speak in bureaucratic tone. There is an old saying goes like this: the gatekeeper of premier is the official of the seventh grade, let alone the people in capital. You will be sure about what I illustrated if you see the style of Beijingers walking style and the style of how they say. The obvious release of Chinese traditional political culture is Beijingers arrogance and disdain for business and interest. Beijings service industry is widely-reputed for its bureaucratism. Beijingers like to do anything like an official.The customers taking commodities in store should have an obsequious smile at the salesmen, if they want to get those commodities. If you take bus, the conductor will be your leader. No matter how many people there, you have to jostle for taking tickets because his office-desk is always at the doorway. In most peoples opinion, no matter what they do, the priority is not earning money, while the grace and dignity were superior. Beijingers are indeed a little silly in the angle of Shanghai and Guangzhou peoples attitudes. Bureaucratism greatly brings the negative influence to Beijings culture. Another expression of Bureaucratic culture is splurge. Such a tradition roughly appeared in Qing Dynasty. Historically, Man Minority is thinking much of the family tree, because it is one of minorities has their own language. However, due to the division of the tribes, they did not have their own general history. Most of their historical records depend on the detailed records in their respective family trees. After they governed China, their disparity of policy led this hardworking people to the vested interest. They did not engage in handicraft and production. No matter who they are, only if they are from Man nationality, they will be entitled to exempt exorbitant taxes and levies, besides they could get considerable food and money. Unearned things led those people to loose their courage and industry. They were do-nothing, but they could show off their family tree to tell others their ancestors greatness, afterwards showing the family tree was becoming a tendency until the overturn of Qing Dynasty during the period of Xinhai Revolution. But its influence is still lasting in Beijingers life.
Beijingers attach importance to prestige which, to some extent, related with such a complex. Most of civilians are the descendents of the monarchs and authoritative officials, so they think if they do some ignominious activates, they would lose their ancestors faces. Beijingers often complaint the workers from other places deprive of their working opportunity. Mostly such a reaction comes from their misconceptions and these wrong conventions. Another expression of Beijings official culture is cunning and canniness. What they say is far more than what they do. They are pursuing for steadiness and smoothness when they engage in some works. Their words are totally perfect except their activities. The neutralization and mean could be summarized as their life-style. More national sectors, national enterprises and civil servants than other cities offer such an official culture the room to exist.
It is partially reasonable if we say Beijing owns the multi-culture. The amalgamation of the peoples gives Beijing a great heritage of cultural syncretism. In their daily life, many local words easily come from the northern nomadic minorities. What the nomadic custom changed is not only shown superficially in daily basic demands for survival such as clothes, food, house, and vehicle but also shown in the culture. Mostly they are assimilated by the Han nationality. Difference of Environment generally dominates the variety of culture. Once the grassland goes far away from the nomadic culture, such kind of culture will not exist and undoubtedly will be replaced by the agricultural culture. In a word, the core of the Beijing local culture is the peasant culture. Chinese agricultural people especially those who are neighboring to the nomadic ones gas the custom of building the wall like the great wall, the city walls of diversified towns and cities and courtyard of each family. Finally, the tradition of obturation and conservatism from agricultural culture appeared.
Beijing is also famous for its walls. The number of the wall sufficiently helps Beijing to be the first place in this aspect. Beijing city, initially established by the third emperor of Ming Dynasty, Zhu Di (1360-1424), has three-layer circumvallation. The most inside is the emperors palace named Forbidden City. It is used for emperors daily personal life. The second is the palace used for meetings or discussions on state affairs between the emperor and the officials or officers. The girth of the third wall is 20 km. the solid walls are extremely useful for block off the enemy while it also blocked the interpersonal relations and formed a close cultural consciousness. As the center of China, capital culture indeed represents the superior taste. This psychology caused the civilians arrogances and bighead and blocked the exchange and communication with exotic civilization. The reason why we call them Beijingers is that they are always living in the largest encircled city in China.
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