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Old September 19th, 2012, 02:36 PM   #1
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Continuity of civilization and Chinese identity

i summed up my feelings about chinese identity and continuity issues in another thread.


Hansaram, i would like any evidence of a unified ethnic group throughout the korean peninsula and manchuria all calling themselves "hanguk" or "joseon" people. Also evidence for a unified liturgical language like classical chinese...a unified foundation myth with one single founder for every group on the peninsula and in manchuria - china already had the yellow emperor as the founder, and the xia, shang, zhou, qin, han, wei emeprors claim descent from him. Whether you believe it or not, it indicates that they all thought of themselves as originating from a common source and culture.

This is why i disagree with people claiming yuan and qing are chinese because they don't claim to be descended from yellow emperor and don't claim to e a part of the same "source", but is shows even before chinese began to call themselves "han"- they all thought of themselves as the yellow emperor's people.

Alot of ordinary chinese even viewed this as not just metaphorical, but physical as well, explaining literally all chinese surname etymologies as derived from the yellow emperor's sons, and making family trees with him as their ancestor. These family trees were all made before the modern era, before the fall of the Qing and the introduction of modern chinese nationalism, so you can't ascribe it to copying of western nationalist ethos. If you think the family trees are fake, thats another story.

If you have the same evidence proving that all the tungusic peoples and the peoples of the korean peninsula viewed themselves the same way you should show it.
The "liturgical language"(not exactly religious in china's case), classical chinese, known in chinese as wenyan, has been fairly constant from the early zhou dynasty, it evolved from thr shang dynasty old chinese language,

Note i am NOT talking about script, thats a completely separate issue. You can use chinese script to write japanese, but the language and grammar are completely different, and all modern dialects of chinese, mandarin, cantonese, shanghainese, xiang, gan, hakka, min, are written differently in chinese characters where the grammar and vocabulary is different.

Classical chinese is the ancient chinese language in an extremely literary concise style. It can be pronounced using any chinese dialect, or using the various japanese readings of chinese characters, or the sino vietnamese or sino korean readings.

Classical chinese was used to write all official documents and high literature until the communists took over. They changed it to vernacular, and since standard mandarin s the vernacular, thats why modern chinese is written in mandarin. Novels and plays were written in vernacular in the imperial era.

Alot of chinese dynasties claimed direct descent from the yellow emperor in the agnatic line, so did alot of ordinary Chinese. There was a memorial to the Emperor written by the anti buddhist confucian scholar Han Yu during the Tang dynasty who hailed the time of the three sovereigns and five emperors, including the first of the five emperors, huangdi, as the epitome of chinese civilization, in contrast to buddhism, which he attacked as barbarian and foreign.

Its the identity of being descended from the yellow emperor, and the liturgical language and literature of classical chinese which defines chinese civilization, the idea of mandate of heaven.
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