Chinese and Indian Cultures

Essay by sesslerA+, February 2005

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Chinese and Indian Cultures

China and India have had close connections for many centuries. Similarities and differences can be found in many of their cultural aspects. Both India and China flourished as river cultures in regions surrounded by mountains. They relied heavily on agriculture which was supported by the rich soils of the river basins. (Witt, et al., 2001, p.443) Looking at the areas of religion and philosophy, architecture, and music, will bring to light some of those aspects and the reasons behind them.

Religion and philosophy

The main religions in India are Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. Hinduism and Buddhism originated in India. Because the beliefs, gods, rituals and practices are so abundant, it is impossible to explain Hinduism. The label of Hindu was given to any native Indian who was not considered Christian or Muslim. The basic concepts of Hinduism are dharma, reincarnation, nirvana, yoga, and karma. Buddhism was founded by Siddartha Gautama. He was a Hindu who revolted against certain Hindu aspects. (Witt, et al., 2001, p.446-448) Gautama Buddha taught the four noble truths: that there is suffering, that suffering has a cause, that suffering has an end and that there is a path that leads to the end of suffering. (Anonymous. n. d.)

Both Daoism and Confucianism originated in China at about the same time, around the sixth century B.C. China's third great religion, Buddhism, came to China from India. Together, these three faiths have shaped Chinese life and thought for nearly twenty-five hundred years. Confucianism stressed temperament, character and behavior of gentlemen. Daoism focused on health, balance, beauty, and enjoyment in the world. One dominate concept in Buddhism is the belief in some form of reincarnation. The idea that life does not end when one dies is an integral part of this religion and the...