SOCIETY AND CULTURE OF THE PEOPLE OF CHINA
The CHINESE historian Tan Un Shan in his book on the Modern History of CHINA has divided the entire CHINESE society caste-wise into six types known as Tsu/Chu. They are as follows : 1. HAN TSU ; 2. MIAO TSU ; 3. MAN TSU or MANCHU ; 4. MANG TSU or MANGOL ; 5. HUE TSU or TURK MUSLIMS ; 6. TANG TSU or TIBBATIS . Among all these , the population of HAN TSU was very high in the ancient CHINA and even today . The population of MIAO TSU was very small as the most of them have already assimilated themselves into the HAN community . A few, who still survive , live in the south-west mountains of CHINA . MAN TSU used to live previously in MANCHURIA but they also have been altogether assimilated themselves in the HAN TSU community as such . Similar is the story of the MANG TSU community . They also have been assimilated into the majority community i.e the HAN TSU . Though previously they were MONGOL , yet they are little in number still isolated . So are the cases of rest two TSU i.e HUE TSU & TANG TSU . If any of them still lives in CHINA anywhere , keeps their identity isolated . They are scattered and a few in numbers .
To Tan Un Shan the CHINESE society was divided into three parts on the basis of three different social phenomenon : 1. ON THE BASIS OF CLANS ; 2. ON THE BASIS OF PLACES ; 3. ON THE BASIS OF PROFESSION.
1. ON THE BASIS OF CLANS : The people of CHINA used to worship the founder of their own CLANS . That’s why they had an extreme feelings of the CLAN affiliations . Every CLAN was part of the society , and every CLAN had its own Temple called the THE TEMPLE OF CLAN . Again every CLAN was divided into FAMILIES and each FAMILY has its own separate FAMILY TEMPLE . Generally , at the district level one could see THE TEMPLE OF CLAN and at the village level one could find THE TEMPLE OF FAMILY. The oldest man of the CLAN was the head of the CLAN . And a committee duly elected by the members of that CLAN used to have responsibilities of the management of that CLAN TEMPLE . The members of the CLAN used to visit the TEMPLE OF THE CLAN to commemorate their ancestors , especially the CHIEF OF THEIR CLAN . Secondly the said temple was also used as a place of disputes settlement as such . Any rift within the CLAN was settled there amicably . And if the dispute remained unsettled , then only people used to go to the Government Agencies for such statements as such . Every CLAN used to preserve its ancestral history by writing it chronologically . Every statistics of birth and death was well recorded in the Register of the CLAN TEMPLE .
2. ON THE BASIS OF PLACES : The people of CHINA , apart from their CLANS , had a very positive look for their villages and cities . Every village had TU-TI MIYAV ( LOCAL TEMPLE ) , SHEH-TYANG ( GRANARY OF THE VILLAGE ) and SHU-UYAN ( LOCAL GRAM SABHA ) . Like the Trade Guilds of Medieval ENGLAND , every industrial city of CHINA had a HUI-KUAN . Similarly , in every Village Temple , people not only worshiped their deity but used to donate some of their excess crops ; so that that could be used in the time of scarcity and famine as such . GENERAL MEETING ( CENERAL ASSEMBLY ) of the village used to maintain the buildings of the Temple . Personal disputes of the people of the village were also resolved there . Like the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the village , there happened to be a GENERAL ASSEMBLY at the district level where representatives of the villages used to take part to resolve the problems of the people of the districts . Similarly , every province used to have a GENERAL ASSEMBLY , which was constituted by the representatives of the people of the districts and seemed to have an ample power in taking decisions of importance of that province as such . Moreover , these GENERAL ASSEMBLIES had huge properties of their own . Here one should know that even in the ancient INDIA there existed organizations like SHABHA and SAMITI which had crucial role to play in the decision making at the local level .
3. ON THE BASIS OF PROFESSION : The Guilds of Artisans and Traders were quite old in CHINA . These Guilds were called HAANG . TUNG-HAANG was name of one type of professional . Like association of Silk Traders was one TUNG-HAANG . Similarly , there existed many TUNG-HANG numbering about three hundreds of different professions . And centre of every HAANG was either in the districts or in the provinces as such . Each and every HAANG had a huge fund of their own . They had their own elected executive committees . And the meetings of the GENERAL COMMITTEE of the HAANG were called on twice in a year — the first in the season of SPRING and the second during the season of AUTUMN . In those meetings representatives of the HAANG used to discuss their problems coming on the way of their professions and how to tackle those problems . Similarly , each and every HAANG had their own personal deity who was considered as the first organizer/promoter of that particular profession as such . They used to pray that deity with pious heart wishing to get blessings from it to get prosperity in their own profession in days to come as such .
NOTE : THE SOURCES OF THE BLOG ARE TEXT BOOKS AND OTHER WRITTEN MATERIALS ON THE SUBJECT .
TO BE CONTINUED ………………….