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Chinese Culture and the Cultural Diversity WithinResearch Paper

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Chinese Cultural Diversities

Culture hugely influences knowledge attainment. Due to differences in culture, it is normal to find diverse styles of learning from different parts of the world. The Chinese culture is unique in its diversity, customs, and communal nature. In such a scenario, any approach that would lead to disharmony would mean a loss to all. As such, the Chinese have a communal perspective of their environment, and they rely more on their social framework (Jian, 2009).

Beliefs, Values, and Practices of the Chinese Culture

Culture is regarded as a composite system comprising of three interconnected and fundamental pillars, i.e. social norms, values, and beliefs. The norms structure is made up of the practical and implicit knowledge. The belief structure is a concise, technical aspect of knowledge. The values structure is made up of defined implicit or explicit ideas that are mutually appropriate and desirable for a group of individuals. Culture refers to social or group knowledge. As such, the value structures of a culture mirror the fundamental aspects of knowledge (Baiyin Yang, 2006).

The primary aim of the Chinese culture is social harmony. The Chinese customary culture stands out due to its communal approach. In such a culture, the individual is not as important as the supposed 'collective good'. The belief of the Chinese people is that humans basically believe that the human nature is fundamentally good, or that it can be changed. From a holistic theory of knowledge and learning perspective, the value system is different from the belief system, since the latter focuses on importance or priority, while the former makes up what is true in life. These two terminologies are commonly applied interchangeably, but it is crucial that they are differentiated as serving different aspects in culture (Baiyin Yang, 2006).

Human beings need to rely on some basic ideologies as guiding principles in their lives. As such, the belief system has some fundamental assumptions about the human being and the natural world at large. Whereas the value system defines the priorities of a person or a group, the belief system focuses on the perceptions of the natural world and human nature, which cannot be tested easily (Baiyin Yang, 2006).

Healthcare Activities

The stereotype of Chinese-Americans would imply a people that avoid seeking help from people that are not part of their immediate family, especially in reference to psychological issues. It has been found that Chinese-Americans with health insurance are more likely to go for formal health care. The Chinese cultural standards of face saving and respect many times influence the assumption that it's up to the patient to seek health care and get any information related to their health. This is due to the view that the Chinese culture permeates the patient's relationship with the doctor to an understanding that constrains inquiry or contradiction (Muse, 2007).Chinese Cultural know-how should not be assumed as just the study of Chinese cultures, Confucian values, and Yin Yang philosophy. It is a study of intricate past historical events that have resulted in a hybrid approach to healthcare and healing practices. The Chinese people's attitude towards the use of "western" and 'Chinese" remedies developed in the past 150 years in the light of imperialism, and currently, it hugely influences access to healthcare and behaviors associated with seeking healthcare. Historically, the Chinese did not have both the community health center and the hospital. This is important as it shows the health of the people under study, their cultural beliefs of use and integration of systems (Muse, 2007).

Dietary and Religious Practice Characteristics of the Chinese Culture

The Chinese religious practices and beliefs make up a system that is neither collective nor organized. Unlike other regions, the Chinese religion has no headquarters, denominations, leadership or even a founder. The religious practices merely comprise of various complex yet influential philosophical and religious interactions amongst the Chinese people. The Chinese religion comprise of the Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, and the Chinese folk religious traditions. Although Buddhism and Taoism basically influence the Chinese practices and rituals, they are mainly based on the other two types of traditions with ancient roots. The Chinese religious practices deeply rooted in their culture mainly comprise of ancestral worships, prayers, longevity and divination. The Chinese believe in the continual existence of their dead family members, and thus take part in various rituals (ancestral worship) that they believe have the power to influence the fortune of the living dead. The Chinese Taoism and Buddhism prayers comprise of religious rituals performed daily, such as daily prayers accompanied by offerings, and reciting of the mu-yu (a monastic prayer) at night, noon and in the morning. The Chinese believe in life after death and immortality. Various rituals are practiced to help one attain immortality or longevity, a practice that dates back to the early centuries. The Chinese people are known for their love of prophecy, divination and even astrology. This is a practice they have done even before the 3rd century BCE ("Chinese Religious Practices," n.d.)

The Chinese culture is based on a belief that the world is composed of both positive and negative energy that have the power to influence an individual's health. Negative energy is known as 'Yin', whereas positive energy is dubbed 'Yang'. In order to be healthy, an individual must consume both the 'Yang' and 'Ying' in balanced amounts. Otherwise, they are bound to face disease and conflict in their lives. However, there are certain elements that can be categorized as both a 'Yin' and a 'Yang'. The Chinese have balanced their energies for thousands of years, as a way of eating and living healthily. In fact, it is not just the Chinese dietary practices that are based on this principle, but also political, social and medical practices. The Chinese relate unbalanced dietary intake to various illnesses. What's important in a Chinese dish is its flavor and freshness. Although vegetables and fresh fruits make part of the Chinese daily meals, small portions of meat are only used to flavor the dish. Carbohydrates like noodles, rice and burns also make up their diet. When weak, the Chinese seek the help of a traditional herbalist who offers them special soups and herbs to help replenish their energy levels, and thus health. Herbal tea also plays an integral part in the Chinese dietary practices as part of their rich culture (Roberts, 1999).

Child-bearing and the Parenting Practice Characteristics of the Chinese Culture

Chinese parenting is frequently misportrayed as being strict. However, according to a well-known saying, "Every coin has two sides" (Jian, 2009). The casual interferences of parents regarding the behaviors of their children are vital in establishing their discipline techniques. Minimal degrees of parental perspective-taking capability as well as child development awareness have been positively associated with support of strict Chinese parenting practices. The authoritative outlooks of the Chinese mothers were positively related to minimal power of parenting techniques, and negatively with maximum power of such techniques, while the authoritarian outlooks revealed the opposite pattern of relationship (Yuen, 2011).

Effects of the Chinese Culture on the Child-bearing Family during Pregnancy, Childbirth and Postpartum Periods

A developing multicultural people is a tough challenge for healthcare practitioners who provide healthcare for people with diverse life beliefs, notions, life experiences, belief systems, languages, and religions (Lori Wiener, 2012).

Most of the women looked to traditional Chinese pregnancy restrictions so as to protect their unborn from any dangers, and to avoid complications related to pregnancy and child birth, e.g. miscarriages, mother's death, stillbirths, and abnormalities in the newborn. The women who opted for cultural behaviors were prone to poor physical health. There was no major difference between perceived Stress Scale scores and pregnancy restrictions (Lau, 2012).

The Chinese have traditional pregnancy restrictions that are aimed at protecting the child from "maligned influences" and to prevent other complications that come with pregnancy and child birth (Ip, 2009). The fundamental ideals of these restrictions are derived from Yin and Yang in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM); this is a highly esteemed medical system knowledge in China from 2000 BC. A study unearthed that due to traditional Chinese practices in the perinatal period, there may have been a positive impact on women's health-related quality of life, however, an extended application of these practices may later have had a negative impact. Therefore, the impact of pregnancy restrictions on health related quality of life is ambivalent (Lau, 2012).

In China, the Zuo Yuezi is the postpartum month that is linked with several traditional practices and beliefs. Customarily, women remained at home during this time. The Zuo Yuezi was practiced in both rural and urban families with the aim of getting the mother to recuperate and strengthen her health. Respect for tradition, and following elders' advice were the major reasons for people following these practices. Many of the Zuo Yuezi activities are beneficial, such as, eating foods rich in protein, feeding more, less housework, daily perineal and vulval hygiene. Some of the practices were potentially hazardous, e.g. avoiding dental health and giving honeysuckle herb.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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