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The awareness on various traditions of India and China is of great importance in understanding the modern society of both nations. This involves understanding the nation's diversity, depth of culture, and spirituality. Although the Western culture has highly influenced modern China and India, the past traditions of these two countries still play a major a role in their society. Apparently, the depth of culture in China and India contrasts with the nation's newness in their present form. There has been over 5000 years of cultural and philosophical development in these countries. Major religions such as Buddhist, Islamic, Hindu, Sikh, Christianity, and other influences have left intense imprints on society (Buultjens 2008).
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Every Indian and Chinese, even the poorest and illiterate easily tell stories of history and myth, a consciousness of vast civilization heritage which is uncommonly widespread. Moreover, the development of China and India must be understood in the perspective of trying to impose a nationalized framework on old patterns of culture and tradition. Hinduism is one of the major religions practiced in traditional India and has continued to influence the Indian culture up-to-date. The traditional cast system in India is highly practised in modern India especially by the rural poor who form a larger group of India's population (Menon 65). On the other hand, China's old traditions such as Christmas customs and traditions, meditation, and Bamboo culture have a great influence on modern China. Thus, it's easier to understand the modern China and India if one knows the major traditions of these two countries.
In this regard, the traditions of China and India inform the perspectives of their citizens. Most people in China and India are brought up according to the culture and traditions of these nations. Thus, people's perspectives in almost all aspects of life are mainly based on their traditions. For instance, an Indian child is brought up knowing that they belong to a certain cast and therefore should not interactwith people who are outcasts or belong to casts that are perceived as cursed. In this sense, such a child will always hold the perception that they should only have friends from the right casts and this continues even when they are all grown up and ready to start their own families. The same perception is passed onto the next generation and it becomes the tradition of the existing society (Buultjens 2008). The same case applies to Chinese people who perceive certain aspects of life based on their traditions regardless of modernization.
According to Gluck (2005), it is a tradition in China for one to bow as a sign of greetings and respect. This is one of China's traditions that have survived over the years and have even formed the culture of modern China. Any other way of greetings is perceived as disrespectful and inappropriate. It would be correct to draw the conclusion that these perspectives shape the every day-to-day life of the Chinese and Indian people. Bowing, meditating, and taking tea forms part of the Chinese daily lifestyle whereas the cast system, dressing in saris among women, and arranged marriages shapes the everyday lives of Indian despite the consequences of modernization. In addition, most women in India take care of the home while their husbands go to work.
In reference to Buultjens (2008), to a certain extend the perspectives of the Indian and Chinese people shape national policies and economic activities. For instance, in India, most economic activities are based on the country's traditions which form the basis of people's perspectives. Economic activities such as slaughtering and selling animal meat are not practical in India because the people consider such an act as a sin against the gods. Other activities such as selling Western clothes and imported food stuffs are unheard of in the Indian market. According to Menon (2006), the people's perspectives highly influence national policies such as education national policy, women empowerment policies, transport policies, people with disabilities policies, and other national policies (68). Indians perceive women as lesser beings compared to men and therefore it becomes very difficult for the Indian government to implement and promote women empowerment policies that is meant to give them equal rights with men (Menon 68).
A similar case applies to the education's national policy that has aims to provide quality education to both men and women since the Indian society believes that a woman doesn't require education but needs to learn how to become a better home keeper. On the other hand, the perceptions of the Chinese people also influence the economic activities and national policies of China. Just like in India, women in ancient China did not hold any positions of power since they were considered as only useful for marriage. To a certain extend, this perception is still held by the Chinese people and therefore the Chinese government finds it difficult to successfully promote the national policy on women empowerment (Goldman and Lee 4). The Chinese people are more open minded when it comes to interacting with different tribes and races of the world and this has highly contributed to the rapid economic growth in China.
Goldman and Lee (2002) argues that presently, manufacturing is the leading economic activity in China and this aspect has been shaped by the fact that Chinese people have been active in production since the ancient times when they made Bamboo carvings (32). However, the perceptions of Indians and Chinese greatly affect the countries relations with the global community. Taking into consideration that people's perceptions influence national policies and economic activities, they are also likely to affect global relations. Countries that readily accept the culture and customs of other nations are likely to establish better global relations (Goldman and Lee 38). Lastly, from this study, it may be learnt that the traditions and customs of ancient India and China form the basis of the two nation's modern culture and people's perception on various aspects of life.
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