Exploring Ancient China
dainik bhaskar.com | Aug 24, 2012, 09:29AM IST
People Called Han
China is a land with high mountain ranges and huge sandy deserts in the north and the seas in the south. This isolated the Chinese from the rest of the world and they developed their own unique civilisation. It is a huge country, bigger than India, and has many races but the majority of the people belong to the tribe called Han. The Han settled in the fertile lands around the Yellow River about 12,000 years ago. Much more interesting is that they began to eat noodles; and instead of using spoons they were eating them using two sticks we call chopsticks and steaming up delicious plates of dim sum!
The Silk Road
In ancient times only the Chinese knew how to make silk and traders carried this precious textile along the oldest trade route in the world which is called Silk Road. At that time Silk was the most expensive textile in the world, only bought by the rich in Egypt and Rome.
The Terracotta Warriors
Like the Egyptians, the Chinese also believed in life after death. Looks like that tough old ‘First Emperor’ decided he would go on fighting battles in heaven and needed an army of soldiers. In 1974 farmers digging a well in a field in Xian discovered full size human figures of soldiers made of terracotta, baked clay beneath the earth.
Fun & Games
There were many festivals like the Chinese New Year and the birthdays of their gods and goddesses which they celebrated with food, music and fireworks. They loved playing board games and the oldest is a game that was first called Yi, and later Go. The board had a grid of seventeen squares and they used black and white counters and tried to encircle and capture the other player’s counters. Another popular Chinese game was mah jong played with rectangular tiles and is played even today.
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