Cantonese, or Standard Cantonese, is a variety of Chinese spoken in the city of Guangzhou in southeastern China. It is the prestige variety of Yue, one of the major subdivisions of Chinese. In mainland China, it is the lingua franca of the province of Guangdong and some neighbouring areas such as Guangxi. In Hong Kong and Macau, Cantonese serves as one of their official languages and it is spoken amongst overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia and throughout the Western World. When Cantonese and the closely related Yuehai dialects are classified together, Cantonese is viewed as vital part of the cultural identity for its native speakers across large swathes of southeastern China, Hong Kong and Macau. Although Cantonese shares some vocabulary with Mandarin, the two varieties are mutually unintelligible because of differences in pronunciation and lexicon, sentence structure, in particular the placement of verbs, sometimes differs between the two varieties. This results in the situation in which a Cantonese and a Mandarin text may look similar, in English, the term Cantonese is ambiguous.
Cantonese proper is the variety native to the city of Canton and this narrow sense may be specified as Canton language or Guangzhou language in English. However, Cantonese may refer to the branch of Cantonese that contains Cantonese proper as well as Taishanese and Gaoyang. In this article, Cantonese is used for Cantonese proper, speakers called this variety Canton speech or Guangzhou speech, although this term is now seldom used outside mainland China. In Guangdong province, people call it provincial capital speech or plain speech. In Hong Kong and Macau, as well as among overseas Chinese communities, in mainland China, the term Guangdong speech is increasingly being used among both native and non-native speakers. Due to its status as a prestige dialect among all the dialects of the Cantonese or Yue branch of Chinese varieties, the official languages of Hong Kong are Chinese and English, as defined in the Hong Kong Basic Law. The Chinese language has different varieties, of which Cantonese is one.
Given the traditional predominance of Cantonese within Hong Kong, it is the de facto official spoken form of the Chinese language used in the Hong Kong Government and all courts and it is used as the medium of instruction in schools, alongside English. A similar situation exists in neighboring Macau, where Chinese is an official language along with Portuguese. As in Hong Kong, Cantonese is the predominant spoken variety of Chinese used in life and is thus the official form of Chinese used in the government. The variant spoken in Hong Kong and Macau is known as Hong Kong Cantonese, Cantonese first developed around the port city of Guangzhou in the Pearl River Delta region of southeastern China
Warring States period
The Warring States Period derives its name from the Record of the Warring States, a work compiled early in the Han dynasty. The political geography of the era was dominated by the Seven Warring States, Qin, The State of Qin was in the far west, with its core in the Wei River Valley and Guanzhong. This geographical position offered protection from the states of the Central Plains, the Three Jins, Northeast of Qin, on the Shanxi plateau, were the three successor states of Jin. These were, south, along the Yellow River, the northernmost of the three. Qi, located in the east of China, centred on the Shandong Peninsula, described as east of Mount Tai, located in the south of China, with its core territory around the valleys of the Han River and, the Yangtze River. Yan, located in the northeast, centred on modern-day Beijing, late in the period Yan pushed northeast and began to occupy the Liaodong Peninsula Besides these seven major states, some minor states survived into the period. Yue, On the southeast coast near Shanghai was the State of Yue, Sichuan, In the far southwest were the States of Ba and Shu.
These were non-Zhou states that were conquered by Qin late in the period, in the Central Plains comprising much of modern-day Henan Province, many smaller city states survived as satellites of the larger states, though they were eventually to be absorbed as well. Zhongshan, Between the states of Zhao and Yan was the state of Zhongshan, the Spring and Autumn period was initiated by the eastward flight of the Zhou court. There is no one single incident or starting point for the Warring States era, some proposed starting points are as follows,481 BC, Proposed by Song-era historian Lü Zuqian, since it is the end of the Spring and Autumn Annals. 476–475 BC, The author, Sima Qian, of Records of the Grand Historian who chose the year of King Yuan of Zhou. 403 BC, The year when Han and Wei were officially recognised as states by the Zhou court, author Sima Guang of Zizhi Tongjian tells us that the symbol of eroded Zhou authority should be taken as the start of the Warring States era. The Spring and Autumn period led to a few states gaining power at the expense of many others, during the Warring States period, many rulers claimed the Mandate of Heaven to justify their conquest of other states and spread their influence.
Other major states existed, such as Wu and Yue in the southeast, the last decades of the Spring and Autumn era were marked by increased stability, as the result of peace negotiations between Jin and Chu which established their respective spheres of influence. This situation ended with the partition of Jin, whereby the state was divided between the houses of Han and Wei, and thus enabled the creation of the seven major warring states. This allowed other clans to gain fiefs and military authority, and decades of struggle led to the establishment of four major families. The Battle of Jinyang saw the allied Han and Wei destroy the Zhi family, with this, they became the de facto rulers of most of Jins territory, though this situation would not be officially recognised until half a century later. The Jin division created a vacuum that enabled during the first 50 years expansion of Chu and Yue northward
Zhejiang Provincial Museum
The Zhejiang Provincial Museum is a major museum of Chinese art in Hangzhou, China. It was established in 1929 as the West Lake Museum, located on the Gushan Island in the West Lake and it houses over 100,000 items in its permanent collection. On 22 December 2009, a new building was inaugurated on the West Lake Cultural Square near the Wulin Square and it has 7,600 square metres of display space, twice as much as the Gushan building. List of museums in China Official website
Pinyin, or Hànyǔ Pīnyīn, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China, Malaysia and Taiwan. It is often used to teach Standard Chinese, which is written using Chinese characters. The system includes four diacritics denoting tones, Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, and in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters. The pinyin system was developed in the 1950s by many linguists, including Zhou Youguang and it was published by the Chinese government in 1958 and revised several times. The International Organization for Standardization adopted pinyin as a standard in 1982. The system was adopted as the standard in Taiwan in 2009. The word Hànyǔ means the language of the Han people. In 1605, the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci published Xizi Qiji in Beijing and this was the first book to use the Roman alphabet to write the Chinese language. Twenty years later, another Jesuit in China, Nicolas Trigault, neither book had much immediate impact on the way in which Chinese thought about their writing system, and the romanizations they described were intended more for Westerners than for the Chinese.
One of the earliest Chinese thinkers to relate Western alphabets to Chinese was late Ming to early Qing Dynasty scholar-official, the first late Qing reformer to propose that China adopt a system of spelling was Song Shu. A student of the great scholars Yu Yue and Zhang Taiyan, Song had been to Japan and observed the effect of the kana syllabaries. This galvanized him into activity on a number of fronts, one of the most important being reform of the script, while Song did not himself actually create a system for spelling Sinitic languages, his discussion proved fertile and led to a proliferation of schemes for phonetic scripts. The Wade–Giles system was produced by Thomas Wade in 1859, and it was popular and used in English-language publications outside China until 1979. This Sin Wenz or New Writing was much more sophisticated than earlier alphabets. In 1940, several members attended a Border Region Sin Wenz Society convention. Mao Zedong and Zhu De, head of the army, both contributed their calligraphy for the masthead of the Sin Wenz Societys new journal.
Outside the CCP, other prominent supporters included Sun Yat-sens son, Sun Fo, Cai Yuanpei, the countrys most prestigious educator, Tao Xingzhi, an educational reformer. Over thirty journals soon appeared written in Sin Wenz, plus large numbers of translations, some contemporary Chinese literature, and a spectrum of textbooks
Sword of Goujian
The Sword of Goujian is an archaeological artifact of the Spring and Autumn period found in 1965 in Hubei, China. Forged of copper and tin, it is renowned for its unusual sharpness and this historical artifact of ancient China is currently in the possession of the Hubei Provincial Museum. The dig started in the middle of October 1965 and ended in January 1966, more than 2,000 artifacts were recovered from the sites, including a bronze sword. In December 1965,7 kilometres from the ruins of Jinan, an ancient capital of Chu, inside, an ornate bronze sword was found with a human skeleton. The sword was found sheathed in a wooden scabbard finished in black lacquer, the scabbard had an almost air-tight fit with the sword body. Unsheathing the sword revealed an untarnished blade, despite the tomb being soaked in water for over 2,000 years. On one side of the blade, two columns of text are visible, eight characters are written in an ancient script which was found to be one known as Bird-worm seal script, a variant of seal script.
Initial analysis of the text deciphered six of the characters, King of Yue, the remaining two characters were probably the name of this King of Yue. From the swords origin in 510 BC to its demise at the hands of Chu in 334 BC, nine kings ruled Yue, including Goujian, Lu Cheng, Bu Shou, Zhu Gou, the identity of this king sparked debate among archeologists and Chinese language scholars. The discussion was carried out mostly in letters, and it involved famous scholars such as Guo Moruo. After more than two months, the experts started to form a consensus that the owner of the sword was Goujian. The sword of Goujian is 55.6 centimetres in length, including an 8.4 centimetres hilt, in addition to the repeating dark rhombi pattern on both sides of the blade, there are decorations of blue crystals and turquoise. The grip of the sword is bound by silk, while the pommel is composed of concentric circles. The Sword of Goujian still has a blade and shows no signs of tarnish. To understand why, scientists at Fudan University and CAS used modern equipment to determine the composition of the sword.
It is likely that the composition, along with the almost air-tight scabbard. Spear of Fuchai, the used by Goujians arch-rival, King Fuchai of Wu Sina. coms collection of stories Sword of Goujian
Spring and Autumn period
The Spring and Autumn period was a period in Chinese history from approximately 771 to 476 BC which corresponds roughly to the first half of the Eastern Zhou dynasty. The periods name derives from the Spring and Autumn Annals, a chronicle of the state of Lu between 722 and 479 BC, which associates with Confucius. The gradual Partition of Jin, one of the most powerful states, marked the end of the Spring and Autumn period, in 771 BC, the Quanrong invasion destroyed the Western Zhou and its capital Haojing, forcing the Zhou king to flee to the eastern capital Luoyi. The event ushered in the Eastern Zhou dynasty, which is divided into the Spring and Autumn, during the Spring and Autumn period, Chinas feudal system of fengjian became largely irrelevant. The Zhou court, having lost its homeland in the Guanzhong region, held nominal power, during the early part of the Zhou dynasty period, royal relatives and generals had been given control over fiefdoms in an effort to maintain Zhou authority over vast territory.
As the power of the Zhou kings waned, these became increasingly independent states. The most important states came together in regular conferences where they decided important matters, during these conferences one vassal ruler was sometimes declared hegemon. As the era continued and more powerful states annexed or claimed suzerainty over smaller ones, by the 6th century BC most small states had disappeared and just a few large and powerful principalities dominated China. Some southern states, such as Chu and Wu, claimed independence from the Zhou, in Chengzhou, Prince Yijiu was crowned by his supporters as King Ping. The Zhou court would never regain its authority, instead. Though the king de jure retained the Mandate of Heaven, the title held little actual power, a total of 148 states are mentioned in the chronicles for this period,128 of which were absorbed by the four largest states by the end of the period. The kings prestige legitimized the military leaders of the states, over the next two centuries, the four most powerful states—Qin, Jin, Qi and Chu—struggled for power.
These multi-city states often used the pretext of aid and protection to intervene, during this rapid expansion, interstate relations alternated between low-level warfare and complex diplomacy. Duke Yin of Lu ascended the throne in 722 BC, from this year on the state of Lu kept an official chronicle, the Spring and Autumn Annals, which along with its commentaries is the standard source for the Spring and Autumn period. Corresponding chronicles are known to have existed in states as well. In 717 BC, Duke Zhuang of Zheng went to the capital for an audience with King Huan, during the encounter the duke felt he was not treated with the respect and etiquette which would have been appropriate, given that Zheng was now the chief protector of the capital. In 715 BC Zheng became involved in a dispute with Lu regarding the Fields of Xu. The fields had been put in the care of Lu by the king for the purpose of producing royal sacrifices for the sacred Mount Tai
The Baiyue, Hundred Yue or Yue were various partly or un-Sinicized peoples who inhabited South China and northern Vietnam between the first millennium BC and the first millennium AD. In the Warring States period, the word Yue referred to the State of Yue in Zhejiang, the kingdoms of Minyue in Fujian and Nanyue in Guangdong are both considered Yue states. The Yue were assimilated or displaced as Chinese civilization expanded into southern China in the first half of the first millennium AD, many southern varieties of Chinese bear traces of substrate languages originally spoken by the Yue. Variations of the name are used in the name of Vietnam, in Zhejiang-related names including Yue Opera. The modern term Yue comes from Old Chinese *wjat and it was first written using the pictograph 戉 for an axe, in oracle bone and bronze inscriptions of the late Shang dynasty, and as 越. At that time it referred to a people or chieftain to the northwest of the Shang, in the early 8th century BC, a tribe on the middle Yangtze were called the Yángyuè, a term used for peoples further south.
Between the 7th and 4th centuries BC Yue referred to the State of Yue in the lower Yangtze basin, the term Hundred Yue first appears in the book Lüshi Chunqiu compiled around 239 BC. It was used as a term for the non-Chinese populations of south and southwest China. Ancient texts mention a number of Yue states or groups, by the 3rd millennium BC, the successor Liangzhu culture shows some influence from the Longshan-era cultures due to trade and commerce. However, a frequency of O1 was found in Liangzhu culture sites, linking it to modern Austronesian. From the 9th century BC, two northern Yue peoples, the Gou-Wu and Yu-Yue, were influenced by their Chinese neighbours to their north. These two states were based in the areas of what is now southern Jiangsu and northern Zhejiang respectively and their aristocratic elite learned the written Chinese language and adopted Chinese political institutions and military technology. Traditional accounts attribute the change to Taibo of Wu, a Zhou prince who had self-exiled to the south.
The marshy lands of the south gave Gou-Wu and Yu-Yue unique characteristics and they did not engage in extensive agrarian agriculture, relying instead more heavily on aquaculture. Water transport was paramount in the south, so the two states became advanced in shipbuilding and developed riverine warfare technology and they were known for their fine swords. In the Spring and Autumn period, the two states, now called Wu and Yue, were becoming involved in Chinese politics. According to the Han historian Sima Qian, King Goujian of Yue was descended from the legendary Yu the Great, in 512 BC, Wu launched a large expedition against the large state of Chu, based in the Middle Yangtze River. A similar campaign in 506 succeeded in sacking the Chu capital Ying, in that year, war broke out between Wu and Yue and continued with breaks for the next three decades
Goujian was the king of the Kingdom of Yue near the end of the Spring and Autumn period. Goujian was the son of King Yunchang of Yue, as such King Goujian is sometimes considered the last of the Five Hegemons. The war between Wu and Yue comprised several separate phases and it was started when a Yue princess, who was married to one of the princes of the neighboring State of Wu, left her husband and fled back to the country of Yue. This became the spark for the war to come, upon the death of Yunchang and the accession of Goujian, King Helü of Wu seized the opportunity and launched an attack on Yue. At the Battle of Zuili, Yue defeated Wu, Yue would be defeated three years by a resurgent Wu, and Goujian captured, to serve as Fuchais servant for three years until he was eventually allowed to return to his native state. Upon resuming his rule King Goujian quickly appointed skilled politicians as advisors, such as Wen Zhong and Fan Li, during this time, his ministers worked to weaken the State of Wu internally through bribes and diplomatic intrigue.
The second half of a Chinese idiom, wòxīn-chángdǎn, refers to Goujians perseverance, the soldiers charge in the face of arrows like thirsty men heading for drink. In the 24th year of his reign, Goujian led another expedition against Wu, when a surrender from Fuchai was refused, Fuchai committed suicide and Wu was annexed by Yue. After his victory, Goujian ruthlessly killed Fuchais scholars, even those who helped him, King Goujians army was known for scaring its enemies before battle because its front line consisted of criminals sentenced to death who committed suicide by decapitating themselves. However, in the passage, 越王句踐使死士挑戰，三行，至吳陳，呼而自剄。 the literal translation of 死士 means, soldiers willing to die, not, 自剄 means to commit suicide by cutting ones throat, which was a common way to end ones own life in Ancient China. The Rebirth of a King, a 2006 Chinese television series starring Chen Baoguo and You Yong as Goujian, the Great Revival, a 2007 Chinese television series, starring Chen Daoming and Hu Jun as Goujian and Fuchai respectively.
The story is explored at depth in historian Paul Cohens book Speaking to History, The Story of King Goujian in Twentieth Century China Sword of Goujian Fan Li Xi Shi
Wu is a group of linguistically similar and historically related varieties of Chinese primarily spoken in the whole city of Shanghai, Zhejiang province, southern Jiangsu province and bordering areas. Major Wu varieties include those of Shanghai, Ningbo, Wenzhou/Oujiang, Shaoxing, Jinhua, Wu speakers, such as Chiang Kai-shek, Lu Xun and Cai Yuanpei, occupied positions of great importance in modern Chinese culture and politics. Wu can be found being used in Shaoxing opera, which is only in national popularity to Peking opera, as well as in the performances of the popular entertainer. Wu is spoken in a number of diaspora communities, with significant centers of immigration originating from Shanghai, Qingtian. Suzhou has traditionally been the center of Wu and was likely the first place the distinct variety of Sinitic known as Wu developed. Suzhou dialect is considered to be the most linguistically representative of the family. Due to the influence of Shanghainese, Wu as a whole is incorrectly labelled in English as simply, among speakers of other Sinitic languages, Wu is often subjectively judged to be soft and flowing.
There is an idiom in Mandarin that specifically describes these qualities of Wu speech, Ngu nung nioe ngiu, Wu varieties have the largest vowel quality inventories in the world. The Jinhui dialect spoken in Shanghais Fengxian District has 20 vowel qualities, Wu Chinese, along with Min, is of great significance to historical linguists due to their retention of many ancient features. These two languages have proven pivotal in determining the history of the Chinese languages. More pressing concerns of the present are those of language preservation, many analysts believe that a stable state of diglossia will endure for at least several generations if not indefinitely. Saying one speaks Wu is akin to saying one speaks a Romance language and it is not a particularly defined entity like Standard Mandarin or Hochdeutsch. They do this by affixing 話 Wo to their locations endonym, for example, 溫州話 Wēnzhōuhuà is used for Wenzhounese. Affixing 閒話 xiánhuà is common and more typical of the Taihu division, Wu, the formal name and standard reference in dialectology literature.
Northern Wu, Wu typically spoken in the north of Zhejiang and it by default includes the Xuanzhou division in Anhui as well, however this division is often neglected in Northern Wu discussions. Southern Wu, Wu spoken in southern Zhejiang and periphery, comprising the Oujiang, Western Wu, A term gaining in usage as a synonym for the Xuanzhou division and modeled after the previous two terms since the Xuanzhou division is less representative of Northern Wu. Shanghainese, is a common name, used because Shanghai is the most well-known city in the Wu-speaking region. The term Shanghainese is never used by linguists to refer to anything
The Zhou dynasty was a Chinese dynasty that followed the Shang dynasty and preceded the Qin dynasty. This period of Chinese history produced what many consider the zenith of Chinese bronze-ware making, the dynasty spans the period in which the written script evolved into its almost-modern form with the use of an archaic clerical script that emerged during the late Warring States period. He even received sacrifice as a harvest god, the term Hòujì was probably an hereditary title attached to a lineage. Jus son Liu, led his people to prosperity by restoring agriculture and settling them at a place called Bin, tai led the clan from Bin to Zhou, an area in the Wei River valley of modern-day Qishan County. Taibo and Zhongyong had supposedly fled to the Yangtze delta. Jilis son Wen bribed his way out of imprisonment and moved the Zhou capital to Feng, the Zhou enfeoffed a member of the defeated Shang royal family as the Duke of Song, which was held by descendants of the Shang royal family until its end.
This practice was referred to as Two Kings, Three Reverences, according to Nicholas Bodman, the Zhou appear to have spoken a language not basically different in vocabulary and syntax from that of the Shang. A recent study by David McCraw, using lexical statistics, reached the same conclusion, the Zhou emulated extensively Shang cultural practices, perhaps to legitimize their own rule, and became the successors to Shang culture. At the same time, the Zhou may have connected to the Xirong, a broadly defined cultural group to the west of the Shang. According to the historian Li Feng, the term Rong during the Western Zhou period was used to designate political and military adversaries rather than cultural. The proto-Zhou were first located in the Shaanxi-Shanxi highland, where they absorbed elements from the Guangshe culture, King Liu moved his people to the lower Fen Valley and to the western bank of the Yellow River, where they resumed agriculture. His son Qing Jie, led the Zhou to the valley of the Jing River.
They stayed there until Dan Fu moved again to the Wei Valley in order to avoid incursion by the Rongdi nomads. During this period, the Zhou mingled with the Qiang people, in all these stages, the advanced Shang bronze culture constantly imparted its influence on the Zhou. The Qi area was the region in all these influences would come to fruition. The contact among the proto-Zhou, the native Shaanxi Longshan, the Qiang, King Wu maintained the old capital for ceremonial purposes but constructed a new one for his palace and administration nearby at Hao. Although Wus early death left a young and inexperienced heir, the Duke of Zhou assisted his nephew King Cheng in consolidating royal power. Wary of the Duke of Zhous increasing power, the Three Guards, Zhou princes stationed on the eastern plain, to maintain Zhou authority over its greatly expanded territory and prevent other revolts, he set up the fengjian system
The Yangtze River, known in China as the Cháng Jiāng or the Yángzǐ Jiāng, is the longest river in Asia and the third-longest in the world. The river is the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country and it drains one-fifth of the land area of the Peoples Republic of China and its river basin is home to one-third of the countrys population. The Yangtze is the sixth-largest river by volume in the world. The Yangtze River plays a role in the history, culture. The prosperous Yangtze River Delta generates as much as 20% of the PRCs GDP, for thousands of years, the river has been used for water, sanitation, industry, boundary-marking and war. The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River is the largest hydro-electric power station in the world, in recent years, the river has suffered from industrial pollution, agricultural run-off and loss of wetland and lakes, which exacerbates seasonal flooding. Some sections of the river are now protected as nature reserves, a stretch of the upstream Yangtze flowing through deep gorges in western Yunnan is part of the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In mid-2014 the Chinese government announced it was building a transport network, comprising railways and airports. Because the source of the Yangtze was not ascertained until modern times, Yangtze was actually the name of Chang Jiang for the lower part from Nanjing to the river mouth at Shanghai. In modern Chinese, Yangtze is still used to refer to the part of Chang Jiang from Nanjing to the river mouth. Yangtze never stands for the whole Chang Jiang, Chang Jiang is the modern Chinese name for the lower 2,884 km of the Yangtze from its confluence with the Min River at Yibin in Sichuan Province to the river mouth at Shanghai. Chang Jiang literally means the Long River, in Old Chinese, this stretch of the Yangtze was simply called Jiang/Kiang 江, a character of phono-semantic compound origin, combining the water radical 氵 with the homophone 工. Krong was probably a word in the Austroasiatic language of local peoples such as the Yue, similar to *krong in Proto-Vietnamese and krung in Mon, all meaning river, it is related to modern Vietnamese sông and Khmer kôngkea.
By the Han Dynasty, Jiang had come to any river in Chinese. The epithet 長, means long, was first formally applied to the river during the Six Dynasties period, various sections of Chang Jiang have local names. From Yibin to Yichang, the river through Sichuan and Chongqing Municipality is known as the Chuan Jiang or Sichuan River, in the Hubei Province, the river is called the Jing Jiang or the Jing River after Jingzhou. In Anhui Province, the takes on the local name Wan Jiang after the shorthand name for Anhui. And Yangzi Jiang t 揚子江s 扬子江, p Yángzǐjiāng) or the Yangzi River, the name likely comes from an ancient ferry crossing called Yangzi or Yangzijin