Chinese Analytical Essay

Submitted By KPikunas08
Words: 2359
Pages: 10

Kevin Pikunas Analytical Essay April 4, 2012

Chinese Religion

In an American society people are allowed to believe in who or whatever they want. No one is told who they we can or cannot talk to. In a lot of people’s lives who they worship or respect is not a big issue. However, everyone is not able to believe in whomever they wish, like in the United States; many people have rules to abide by on certain issues but not on religion. In other places when it comes to religion it starts to become a little difficult. In China it is a whole different type of world compared to what many are used to. Since the United States, as a whole country is allowed to do whatever they please when it comes to religion, there is not someone looking over them making sure they are supporting the correct religion. In China there is not necessarily someone that watches over them. But whichever religion thy follow, whether it be Buddhist, Tao, the people in that religious group with them make sure they are following the rules. Since most of the religious groups believe that if you do not worship the ancestors then something bad will happen to you or your family. The traditional way was completely disrupted and forbidden when the Communists took over in 1949. These patterns are still important in the Chinese culture and are still found in Taiwan and Southeast Asia. China the central important thing, like most places, is the family, as well as their ancestor worship. Religion in China plays a huge role in their everyday life and if not followed the right way, they believe bad things can happen to them and their families. Their way of life is completely different than anything that I have ever known or been a part of. Looking into the Chinese religion I have found many things that are very interesting that many may not know about the Chinese way of life. . There are documents that show how much the Chinese worshipped their ancestors. One of the most important artifacts that have helped with history is the oracle bones. These were made to ask questions to be answered by the supernatural powers. The powers produced cracks in the bone and those were interpreted as the response. The answer was written down and their credibility of being correct was also noted. The question still remains of which the supernatural power was that they were asking. Rather it be a leader or an ancestor, it was still higher power worship. Besides worshipping their ancestors, three main religions Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism that have all played a role in shaping Chinese religion. In China, religion is not an individual decision it is a family choice .To understand the importance of family, look at the Chinese lineage. The lineage is defined by tsu. The tsu relates to the males in the Chinese descendants, of a common ancestor with the same last name. In China the one thing that is most important, ancestral worship. This ancestral worship has been found as far back as the Yin dynasty, so this type of worship, according to their belief has stuck around for many years. The spirits of the deceased ancestors remain very closely bonded to their living descendants forever. The Chinese people pay their respects to them through funerals, mourning rituals and by continuing to make sacrifices for them. The rituals like many are called li if treated with proper respect the spirits will help and watch over them, if not they could bring great danger. Chinese people worship at the graves of their deceased family members as one of their rituals they follow in everyday life. The graves are filled with artifacts left behind, sometimes candles or even pictures. Ancestor worship begins during the deceased kin's funeral, at which necessities like a toothbrush, comb, towel, shoes, water, or even a computer are placed in the coffin or burned as a sacrifice. The family comes to visit and performs various actions that honor the ancestors, like lighting candles and saying