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An Introduction to Chinese Culture

             Let me begin with some disclaimers as to the subject of our study this afternoon. First off, China is in itself a nation of many dialects immersed in one culture. Though the native language is Mandarin or Hanyu, several dialects exist within in the country such as Fookinese or Fujianhua, and Cantonese or Guangdonghua, much like our Bisaya, Chabakano and Bicolano. Yet, despite this seeming division, the Chinese people are unified by their culture, and their belief system. Though a lot of Chinese today (including the majority of Chinese-Filipinos or Chinoys) have embraced modern beliefs or those of their new home countries, most Chinese are still rooted in Ancient customs and traditions still upheld to this day in China.
             My second disclaimer has something to do with the Chinoys and their identity with regards to our study. The term, "Chinoy", literally is a shortcut for the title "Chinese-Filipinos", having "Filipinos" as the active noun given the very active third generation. Though Chinese in ancestry, the Chinoys have learned to accept Filipino customs and traditions as their own. Chinoys are predominantly from the Fujian province and because of this, they are adept at speaking in Fookinese which, in itself, is divided into two sub-dialects. Ban-lam-we or E-meng-we, is the dialect used by the majority of the Chinoys since they mostly originate from the province of Fujian. Ban-Lam-We is the sub-dialect from the southern part of Fujian province, while E-Meng (Xiamen) is a big city in Fujian. These are the bases for the derivation of the Fookinese dialect, and a clue to where approximately in China the Chinoys came from. Please take note of these points as we go on with the lecture, since we will be discussing the primary cultural points of China with respects to current Chinoy practices and beliefs.
             The Chinese in East Asia and the world.
             Not to regard ourselves too highly, Chinese culture provides a defining identity for East Asian nations.

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