Chinese calligraphy is a form ofcalligraphy widely practiced and revered in the Chinese cultural sphere. Thecalligraphic tradition of East Asia originated and developed in China. There isa general standardization of the various styles of calligraphy in thistradition. Chinese calligraphy and ink and wash painting are closely related,since they are accomplished using similar tools and techniques. Chinesepainting and calligraphy distinguish themselves from other cultural artsbecause they emphasize motion. Calligraphy has also led to the development ofmany forms of art, including seal carving.
Embroidery, one of China's most populartraditional folk arts, plays an important role in the history of Chinese artsand crafts. It is, in its long development, inseparable from silkworm-raisingand silk-reeling. China is the first country in the world to discover the useof silk. As early as 5,000 years ago, Chinese people began rearing silkwormsand producing silk. The development of silk production gave rise to theflourish of embroidery craft. Nowadays, the art of embroidery is very populararound the world and is widely used in fashion design.
The Chinese garden has evolved over threethousand years and belongs to a kind of landscape garden styles. It includesboth vast gardens built out of pleasure for the Chinese emperors and members ofthe Imperial Family, and more personal gardens created by scholars, poets,officials, soldiers and merchants and made for reflection and escape from theoutside world. They create an idealized miniature landscape, which is meant toexpress the harmony that should exist between man and nature. The earliestrecorded Chinese gardens were created in the valley of the Yellow River duringthe Shang Dynasty.
秧歌舞（the Yangko dance）是中国的一种传统民间舞蹈，通常在北方省份表演。秧歌舞者会穿上明亮多彩的表演服装（costume），他们的表演动作有力而迅速。在春节、元宵节等节日期间，人们一旦听到锣（gong）鼓声，不管天气有多冷，他们都会蜂拥到街上观看秧歌舞表演。近年来，东北一些城市的老年人自发组织了秧歌队，队员通过跳秧歌舞来保持健康，同时他们也乐在其中。
The Yangko dance is a traditional folkdance in China, commonly performed in the northern provinces. Yangko dancerswear bright and colorful costumes, with their movements vigorous and swift.During festivals such as the Spring Festival and the Lantern Festival, as soonas they hear gongs and drums, people swarm into the streets to watch Yangkodance performances, no matter how cold it is outside. In recent years, elderlypeople in some cities in Northeast China have been organizing Yangko teams.They do the yangko dance to keep fit as well as to have fun.
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperialpalace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located inthe center of Beijing. For almost 500 years, it served as the home of emperorsand their households, as well as the political center of Chinese government.Built from 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 720,000square meters. The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palacearchitecture and influences cultural and architectural development in East Asiaand other regions. Since 1925, the Forbidden City has been under the charge ofthe Palace Museum, whose most collection of artworks and artifacts are from theimperial collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties.
中国人无论走到哪里，都不会改掉喝茶的习惯。茶最先由中国人发现，中国人在日常生活中不可缺少的饮料之一就是茶，以茶待客也是中国人的一种习惯。在中国，茶已形成一种独特的文化现象。人们把煎茶、品茶作为一种艺术。唐朝（the Tang Dynasty）陆羽所著的《茶经》（Book of Tea）不仅是一部精辟的农学著作，同时也是一本阐述茶文化的书，推动了中国茶文化的发展。
Wherever the Chinese go, the custom ofdrinking tea follows. Since its first discovery in China, tea has been anindispensable drink in the life of the Chinese. It is also customary for theChinese to treat their guest to some tea. In China, tea has become a uniquecultural phenomenon. People regard cooking and drinking tea as a form of art.The Book of Tea, written by Lu Yu in the Tang Dynasty, is a masterpiece on bothagriculture and tea culture which helped to popularize tea culture in China.
Tofu is a kind of food made by coagulatingsoy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. It is acomponent in many East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines. There are manydifferent varieties of tofu. Tofu has a subtle flavor and can be used in savoryand sweet dishes. Tofu originated in ancient China some 2,000 years ago.Chinese legend ascribes its invention to Prince Liu An. Tofu and its productiontechnique were introduced into Japan. It spread into other parts of East Asiaas well. This spread coincides with the spread of Buddhism because it is animportant source of protein in the vegetarian diet of East Asian Buddhism.
农历九月九日为传统的重阳节（Chongyang Festival, or Double Ninth Festival）。在古代，重阳节有登高（ascenda height ）的风俗，登高所到之处，一般是登高山、登高塔。在1989年，我国把重阳节定为老人节（Seniors' Day）。全国各机关、团体、街道往往都在此时组织退休老人们秋游赏景，或临水玩乐，或登山健体，沐浴在大自然中；不少家庭的晚辈也会搀扶着年老的长辈到郊外活动或为老人准备一些可口的饮食
The 9th day of the 9th lunar month is thetraditional Chongyang Festival, or Double Ninth Festival. In ancient times, itis customary to ascend a height. The height people will reach is usually amountain or a tower. In 1989, the Chinese government decided the Double NinthFestival as Seniors' Day. Since then, all government units, organizations andstreets communities will organize an autumn trip each year for those who haveretired from their posts. At the waterside or on the mountains, the seniorswill find themselves merged into nature. Younger generations will bring elderones to suburban areas or prepare delicacies for them on this day.
Longmen grottoes are one of the finestexamples of Chinese Buddhist art. Located on both sides of the Yi River, thiscomplex is one of the three notable grottoes in China. The other two grottoesare the Yungang Caves near Datong in Shanxi Province and the Mogao Caves nearDunhuang in Gansu Province. The valley formed by the Yi River is enclosed bythe ranges of the Xiang Mountain and the Longmen Mountain which have steepslopes. Within the approximately 1,400 caves, there are 100,000 statues, someof which are only 25 millimeters high, while the largest Buddha statue is 17meters in height. Fifty large and medium-sized caves are seen from the westhills.
The panda is known as the national treasureof China. It has lived on the earth for at least 8 million years and istherefore called a living fossil. The giant panda has a body shape typical ofbears and a black-and-white coat. It is one of the loveliest animals and takesthe fancy of people throughout the world. In China, the panda is also a symbolof peace. Some pandas have been sent to other countries as gifts of friendship,which has greatly contributed to the cultivation of diplomatic relationships.However, the species is still endangered, so people are taking various measuresto protect pandas from extinction.
孔子（Confucius），中国古代著名的思想家、教育家，公元前551年诞生于今天的山东省曲阜。孔子的家里很穷，但是他从小就发奋读书、刻苦学习。20多岁的时候，做了个小官（petty official）。他很有学问，办事认真，工作出色，30岁左右就已经很出名了。孔子热心办学，先后收（enroll）了3000学生。通过办学，宣传了他的政治思想。孔子和他的学生形成了一个学派（school of thought），叫做“儒家学派（Confucianism）”。这个学派对中国几千年的封建社会（feudal society）影响极大。
Confucius, the famous thinker and educatorof ancient China, was born in today's Qufu, Shandong Province in 551 B.C. Hisfamily was poor, but he worked very hard at his studies even when he was achild. He became a petty official in his twenties. As he had great learning,worked in earnest and was outstanding in performing his duties, he had alreadybecome famous by the age of 30. Dedicated in education, Confucius enrolled atotal of 3,000 students. Through education Confucius publicized his politicalthoughts. Confucius and his students formed a school of thought known as"Confucianism", which had great influence on the Chinese feudalsociety for thousands of years.
京剧是一种传统中国艺术，起源于18世纪末期，经过不断发展于19世纪中期完全成型并得到广泛认可。这一表现形式在清朝尤为流行。京剧演员身着做工精细、五彩缤纷的戏服(costumes)，展现出精湛技艺，令台下观众叹为观止。京剧的保留剧目(repertoire of Peking opera)已达1400部之多，主要取材于(basedon)中国历史和民间传说(folklore)。
Peking opera is a form of traditionalChinese art. It arose in the late 18th century and became fully developed andrecognized in the mid-19th century. The form was extremely popular in the QingDynasty. With their elaborate and colorful costumes, performers utilize theirfantastic skills to amaze the audience. The repertoire of Peking opera includesover 1,400 works, which are based on Chinese history and folklore.
端午节（the Dragon Boat Festival）起源于中国，为每年农历(traditionalChinese calendar)五月初五。楚国诗人屈原于端午节在汨罗江投江自尽后，端午节就变成纪念屈原的节日。节日当天，国内各地纷纷举办各种规模的赛龙舟活动，家庭也都包粽子(zongzi)全家同吃。为了驱邪避疫，许多人家会将艾草挂在门口，此外，成人还会喝雄黄酒(realgar wine)，小孩身上挂香包，传说这些做法可以带来健康和好运。
The Dragon Boat Festival originated inChina, and it occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month of the traditional Chinesecalendar. After Qu Yuan, the poet of the ancient state of Chu, committedsuicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River, the Dragon Boat Festival wascelebrated to commemorate him. During the festival people all over China holdDragon boat races of different scales and enjoy zongzi together with theirfamily members. A lot of people hang wormwood outside their doors to preventdisease or evil. Besides, adults often drink realgar wine while children wearperfumed medicine bags as these activities can bring health and good luck.
太极拳（Tai chi）是一种能够防身健体的中国武术。它的理论和实践在发展过程中与许多中国文化相一致（in agreement with），譬如道家学说和儒家学说。打太极拳时，必须一心一意专注于身体动作，继而达到内心的平静澄澈（mental calm and clarity）。医学研究也发现，有证据表明太极拳有助于促进身体平衡、改善心理健康，而且与老年人整体健康情况联系密切。Tai chi is a Chinese martial art practiced for both defense andhealth. Its theory and practice progress in agreement with many Chinesecultures, such as Taoism and Confucianism. When practicing Tai chi, one mustfocus the mind solely on the movements, thus bringing about a state of mentalcalm and clarity. Medical research also found evidence that Tai chi is helpfulfor improving balance and for psychological health, and that it is closelyassociated with general health of the old people.
世界博览会（the World Expo）是全球大型的非商业性博览会，主要参展者（participant）为各国政府和国际组织，是各国人民交流经验、相互学习、开展合作的盛会（grand event）。世博会每5年举办一次。自1854年在伦敦第一次举办以来，一直在发达国家举行。2010年，中国成为第一个举办世界博览会的发展中国家。中国赢得2010年世界博览会的举办权，靠的是国际社会（international community）对中国改革开放（reform andopening-up）的支持和信心，它表达了全世界人民对中国未来发展的期望
The Word Expo is a large-scale, global,non-commercial exposition. Participants are mainly governments of variouscountries and international organizations. It is a grand event where peoplefrom various countries gather together to exchange experiences, learn from oneanother and develop cooperation. The World Expo is held every five years. SinceEngland hosted it in London in 1854 for the first time, the World Expo has beeninvariably held in developed countries. In 2010, China became the firstdeveloping country hosting the World Expo. China won the right to host theWorld Expo 2010 owing to the international community's support for andconfidence in its reform and opening-up, which expressed the expectations thepeople of the world place on China's future development.
中国自改革开放（reform and opening-up）以来，国民经济年均增长速度达到9.7%。中国已经发展成为一个在全球极富吸引力的大市场。世界各国和地区不少有远见卓识的企业家，都把目光投向了中国，投向了西部，并从投资活动中获得了丰富的回报。中国加入世界贸易组织后，外商参与中国西部开发的机会越来越多。西部大开发（the big development of the western regions）成为了沟通世界各国和中国的一座桥梁，促进中国和世界经济共同发展、共同繁荣（common economic development and prosperity）。
China's national economy has attained anannual average growth rate of 9.7 percent since the implementation of thereform and opening-up policy. China has evolved into an extremely attractiveand big market in the global world. Many farsighted entrepreneurs from variouscountries and regions of the world have focused their attention on China, inparticular, its western regions and have reaped good returns from theirinvestment activities. There are more and more opportunities for foreignbusinesses to participate in the development of China's western regionsfollowing its WTO accession. The big development of the western regions hasserved as a bridge connecting China with various countries around the world,promoting the common economic development and prosperity of China and theworld.
每年农历的正月十五日是中国的传统节日元宵节(the Lantern Festival)。各式各样的花灯在这一天都会点亮。元宵(rice dumpling)是必不可少的食品，又称“汤圆”。“汤圆”与“团圆”字音相近，象征全家人团圆幸福。到了夜晚，除了美丽的花灯之外，还有艳丽多姿的烟火。当新年的第一个月圆之夜来临时，人们都陶醉在这令人难忘的烟花与皎洁的明月中。
The traditional Chinese Lantern Festivalfalls on the 15th day of the first lunar month. On this day, lanterns ofvarious shapes and sizes will be lightened. Rice dumpling, also known astangyuan, is a must for the festival. Tangyuan in Chinese has a similarpronunciation with "tuanyuan”, meaning reunion and happiness for the wholefamily. When night falls, you will spectate not only magnificent lanterns, butalso splendid fireworks. On the night when the first full moon appears in thenew year, people become really intoxicated by the imposing fireworks and brightmoon.
春节是中国最重要的传统节日，标志着农历新年（Chinese Lunar New Year）的开始。过春节又叫“过年”，意思是避开“年”这个怪物。相传“年”是古时候的一种凶猛的怪物。它的样子像强壮的公牛，长着狮子一样的头。这个怪物通常待在深山里。但每到冬末春初，它在山里找不到足够的食物就会闯入村庄找东西吃。人们为了阻止“年”进村，就把大门漆成红色，还点火烧竹子，发出噼噼啪啪的响声（cracking sounds）。这就是中国人燃放鞭炮欢庆春节的来历。
The Spring Festival, the most importanttraditional Chinese festival, marks the beginning of the Chinese Lunar NewYear. The Spring Festival is also called "Guo Nian" in Chinese,meaning keeping off the monster of "Nian". According to legend,"Nian" was a fierce monster in ancient times. It looked like a strongbull with a lion's head. Usually the monster stayed deep in the mountains, butbetween the late winter and early spring, the monster, unable to find enoughfood in the mountains, entered villages in search of something to eat. Toprevent "Nian" from entering their villages, villagers painted theirdoors red and burned the bamboo, which made cracking sounds. This is how theChinese people began to set off firecrackers for the Spring Festival.
The Chinese hot pot has a history of morethan 1,000 years. It is said hot pot originated in Mongolia where the mainingredient was meat, such as beef and mutton. It then spread to southern Chinaduring the Tang Dynasty and further developed during the Mongolian YuanDynasty. By the Qing Dynasty, the hot pot became popular throughout China.Because hot pot styles vary from region to region, many different ingredientsare used.
随着国际社会（international community）对中国的关注度日益提升，越来越多的外国人开始对中国和中国文化感兴趣，学习汉语的人数也与日俱增。现在很多国家和地区的高等教育机构（institutions of higher learning）和中学开设了汉语课。仅在美国，就有近百所大学开设汉语专业，开设汉语课程的学校超过了700所。各种迹象表明，一股学习汉语的热潮（fervor）正在世界各地兴起。与此同时，来华留学生的人数也在逐年攀升。据统计，2012年来华留学生人数超过了32万人。
With the increase of attention paid toChina by the international community, more and more foreigners begin to takeinterest in China and Chinese culture, and the number of people learning theChinese language is growing. At present, Chinese courses are offered byinstitutions of higher learning and middle schools in many countries andregions. In the United States alone, nearly 700 schools teach Chinese as aforeign language. There is every indication that a fervor in learning Chineseis rising around the world. At the same time, the number of internationalstudents studying in China is going up year by year. According to statistics,in 2012 the total number of international students in China climbed to over320,000.