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HKPolyUx: Chinese Culture: Interaction

This compact course introduces 5 interesting aspects of Chinese cultural exchange and interaction with other countries in history. They are (a) China and the West, (b) China and Central Asia (c) China and Vietnam, (d) Chinese Revolutionary Connections with Other Countries, and (e) Chinese Food and Cuisine. This dynamic course forms part of the HKPolyUx series on Chinese culture.

4 weeks
2–4 hours per week
Progress at your own speed
This course is archived

About this course

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Owing to its rapid development in recent years, China has been in the spotlight of the international arena. While understanding modern China's economy, technology and politics is important, knowing its cultural roots and evolution is no less crucial for seeing a full picture of Chinese culture. This course introduces 5 interesting aspects of Chinese cultural exchange and interaction with other countries in history.

Key questions of the course

  • How did the Silk Road emerge in history? Who was Matteo Ricci? What happened in history regarding the Chinese cultural exchange of religions, arts and sports with the West?
  • Where is Central Asia? What was Pax Mongolica? What role did silver play in the Saga of the Silk Road?
  • What cultural exchanges occurred between Vietnam and China? How did Vietnam contribute to the introduction of Buddhism to China through the maritime Silk Road? Which of the Vietnamese princes served as a high-ranking official in the Chinese court of the Ming dynasty?
  • How did China confront Western colonialism as a global trend in the early 20th century? Who was Sun Yat-sen? How did he connect China with the rest of the world? How did Pan-Asianism arise and go bankrupt?
  • What is the relationship between rituals, ghosts and alcohol in China? What are the stories behind Chinese medicinal food, correlative cosmology and tea? How many major types of Chinese cuisine are there? What sorts of food were exchanged between China and other countries in history?

Course Design

  • A team of 5 experts in Chinese culture has designed the course. They are, in alphabetical order, Prof Han, Dr Ng, Dr Pan, Dr Schoenberger and Dr Tsui.
  • The compact design of the mini-lectures suits the busy schedule of edX learners.
  • Introductions by animation hosts highlight the key questions of each unit.
  • Illustrations and maps are designed to liven up the mini-lectures.
  • Self-learning is supported by review questions and forums.
  • Cross-referencing enhances a fruitful learning experience across the units of the HKPolyUx series on Chinese culture.

At a glance

What you'll learn

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  • The cultural interactions between China and the West
  • The cultural interactions between China and Central Asia
  • The cultural interactions between China and Vietnam
  • Chinese revolutionary connections with other countries
  • China's interactions with other countries in food and cuisine

China and the West

  • Introduction
  • Commerce and trade: The Silk Road
  • Religion: Matteo Ricci and Xi Xue Dong Jian
  • Art: Export paintings
  • Colonial experience and Hong Kong
  • Sports: China in the Olympics and the Ping-Pong Politics

China and Central Asia

  • Introduction
  • Geographical setting of Central Asia
  • Central Asia in Han-Tang China
  • Subsequent Islamization and Pax Mongolica
  • Central Asia of contemporary significance
  • An interview with Kazakhstan students

China and Vietnam

  • Introduction
  • Cultural interactions between China and other regions
  • Cultural interactions between China and Vietnam
  • Conditions for Sino-Vietnamese cultural interactions
  • Consequences of Sino-Vietnamese cultural interactions
  • Agents of Sino-Vietnamese cultural interactions

Chinese Revolutionary Connections with Other Countries

  • Introduction
  • The crumbling empire of the Qing dynasty
  • Anti-Colonialism in China
  • Sun Yat-sen
  • From Lenin to Chiang Kai-shek
  • Pan-Asianism
  • Modern China and One Belt One Road

Chinese Food and Cuisine

  • Introduction
  • Hunting, farming and stir-frying
  • Rituals, ghosts and foods
  • Alcohol
  • Correlative cosmology and medicinal foods
  • Tea
  • Sichuan and Lu cuisine
  • Chinese immigrants and American-style Chinese foods

Frequently Asked Questions

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Question 1: Who is this course suitable for?

  • Laypeople who have little knowledge of Chinese culture and would like to broaden their horizons
  • Students who are looking for new perspectives on Chinese culture in a wide spectrum
  • International businesspeople who aim to enrich their general knowledge of Chinese culture for effective communication with their Chinese clients

Question 2: How many topics does this course cover?

  • It covers 5 different key topics focused on Chinese cultural exchange and interaction with other countries in history, delivered by 5 experts respectively.

Question 3: Are the units long in length?

  • Each unit focuses only on one topic. The design of the units aims to make the course compact and yet impactful. You will be amazed at the fact that you can easily grasp the basic knowledge of Chinese culture within a short period of time.

Question 4: Are the mini-lectures interesting?

  • Yes, interesting illustrations and animations are adopted to enhance the mini-lectures .

Question 5: Can I further enrich my knowledge of Chinese culture after completing this course?

  • Yes, this course is 1 of 3 courses in the HKPolyUx series on Chinese culture. You can expand your knowledge by studying all 15 topics on Chinese culture delivered by 15 experts in the X series.

Question 6: How can I benefit from enrolling in the HKPolyUx series of Chinese culture?

  • You can expand your horizons by taking part in the X series, which is by far one of the most systematic and comprehensive programs on Chinese culture on edX.
  • The X series is a cohesive program. For instance, in the Tradition course, you learn about the origin of Confucianism in the Zhou dynasty. In the Transformation course, you learn about the private Confucian academies from the Song dynasty onwards and New Confucianism in the 20th century. In the Interaction course, you discover the answer to the interesting question whether Confucius drank tea or alcohol. There are many more connections between the units of the X series.
  • Cross-references within the X series are available to assist your study. They stimulate your curiosity and consolidate your knowledge-base.

Question 7: Can I get a discount by enrolling in all 3 courses of the HKPolyUx series on Chinese culture as a verified learner?

  • Yes, you can.

This course is part of Chinese Culture: Tradition, Transformation and Interaction XSeries Program

Learn more 
Expert instruction
3 high-quality courses
Progress at your own speed
3 months
2 - 4 hours per week

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