Writing about the topic of "Culture in China", is actually very easy: EVERYTHING IS CULTURE or at least is said to be 'culture' or history.
Everything seems to be invented by the Chinese thousands of years ago: from ice cream to fire crackers, from paper to gunpowder! Chinese people might tell you quite often that "we were the first to invent …", yet sometimes coping with problems in daily life you might wonder were all those skills have gone!
Chinese even invented a 'Cultural Revolution' that ended in destroying the 'Cultural relics', not developing or enhancing them.
Culture in China is mainly rooted in religion and imperialism during various dynasties. It has been developed along the great trading routes to Europe. Its versatile outcome and appearance is widely influenced by different ethnic groups and their geographical situation.
Food, clothing, housing situation, daily life and family values can vary extremely within the different regions, stretching from Taklamakan Desert to the South China Sea, from the sandy beaches of Hainan Island to the cold winters in Manchuria, from the bank of Pearl River to the deepest gorges along the Tibetan Plateau.
Chinese 'culture' is so enormous, that you have to digest in tiny little pieces, otherwise you will choke on it.
By rushing through the country, heading for the most obvious and most praised cultural sites, you will miss the best. Try to read between the lines, flee the crowds, walk the smaller lanes, listen to the people, donate a smile!
In Lijiang, Yunnan province for example, Naxi people have developed a pictorial script thousands of years ago, the DongBa. This might not be surprising, but they kept it alive to the present day! Try to learn more about this interesting script!
The dark caves of Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, reveal some colours and shapes in their murals, that you might have never seen before! Prepare before you come here!
Sharing a meal with a Tibetan family in their home; chatting with Buddhist monks in a temple; discussing the recipe of a lentil dish with a Naxi woman or wondering about the outcome of the one-child-policy whilst admiring the herdsman's three children! Is this China? This is CHINA!
Of course, I will not forget to praise the Chinese philosophers and poets, the different forms and outcome of Chinese calligraphy and engravings! You need to spend a lifetime to discover only parts of their power and beauty!
You still dare to come to China? You still dare to talk about "Culture in China"? Come, see and listen! Comprehend what you can hold!