Duration: 5 Nights / 6 Days
Package Code: TPH-FIT-AP-025
Places Covered: Beijing - Shanghai
In the long history of China the culture of Chinese name has been an important part of Chinese life. In the fields of politics, culture and social activities, the name is crucial. As early as one million years ago, Chinese began to be the residents on the ancient land and the relevant materials already prove it. The history of the family name dates back to the matriarchal clan society, which is 5000 to 6000 years ago.
The feature of matriarchal clan society means that in the clan the women are the leaders of important issues. And marriages are allowed only among different clans. Just because of the system, family names, which are used to judge the different clans, emerged.
According to the research of Gu Yanwu in Qing Dynasty, there are 22 oldest family names in China. Maybe there are more, but a lot of them disappeared in history. About 4000 to 5000 years ago, China entered into the patrilineal clan society. During this time the society went from a clan society to a class society. One of the main features of this period is the emergence of the conflict among the clans by different ancestors. The clans that won in the conflict were considered superior than the clans that were lost. So the new structure of class society appeared. In addition, a lot of social members who have feats gained the new territory and awards. And they are allowed to go to their new territory with their families, affiliates and the captives they gained in the conflicts. These people also gained a new symbol related with their territory –clan name.
After the unification of China by Qin in 200s BC, there was a combination with family name and clan name. The condition changed several times during the 2000 years of feudal society. The dynasties changed and every time there was new territory, new family or clan names emerged. Names became the symbols of class and a special culture was formed around the names. The culture was handed down through the inherent. And the center of the culture is the consciousness of recognizing the ancestors.
Currently, overseas Chinese people, still have the tradition to recognize the ancestor in Mainland China. In recent years the culture of Chinese name has become a huge history treasure of China as it can help people to learn Chinese history in a different way. A series of the core features of ancient Chinese society such as the autocracy system, family social system and the rules of act are all shown through the name culture, which is the reason why it is constantly noted in the field of academia.