The history of the countries of Dragon and Lotus stretches into the darkness of the ages. New states and civilizations were created and disappeared in these lands, leaving the ruins of temples and fortress behind them. In such a way, the two endless centers of cultural attraction, such as China and India, which exerted a huge influence on the development of local cultures, were located in this region. Thus, the main aim of this paper is to discuss how the knowledge about various Indian and Chinese traditions can help people to understand the actions of these countries in the frames of contemporary reality.
Firstly, we need to mention that economists, politicians, social scientists and anthropologists still can not find the exact answer on the question whether a specific cultural environment of society affect the level of the country’s development. In this regard, it should be noted that all the ôConfucianöŁ countries (more precisely, the countries that have experienced the strong influence of Chinese culture, which includes Taoism, Buddhism and ancestor worship, in addition to Confucianism), and India with its religious heritage, are distinguished by their commitment to the principles of ôuniversal culture of progressöŁ: these societies highly value education, success, work ethics, personal merits and the propensity to save. Thus, culture has an important impact on economic, political, social and scientific development of India and China in today’s reality.
Both China and India achieved certain successes in their development, and affected relations with the global community by their actions. For instance, China (basing on Confucian harmonious relationship and peaceful attitude to others), chose the policy of the öśmild development’ because peaceful strategies are considered to be more effective in achieving success. There were also formulated four directions of the öśmild policy’ creation, and these directions include: 1) a system of socialist core values öőöőand increase of the appeal and the cementing force of socialist ideology; 2) the creation of a harmonious culture, cultivation of civilized manners and customs; 3) raising of a common spiritual focus of the Chinese nation on the shield of Chinese culture; 4) promotion of cultural innovation, accumulation of life-giving force of cultural development. In addition, exactly China’s foreign trade activities occupy a special place in country’s strategic development in the frames of the öśmild power’ concept because China is willing to credit the economies of developing countries without giving the countries political and ideological requirements.
Discussing the influence of different traditions on India’s development, it is important to begin from the statement that India is a country where extremes converge, where the advanced nuclear technology paradoxically coexist with archaic antiquity. In India, various religious traditions are incredibly tenacious, and very often new approaches cannot eradicate the old traditions, but they can only fill them with the aroma of modernity. Moreover, for the understanding of Indian civilization, its cosmological and physical characteristics we should apply to the period when this civilization was formed in the Indo- Ghanaian plains after the invasion of the Aryans. Thus, we can trace the development of the caste system as a unique decentralized model that tied labor to land in a time when land was plentiful, and there was no political stability, allowing the use of alternative methods, such as slavery or serfdom. Political views, produced by the Indian socio-economic system, were the main reason that the democracy flowered exactly in India, in contrast to other third world countries. As far as material representations, they have not changed much in the process of Westernization of the country during the British rule. As a result modern India was able to reconcile tradition and modernization, and send the country on a path of a rapid economic growth.
To sum up, it is possible to state that all the information gained in this class helped me to broaden my perspective about Indian and Chinese culture and people because specific knowledge about existing traditions and cultural approaches helped me to realize how these factors influenced the development and economic expansion of both countries, and to discuss them with all the necessary details in the body of this paper.