In spite of what some may say the Chinese have never considered themselves as the only and dominant culture in the world. If you go to Galle, Sri Lanka, you will be able to see Zheng He’s three-language and three-religion tablet erected there when he came once. The three languages are Chinese, Tamil, and Farzi and the three religions are Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism. The slightest amount of “research” on Wikipedia would bring up:

“The Galle Trilingual Inscription is a stone tablet with an inscription in three languages, Chinese, Tamil and Persian, located in Galle, Sri Lanka. The stone tablet, dated 15 February 1409, was installed by the Chinese admiral Zheng He in Galle during his grand voyages. The text concerns offerings made by him and others to the mountain Adams Peak in Sri Lanka. The Chinese inscription mentions offerings to Buddha, the Persian in Arabic script to Allah, and the Tamil inscription mentions offering to Tenavarai Nayanar (Hindu god Vishnu). The admiral invoked the blessings of Hindu deities here for a peaceful world built on trade. The stele was discovered in Galle in 1911 and is now preserved in the Colombo National Museum.”

And Zheng He himself was a Muslim. It is so easy to see the Chinese as imperialistic monsters. The Gold Rush in California would not have been the same without the Chinese serving the gold rushers. The Railroads would be very different if there had not been the Chinese to build them from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

This article is interesting because it shows — too little actually but clearly enough — that the Chinese live with a culture that goes a long way beyond 3 or 3.5 millennia. It all started with the Denisovans when the migrants from Black Africa arrived in Asia something like 100–120,000 years ago and when their settled presence produced the agricultural evolution of the three-river valley. Compare to the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons and other Europeans in America and how they have completely or nearly completely erased Indian cultures in Northern America, and marginalized Indian cultures in Mesoamerica and South America, these colonial adventures going along with human and cultural genocides.

Written by

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, PhD in Germanic Linguistics (University Lille III) and ESP Teaching (University Bordeaux II) has been teaching all types of ESP

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