Tuesday, March 29, 2011

215. Chinese Influence on American Culture

The author of the site, Chinese Influence on American Culture stated, "Chinese culture has influenced modern American culture." With this site the author shows the impact of Chinese cuisine, Chinese herbal medicine, Buddism and Feng Shui on American life.

In a public park in any major metropolis one can see Americans of all colors practicing tai chi, the ancient Chinese exercise. The popularity of acupuncture is another indicator showing that Chinese culture is gaining momentum at the United States.

Friday, March 25, 2011

214. Chinese Influence on Western Medicine

I have found a site discussing Chinese influence on western medicine. You might interest in it. In the following I introduce you the site. According to the site, the Western medicine took over some drugs from China, including rhubarb (If you read Dr. Dave Wang’ paper, Benjamin Franklin and China, you will know that Benjamin Franklin promoted to transplant it to North America), iron (for anemia), castor oil, kaolin, aconite, camphor, and Cannabis sativa (Indian hemp).

The Chinese used Chaulmoogra oil for leprosy from at least the 14th century. The herb mahuang (Ephedra vulgaris) has been used in China for at least 4,000 years, and the isolation of the alkaloid ephedrine from it has greatly improved the Western treatment of asthma and similar conditions. However, the most famous and expensive of Chinese remedies is ginseng.

Western analysis has shown that it has diuretic and other properties but is of doubtful value. In recent years RESERPINE, the active principle of the Chinese plant Rauwolfia, has been isolated; it is now effectively used in the treatment of high blood pressure and some emotional and mental conditions. More information concerning Chinese Influence on Western medicine is available from this link.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

213. What Makes the United States Exceptional?

Recently, Fareed Zakaria, the well-known writer of politics, told his readers that he decided to be an American, not by accident of birth but by choice. He wanted to be an American because he believed that the United States was "exceptional." There's no doubt that the United States is an exceptional nation in the world. However, I have to make it clear that I have no inclination to strengthen the theory of American exceptionalism.

My understanding is that the United States was grown out of European cultural tradition; it is hard to cut the cultural tie. However, it is culturally incorrect to say that the United States is a simple extension of Europe, or another European country. Dr. Dave Wang's efforts to examine Chinese cultural influence on the colonial and republic era of the United States might help us understand what has made the United States exceptional. The founding fathers' wisdom, vision and efforts to draw nourishments from foreign cultures, including Chinese culture, and determination to build a new nation are among the elements that contributed to the exceptional character of the United States.

Monday, March 14, 2011

212. For Ben Franklin, Confucius Moral is Universal

Benjamin Franklin understood well that not everything in one place can be accepted by other people. He gave several examples, such as Chinese music in North America, Japanese food and Arabic perfumes in some countries. However, is there anything that universally accepted in the world? Yes. Franklin regarded Confucius moral philosophy is the universal principle, which should be practiced anywhere in ther world.

In April 1749, when he re-edited his well-known Poor Richard's Almonac, Franklin pointed out, "But the benevolent mind of a virtuous man (Confucius--this author), is pleas'd, when it is inform'd of good and generous actions, in what part of the world soever they are done."

Amazed by Confucius, Franklin designed a plan for an international party of virtue. He also planned to write a book on the art of virture, which would be "a kind of manifesto for an international movement" (in Edmund Morgan's words). In July 1749 Franklin told George Whitefield that "Confucius, the famous eastern reformer, proceeded. When he saw his country sunk in vice, and wickedness of all kinds triumphant, he applied himself first to the grandees; and having by his doctrine won them to the cause of virtue, the commons followed in multitudes." (Franklin's Letter is available from this link)

Monday, March 7, 2011

211. What Would the Founding Fathers Think of the Phenominen?

According to Clayton  Dube, associate director of the US-China Institute at the University of Southern California, China's influence on the United States is rising. He reasoned that China had made efforts in recent years to improve its image abroad, and those efforts had been productive. He said, "The Chinese economy is thriving. Its influence is enormous. (That) China's economy was the second in the world attracted a lot of headlines in 2010."

I want you to remember that China was number one of the world in terms of economy during the founding fathers era. You can read more of his comments on China's influence on the United States from this link.