ASIAN STUDIES

Analysis of the Han People of China
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Analysis of the Han People of China
The Han is Chinese ethnic group that traces its origin to East Asia. The latter is the largest ethnic group in the world with large portions of its population found in China, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan. The Han make up 98% of the Chinese population. There are material linguistic, genetic, cultural and social differences among the Han people. They have different religions and some have resorted to join Christianity due to western influence. Other differences among the Hand emerge due to variations in regional occupation and the people they interact with. However, just like other ethnic groups in the world, the Han have certain similar social cultural traits that the world identifies them with. This includes their language, economic activities, religion and spiritual activities. In this study we carry out the cultural analysis of the Han ethnic group.
Cultural overview
Religion practices
Religion diversity is a common concept across Chinese cultures. In the Han community, the religion has great influence in the people`s day to day activities. Taoism and Confucianism are based on a given religion or philosophy. Neither of the two requires an individual to be exclusively associated with a particular religion hence encouraging people to join different religions. Buddhism has had great influence on the Han Chinese but of late Christianity is gaining a foothold among the Han people. Confucianism, a moral code and guiding principles is a common practice among the Han people and it involves religious rituals such as worshiping the ancestors. Apart from Confucianism, Taoism is also a common religious and social practice among the Han. These two religious practices plus Christianity and Buddhism indicate how much the Han is an ethnic group with huge religious diversity. However, before the fall of the Han Dynasty during the reign of the Imperial Chinese Kingdom, Confucianism was the dominant ideology among the Han Chinese. Religious views such as Buddhism kick off after the fall of the dynasty (Webber, 2008).
Economic
With regard to economic activities and practices, the Han community has exploited different economic opportunities both in the modern and traditional Chinese society. They contribute towards the advancement of humanity through inventions and perfecting other fields. In order to improve their economic position and boost their social structure throughout history the Han Chinese have contributed substantially in the development of arts, mathematics, philosophy and sciences. This has given them the power to take part in diverse economic activities including trade with other regions, financial services and natural resources exploration (Fan, 2008). Today, the Han people contribute over 90% of the Chinese service industry. The fact that the Han people are spread throughout the world has enabled them to take part in multiple economic activities in different parts of the world including technological development, infrastructure development, insurance and banking. They have embraced globalization spreading their skill set and innovation potential to many parts of the world.
Basic Values
Before constant interaction with the western world. The Han could be spotted with their Hanfu traditional wear. These days it is very difficult to spot a Han Chinese using his/her dress code because they wear the conventional modern wear as a result of western influence. However, they still use the traditional wear for religious and spiritual ceremonies. Despite a change in dress code, the Han respect for family and family values have not changed. For example, the family structure us still the same. First, we have the family head who is the family`s representative in the community (Chen, 2009). The family manager controls the family`s income and other resources. Apart from the family structure, the Han community has maintained their working spirit with hard work and honesty being the underlying principles.
Social and political structure
Given the influence of modern political structure and practices, the Han people no longer use their ancestral political structures like the one in place during the Han Dynasty. Furthermore, the Han people have spread all over the world falling victim to the multiple political structures and practices across the world. For example, there are over 3 million Han people living in the United States. They operate under the United States government constitution. When it comes to China, though the Han make up over 95% of the population, they work under a universal political system acceptable by all ethnic communities. The Han have maintained their cultural and social practices through clan associations, ancestral worship and other cultural festivals. Such cultural festivals are normally colorful and rich. The most common festivals include the Lantern Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, the Spring Festival and the Dragon Boat Festival. Apart from these festivals, the Han have maintained their staple food which is rice and wheat (Xiao et al., 2011). They can also be identified by their housing. However, their housing in China vary by regions. For example, those in North China are built by bricks with a courtyard style.
Healthcare
Current Healthcare status
In the contemporary society, Han people are subject to different healthcare systems and problems because they are present in different parts of the world. However, we focus on China because over 1 billion members of the Han community reside there. At the moment, the infant mortality rate stands at 25% with the fertility at 1.8 children per woman. The number of healthcare provision units has increased substantially since 2005. Back then the number of physicians was about 1.9 million and given the huge Han population, this was a mismatch hence the need for more healthcare professionals. At the moment, the Chinese government is working towards major health reforms among other social changes that will boost the community. It is critical for them to focus on the number of hospitals and physicians available to serve the population (Hannum & Yu, 1998).
Healthcare challenges
One of the major healthcare challenges facing the Han community is the fact that healthcare units and specialists are concentrated cities. This leaves people in the rural areas with very little access to healthcare services. Inequality in healthcare is attributed to rapid development around urban areas and migration from rural areas to cities in search of better life and employment opportunities. Another healthcare problem being faced is the ratio of healthcare specialists to the Han population. This ratio is not encouraging and if the government wishes to improve healthcare, it should work towards increasing the number of healthcare specialists (Iredale et al., 2001). The reason for this ratio is the huge Han population being the largest ethnic group in the world in the most populated country in the whole world. Another major problem facing the Chinese people is the spread of HIV. By 2010, about 10 million of the entire population tasted HIV+.
Possible roles of missionary nurse
Just like most communities across the globe, China is facing a number of healthcare challenges that can be addressed by missionary nurses. First, the can work towards offsetting the physician population ratio. This will play a significant role towards making sure that more and more Han people have access to healthcare services (Bhalla & Shufang, 2006). The missionary nurses can also help address major health catastrophes facing people in rural China where healthcare provision is lacking. The people there can greatly benefit from healthcare services given the fact that at the moment healthcare units and specialists are concentrated in major cities and urban areas. Improved healthcare in these regions will play a significant part in boosting healthcare indicators within the Han population (Dru, 2004).
Common healthcare practices
One thing that one always thinks of when you look at the Chinese medicine and healthcare industry is the presence of traditional Chinese medicine and medical practices. The philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine has evolved for over two thousand years and it is still in play to date. In modern days, the Han have to deal with two medical ideologies that based on western medicine and traditional Chinese practices (Koch, 2010). The Chinese government championed for continued use of traditional medicine even after the arrival of western (modern) medicine. At the moment, both traditional Chinese physicians and modern medicine physicians operate in the healthcare system though they do not get along well (Iredale et al., 2001).
Millennial development goals information
In order to attain the Millennium Development health standards. The Chinese government has been doing some changes with regard to healthcare and health facilities. For example, in 2005, the Chinese government rolled out a 2.4 billion USD plan that will ensure that there is balance in healthcare between the rural areas and urban areas. These reforms are going on under the New Rural Co-operative Medical Care System (Iredale et al., 2001). This new system intends to change the entire healthcare system to make it more affordable and available especially to people in the rural areas. In the new healthcare system, 80% of the annual medical costs incurred by an individual will be handled by the central and provincial government. this makes healthcare available and more importantly available to people in rural areas (Bhalla & Shufang, 2006)).
Conclusion
The Han Chinese community is one of the most accomplished and quickly developing ethnic groups around the globe. Given the social and economic changes that they have contributed to humanity at large make them a very central part of the modern society. Apart from innovation and their unique cultural practices, the Han people can freely interact with other ethnic groups across the globe. This is evident given their presence in the United States, Thailand, and Singapore among other global destinations. Their ability to adapt new religious practices and the flexibility of their cultural activities make them capable of fitting into any society in the world. For example, Christianity and Buddhism are now part of the Han religious heritage indicating their readiness to accommodate new aspects of life including changes in technology and medicine. The diverse nature of the Han has enabled them to comfortably interact with people from different parts of the world freely.
References
Bhalla, A. & Shufang, Q. (2006). Poverty and Inequality among Chinese Minorities. London, UK: Routledge
Chen, J. (2009). “Genetic Structure of the Han Chinese Population Revealed by Genome-wide SNP Variation”. The American Journal of Human Genetics 85 (6): 775 – 85
Dru, C. (2004). Dislocating China: Reflections on Muslims, Minorities, and other Subaltern Subjects. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press
Fan, C. (2008). China on the Move: Migration, the State, and the Household. New York, NY: Routledge
Forrest, S. (2012). “Energy efficiency with organic electronics: Ching W. Tang revisits his days at Kodak”. MRS Bulletin 37 (6): 552.
Hannum, E. & Yu, X. (1998). “Ethnic Stratification in Northwest China: Occupational Differences between Han Chinese and National Minorities in Xinjiang, 1982 – 1990,” Demography, 35, 3:323 – 333
Iredale, R. et al (2001). Contemporary Minority Migration, Education, and Ethnicity in China. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing
Koch, J. (2010). Economic Development and Ethnic Separatism in Western China: A New Model of Peripheral Nationalism. Perth, Australia: Murdoch University, Asia Research Centre, Working Paper No. 134
Webber, M. (2008) “The Places of Primitive Accumulation in Rural China,” Economic Geography, 84, 4:395 – 421
Xiao, Y. et al (2011). “Implementation of National Essential Drug Policy: Analysis from a Complex Adaptive Systems. Chinese General Practice 14 (5A): 1419 – 1421.

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