“Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture (81 pieces)” is an important Book Project disseminated by Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. The setting of “Disseminating Key Concepts in Chinese Thoughts and Culture Project” aims to organize key concepts which can reflect the features of Chinese classical culture and the way of national thinking, and can perform Chinese core values, explain and translate objectively and accurately in concise language which is easy to exchange verbally. By this way, chinese voice and stories will be disseminated in international exchanges, that the condition and history of China will be known better by people in the world.
The specialists committee of the project consist of international well-known specialists and scholars. Senior adviser and Art Review Commission of America Arts Research Institute (AARI), Mr. Yu Wentao took part in the review for the final English version. With the authorization, AARI is going to publish the 81 pieces of Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture here.
The forefathers of the Han people living in the Central Plains referred to themselves by this term. Earlier on they called themselves Hua(华), Zhuahua(诸华), Xia(夏), or Zhuxia(诸夏). The term Huaxia(华夏) embodies the common identity of the way of life, language, and culture of the people living in the Central Plains, mainly the Han people, and the inheritance of such identity. The Huaxia people evolved into a fairly stable ethnic group in the Qin Dynasty, which established a unified country of many ethnic groups with Huaxia being the principal group. In the Han Dynasty, the term Han became an alternative name of Huaxia. Later, the term Huaxia was extended to refer to China or the Han people.
The Chinese character 夏(Xia) means big and great. Since the ancient Huaxia people practiced grand and elaborate rituals, they called themselves Xia(great). Their dresses were resplendent, so they were referred to as Hua(splendid). Therefore, both Hua and Xia refer to the Han people. (Kong Yingda: Correct Meaning of Zuo’s Commentary on The Spring and Autumn Annals )