Blending Cultures

There was quite an exchange and blending of cultures in the period between the 11th and 15th centuries for both China and India. China and India, through the Silk Road, were able to make exchanges of their cultures, both material and intangible, with other nations. This famous trade route of Asia served as a cultural bridge between nations plying the route and with the West. During this time, China and India also permitted the intermingling or merging of other cultures with their cultures to varying degrees and in different ways.

However, China and India allowed or accepted the blending of cultures in opposing ways. Their reaction towards foreigners was also very different. China called itself the Celestial Empire and believed that its culture was vastly superior to others. China claimed it was the centre of the world civilization. All non-Chinese were considered barbarians. They tolerated an open door policy with others because they believed that they were being benevolent in sharing their culture. They also tolerated others and merged aspects of their culture that they felt were beneficial to them. China, through the Silk Road and maritime explorations, was able to share much of its superior culture and was able to derive from other cultures and blend it into the internal culture. The Mongols, during their occupation of China, were unable to expunge their culture and imprint it on the Chinese. They, however, enhanced trade and accepted many foreigners into China.

India, on the other hand, is considered a cultural mosaic. India accepted different cultures and allowed these to exist side by side with its own. India’s unique geography made it a target of conquest by other nations, especially the Muslims. However, India’s rajas decided to accept these people and their cultures for peace and to keep their domains intact.

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