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My appreciation for and understanding of Hinduism and Chinese Art increased manifold when I read the comments of my classmates on Hinduism and Chinese Art. The oldest religion, Hinduism, is a combination of many beliefs and philosophies coming together and manifesting in the worship of many forms of Gods and Goddesses. From the commentary of my classmates, I also realized that the Chinese Art, one of the oldest, remains refreshingly new even today. The intricate designs and combination of colors is a feast to the eye.
The description of Traditional Hinduism exhibit in Smithsonian’s Sackler and Freer galleries in the words of my classmates, is very enlightening. Though I heard about Hinduism earlier, it is the first time that I have read and understood more about it. It is the world’s oldest and the third largest religion. It was born in India and originated from numerous religious beliefs and philosophies. The religion is based on the idea of reincarnation, or coming back in a different life form. In Hinduism they believe in polytheism, the term commonly used to describe the worship of or belief in more than one deity, especially several deities. I was intrigued with the number of gods and goddesses within Hindu religion. In my reading the numbers is in excess of three hundred million. Why is there a need for all these gods and goddesses? The different gods and goddesses represent different functions. Based on what an individual needed assistance with he or she would pray to that god or goddess. The most supreme of these gods and goddesses is Brahman, the Supreme Cosmic Spirit; known as the Absolute God of Hinduism. Some of the other gods include Devi, the divine female also known as the Mother of Goodness. Ganesha the beloved elephant face deity that clears all obstacles; Shiva the Destroyer, and Vishnu, the all prevailing, the protector of the world and the restorer of moral order. The history and practice of Hinduism is rather interesting and a religion that I would like to investigate further.
My classmate’s written contribution on Chinese Art was quite an eye opener and makes me want to see these articles in person! One of the things that immediately appealed to me was the diversity of the materials they used. They ranged from jades, to bronzes, to ceramic, lacquer and even glass. I could easily compare my own observations of Chinese Art used in various types of artwork such as sculptures, dishes, furniture and paintings. They seemed to range from everyday common uses to showpiece designs. It was evident that many of these articles were “works of art” even during the time they were created.
Once I saw the artwork, I immediately compared the Chinese artisans to other cultures and civilizations and felt they created more beautiful and intricate artwork than some of the other civilizations of their time. It also appeared that they made efforts to employ various techniques in the use of the materials they worked with. This led me to wonder if they were indeed a more advanced civilization than others around the world.
The Chinese Art looks just as beautiful now as it did thousands of years ago. Many objects have withstood the test of time and we are fortunate to have many of these pieces available for our enjoyment and wonderment.
I agree with the contributions of my classmates on Hinduism and Chinese Art.
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