5,000 years

Okay, I am going to cut to the chase of this debate.

First what is the difference between history and civilization?

Second, and this is really the important point that I wanted to get to eventually, can anyone tell me how long English history is? French? Japanese? Russian? etc.

Third, why is it that the Chinese endlessly preface everything with 5,000 years of history/civilization, which in turn has been picked up indiscriminately by journalists, businesspeople and even academics? What is the “cultural” significance of this (as far as I know) unique behavior? I just returned from Iran and no one ever said in 5,000 years of Persian history and I do not recall this being the case in Egypt or other ancient civilizations either.

Is this a recent trait or has 5,000 years always been emphasized in Chinese history? Or did it begin with the Western incursions? the Communist regime? the ROC moving to Taiwan? when? and if a discernible date can be identified, why did this spawn this 5,000 year tag?

Thanks again for any and all serious replies.

This forum is replicating itself. To respond to the above, please go to the original forum.

Hmmmppphhh! I’m having a bad Taiwan day (damn lousy jackhammer creeps following a taxi ride from hell…) so I’ll be nasty.

My friend, who lived here almost 5000 years ago, used to respond to the smug “We Chinese have 5000 years of history…” crap with,
“Oh yeah? Well, what have you done lately?”
That amuses me.

Funny thing is, when the Mesopatamia exhibition was in town last year at the History Museum, I counted something like 8000 years of history.
The Chinese certainly don’t have a corner on the thousands of years history market!

I’m closing this duplicate thread.
Please respond here.

–the moderator