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Ethic Group of China

As a large united multi-national state, China is composed of 56 ethnic groups.

 . The Han Chinese
The Han Chinese are the largest ethnic group, where some 91.59 percent of the population was classified as Han Chinese (~1.2 billion ). Besides the majority Han Chinese, 55 other “nationalities” or ethnic groups are recognized in mainland China by the PRC government, numbering approximately 105 million people, mostly concentrated in the northwest, north, northeast, south, and southwest but with some in central interior areas.
The Han people are found in all parts of the country, but mainly in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River (Huanghe), the Yangtze River (Changjiang), and the Pearl River (Zhujiang) as well as the Songliao Plains.
The appellation of "Han" originated from the Han Dynasty during the 2nd and 3rd centuries, the first prosperous dynasty of Chinese history after Qin unifying China. And it continues to be the majority population in China, merged with many different tribal clans like the Yi, Qian, Di and Man. Before that, the people were called "Huaxia".
The earliest Han people can be traced to the Hua Xia tribe, who originally settled in the middle area of the Yellow River (Huanghe). The legendary leader of the Hua Xia tribe was Huang Di (Emperor Yellow). The Chinese refer to themselves as the descendants of Huang Di, and describe the Yellow River as the cradle of their civilization development.
. The Manchu
The Manchu, with a population of 9.82 million (by 1990), are mainly distributed in Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces, of which Liaoning has the most Manchus. A small number of the Manchus scatter in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and Hebei and Shandong provinces.
Manchu has its own language and letters, which belong to the Manchu-Tungusic Austronesian of the Altaic Phylum. Manchu letters were created in the 16th century on the base of Mongolian letters. With more and more Manchus settling in the Central Plains since the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the economic and cultural exchange between the Hans and Manchus became more and more frequent and the Manchus gradually adopted the Han language.
The traditional costumes of a Manchu man are a narrow-cuffed short jacket over a long gown with a belt at the waist to facilitate horse-riding and hunting. Manchu women used to wear loose-bodied Cheongsams and embroidered shoes. In the past, Manchu men wore their hair long. They braided their hair and let the braids droop behind their heads. During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) the queue became the standard fashion throughout China, eventually becoming a political symbol of the dynasty. Women coiled their hair on top of their heads and wore earrings and headgear.
Most Manchus believed in Shamanism in the past, thinking that there were many gods commanding the world. Now this belief has faded away. The Manchu and the Han basically share the same festivals and holidays such as the Spring Festival, the Duanwu Festival and the Mid-autumn Festival, although there are still some differences in terms of celebrating ceremonies. During festivals, the Manchus always hold various traditional sports activities, of which the most common sports are Pearl Ball and skating.
Ⅲ. The Mongolians 
With a total population of over 4.8 million (as of 1990), the Mongolians live mainly in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Some are distributed in Xinjiang, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Gansu and Qinghai provinces. Others are scattered in Sichuan, Ningxia, Yunnan and Beijing.
The Mongolians have their own spoken and written language, which belongs to the Mongolian Austronesian of the Altaic Phylum. The Mongolians have three dialects: Inner Mongolian, Barag-Buryat and Uirad. The Mongolian script was created in the early 13th century on the basis of the Huihu script, which was revised and developed into the form used up to now.
The Mongolians have a fine cultural tradition, and made indelible contributions to Chinese culture and science. They created their script in the 13th century and later produced many outstanding historical and literary works, including the Inside History of Mongolia, which has been listed as one of the World Cultural Heritage in China by the UNESCO. Other great works of folk literature include the Life Story of Jianggar, an epic of the 15th century. Mongolian medicine has been best known for its Lamaist therapy, which is most effective for traumatic surgery and the setting of fractured bones.
The Mongolians believe in Lamaism. They are hospitable, zealous and frank. They always offer the breast and tail of the sheep or lamb as a special treat to distinguished guests, and drink wine and sing songs to entertain guests while they eat. Presenting Hada, a strip of white silk, to the guest is the highest etiquette of the Mongolians.
Ⅳ. The Tibetan
The Tibetan ethnic minority, with a population of 4,593,330 (by 1990), mostly lives in the Tibet Autonomous Region. There are also Tibetan communities in Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces.
With a long history, Tibetans have their own language and letters. The Tibetan language belongs to the Tibetan sub-branch of the Tibeto-Burman Austronesian of the Chinese-Tibetan Phylum. According to geographical divisions, it has three major local dialects: Weizang, Kangba and Ando. The Tibetan script, an alphabetic system of writing, was created in the early 7th century. With four vowels and 30 consonants, it is used in all areas inhabited by Tibetans.




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