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This distinctive and enlightening book explores the invention and improvement of tea drinking in China, utilizing tea culture to investigate the profound query of how Chinese have historically expressed individuality. Western stereotypes portray a culture that values conformity and denigrates the personal, but Bret Hinsch convincingly explodes this facile myth. He argues that despite the fact that Chinese embrace a communitarian ethos and assume that the individual can only thrive inside a healthier neighborhood, they have also lengthy respected individuals with distinctive traits and superior achievements. Hinsch traces how emperors, scholars, poets, and merchants all used tea connoisseurship to publicly demonstrate superior discernment, gaining admiration by displaying individuality. Acknowledging central distinctions with Western norms, Hinsch demonstrates how individual distinction however constitutes an important aspect of Chinese society. By linking tea to individualism, his deeply researched guide helps make an original and influential contribution to the history of Chinese culture.
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