The question of creation has always been asked throughout history and will be continue to be an enigma for the rest of time. How did we [Human Beings] come to be? Every culture in the world has it’s own theory or legend on how we were created. In the United States, the Christian view of creation that is often believed or referenced to, is called Genesis. In China the creation story is one of the God, Pan Gu. Both have helped people to cope with the mystery of creation.
According to the Christian Biblical Account, taken from the first Chapter of the Book of Genesis, the earth and life were created in 7 days. A single God, who is referred as God, created the heavens, earth and light. He then created an expanse between the waters to separate water from water called sky. He then gathered the water under the sky to let ground appear. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. God then proceeded to make signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth. God made two great lights–the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from dark ness. Then he created all the animals including creature of the sea, birds, and livestock. God created man in his own image to let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. He created male and female from male to serve as a companion. Lastly he blessed them and told them to increase in number and fill the earth, thus concluding the creation of man.
According Chinese myth Pan Gu created the world. In the beginning, the heavens and earth were still one and all was chaos. The universe was like a big black egg, carrying Pan Gu inside itself. After 18 thousand years Pan Gu woke from a long sleep. He felt suffocated, so he took up a broadax and wielded it with all his might to crack open the egg. The light, clear part of it floated up and formed the heavens, the cold, turbid matter stayed below to form earth. Pan Gu stood in the middle, his head touching the sky, his feet planted on the earth. The heavens and the earth began to grow at a rate of ten feet per day, and Pan Gu grew along with them. After another 18 thousand years, the sky was higher, the earth thicker, and Pan Gu stood between them like a pillar so that they would never join again. When Pan Gu died, his breath became the wind and clouds, his voice thunder. One eye became the sun and one the moon. His body and limbs turned to five big mountains and his blood formed the roaring water. His veins became far-stretching roads and his muscles fertile land. The innumerable stars in the sky came from his hair and beard, and flowers and trees from his skin and the fine hairs on his body. His marrow turned to jade and pearls. His sweat flowed like the good rain and sweet dew that nurtured all things on earth. After Pan Gu died and created the Earth, a fairy by the name of Nu Wo came to Earth. She looked around the earth and took some wet clay from the riverbank, and painstakingly molded some little clay figurines into the shape of men. Then she used a magic reed to breathe life into them, so they could walk and talk. However, she soon realized that they were lonely, and needed companions. So she took some more clay and molded them using her hands into the shape of women.
The two stories talk of the creation of the mountains, water, moon, stars, heaven, earth, and everything else that we see in the world. It is interesting to note the difference timeframe that the creation of the earth took place. With Genesis, the creation of earth and man took merely a week as opposed to Pan Gu, which took 36 thousand years to accomplish. Also with Genesis man and earth were created by the same being unlike Pan Gu and Nu Wo. In Pan Gu’s story, there is also some attention given to things that to someone in our culture may see as obscure. For instance, Pan Gu’s marrow turned to jade and pearls. This shows cultural influence on the story because these are things hold great value in China. All of these myths have the same underlying themes; they just changed according to the custom and culture of the time.
Throughout every culture in the world, for as far back in time as man has existed, people are always looking to explain how they came to be. It is an inherently human trait to wonder about one’s existence and origin. Since past cultures had no scientific explanations, they resorted to these myths. These myths have kept there place in our cultures over time and have become intertwined with our lives whether we realize them or not. They will continue to be a part of our history and our future, though we might question their validity. They are part of what makes the culture.
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