Intangible heritage

Chinese Zhusuan, knowledge and practices of mathematical calculation through the abacus. ©UNESCO 2013
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Chinese Zhusuan, knowledge and practices of mathematical calculation through the abacus

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Language(s): English

Summary/Historical Context

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Asia and the Pacific

Chinese Zhusuan is a time-honoured traditional method of performing mathematical calculations with an abacus. By moving beads along rods, practitioners can perform addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, exponential multiplication, root and more complicated equations. Zhusuan has been handed down through the generations, using traditional models of oral teaching and self-learning. Beginners can make quick calculations after some fairly basic training, while proficient practitioners develop an agile mind. Zhusuan is widely used in Chinese life and is an important symbol of traditional Chinese culture and identity.

on this subject: Nomination file/ Dossier de candidature

Place/country: China,
Series: 2013 inscriptions on the Representative List/Inscriptions 2013 sur la Liste représentative
Type: Documentary
Credits: Chen Kai (director), CAMAA (publisher),
Published in: 2013

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