Hello everyone! I am He Senberg. Those who are familiar with history are supposed to know that, in China the period from three Kingdoms to the Northern and Southern Dynasties are in a full-scale eruption of national contradictions. At that time, five ethnic minorities Huns, Xianbei, Jie, Di and Qiang came into the Central Pains to establish sucessively 16 regimes. As a result, this period is also called Sixteenth States Dynasties. In the traditional view that time is seen as Five Hu Chaotic owing to that in the process of the establishment and demise of these regimes successive wars and ethnic conflict occurred incessantly which resulted the Central Plains in becoming a scorched earth. The reason why I dislike this period is because, to me people in this era are full of suffrage. Frequent natural disasters and wars brings misery not only to the Han people but also to the ethnic minorities. Endless vendettas and oppression happened between countries and between nations. The causes of such conflicts, needless to say, are in diversity but the difference of culture and habits is one of the most important reasons. To what extent can this cultural conflict be? I will give you two examples. One of the Xianbei princes was once a hostage in Luoyang during the period of Wei and Jin Dynasties. His living habits, clothing and diet had owing to live in the Central Plains for a very long time been completely assimilated, almost the same as Han people. When later he returned to his tribe many ministers there said that this prince dressed like the southern Han people which is inappropriate, which could ruin the country. After this happened, the prince was killed. Have a think about it that a Prince is killed just because he wears the clothes of the Southerners this is a result of the severe cultural conflict between Han and ethnic minorities. It is unbearable for ethnic minorities to accept the Han culture, conversely the same for Han people. One of the most typical examples was the convention of the levirate marriage. The so-called “levir” refers to a special marriage custom that has long historically prevailed in the northern nomadic people. In this marriage custom, when an adult man dies his son or brother has the right to marry their wife. Therefore, in the society of Huns and Xianbei the case of a son marries his stepmother or the uncle his sister-in-law often happens. Han people, naturally, disdains this marriage custom because to them this is fornication that means father and son, contrary to humanity co-share a sexual spouse is an animal behavior. During the period of Sixteen Kingdoms the former emperor of Zhao Dynasty, Liu Yuan, had a queen surname Shan who was absolutely the most beautiful one. After his death, his son Liu Cong had the idea of marrying his stepmother. Although his son’s family name is Liu but in fact his son is a Huns. In that society, it is normal for the son to marry his father’s wife after he passed away as in the Northern grassland this tradition is allowed. Han minister, however in the imperial court exploded that is completely a fornication. Since ancient times filial piety has been the first principle of moral quality in China and especially important in Han dynasty where filial impiety was one of the most serious crimes. The corresponding penalty is to after judged to be unfilial by the court be executed in public downtown area and his wife at the same time. Moreover, though the crime slaughtered himself It is imaginable that in the Han Dynasty the importance of filial piety to the intellectuals there is to the largest degree. And when, unexpectedly a Huns emperor said that he wanted to marry his stepmother the Han ministers were shocked to death. Of course, queen Shan was impossible to accept this custom and finally commits suicide. This event has also reflected the conflict of the cultural differences between the Han and the ethnic minority. I have become, as in the past few years working at the National Museum more and more convinced that all cultural behaviors in human history have the potential logic of natural sciences even such those strange behaviors as levir of Huns and Xianbei. Dr. Gao Kai from Fudan University has conducted detailed research on the areas of the northern nomads. He found that the areas where northern nomads lived were often lacking a micronutrient, zinc due to the influential factors such as latitude, rainfall, and primitive soil. Human body contains more than 40 kinds of elements among which the constant elements can take up for 99.9% of the whole body while micronutrients only 0.5% of the body. Although zinc is only one of 14 micronutrients of which the proportion is less than constant elements it plays an extremely important role in the whole body. There are more than 200 kinds of enzymes in the human body. The composition of nucleic acid and protein is related to micronutrient zinc which is involved in almost every aspects of function and development of human body. Particularly, when women are in pregnancy the demand for zinc is almost twice as high as that of healthy women. This is owing to the proliferation of cells when the fetus grows continuously in which process the enzyme needed for DNA replication and for RNA transcription is zinc-containing. If the fetus destitute of zinc it can hardly grow normally especially its nervous system. Brain is the organ with the highest zinc content which has about 10 micrograms in every 1 gram of brain much higher than other micronutrients. Moreover, if women fail to get enough zinc in their pregnancy the fetus will be of malformation of nervous system and even be born without brain. Lack of zinc influences not only fatally to the baby but also greatly to pregnant women. Pregnant women in zinc deficiency are likely to have such problems as premature rupture of amniotic fluid syndrome of childbirth, chromosomal abnormalities, and decreased immunity. It can be said that the intake level of zinc directly determines the normalcy of women childbirth. If the intake of zinc is insufficient the mortality rate of pregnant women will be surged. So where does the zinc exist? Actually, we can find it in the environment. The zinc in the soil will enter the human body through the diet but if the soil is originally lacking zinc this would be troublesome. Such northern nomadic people as Huns and Xianbei have lived in inland areas at high latitudes for a long time. The soil in most areas there is lack of zinc. In addition their diet is full of meat and the copper in which is antagonistic to zinc. That is to say, a large amount of meat intake will hinder the absorption of zinc to a certain extent which makes women in their tribe seriously lack of micronutrient zinc in a long term. This is supported by archaeological evidence. Archaeologists analyzed some unearthed bones during this period. The test results show that the female body at that time lacks surely zinc. However, as we said above the lack of zinc will greatly increase the mortality rate of pregnant women during childbirth. This, as a result had led to the death of a large number of pregnant women in the northern nomadic society caused a serious imbalance of proportion between men and women. Healthy gestational women were without doubt an invaluable asset for the family and could not easily be discarded. In order to prevent the collapse of population and the extinction of the nation and to descend the family’s blood the convention of levir emerged. There is a teacher once sums up the three main principles of levirate marriage. Firstly, the married one must be a widow which means if his own father or brother is still alive he can’t marry his stepmother or sister-in-law. Secondly, the marrying one must customarily be the heir to the dead. And thirdly, levir is of openness a fair relationship instead of sneaky. These three principles ensure that levir in the northern nomadic society will not have the disadvantages of the marriage with close relatives and at the same time remain a healthy gestational woman in their own family to descend the blood for them. I would like to make a summary in the end. There is a strong cultural conflict between the Han and Northern ethnic minorities during the period of Northern and Southern Dynasties especially between the ethnics of Huns and Xianbei which furthermore leads to a series of ethnic contradictions. And the most notable one of these cultural conflicts is the levir. However, this special custom is the result of convergence of many factors. The one that is non-negligent is the living circumstance of them where is dry and cold and in high latitude inland areas. The soil there lacks zinc. And as we mentioned before the lack ingestion of zinc will greatly increase the mortality rate of gestational women in their ethnic groups resulting in a serious imbalance of proportion between men and women and therefore, healthy gestational women become a valuable treasure. In order to better descend family’s blood and to avoid population decrease and ethnic extinction the convention of levir emerged. When we retrospect today about this historical phenomenon we will find that cultural differences between ethnic groups are due to their different environments. Different environment follows, necessarily, different cultures and habits. If we could get any enlightenment from this historical event I would like to say that when we find other countries or nations have strange customs and habits refusing to rash to make value judgments. Contrarily, thinking about the reasons why they have such customs first. When we research and reflect the potential logic of a certain cultural phenomenon we may have a inclusive and rational attitude to be more comprehensive to other culture.