China, a historical country with its story for over 5,000 years, is profoundly famous for amazing culture in many aspects. To live well in China is a challenge, but with the following culture tips, you will definitely give you a headstart!
You may often hear some “Confucius sayings” which are wisdom quotes of Confucius. Yes, this one of the greatest Chinese philosophers of all times and has a deep influence on the Chinese culture for more than 2500 years, believing that Chinese people should be mild and kind-hearted.
2. Chinese Language (汉语)
The Chinese language is the oldest written language in the world with at least six thousand years of history. 16% of the population in the world are using Chinese as their first language, Mandarin Chinese is the official spoken language of Mainland China and Taiwan, Cantonese is widely spoken in Hong Kong. As for written Chinese, Mainland China is using Simplified Chinese while Hong Kong and Taiwan areas are still using Traditional Chinese.
3. Chinese Zodiac
Chinese zodiac, also called Sheng Xiao (生肖), is based on a twelve-year cycle in Chinese lunar year system associated with an animal sign each year. These 12 signs are rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Each animal represents unique traits, in Chinese culture people’s personalities and destinies are believed to be affected by their zodiac animal.
4. Chinese Tea
This healthy drink is the national beverage of China. Drinking tea demonstrates one’s morality and social status in traditional Chinese culture. In modern China, a pot of hot tea shows a welcome to visitors to a Chinese family as an important social tool. It is indeed an opportunity to meet people for friendship or business.
5. Chinese Kung fu
Chinese martial arts, or known as Chinese Kung fu （功夫）or Wushu （武术）means a series of fighting styles which were formed during thousands of years of history, such as Shaolin, Tai Chi, and Qigong style. You may have heard of some famous Kung fu Stars like Bruce Lee, Jet Li and Jackie Chan in some movies, but it doesn’t mean all Chinese are Kung Fu masters. Commonly, most people only practice Kung fu as a sport for physical fitness.
6. Chinese Religion
According to the latest statistics, in China, about 185 million people believe in Buddhism and 33 million follow Christianity. There are up to 20 million Muslims and 12 million Taoists.
7. Chinese Festivals
Festivals are important components of any culture. Chinese traditional festivals were mainly formed during the Han Dynasty, including Spring Festival (1st – 15th of the first lunar month), Lantern Festival(15th day of the first lunar month), Qingming Festival(April 4th or 5th of the solar calendar), Dragon Boat Festival(5th day of the 5th lunar month) and Mid-Autumn Festival(15th day of the 8th lunar month).
8. Chinese Dragons
Despite the evil being and misfortune in the Western culture, dragons are an auspicious, kind and friendly creature in Chinese culture. Chinese people even claim they are the descendants of the dragon, seen from a symbol of imperial power in Chinese feudal society. Dragons in China always associated with wealth, power wisdom and success.
Getting to know the culture is the key to feeling comfortable living in a foreign country. When in China, try to think and understand as Chinese do!