Top 10 Chinese Culture Facts You Should Know
The Chinese have a rich culture which they have managed to sustain for thousands of years and they are still strong at it handing it down generations. While they have several beliefs and taboos they are keen to follow, there are some main culture facts one needs to know and understand especially if you intend visiting the country or living around the Chinese community. Some are more commonly identified even when watching some Chinese movies whereas others are bound to capture your attention. The following are some of the top Chinese culture facts you should know.
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Confucianism was developed by the Chinese philosopher Confucius (孔子, Kǒngzǐ) and provides an outline of ethical and religious beliefs. Confucianism also influences the political dimension of the Chinese. It has great influence for more than 2500 years and it still retains its influence to date.
Chinese Martial Arts
This is commonly referred to as KungFu (功夫, Gōngfū) as well as Wushu (武术, Wǔshù). It comprises of a series of fighting styles and this has thus led to a number of martial art styles. The different styles range between Shaolin, tai-chi, and qigong. It has been in existence for thousands of years and this has led to many westerners thinking that every Chinese is a perfectionist in martial arts. Since time memorial, kung-fu has played the role of self-defense mechanism as well as a sport for leisure purposes.
Chinese Zodiac: Sheng Xiao
Sheng Xiao (生肖, Shēngxiào) refers to the Chinese zodiac culture. This revolves around a 12-year cycle.Each year has its own animal. These animals are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, a dog, and a pig. Depending on the year, they stand in with a symbol of one of the animals. The concept behind this is that these animals have traits that symbolize people’s personalities. The Chinese believe that the Chinese Zodiac animals can affect one’s current personality as well as affect their destiny.
The Chinese language is unique in both written as well as spoken versions. With more than a quarter of the world’s population using Chinese as their first language and a larger percentage adopting the language, it is evident that the culture is not only strong in China but also across the globe. In existence is traditional as well as simplified written Chinese. In reference to spoken Chinese, the major categories include Mandarin and Cantonese. However, it is important to note that Mainland China and Taiwan use Mandarin as their official language.
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The Chinese festivals are a symbol of unity. In this, they bring people together. They will celebrate their festivals no matter where they are in the world with equal enthusiasm. During these festivals, they will showcase their rich culture as well as dine and drink. The key purpose of Chinese festivals is to come together and remind each other of their heritage. You can learn more about Chinese New Year traditions one of the festivals from our previous blog.
The religion of Chinese people is by far one of the oldest religions across the globe and it seems not to be influenced by the changes in personalities or by modernity. The three major religious concepts that define religion in China include Confucianism, Taoism, as well as Buddhism.
The Chinese dragon is a symbol that has long been used in the Chinese culture. Looking closely, you will also see the influence it has in the architecture as well as its influence in the Chinese festivals. The dragon is considered sacred and a symbol of strength for the Chinese.
While the rest of the world may simply enjoy a cup of tea, a pot of tea means much more to the Chinese. It is the national drink in China. Traditionally in China, drinking tea said a lot about an individuals’ morality as well as their social status. On the other hand, embracing modernity still, retains the importance of Chinese tea as it is a sign of welcome to visitors. In addition, tea is a sign of being social. The Chinese will gather for tea and have even erected tea spots that they will come together for meetings as a way of socializing and to mingle. In this, it is not just about the act of drinking tea but what surrounds it as well.
Food for Chinese is not just a meal but it also comes with a rich culture behind it. Chinese food is not only delicious but also has interesting eating etiquette and table manners. China is diverse and it is due to this that they also provide for a number of different styles. These cuisines include Cantonese cuisine, Shandong cuisine, Jiangsu cuisine, Sichuan cuisine, Fujian, Hunan cuisine, Anhui, and their Zhejiang cuisine. Despite this diversity, the different regions use chopsticks as their main cutlery. They do not mind sharing a meal from one plate. In addition, they consider mealtimes as a time to chat and converse as opposed to the western culture that advocates for eating while eliminating conversations as a part of table etiquette.
Chinese Family Culture
The family is an important aspect of the Chinese culture. In this, they are keen on marriage, families, as well as children. Even though Chinese people are all around the globe, whether for work, education, or any other purpose, they are keen to go back home and visit on a regular. Reuniting with family is important. In addition, their leisure life will revolve majorly around family. Rather than hang out with just friends, the Chinese will prefer spending time with family.
The above are some of the top Chinese culture facts you should know. They cover a vast dimension of the Chinese allowing you to understand them better as well as to live alongside them comfortably. They address the meals, drinks, social life, sport, as well as their language. In this, it is an all-rounded collection of relevant information surrounding the Chinese. The Chinese are strict around their culture and they are keen to live by it even when they are distant from home.
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