Chinese culture is one of the oldest cultures in the world. Originating thousands of years ago, the culture prevails across a large geographical region in East Asia. Chinese culture is diverse and varying, with different customs and traditions between provinces and cities. Chinese civilization is considered a dominant culture in East Asia. What are some Chinese culture facts you need to know?
We will talk about China as an early ancient civilization. Over the centuries, Chinese culture has had an influence on philosophy, etiquette, virtue, traditions, and many more in Asia. Speaking of worldwide impact, Chinese culture has had an impact on music, dance, ceramics, architecture, literature, martial arts, cuisine, philosophy, politics, religion, and more.
With that in mind, here are some of the most unique Chinese cultural facts.
- 1 Deeply Influenced By Confucianism
- 2 The Middle Kingdom
- 3 Emphasis On Family
- 4 Ping Pong
- 5 Chinese Calligraphy
- 6 Mandarin Chinese
- 7 Chinese People Speak Bluntly
- 8 Eager To Learn And Practice English
- 9 Festivals Are Everything
- 10 Different Cultures
- 11 Chinese Kung Fu
- 12 Tea Shows Your Social Status
- 13 Chinese Minorities
- 14 Fortune Cookies Are Not Actually A Thing
- 15 Dating = Exclusive Relationship
- 16 Friends Might Ask For Your Salary
- 17 The Chinese Zodiac
- 18 Dragons Are Not Scary
- 19 Never Say Never
Deeply Influenced By Confucianism
Confucianism is one of the oldest religions. As an ancient religion, Confucianism has had an impact on huge parts of Asia. And China is no exception.
Religion has had an impact on respect for rulers, family, and social harmony. In China, Confucianism is a national philosophy and a religious system of beliefs.
For more than 2,500 years, Confucian beliefs have been installed in mainstream ethics and religion.
The Middle Kingdom
The Chinese word for China is Zhongguo, translating to the Middle Kingdom. This reflects the ancient Chinese worldview as the country in the center of the world. Chinese people are very proud of their long history and culture.
Emphasis On Family
People in China put a huge emphasis and importance on family and family structure. Marriage, children, and family are extremely important to Chinese people. Usually, life in a Chinese family revolves around the youngest children.
In China, it is common for grandparents to live with their children long after they have been married. Children are expected to look after their parents once they are married and working.
This has been the most popular sport in China for many years. Ping Pong, or table tennis, remains the most popular amateur sport in China. More than 300 million ping pong players in China play the sport regularly.
Other popular sports include basketball, volleyball, and badminton. Chairman Mao made ping pong the national sport in the 1950s, and it remains that.
A revered art form, calligraphy is a much-practiced national art form. Calligraphy has helped the development of other Chinese art forms.
Some examples include seal carvings, ornate paperweights, and inkstones.
There is a difference between the traditional Chinese language and the Mandarin Chinese language. Mandarin is unique in both written and spoken versions.
There are two categories of Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese and Mandarin. Mainland China and Taiwan use the Mandarin Language as their official language.
There are many dialects in China, including the GAN, Wu, Min, YUE, and Xiang. Various dialects are spoken by the Han people.
Chinese People Speak Bluntly
One of the stereotypes about China and Asian countries is that speaking styles are very circular. That means that public discussions will circle the main point before finally arriving at it. You might be surprised by the blunt way the Chinese speak to foreigners.
Eager To Learn And Practice English
In Western states, learning a second language is not a big deal. Especially since most Western countries have either English, French, or German as their main language.
But in China, learning a second or even third language is an important part of life. Kids attend English classes starting at a very young age.
Even if they never leave China, they will be excited to practice their English or other languages with foreigners and tourists.
Festivals Are Everything
There are a couple of big festivals in China. But the Chinese New Year is the biggest festival in the country. It is celebrated massively together. Family and friends have very special customs to adhere to during festivals.
Yes, Confucianism is the main culture in China. But other philosophical and religious teachings have shaped China as well. These include Buddhism and Taoism. China’s society is influenced by ideas from different cultures and philosophies.
Chinese Kung Fu
Kung Fu is one of the main attractions in China. Origins of the philosophy can be dated to primeval society when people used cudgels to fight against wild beasts. This gradually turned the philosophy into a form of self-defense and hunting.
Later on, Kung Fu evolved into a form of martial art. It was used to train Chinese soldiers and improve their morale ahead of wars.
Tea Shows Your Social Status
Tea is the Chinese national beverage. Traditional Chinese tea culture shows how you drink tea, which tea you drink, and social status.
Nowadays, having a pot of tea when visitors come around is the typical way of welcoming people into your home. Tea ceremonies are also important for finishing business transactions and business meetings.
The Chinese government recognizes 56 ethnic groups in China. The Han ethnicity is the largest, making up 92% of the total Chinese population.
Each ethnic minority has its own customs, language, culture, dress, language, and more.
Fortune Cookies Are Not Actually A Thing
We often think of fortune cookies as part of a Chinese restaurant. And we think it is something big in China. But fortune cookies are not a thing in China. In China, Chinese restaurants do not serve fortune cookies.
Yes, Chinese food culture is a big thing. But fortune cookies are not.
Dating = Exclusive Relationship
This might surprise you, but when you date someone in China, that person automatically thinks you are in an exclusive relationship.
It is quite different from the dating culture in Western countries. While people in the West might enjoy casual dating and casual relationships, that is not a thing in China. If you like to date someone else in China, you have to end the existing relationship first.
Friends Might Ask For Your Salary
In the Western world, talking about salary and how much you make is not a common topic. But that is not the thing in China. Money is not a taboo topic. In fact, Chinese cultural facts dictate that you should talk about your salary. The Chinese do not fear money.
The Chinese Zodiac
We know there is the regular zodiac and the Chinese zodiac. And while out in the west, the horoscope is not a big thing, the Chinese zodiac is highly regarded and respected. It is based on a 12-year cycle steeped in the Chinese lunar year system.
Every year of the cycle is associated with one of the 12 different animals. Those include dragon, sheep, monkey, horse, snake, and more.
Dragons Are Not Scary
When you are in China, you can see a Chinese dragon everywhere. The reason is simple. The Chinese population considers dragons as creatures that bring power, wealth, success, and wisdom. They are not the evil monsters we see in Western society and Western culture.
Never Say Never
Chinese culture values respect above everything else. The language can be quite ambiguous when it is time to reject someone. There is a saying, “In China, Never Say Never”.
It is important to understand the context of the situation and read social cues hidden between words. So, that is why you should never express outright rejection. Instead, a better alternative is to change the topic or dodge the question.