China is known to be one of the most mysterious and interesting countries in the world. Besides being a very prolific manufacturer and an economic giant, this country has an extraordinary culture that runs back thousands of years ago. Yet, some of the traditions of the Chinese people may seem odd to Westerners. Let's get to know some of the most unique Chinese societal norms.
What’s It Like to Live in China? These Pictures Reveal AllPublished 8 months ago
If you visit China, it is likely that you will run into some attractions that would be considered "out there". Dubbed one of China's ugliest buildings, this sculpture, built into a building, is a sight you shouldn't miss. These three giant figures stand 3-stories high along one side of the Tienzi Hotel in Hebei, China.
You're probably wondering—who are the three people that were honored with such a tribute? They are Shou, Fu, and Lu, mythical heroes in Chinese culture who represent good health, good luck, and fortune, respectively. The vibrant dresses and interesting held pieces make this a very unique attraction. Face it—where else can you look up and see this huge and oddly mesmerizing sight?
If you look at this photo at a quick glance, you could think this woman is walking a tiger and that the girls are holding three adorable baby pandas. Would you believe us if we told you they are all dogs? You should, because apparently, it is a trend in China to design and paint your pet into a different animal.
We're pretty sure the animals themselves could enjoy a day of getting groomed and pampered all day. However, we probably would feel bad turning our own dog into his biggest nemesis—a cat. If they knew what we were doing, we think they may never forgive us...
China is one of the fastest developing countries, and that doesn't go without consequences. One of these is "nail houses" like the one in this photo. Apparently, someone wanted to buy the land that this house sits on and offered the homeowner to sell it to him. Seemingly, the owner refused and stayed put. The result? A home in the middle of the street.
We're wondering what it was like for the construction team to design and pave the road around the home. However it was, we're proud of the homeowner for sticking up for themselves! Also, with many nail houses around the country. it makes for an interesting attraction for traveling tourists.
When we go to the beach, we're likely hoping to get a bit sun-kissed with a natural tan. In China, however, the standard for beauty is often different than in western cultures as they consider lighter complections more traditionally beautiful. That's why in this photo you can see these Chinese beach-goers wearing an interesting choice of face wear.
These facemasks must be a very good protector from the sun and may also help in reducing the rates of skin cancer. However, we believe that a hefty amount of sunblock with a high SPF should be enough to do the job, and might make for a more comfortable option in a hot and sunny day.
Even In the far-east country of China, we would probably still find the big and known businesses that we see in the West. But sometimes, they can appear with a special twist. Ever heard of Starbucks? Well, Say hello to Teabucks. As the name suggests, this place specializes in tea.
We like the idea of taking something known and changing it up to make it fit the culture. It's likely they chose the household name as inspiration to attract visitors from around the world. Well, it's working on us! We would love to visit and see what types of tea they have to offer us.
In China, just because they are such a humongous population, any little event in a small community seems gigantic to western eyes. Like this event in the picture, you see here.
It seems like a coordinated wedding of many Chinese couples, but it's not. A local shopping mall organized a brides' race to celebrate the Qixi Festival. In China, it is celebrated for the romantic legend of two lovers and has become a local Valentine's Day.
In the United States, going out in pajamas is okay if you’re going out for an emergency midnight snack, but in China, it’s cool to sport your sleepwear in public. The pajamas-in-public trend isn’t hot in all of China, but it’s definitely the latest fashion statement in Shanghai.
You can lounge in a coffee shop, spend time with your friends, watch your favorite movie in a theater, or just shop in your local market in your pajamas, and everyone will be cool with it. Note that this craze probably won’t last long as the country’s government does not support dressing down in public.
Did you know that pandas are actually owned by the People’s Republic of China? This means the country owns every existing panda on the planet today. Every time you visit a zoo and enjoy the antics of pandas, no matter where in the world you happen to be, don’t forget to give credit to China.
China regularly lends out its pandas to zoos all over the world. However, they have a strict rule that any newborn pandas outside of China must be immediately sent home to widen the gene pool. It was only recently that the species’ status changed from endangered to vulnerable. Their survival is thanks in large part to China’s special panda breeding facilities.
Most of the world celebrates the New Year on January 1st. Imagine the Rose Parade floats on the streets of Southern California, the ball drops in New York’s Times Square, and stunning fireworks lighting up the sky. Meanwhile, China celebrates the Lunar New Year on different dates and in an entirely different way.
China’s New Year celebration doesn’t last for just a day – it goes on for a full fifteen! During this time, everyone enjoys grand parades, symbolic foods, religious traditions, and the famous Lion dance. Then, of course, there are the famous Chinese firecrackers and plenty of drums and gongs. Each new year comes with a new zodiac animal to represent it.
Aside from holding the title of being a giant country in terms of its geography, China also boasts the biggest population in the world. The country’s population is more than four times that of America, and currently one in every five people on Earth is of Chinese descent. As such, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the most widely spoken language in the world is Mandarin Chinese.
Major countries such as Canada and Russia are way bigger in terms of their geographical area, with the latter being almost double China’s size. However, these countries aren’t half as populated as the People’s Republic of China. So, if you’re keen on doing business, you should consider learning Mandarin or Cantonese.
For many people, being single isn’t great when you’re in your thirties and heading home for a vacation to parents who expect to see you with grandchildren. In the West, you’ll find yourself in an intense interrogation regarding the person you’re seeing and your timeline of getting married and raising a family.
In China, this isn’t a big deal as renting a significant other online is as easy as pie. Not only will this rented special someone keep your parents calm and peaceful, but they’ll also help you craft the perfect “breakup” that ensures everyone is on your side. That sounds like a win-win situation, right?
If you’re a teenager and have been wanting to watch the latest Rated-R movie in America, you can forget about it unless you have a legal guardian to accompany you. However, in China, they don’t care about movie ratings. Anybody can watch even the raunchiest movie, so long as they have money to buy a ticket.
This is because X-rated movies are more often than not heavily filtered by the Chinese government. There’s a specific committee composed of 36 officials who edit all the movies that come through China. If any film features a scene painting China in a bad light, it’ll be automatically cut.
Ice cream is a famous dessert loved all over the world. Did you know this sweet and creamy frozen food originated in China? It turns out it was first invented here way back in 200 BCE when someone blended snow with a combination of rice and milk.
We don’t know who this ancient genius was, but we’re sure they never would have predicted that their simple sweet treat would go on to win the hearts of the entire world. While Ancient Greece and Persia had somewhat similar desserts at an earlier time, the Chinese version is by far the closest to what we enjoy today.
Fact: China is the most populated country on Earth. Need proof? This photo shows a traffic jam, China-style. Traffic in major cities like Beijing and Shanghai is a far cry from LA traffic jams. In August of 2010, things got pretty bad on an infamous day when residents in Beijing experienced unbelievable traffic that lasted for almost two weeks (12 days to be exact)!
On any given day on the Beijing-Tibet Expressway, one can find themselves stuck in traffic for more than an hour at peak times. If you badly need a way out to catch your business meetings, you can hire two guys (for a fee): one will take you on his bike, while the other will drive your car to your requested destination.
China’s controversial one-child policy was the reason why two people in love couldn't just decide for themselves to have a baby – well, at least not without their government’s approval. If they’re residing in China, couples were required to apply, get approved, and receive a family planning certificate before having a baby.
The sad thing was that if you don’t get approved for the family planning certificate and decided to have a baby anyway, your child was considered illegal, the Chinese word for which is "heihaizi". These children were unable to receive the Chinese version of social security numbers, meaning they couldn't be treated at hospitals or taught at schools and they couldn't get legal jobs or travel documents.
Every year, the US imports millions of dollars worth of food and drinks from China - 4.6 billion dollars worth of food to be exact. You might be surprised to learn that garlic, tilapia, cod, apple juice, processed mushrooms, and vitamin C all come from China.
And these products are slapped with an "organic" label, which is essentially meaningless. Consumers are starting to catch on to the fact there is no way to really know what chemicals or harmful add ons may be in the food their buying. Just a year ago, a top meat supplier was blamed for selling expired meat to American companies. Scary!
While most Communist states don’t have a positive history with religion, China has multiple religious traditions within its enormous borders. Indeed, the vast country has significantly contributed to religious philosophies over the years and is surrounded by some markedly diverse nations.
Almost every one of the world’s primary religions has landed on Chinese soil at one time or another. The most popular philosophies in China are Confucianism and Taoism (both of which originated in China) and Buddhism. There are also about 20 million Muslims in the country and it serves as a home to more Christians than all of Italy.
With a staggering 1.6 million troops on hand, the People’s Republic of China is the current record-holder for the world’s biggest army. To give you an idea of the magnitude of their airforce alone, if every Chinese fighter jet took off one by one, they’d still be rolling out 24 hours from now.
Often recognized as a rising superpower, China is indeed capable of mobilizing an intimidating level of military might. Aside from having an amazingly strong air force, ground force, and navy, the country boasts an incredible rocket force and strategic support force. Impressive, right?
While a German shepherd is considered the ideal animal companion for typical police officers in America, Chinese law enforcement officers have a different animal of choice, especially in rural areas. In regional China, the police force hires and trains creatures they consider more effective than the traditional canine.
The idea of police geese may sound like a joke, but if you’ve ever been pursued by one of these combative and territorial birds, you’ll already understand why they’re so effective. Geese have an amazing sense of sight and can hear far better than humans. Even if a thief doesn’t see the geese upon entering a building, the birds will know he’s there, and they will attack with all their might.
You might think that this is a medical laboratory, but it's not. It's the factory floor of one of the largest footwear companies on the globe. The company is not in China of course, but the factory is.
The workers are under strict guidelines from the company sitting in their comfy chair and airconditioned office. A few years back the factory employees went on strike to improve their wages. All global international brands have factories like this in China.
Unlike most European countries, vacations aren’t a norm in China. While European citizens normally get a few weeks off work each year and take the opportunity to enjoy global holidays, most Chinese citizens only get a two-week vacation during Chinese New Year.
This mass vacation across China leaves major cities like Shanghai and Beijing like ghost towns as the majority of their citizens to spend holidays in their hometowns or at other desirable destinations. More than 3.7 billion trips are planned in that short period of time. Can you imagine how crowded the airports get and how packed theme parks are during those weeks?
Skyscrapers are a trademark of major cities the world over. The United States and Japan currently hold the second and third spots for countries with the most high-rise buildings, with America sporting over 700 skyscrapers and Japan over 250. However, boasting more than 1,400 skyscrapers across the country, China easily outnumbers them.
In 2018, 88 new skyscrapers were built across the country. These aren’t just tall buildings – they are megastructures with impressive designs. In recent years, the trend of mega buildings has gotten so out of control that Xi Jinping, the country’s president, requested that this type of construction be stopped.
The Food and Drug Administration told Abc News that they received over 530 complaints from pet owners whose dogs died after eating chicken jerky treats made in China.
The number is now around 1,000 dogs, and the treats have since been recalled. The fear is that the treats often say they are manufactured in the US in big font, but written in small font in the back "made in China."
Before you decide on visiting China, there are a lot of things that you have to remember, including the fact that you will have limited access to your favorite smartphone apps and websites. Here’s the thing: most popular sites, such as Facebook and YouTube, aren’t considered acceptable by the Chinese government. So, forget about checking your phone for Facebook notifications and watching YouTube videos while in the country.
When you have a question and you badly want to search Google for answers, be careful about doing so while in China. The nation’s government aims to limit the information that enters through the internet. They’ve gone above and beyond to ensure that any possible outlet for anything they consider “anti-Chinese” is blocked.
Recognized as a country of mass production, China is known for its massive factories that manufacture a version of basically every product on Earth. This amazing level of output does wonders for their job market but does the opposite for the environment. Indeed, China is currently one of the world's most polluted countries.
According to a report published in Time magazine, the Chinese cities of Linfen and Tianying are the two most polluted areas on Earth. Their environment is reportedly more toxic than Chernobyl, and given the radioactive disaster that occurred there, that’s saying a lot. China’s overall pollution is so out of control that various studies have discovered its residue can spread as far as San Francisco, California.
There is no doubt that the rise of technology has made people’s lives easier. However, it has also made us so reckless that we barely turn away from our phone screens even when dealing with traffic. This smartphone obsession has resulted in a disturbing number of people bumping into each other and even stumbling directly into traffic without checking if cars are coming.
China has attempted to resolve this issue by creating a mobile lane for frequent texters, allowing pedestrians to text freely and wander along safely without watching where they’re going. The lane will prevent the texters from running into the elderly or unsuspecting toddlers. As a warning, it also has written in bold white letters: “Walk here at your own risk.”
It’s not surprising that after raising their children, parents are left alone as their adult children move across the country to seek independence or relocation for school or work. This situation wasn’t always a part of the culture, but it’s happening now more than ever. This reality is especially rampant in Korea, Japan, and Europe.
This emerging trend led the Chinese government to stand up against the neglect of the elderly. Not visiting parents over the age of 60 regularly is illegal in China. As a matter of fact, there are cases of children being taken to court by their abandoned parents.
Modern Chinese culture didn't support big families. In fact, the country’s government introduced the one-child policy in 1979. The dubious policy was legislated with the aim of keeping China’s massive population growth under control. Since most Chinese families preferred having boys over girls, many female babies were either placed in foster care or abandoned.
China’s one child-policy did curb population growth, but it produced an undesirable side-effect: there’s now a massive gender disparity in the Chinese population. The imbalance is so extreme that there are approximately 40 million more men than women in the country.
But in the last few years, China has seen some significant policy changes when it comes to the number of children have. In 2016, China changed the one-child policy and approved a two-child limit in order to encourage young couples to procreate.
The move wasn’t successful, and it seems young couples in China don’t want to have more children for financial reasons. In June 2021, the Chinese government took a step further and allowed families to have three children. Despite the policy change, some human rights organizations say any policy that limits the number of children is a violation of sexual and reproductive rights.
Good manners and right conduct are constructs of the culture you were raised in. This means an American at a Chinese dinner table might be surprised by some of the table manners displayed. Indeed, some forbidden behaviors at Western tables are actually the standard in China.
Normal table manners in China include slurping, burping, yawning, and even spitting, so don’t be surprised when you see such behavior during meal times when you’re in the country. These customs are used to show your appreciation for the food you’ve been served. You will likely have a lot of fun doing this, but just remember to revive your own customs when you return to your country!
There are currently around 50 cities across China that are completely empty. Believe it or not, these luxury cities are quickly constructed only to be abandoned and turned into vast, empty ghost towns until they are gradually filled up with people. This can sometimes take a couple of years to happen.
A good example of one of these ghost towns is Tianducheng, aka “Sky City.” When this grand living space was first constructed in 2007, it took years to attract any visitors. In 2013, the city had finally welcomed 2,000 residents. This was something, but it was basically still a ghost town. Thirteen years after its development, Sky City has finally managed to attract 30,000 residents, despite the Eiffel Tower replica in the city. Those figures are low for a city of its size.
We’re currently in the 21st century and the idea of humans still living in caves seems impossible. However, this ancient form of housing still exists for some people living in the Loess Plateau, a region located in China’s northern province of Shaanxi.
As we endure long lines outside of Apple stores to be among the first to buy the latest iPhone, there are more than 30,000,000 people in China who are still living in caves. That’s more than Australia’s entire population! Fortunately, the place they call home does a good job of keeping the cold out during the winter and keeping heat out during the summer.
China is known as the world’s most prolific exporter. This is because almost all countries display an array of products made in China. In fact, 18% of the products manufactured in China go directly into markets in America. Indeed, you are likely buying and using products made in China without even knowing it! Note that China is responsible for creating and distributing toys, handbags, clothing, furniture, lighting fixtures, electrical machinery, and automobile parts, among many other goods.
The country’s manufacturing mecca is in the city of Shenzhen. And, as the world’s biggest official economic giant, China is aiming to take things to a higher level. The Chinese government is hoping to advance their machinery to astonishing levels of efficiency by 2025 so that they can boost their production efforts even further.
China has been one of the world's fastest-growing economies since opening up its market to foreign trade in 1979. China also has an abundance of prominent businessmen, who actually own some of your favorite companies.
These investors have purchased Spotify, General Motors, Apple, Snapchat, Riot Games, and Smithfield Foods.
As the world’s biggest manufacturer, you can find a version of everything in this giant country. China boasts its own take on the Eiffel Tower, massive American-style shopping malls, and even Hallstatt, a city in Austria. And these imitations are only the beginning.
Fake stores are abundant in China, and you can even find unlimited availability of pirated music and films. There are fake, unauthenticated Apple products and a fake Apple store to fix them, too! Moreover, the country is known for having big-time copycats, with fake restaurants and fake banks. It seems the nation has taken the old saying, “imitation is the best form of flattery” to heart!