China Culture







Teacher and Classroom Information

Ethnic Groups

Han Chinese 91.5%, Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uighur, Tujia, Yi, Mongol, Tibetan, Buyi, Dong, Yao, Korean, and other nationalities 8.5% (2000 census)

Chinese Ethnic Minority Map
Chinese Ethnic Minority Map

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Chinese Language

Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.6%
male: 95.7%
female: 87.6% (2007)

School Life Expectancy

total: 12 years
male: 11 years female: 12 years (2009 (2009)
All of the information above (besides the picture that is already cited) was directly copied from


China has adopted a nine-year compulsory schooling system, which means all children are required to attend school for at least nine years. Students have to complete both the primary school program and the junior middle-school program. Higher education is only for those students who have passed examinations of all levels. Student must pass the entrance examination for senior middle schools or middle-level technical schools. After two, three or four years, they have to go through national college entrance examination for admission to universities.
This information was directly copied from this reference

A Couple Facts about China

Most Chinese people are farmers and herders. They have a major challenge to keep the countries large population fed.
China Industry
China Industry

About one-fifth of China's population live in urban areas.

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Chinese Occasions

  • Chinese festivals are often based on lunar cycles, which brings about the months in Chinese calendars. Each month is equivalent to one lunar cycle, about 29.5 days. This is slower in comparison with the solar calendar, which has about 30 days each month. Hence, in order to 'catch up' with the solar calendar, the Chinese calendars have leap years - once every seven years. In leap years, an extra month is inserted, the month depending on other forms of calculations.
  • On top of the months, the Chinese also have a zodiac system of 12 animals: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Boar.

The Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year is a holiday that celebrates a new year in China according to the lunar calendar. Because our calendar is according to the birth of Jesus Christ, the Chinese's way of telling time is older and slightly different from others. This holiday is considered to be one of the most important in Chinese tradition.
This holiday is celebrated focused on bringing good luck for the year ahead and the coming of spring. The time, sometimes lasting up to a month, is full of family gatherings, gift giving, and the eating of traditional foods and making of festive decorations.
There are many traditions that the Chinese use to symbolize good luck for the New Year. For example, adults will give children money in red envelopes (hong bao in Mandarin or lai-see in Cantonese) that are meant to symbolize wealth and prosperity for the coming year. Elders may also give these gifts to unmarried parts of the family.
Families may also clean their house before the New Year, in order to have good luck for the coming spring.

The above two paragraphs were directly copied from this reference

chinese new year dragon dance
chinese new year dragon dance

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Chinese Food

  • The Chinese eat many foods that are unfamiliar to North Americans. Shark fins, seaweed, frogs, snakes, and even dog and cat meat are eaten. However, the Chinese follow the spiritual teaching of balance signified by yin ("cool") and yang ("hot"). This philosophy encourages the Chinese to find a balance in their lives, including in the foods they eat. While preparing meals, the Chinese may strive to balance the color, texture, or types of food they choose to eat.
  • Rice is China's staple food. Rice may be served with any meal, and is eaten several times a day. Scallions, bean sprouts, cabbage, and gingerroot are other traditional foods. Soybean curd, called tofu, is an important source of protein for the Chinese. Although the Chinese generally do not eat a lot of meat, pork and chicken are the most commonly eaten meats. Vegetables play a central role in Chinese cooking, too.

external image chinese%20rice_0.png

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The main regional types of Chinese cooking.

  • The cooking of Canton province in the south is called Cantonese cooking. It features rice and lightly seasoned stir-fried dishes. Because many Chinese immigrants to America came from this region, it is the type of Chinese cooking that is most widely known in the United States. Typical Cantonese dishes are wonton soup, egg rolls, and sweet and sour pork.
  • The Mandarin cuisine of Mandarin province in northern China features dishes made with wheat flour, such as noodles, dumplings, and thin pancakes. The best known dish from this region is Peking duck, a dish made up of roast duck and strips of crispy duck skin wrapped in thin pancakes.
  • Shanghai cooking, from China's east coast, emphasizes seafood and strong-flavored sauces. The cuisine of the Szechuan province in inland China is known for its hot and spicy dishes made with hot peppers, garlic, onions, and leeks. This type of cooking became popular in the United States in the 1990s.
  • Tea, the beverage offered at most meals, is China's national beverage. The most popular types of tea—green, black, and oolong—are commonly drunk plain, without milk or sugar added. Teacups have no handles or saucers.
The above information about food was directly copied from this reference.

Common Practices

A list of weird and uncommon superstitions as practiced by the Chinese are as follows:
  • Hitting others with a broom will result in bad luck for many years to come.
  • Brooms are to be kept during the Chinese New year period and no sweeping of the house is allowed because this will result in bad luck and loss of wealth for the household.
  • Wearing a moustache and not shaving will bring about bad luck. This belief is contrary to the common portrayal of Chinese in the olden times.
  • Cutting or trimming one's nail at night is not encouraged as this practice will attract wandering spirits to one.
  • Dogs are believed to be able to see ghosts and spirits due to the fluid in their eyes. By applying this fluid over one's eyes, one can actually see ghosts. This is how temple medium see ghosts.
  • When dogs howl for long periods at the wee hours of the mornings, this signifies death in the surrounding area.
  • Babies can also sense spirits. When they sense 'unclean' spirits, they will wail without reason.
  • When one dreams of teeth or snow, it means death of one's parent.
  • Pointing at the moon will result in one's ears to be cut off. (This belief appears to be most fictious, mainly because the result does not happen. However, parents continue to pass on this belief as they often use this story to scare their children. Jokingly, of course.)

Feng Shui

The early Chinese immigrants first introduced feng shui to the people in the United States during the 1800s. Since then, many buildings not only in the states incorporated feng shui, like the Four Corners section in New York, and Joss house in Australia, which was built in the 19th century. Chinatown in San Francisco and Los Angeles are some other examples of places in the west applying the art of feng shui in its infrastructure. Ironically, feng shui have since been illegal in the People's Republic of China, primarily because of Chairman Mai Zedong.

Feng shui is still practiced in many parts of the world, mainly in rural China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore etc, but it is not well-known among the younger generations of Chinese in China. However, rapid modernization and globalization has led to feng shui being a worthy subject for scholarly inquiry in Chinese Universities, and could possibly lead to the re-emergence of the application of this ancient ceremonial custom.

The above two paragraphs were directly copied from this reference