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Culture: A learned and shared behavior by a group of people, the way life distinguishes a person.

Social Groups

In the past, Chinese homes were crowded because several generations lived in one house, and couples usually had many children. Villages were made up of several farming families that were often related to one another. Extended families include family members such as aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.Now, Chinese couples have fewer children than people in the past did. More people live in the cities than in villages. Elderly Chinese people usually live with their married children and grandchildren, especially in rural areas. Generations still live together in one building because there are not enough homes for everyone. Chinese grandmothers receive special treatment because they are considered to be the head of the households. In China everyone has a responsibility in the family. When grandparents retire, they take care of their grandchildren and shop and cook. Usually, both parents work outside the home.

Dating and Marriage
Dating in china indicates a serious commitment between two people and is uncommon before one of the partners is over age 20 or has graduated from college. The minimum sanctioned age for marriage is 20 for women and 22 for men. People who marry before that age are not eligible for certain benefits. Most Chinese expect to get married, because family is the most important thing in a families life. In China, divorcing is becoming more acceptable. After the wedding, a couple must apply for permission from the local government. The bride retains her maiden name, but the children will take the father last name. In the wedding the bride must wear red, or she has the choice to wear red in the morning and when the groom picks her up she can change into a white dress. They celebrate their wedding with family and friends. These festivities last for two days. Urban wedding dinner parties combine traditional customs with western customs: Wedding rings are starting to become more common

Chinese religion is a mixture of taoist, confucian, and buddhist beliefs. The chinese get their superstition from taoist pholosophies, which include Zodiac signs, firecrackers, and the color red. Taoists believe in living in harmony with nature. They believe in supernatural beings, use charms and spells, and meditate. Confucius dedicated his life to teaching the love of humankind. Confucianism encourages interest in the arts to stimulate their minds. Their are also other minor religions such as buddhism, Islam, and Christianity

More people speak the Chinese language than any other language in the world. The number of people speaking Chinese is greater than the number of people speaking English, French, Spanish, and German combined. The Chinese language is spoken in different ways in all parts of China. If you are listening to a Chinese speaker, you'll notice that the speakers voice goes up and down. This is because Chinese is what we call a tonal language. Most Chinese words have only one syllable. There are 55 minorities of China, some that are broken into sub groups, speak their own languages. The four main minority language groups are Altaic, Tibeto-burmese, Tai, and Miao-yao. Chinese has a wealth of languages besides Putonghua, the common language. Eight dialects are spoken across different regions they vary in provinces and even from village to village.
Cultural Patterns and Traditions
The Chinese participate in many traditional festivals according to the Chinese calendar. Some of their major festivals include Lunar New Year. Qingming Jie, Duanwu Jie, Zhonqui Jie, and others. Chinese celebrate these festivals with torches, parades, lanterns, and Lion dances. Lunar new year is the longest chronological event in history. There are also public holidays such as National Day and Labor Day. National Day is celebrated with a huge parade down Changan Avenue in Beijing. Men and women, representing various organizations, march in columns. Another tradition is fengshui. It is an ancient Chinese art to promote health, happiness, and good fortune through the arrangement of objects to align with nature.

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Leisure Activities
China is crowded, and people live in small homes that do not have room for entertaining. So, they end up spending a lot of time outside. Some sports that are popular with all ages are ping-pong, basketball, volleyball, swimming, gymnastics, and shadow boxing. In the summer they gather in courtyards to play cards or some chess. On Sundays, most families visit some historic sites. Other favorites are gardening, shopping, and visiting with friends and families. They also visit parks to train songbirds or admire their pets and other pets. Martial Arts is also a big thing in China. Today they study and practice as exercise. Also, at dawn, hundreds of people dress in loose clothing, go to an open area or park and practice tai chi chuan. It is an exercise that many people do.
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A Flower Moon Night on Spring River puts the listener in a happy mood. Mournful Autumn makes one feel the inner sorrow of a bleak autumn day. All the World Rejoices stirs up a joy of celebration in whoever happens to get caught up in its festive rhythms. These are famous examples of traditional Chinese Music compositions, all of which can transport the listener into a whole new sensory world. The variations of rhythm, beat, tone quality, and embelishments in traditional Chinese music are highly distinctive and unlike their Western counterparts. This is mainly due to the unique sounds and playing styles of traditional Chinese musical instruments. Chinese musical instruments can be divided into four basic categories based on the method by which they are played. They are "Blown," "Bowed," "Plucked," and "Struck" instruments. The development of traditional Chinese music in the Taiwan on Tawian can generally be divided into two categories. One developed from the traditional music played by folk performing groups, usually composed of three to five or at most ten people. Generally of advanced age. There are currently three professional orchestras in the Taiwan that give frequent public performances of the chinese music. Outside of the three professional orchestras there are over 200 amateur and school orchestras.external image 200px-K'un-ts'an_001.jpgexternal image oxford-pete-concert-of-traditional-chinese-music-instruments-shaanxi-grand-opera-house-xi-an-china.jpg

The Chinese cook their food on burners, fueled by firewood in the country and gas in the city. The most popular is the electric rice cooker. The most important utensils are the cleaver wok, a soup ladle, and a pair of chopsticks. Rice is their favorite and is treated with utmost respect. Every spilt grain is swept up and cleaned and cooked. Uncooked rice is put into a drum that is heated over charcoal to a high temperature. It is churned and when the meter reaches a certain pressure a valve is released and with a bang the rice grains spill out into a waiting bag. The grain looks and tastes like rice krispies. Beijing Cuisine: This northern cuisine is characterized by the liberal use of garlic and chilies. Food is ofTen drenched in oil and seasoned with vinegar, salt, and sugar. Plain steamed buns or wheat pancakes are eaten with stir-friend dishes of diced meat and vegetables or stewed meats. Wheat dumplings stuffed with minced meat and vegetables are eaten as a main meal especially in winter. Sichuan Cuisine: Sichuan has the spiciest food in China. most dishes are covered in a red chili oil and sprinkled with a potent fragrant pepper. this pepper has a delayed numbing effect on the tongue that can deaden all sense of taste for several seconds. Pork, beef and eggplant are usually cooked in a "fish- flavored sauce" It's a mixture of vinegar, hot bean paste, ginger garlic and scallions. Noodles: Noodles or mien in Chinese come in all shapes sizes and lengths. In the north they are made of plain wheat and water and look like flat spaghetti. They can be eaten plain, dresses in garlic, chilies, and vinegar, boiled in a plain soup or fried with chives and soy sauce. In western China Shou Mien or hand noodles are pulled noodles with wheat and water dough.
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Ferroa, Peggy Grace, and Elaine Chan. China. 2nd ed. New York: Benchmark Books/Marshall Cavendish, 2002. Print.
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Murphey, Rhoads. Shanghai, key to modern China.. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1953. Print.

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