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Very "Chinese"

  • Feb 14, 2010
Things that are distinctly Chinese. Some are myths while some are traditions.
Chinese Calendar
Chinese calendar dates back to 4000+ years ago. This year is the year 4707 in Chinese Calendar. The Chinese Calendar has been in continuous use for centuries, a lot longer than the Gregorian Calendar has been in used. This year, the animal of the year is Tiger. And in the Chinese Calendar the year begins on Feb. 14. The Year of the Ox shall ends on Feb. 13, 2010 which has been believed to be a year of toiling. Ox is afterall an animal associated with working in the field mostly. The Year of the (Golden) Tiger is believed to be an fearless & courageous year. Tiger is a symbol of power & authority. Having said that, Chinese New Year is based on astronomical observations. It has nothing to do with animals, myths or emperors. It is scientifically & mathematically determined; Chinese New Year is the 2nd New Moon (lunar) after the Winter Solstice (solar).
Geomancy (or Fengshui)
The Taiwanese and Hongkongers believe in Fengshui a great deal. Fengshui master uses both astronomy and geography to help his clients improve life and fortune by empowering their positive qi. Many Chinese will pay a great deal to make sure the Fengshui is right for them. For example, one may even bring a Fengshui master to check out a new apartment which the client intends to buy. If the Master said that the house/apartment is not right for his client, then the deal might well be off! Hongkong Bank headquarter in Hongkong has had Fengshui master consulted and certain aspect of its design been changed because of that. Sometimes, it could be the facing of the front door while at other times, it could be the way one places the furniture. My HK friend just has had her bed rearranged simply because she's been told the direction she sleeps in is very detrimental to her health! Believe it or not, Fengshui is big business in many parts of the Chinese societies.
See the full review, "What's my fortune? or rather, where lies my fortune?".
The Cantonese and many Chinese believe in the magical power of the number 8. 8 in Chinese and Cantonese rhymes with the Chinese word 发 which translates more or less to fortune. Hence, if you see car plates ending with 138, 168, 88, 888... well, chances are that the car belongs to a Chinese ;-) Same for houses or apartment numbers. Conversely, most Chinese hates the number 4 as that sounded like 死 which means death!
Chinese Language
Well, there really isn't much grammar in the Chinese Language, at least not as concerned as all the other languages. However, one thing peculiar to the Chinese Language is that it's written from right to left (instead of left to right) and also vertically (instead of horizontally). That's how Chinese will write their letters traditionally.
See the full review, "Wo Ai Ni (我爱你) is the way to go, if your Valentine is Chinese!".
Chinese love drinking tea as much as the Japanese do. While they both have elaborate tea ceremony, the Chinese tea drinking filters all the way to the men on the streets as well as bus & taxi drivers. Instead of water, the Chinese in China carry tea everywhere they go. No, not Maggi sauce as @devora claimed ;-) Chinese tea can be bought anywhere in China and the best can be more expensive than red wine or whiskey! In general, tea leaves are grown in Southern provinces.
Chinese Fake take out!
Well, it's not so much the way of cooking I'm discussing here. What's peculiar about Chinese and eating is that Chinese eats from a round table and shares the dishes. It is highly unlike one will order a plate of dish and then eats it all by himself. That's considered very rude with the Chinese. Chinese share their food and dishes are put in the center of the table. They then take portion of the food from each plate and eat accordingly. You'll never find Chinese eating by ordering individually when they are with families, friends & acquaintances.
Table Tennis
This is one sports that the Chinese excels and as far as I know, no other country has as many players either. Although the game originated in Britain, Chinese has taken to this game for the longest time I could recall! In many respects, it's considered Chinese. Some calls it Ping Pong instead of Table Tennis.
Well, the Chinese play this with real money and it's definitely one game for all festive seasons. Chinese New Year, Wedding Banquet, Mooncake Festival, etc, etc... Good luck to all Mahjong Players this new year of the Year of Tiger! It's definitely a Chinese Game! "Pong, pong, pong" !!!
See the full review, "Pong! Pong! Pong!".

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January 05, 2011
Very Chinese indeed :) Great list, Sharrie!
September 21, 2010
All Interesting stuff, I would add Tai Chi - Taoism and the Guqin 7 string zither. All this is for me just so Chinese and wonderful.
February 14, 2010
very good list! I used to date a woman who was just so into #2. I even to this day, store my shoes facing the same direction. As for the number "8" my address has "1188" in the street address and 819 as the unit number! Sounds pretty lucky to me.
About the list creator
Sharrie ()
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I'm a traveler at heart & have been nicknamed Travel Queen by friends & colleagues alike. Traveling has been my life passion for the last decade or so. As we enter a new decade, I'm excited … more
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