We all know how fellow natives are spending their day, but you might have wondered how people in other countries live. In this context, we shall discuss Chinese citizens and their daily chores. China, as you all know, is located on the Asian continent. Like many of its Asian neighbors, it is extremely inclined towards tradition and culture.
The Average Chinese Person
When speaking about China, tradition takes up a huge chunk of the relevant information. As one of the oldest known countries and civilizations in the world, China conveys a lot of inter-generational culture. The earliest known dynasty in China was the Shang dynasty, which began in around 1500 BC. When looking at how the average Chinese citizen goes about their day, we need to look at their heritage, as a huge amount of information has been passed down.
Chinese culture has an enormous impact on their daily lives. Kung Fu is one of the greatest living examples of that. According to a survey in 2011, one in every three people in China is martial arts proficient. Just by this staggering number, it shows how deeply ingrained Chinese culture and traditions are. With some people spending up to seven hours a day practicing martial arts in China, it is clear that it is very important to them. Some good imagery for this is in the movie ‘Kung Fu Panda’, which received praise for being rather accurate. This shows how tradition flows into the daily routine, influencing everyone subconsciously yet greatly. Just by being in that society you are indoctrinated into a mindset of martial arts.
Starting from the Menu
At the outset of the day, not lost on the Chinese is breakfast. As only recently being introduced to mass production packaged foods, Chinese people are still very traditional in their cuisine. Where a Westerner might pick the more obvious option such as a sandwich, or bacon, or cornflakes, or roasts etc, the Chinese serve themselves with Dim Sum, a delicious treat filled with half cooked veggies, tofu, shrimp, meat etc. Tea is essential at every meal. Steamed buns, rice porridge aka congee, noodles shezwan, zongi and other sushi dishes fill their menus.
Perhaps not exhibited as much in the big cities, this real passion for food can be found echoing out in the Chinese villages.
For Chinese society, no matter where the preparation and eating takes place, food has a cultural value. Many still eat their food on the traditional bamboo table, often seated on a bamboo mat or a small wooden chair. Fancy tables are almost exclusive to restaurant culture. Just by looking at the cuisine alone, we can make massive observations about the Chinese day.
On one occasion a reporter from New York, reporting on the Beijing Olympics, managed to get so entranced and enamored with the local food he missed the live event entirely. On the holidays every food center will be filled with people giving into their traditions and gorging themselves on delicious and unique Chinese food.
The Younger Generation
Obviously, most of the time of Chinese children revolves around school and other tools of learning, such as musical instruments or further education. Unfortunately, 26% of the child population is reported to be working, which will decidedly take up their whole day.
Apart from school and other similar activities, most of the younger population are, like youth everywhere, obsessed with technology and gaming. Very often they can be found spending their time on the internet of their smartphones. Still, the average day contains around 8-10 hours of going to school or working; a more hardworking culture than that found in many western countries.
The Middle Aged Working Class
The working class are aptly named because they spend most of their time at work, often working 8-12 hours a day. A lot of work in China revolves around the electronic industry, which many middle-aged people find themselves doing day in day out. In this line of work, however, they are free to do as they please upon returning home, many having to work 6 or even 7 days a week though. While this age bracket works hard, the comfort group is the upper-middle class, which is involved in the decision-making processes, and are paid more and can spend most of their free time at leisure.
The elderly in China, surprisingly, still work; not engaging in typical jobs but often toiling away on various community service projects. Chinese culture does put emphasis on elderly care however. The elderly are often visited by their children and grandchildren. Parks in China are a veritable oasis for the old. Sprawling with activity, in almost every park there are public pseudo-gyms and countless groups going on such as Tai Chi, calligraphy, and singing.
As in western culture, for most Chinese, Sundays are a day off. On Sundays people spend the days outside, at public parks or undertaking leisure activities. A lot of Sunday is devoted to spending time with their families. Chinese people are also heavily preoccupied with shopping, playing sport and visiting health and beauty salons. The evenings often consist of different kinds of activities like karaoke, family dinners, movies and shopping. Without as much scope as westerners for their holidays, and with much less free time, the Chinese truly take advantage of whatever time off work or school they get.
What is the difference between life in the country and life in the city?
There is an opaque curtain that lies between the big cities and the rural areas. On one hand China is booming in its developmental extravagance, while on the other, people in smaller towns and villages live rather deprived lives. Villagers still spend their day in traditional activities.
One vital thing to remember about China is its huge population. The agricultural sector employs more than 500 million people in China. In fields, both men and women, are engaged in farming practices.
Hopefully this article has helped you understand more about Chinese tradition and culture. Share it on social media so your friends can learn more about China too!
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