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Chinese Culture: The Key to Working in China

Understanding Chinese culture

is one thing that many people wish to do. It often starts with knowing the kinds of cooking majorly done in China. Many kitchen supply stores have caught up with the demand for Chinese cooking utensils; many home cooks are trying their hand at this delicious ethnic cuisine right in their homes. While fresh ingredients are essential to Chinese cooking, so is the use of a wok. Don’t be fooled, however, there are many poor replicas on the market that won’t give you the test you’re looking for.

chinese culture

The wok is characterized by it’s round bottom shape and is hammered by hand to ensure the perfect curve. The round bottom allows much less oil to be used, and therefore, food stays healthier without being saturated in cooking oil. It also is the best shape for turning the vegetables for that perfect stir-fry. The wok can also be used for purposes like braising, steaming, stewing, deep-frying, and the preparation of soups.

Chinese Food Culture: the Wok

Many American versions of the wok have been modified to accommodate the American stove with a slightly flat bottom to set on the burner. A ring is also placed on the bottom to allow the wok stability while cooking. The American cook will also have their choice of handles; loop handles and stick handles will be the first decision to be made. The loop is the common choice of many chefs and is made of bare metal. Stick handles, on the other hand, are made of carbon steel and often coated with Teflon for safety purposes. The double-handed wok is also much more popular than a single handle. There are also a variety of different sizes available; 36 centimeters is a good size for family purposes; the larger sizes are used for restaurant kitchens.

For the home cook still nervous about trying their hand at Chinese cooking, there are a few more options. Many cooking classes have popped up throughout the country to teach Chinese cooking techniques. Whether for just one Saturday afternoon, or a weekly class, this is a great way to learn a few things about traditional Chinese culture, while learning to master the art of Chinese food. The most important thing is not to be afraid of the technique; while it’s vastly different from what goes on in American kitchens, it is for that reason that Chinese cooking has become such a staple in American culture.

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Historically, Chinese Tea Ceremonies have become very important in the lives of the Chinese people. The practice has played a major role in the maturity and importance of tea in the culture of China. One of the major considerations in the ceremony is the style of tea preparation and service. The ritual has been very important for the Chinese elites, court officials, philosophers, and artists for centuries.

Tea: a Central Part of Chinese Culture and Traditions

Before, Chinese tea was well known and grown for its medicinal use. The Chinese Monks were the ones who taught the values of respect for nature, humility, peace, and calm. These values have been significantly integrated into the Chinese tea ceremonies. As a matter of fact, he jing yi zhen means peace, quiet, enjoyment, and truth which describes the spirit of the Chinese tea ceremony. Originally, Monks thought they could teach more concepts in philosophy through the tea ceremony.

The Chinese tea ceremony is not the center of the event, rather it the tea that matters. Everything about itself, its aroma, the tastes, and how it tastes differently from the previous ceremonies is all important. When the tea is prepared and served, it is important the tea is served hot and of the highest quality. Each step in the Chinese tea ceremony should be a sensory exploration and enjoyment.

chinese culture

In hosting a Chinese tea ceremony, there are six major things that need to be considered. It is important that the server should possess a happy, peaceful, and calm attitude. In selecting the kind of tea, in addition to fragrance, shape and taste, the tea should have a beautiful name and story. The water used should be of the purest and highest quality to achieve the best tea taste and aroma. Another important thing is to select functional and attractive teawares. The ceremony should also be held in a peaceful, clean, and refreshing ambiance. And the last thing, which also plays a big role, is the manner of preparation and service. The movements and expressions for brewing and serving Chinese tea should be graceful.

Chinese teas used in the tea ceremonies are mostly grown in the highlands of Taiwan. They cultivate teas that are refined such as the Oolong and red teas. Black, green, yellow, and white tea are other varieties of Chinese teas that are also grown there.

Chinese Traditions: Martial Arts

All types of martial arts that were developed by the Chinese are considered an art form but are still considered by some to be a sport that puts people in tune with their body. A person might begin learning them for safety reasons because they feel they need some form of self-defense to keep them safe in the urban environment where they live. The training for martial arts is most often pursued because the person desires to train their body and mind to be strong and alert.

The art of Kung Fu comes from China and it is taught in various formats. The Chinese people have a great respect for this particular art form because it is part of their heritage. Kung Fu was developed from the standpoint that the body and mind can interact together with peace and harmony, and the result will be a healthy individual who has a strong character and is the epitome of what the Chinese culture represents. Kung Fu originated in China during the period 770-475 BC.

The art of martial arts incorporates the use of many weapons. The most commonly used weapons that were incorporated into training classes during the Yuan Dynasty during the period 1271-1368 were spears, axes, swords of all types, shapes, and sizes. The Chinese people would practice martial arts in front of crowds in a stage setting, and all of the people in the crowds were expected to learn from what they observed.

The Chinese organized martial arts schools to develop this art form further and this is how martial arts became an integral part of the Chinese culture. Taiji is another form which was influenced by the Ming Dynasty period in China. This martial art form incorporated the physical exercises found in boxing and various techniques were developed to serve not only as a portal to receiving a certain amount of exercise but to develop defensive techniques that could be used by each member of a Chinese family.

Martial Arts for Everyone

All martial arts in China are available to all sexes, but Chinese men study the art form for defense. Martial arts are practiced in China for health benefits too. All martial arts students will train vigorously and learn to perform various breathing exercises that are meant to promote a better circulatory system. The breathing exercises are also used to clear the mind and allow the martial arts connoisseurs the opportunity to fight sickness and gain better control over their health.

Martial arts also prepares the individual for enlightened thinking and allows them to reach deep within their being to find an inner strength. Chinese martial arts incorporate the movements of kicking, punching, thrusting, hitting, and controlling. The martial arts student will learn to use all of these movements in an orchestrated manner that will provide the best defense tactics possible. Some of these movements are rendered with little speed, but that reduction of speed will provide the highest impact. Weapons are used to enhance the defense capabilities of the student.

It is common knowledge that China is already one of the dominant forces in the world economy and as one of the fastest growing economies; its influence expands with every passing year. With the growing importance of China to global business, there is an unprecedented demand for Chinese language courses. The number of classes in the language and related materials has tripled in the previous five years and continued to climb.

Chinese Language Learning

There are a growing number of primary and secondary schools which have begun to offer Chinese as a foreign language. It’s projected that in the next few decades that the demand for Chinese instruction in schools will even outpace the demand for Spanish language classes. Chinese, after all, is spoken by 1.3 billion people, representing approximately 25% of Asia’s population.

Why learn Chinese? Because it’s an exciting and rewarding experience. When you learn a new language, you learn to see the world from a different perspective and broaden your horizons. You might be planning a trip to the country, have a friend who speaks the language or simply decide to learn Chinese for your self-improvement. No matter why you decide to learn this language, there are many benefits to be gained.

Learning Chinese Characters is No Easy Pursuit

Chinese is one of the more difficult languages for Westerners to come to grips with; it’s a tonal language using a pictographic rather than an alphabetic writing system. While learning Chinese is a challenge, there is an incredible feeling of accomplishment which comes with mastering the language.

You may learn Chinese in the interests of cultural enrichment. You might need to learn Chinese to keep ahead of the trends in business communication. Perhaps you’d like to learn Chinese to truly understand Chinese literature and philosophy. There is any number of reasons to learn Chinese, all of them offering many rewards.

If you are an entrepreneur or a business owner, and you need to invest or build a business in China, you need to be very careful and wise in planning and organizing a business there. It can’t be denied that investing or starting a business in China is truly a brilliant idea. Before entering the market, you must first have a clear understanding of China.

Chinese Culture: The Key to Working in China
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5 Comments
  • Stephanie
    Reply

    This article illustrates the Chinese culture very well, and it very helpful to those of us considering a move in the future. It gives me a great idea of what to expect and to plan for if I do decided to go there . Thanks for the great information on Chinese culture.

  • Raymond Hall
    Reply

    I think China is a country that cannot simply be understood, but the effort you put in to doing so reap rich rewards. The complex foods, ancient kung fu, and complex language, nothing is simple there but if you can master the intricacies of such staples of Chinese culture, you will surely become a more self enlightened and wiser human being. China is fascinating exactly because of its complexities, and differences. These should be embraced and enjoyed.

  • Hassan S
    Reply

    Being a great fan of the Chinese culture, i think i will surely have no serious problems in case of relocation to china. My concern though is whether not this “Kungfu” sensation is over exaggerated!

  • Sayeed Hussain
    Reply

    Let it be kungfu, food, or trade. Everything is disciplined in its own way. If you are english, who really cares about mood swings of server to guest. But its not the same way in china, its disciple and good heart.

  • Sandeep Saroha
    Reply

    This article is very helpful for people who are from outside and want to live and work in China. It tells almost every basic thing that every foreigner must know.