With a wealth of history and an ever growing population, China has borne a great interest by many from across the world. Today, the way of life in China has become increasingly Westernized, however it maintains a unique culture. Read on to learn more.
China is a country of many contrasts- cold and hot, deserts and mountains, small traditional hamlets and skyscrapers in modern cities, latest cars and rickshaws, wealth and poverty. People in China follow many different faiths including Taoism, Buddhism, as well as Chinese folk religions. For young people, especially in the cities, they are increasingly becoming interested in sports such as basketball and football rather than the traditional Chinese games of badminton and table tennis. For the majority of people living in Chinese rural areas, less has changed from the ancient subsistence agriculture they have been practicing for so many centuries.
From 1976, China has changed rapidly and enormously. It has undergone a form of industrial evolution and opened up to the rest of the world. It now boasts the world’s fastest growing economy with an annual average growth rate of 10%. As the economy improves, more and more people are attracted to the city hustle to escape the rural poverty. Almost 50% of the Chinese population is living in urban areas. Thanks to the opening of modern communication by air, road, and rail as well as the development of mines and other industrial raw materials sources, the importance of the areas such as Tibet and Inner Mongolia is now felt.
Modern Way of Life in China
Due to quite significant Western influence, life in China is just like any other place in the Western world. Despite the modernization, tradition still has a grip on Chinese societies and households. In rural older neighborhoods, straw and mud houses can still be seen as the traditional way of life is still very much alive. There is no doubt that China’s way of life is much modernized, however, traditional values of family reputation and importance are still maintained by all families.
Today, the Chinese people live in much smaller family units made up of children and parents and in rare cases grandparents. A good number of adults have jobs, both male, and female. In most families that do not have a nanny, grandparents look after the children and house during the day, while other children attend kindergartens or nursery to allow the mothers to go to work. Chairman Mao advocated for gender parity, thus now more and more women are in the marketplace, sometimes holding senior job positions in big companies that are above levels seen in the US.
In modern China, both boys and girls are valued. Traditionally, it was only boys who were allowed to go to school and learn through calligraphy but today, more and more girls are going to school, studying in universities, and graduating with doctorate degrees. The society is more receptive to the idea that women can be more productive to the economy.
Most of the young households share chores and tasks including housecleaning, cooking, caring for the children. Even though the older generation is still by default hopeful to have a grandson or great-grandson and would be disappointed if it happens to be a granddaughter, they ultimately end up loving and valuing any sex with equality. It’s important to note that the equality between the sexes is most widely accepted in the cities compared to the countryside.
Relationships are becoming more and more democratic since parents are no longer expecting their children to show them unquestionable obedience. However, most of the Chinese parents, although much more reasonable and lenient are still strict and expect the respect that they deserve. For young people interested in marriage, they can now choose their own partners however, a number of parents play a role in some arranged marriages, mostly in rural areas.
Life keeps getting easier in modern China. With the widespread internet access, most things can be done online, for instance, shopping. It is more convenient to buy things online from Jingdong in the morning, and by afternoon receive it. If you happen to forget to bring your wallet, you can easily pay using Alipay or Weixin wallet. You can also order food from McDonalds or KFC and receive it right at your doorstep. Transportation is also pretty fast, especially with the high-speed rail and the subways. One can also use other alternatives such as the bus or taxi.
The quality of life has significantly increased in the past decade and China is now a middle-class economy. Even as people’s earning in China keep increasing, happiness is not. This is majorly contributed by the high level of pollution. Scientists believe that the toxic fogs have reduced the lifespan of the Northern Chinese by 5.5 years as compared to their southern counterparts.
Most of the people in China during leisure time prefer eating out, hitting a club, going to a theater or an evening at the local KTV-a karaoke parlor. If it’s down time at home, they may watch TV, spend time with family, or play an instrument. Basically, simular to people anywhere.
There is so much on the table regarding work, life and fun in modern China. Modernization has come with so many job opportunities, places to have fun, and improved quality of life. China is now comfortably sitting on the global map, thanks to the great steps it has taken to modernize the country and place it at such an attractive position for both FDI and also foreign talent.