I prepared this article for the people going to teach English in China. It would help a great deal if you had some facts about China before you head there or read the list just for kicks.
Here are a few incredibly fascinating facts about China;
China has the world’s largest population. As at 2016, the country has a population of more than 1 billion people. Of course, 2 years later the population must have increased by a few thousand.
Chinese is the most popular language worldwide. This is largely attributed to the number of Chinese native speakers due to the large population. 14% of people in the world speak Chinese.
China is the fourth largest country in the world, after Russia, Canada and the United States. China has an area of 9, 706, 961 square kilometres. With its large population and size, the country does not look overpopulated.
China has the largest army. The army has over 2 million soldiers, with the second largest defence budget. The army has an official division of 10000 pigeons. During a war, Chinese soldiers use geese instead of dogs. Geese have a better eyesight and are more aggressive than dogs.
China is home to all pandas. China is popular as the country of pandas. If you see a panda in any other country, just know that they got it on loan from China. When a panda is born in another country FedEx (an American multinational courier service) airlifts the cub to China for proper care and acclimatisation.
China has the longest history of civilisation. The country has been going through phases of modernisation and industrialisation dating back to over 4000 years ago. Slowly but swiftly China has propelled itself to be a big economic power.
New Year Fiesta is the biggest holiday in China. Every town becomes a buzz of activity with people travelling in and out of the country, shopping and eating out. It is usually a period for people to focus on their friends and family. New Year’s festival is celebrated for 15 days.
China has a two-child policy per couple. Until 2015, the policy required each couple to have only one child but later increased the number to two. This has caused a great imbalance in the ratio of men to women in the country. There are over 32 million men outnumbering women which makes men lack women to marry.
There is a booming traffic business in China. Due to the huge population in China, traffic snarl-ups are a common feature. Two people will arrive on a motorbike, one will whisk you away to your destination while the other will take your place in traffic. This is done at a fee.
China is a multi-religious country. Every religion is practised in China including Christianity and Islam. However, the most popular religions in China are Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism.
Chinese were the inventors of ice cream. You probably enjoy a few scoops of ice cream on a hot summer day. Ever sat to think about the inventors? The Chinese invented ice cream over 4, 000 years ago by mixing milk with a rice mixture.
Chinese are geniuses in a number of fields. Chinese are medical, mathematical and architectural geniuses. They discovered the process of blood circulation in the human body. Chinese mathematicians came up with concepts such as decimals, binary system, geometry, trigonometry and algebra. These mathematical concepts are still taught to date. In architecture, The Chinese built the world’s biggest man-made structure (Great Wall of China). Today, China builds the most sophisticated skyscrapers.
In 2009, Facebook, Twitter, Google and the New York Times were banned from China. In the search for equivalents, Chinese came up with almost similar apps. Renren is an equivalent of Facebook, Weibo is an equivalent of Twitter, and WeChat is an equivalent of WhatsApp while QQ offers email services.
China has the world’s biggest mall. The New South China Mall is located in Dongguan, Guangdong Province. It covers an area of over 66 hectares and has over 2,000 shops and stall spaces. However, less than 10% of the mall is unoccupied due to its location. It is referred to as the Ghost Mall today.
China invented paper money. Chinese started carrying folded money during the Tang Dynasty before the 17th Century. Today, we enjoy stacking our currency notes in our wallets and purses, all thanks to the Chinese who came up with this realistic invention.
China has the fastest train in the world. The bullet trains in Shanghai move at a speed of 430km/hr. That is some super speed! The trains use magnetic levitation where the trains remain suspended with no support but use magnetic fields for acceleration.
Chinas colour of mourning is white, while red is their lucky colour. Generally, black is the colour used for mourning in most countries, but it is different in China. Similarly, red is the colour that pops in most Chinese weddings including the brides’ gowns.
Stamp collecting is the top hobby in China. What is your hobby? In China, collecting stamps remains a hobby for most people, especially the elites. While it may seem an old hobby due to technological change and advancement, the Chinese still hold on to this hobby.
China is the world’s largest economy. She overtook the United States as the largest economy in 2014 and now has the largest volume of exports and is the second largest importer in the world.
Chinas national sport is table tennis. It is called ping pong. Most people in China mostly play table tennis as a pass time activity and we have a good number of professional table tennis players from China such as Cheng Yinghua.
China has one time zone. The whole country of China, with its massive size, shares one-time zone known as Beijing Standard Time. Geographically, China spans five time zones but they put it together into a single time zone. The sun does not rise in some areas until after 10.00 am.
In China, books are sold by weight. This is impressive for book lovers. They do not sell books according to the popularity of the title or author of the book. Have a bestseller you have been dying to buy? Make sure you buy it when you get to teach English in China.
There exists an elderly rights law in China. Parents exceeding the age of 60 years are to be visited and supported by their children on a regular basis. Failing to adhere to this law could earn you a court case and consequently, a jail term. The law was put in place to protect Chinas large ageing population.
Ketchup originated in China. We all love some ketchup with our food. It was initially prepared as a fish sauce known as Keitsap. Today, we all seem to enjoy this Chinese invention.
China rehabilitates internet addicts. Internet addiction is common in China. They have even constructed pathways for smartphone users! The country has opened treatment camps for internet addicts in an effort to solve this problem.
I hope you enjoyed this list of 25 incredibly random facts about China.