Understanding Chinese Culture – The Top 12 Most Unique Cultural Facts

Each country has its own unique culture, and so is China. Let’s learn about Chinese culture together to see how their culture is different from our own!

Chinese culture is a broad concept with vast knowledge. It includes all the material and spiritual values ​​created and preserved by the Chinese people in more than 5,000-years of their history. To fully understand Chinese culture requires intensive study. However, with internet development and the worldwide representation of Chinese culture in contemporary media, it is easier for people to have a basic understanding of this topic. Additionally, people are increasingly more curious about Chinese unique cultural facts. 

China is known as the largest country and has the second-largest population in the world. In this densely populated country, there are many great people who have contributed tremendously to the country’s cultural heritage. Besides, there are also the world’s wonders and famous landscapes. We also have to mention the long-standing and rich culture of China in global world history. A culture is known as the God of Tradition. Although it has gone through many ups and downs in history, Chinese culture is still handed down to this day.

When it comes to a long-standing culture, it is certainly impossible to not mention the 12 unique quintessence of China of all times. Let’s find out these special features with Pandanese!

Peking Opera

Peking opera has been associated with Chinese culture for 5,000 years. Peking opera is the convergence of cultural quintessence and historical wisdom. It can also be said that this is the foundation, the root of Chinese culture. Some cultural experts consider this as the source and factor of philosophical development.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Next is the success of long-standing Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is very different from Western in a way that it does not focus on science and pills. Instead, it concentrates on balance, harmony, and energy. Since ancient times, Chinese Traditional Medicine has been incorporating a range of health and healing practices, folk beliefs, literary theory and Confucian philosophy, herbal remedies, food, diet, exercise, medical specializations, and schools of thought.

Traditional Costume – Hanfu 

Next is the traditional costume of the Han ethnic group – the largest ethnic group in China. Hanfu is known for its shimmering, detailed outfits, beautiful and eye-catching color combinations. All Han costumes originated from a very long time ago, from the time of  Shang dynasty (1600–1000 BC). 

Silk

Mainland China is the place where the earliest silk production was discovered in the world. Since then, silk in this country has continued to be well mentioned in the world. From quality to color, Chinese silk is extremely attractive and in high demand. Chinese silk products can satisfy the most demanding customers in the world. The wife of Emperor Xuanyuan was Lui To, who was credited with inventing silk in China. It was thanks to this achievement that she was given the name “Humanity female ancestor”.

Tea processing techniques

Growing, drying, and making tea processes all originated in China and have grown in popularity all over the world. The tea ceremony is the art of enjoying tea known to people with high taste and fond of Asian cultures. Tea was discovered in ancient China 7000 years ago, from the Shennong era. Since ancient times, China has developed tea leaves, which are used to make medicine, in addition to drinking tea. 

Porcelain crafting technology

The homeland of porcelain is China. That’s why the name of the country in English is “China” and the word “China” itself also means porcelain. Not only that but China’s special porcelain-making techniques were also developed and spread all over the world. This success brought great contributions to Chinese culture. From this invention, China is also known as “the country of porcelain”.

Calligraphy

Next is the art of Calligraphy which has been the famous Chinese art known through the ages. And so on, through each era calligraphy is developed more perfectly and constantly growing stronger. Calligraphy is a combination of visual art and interpretation of literary meaning. Calligraphy as a type of expression has been widely practiced in China and generally held in high esteem across East Asia. Back in the time, Calligraphy was considered as one of the four most-pursued skills and hobbies of ancient Chinese literati, along with playing stringed musical instruments. 

Ancient Chinese Painting

Besides calligraphy, China is also known for the art of ancient Chinese paintings. This is a long-standing traditional art form of the Han ethnic group. The main difference is that ancient Chinese paintings are used with brushes. The brush will only be dotted with water ink to be able to draw on silk and paper products. This type of painting is known as “Chinese painting”, or people still consider it as “National Painting”. In most ancient Chinese paintings, poems are often drawn on the paintings to add extra elegance and meaning. 

Martial Arts

China is known as the cradle of martial arts. From real-life to movies, all exude the beauty and characteristics of Chinese culture. Blockbuster movies such as Ip Man and Wing Chun bring Chinese martial arts one step closer to a wide audience. Additionally, a great number of famous martial arts such as Shaolin Temple, Tai Chi Quan, Wing Chun Quan, Depending on the Rights also put Chinese Martial Arts on the cultural world map. 

Acupuncture

A study that has brought a contribution to the whole of mankind in medicine is acupuncture, A key component of traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture is a medical legacy of the Han people. Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body and is most commonly used to treat pain. Acupuncture is deemed as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force which is known as chi or qi (chee) and believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in the body, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

Chopsticks and Chinese Cuisine

Chinese cuisine and dishes are extremely diverse in tastes and presentation. Especially, on holidays and festivals, the dishes are well prepared and fully presented. These dishes vary from recipes to processing methods such as fried, steamed, boiled, braised or fried. During the Lunar New Year, people often eat dumplings and whole pepper cakes (hujiao bings). Each festival will have different types of cakes showing different traditions.

7 Reasons Mandarin Is the Most Useful Language for the Future

The days of localized business are long gone with the increases in globalization and technology. Today’s economy has become a global village where multi-national corporations are more common than ever before.

With the constant growth in international business, the importance of communicating on a worldwide scale continues to grow.

For centuries the three dominant languages of the economic world have been English, Mandarin, and Russian, but which one will play a primary role in the future of economics?

While many languages will forever hold a great deal of importance on a global scale, today, we will examine why Mandarin is among the languages primed for a prominent role in the future of communication.

Growth in China’s Economy

The more languages you know, the easier it is for you to live and work in different countries. With China becoming an economic superpower and the most populous country globally, learning Mandarin will be immensely helpful for anyone who wants to get ahead in their career or business ventures.

With China’s rapidly expanding science and technology sectors, the country’s influence will continue to grow. Mandarin has a wide-reaching cultural significance and will be consistently recognized as one of the most prestigious languages in the world.

China’s importance on international trade cannot be understated. It was responsible for over ten percent of all global exports last year, with numbers projected to increase.

Over 1.5 billion People Speak Mandarin

If you learn to speak Mandarin, you will gain access to communicating with an additional 1.5 billion people.

An estimated 92% of the Chinese population speak Mandarin. It’s also one of six official languages in Singapore, as well as Taiwan and Hong Kong.

If you can actually read Hanzi and understand radicals, then traveling to these countries will be drastically easier.

China Has Created Its Own Technology

If you have been paying attention to the news lately, you know that China has been feuding with the United States over various tech products.

A prominent example is the Chinese tech giant Huawei.

China Huawei is a direct competitor to Apple and is blacklisted from the United States.

For decades, China has attempted to use its own technology instead of relying on other countries.

Learning Mandarin May Make You Smarter

Learning a second or third language may make you smarter.

A study done in New Zealand found that bilingual children’s brains are more developed than monolinguals, and they have a greater capacity for cognitive control.

It is also worth noting that the benefits of learning a second language extend beyond just increased intelligence as it can increase empathy levels and improve your memory.

Knowing Mandarin Will Strengthen Job Applications

It is increasingly difficult to stand out on job applications in 2021. Everyone seems to have attended college, and skills that were once in high demand are no longer as essential.

Knowing Mandarin will provide you with an edge over other candidates and give you the potential to be hired for a position that otherwise might not have been available to you.

If you want your resume to stand out, learn Mandarin!

Few Mandarin Speakers Know English

For the amount of business conducted between China and English-speaking countries, the number of people who speak Mandarin and English is surprisingly low.

In China, although English is taught in schools, it is estimated that less than 1% of the population is fluent.

Most people who speak English cannot read or write in Mandarin because it is a tonal language and Western languages cannot pronounce many sounds.

Combining these two languages is a skill that a small percentage of the world has and can provide you with many advantages throughout life.

China Is Rich in Culture and History

China is one of the most ancient civilizations that still exists today. As the birthplace of many different religions, languages, and philosophies (to name a few), it is home to some of the world’s oldest continuous traditions.

The Chinese culture has had an immensely significant impact on western civilization, from Buddhism to Taoism and more.

The culture and history of China are something that many westerners struggle to understand. Learning a language such as Mandarin can unlock your insight into one of the most fascinating cultures the world has to offer.

Start Learning Mandarin Today

Learning Mandarin isn’t as difficult as you may think! Many Chinese learners are pleasantly surprised with how quickly they can understand Hanzi (Chinese characters) and radicals from using online learning software such as Pandanese.

If you are interested in learning Chinese, check out Pandanese today.

Pandanese provides a fully online educational platform that is fun and engaging and makes learning Mandarin very achievable. Through Q cards, quizzes, and various lesson types, Pandanese simplifies Mandarin and helps expedite the learning process.

To receive some helpful tips and tricks to assist you on your journey to master Mandarin, join the Pandanese mailing list today.

5 effective ways to learn Chinese for free with 100% result

How to have fun with learning Chinese in the same way as having fast food? Fast food is many people’s favorite meal because it’s convenient and cheap. Learning Chinese can also be fun, low cost and effective at the same time.

Let’s look at 5 effective ways to learn Chinese for free with amazing results. 

Imitate native speakers

Most Chinese learners have difficulty with their Speaking skill among the 4 skills of Listening – Speaking – Reading – Writing. One effective way to practice speaking Chinese successfully, is to work hard to imitate the pronunciation and accents of native speakers.

You can try listening to news, music or watching Chinese TV series. By practicing listening to Chinese for at least 15 minutes a day and maintaining that habit, and at the same time, imitating native speakers with a standard accent, you can see great results.

Learn vocabulary by topics

When you group vocabularies into the same topic, memorizing vocabulary is guaranteed to become much simpler. This is a particularly good way for office workers. Because when you learn vocabulary according to your field of work and interest, you will maximize that vocabulary, making your conversations with colleagues or foreign partners go smoothly with a natural flow. 

To improve your Chinese at work, you can start with some common topics such as writing emails, giving presentations, meeting in Chinese, working with foreign bosses, etc.

Learn Chinese through short stories 

You will find many interesting Chinese short stories on the Internet with audio to help you practice listening. Then, summarize what you hear with different grammar structures and tenses. You can use an online tool, or ask a friend or native teacher to check your spelling and grammar. After a short time, your Chinese grammar will definitely improve.

white ceramic teacup with saucer near two books above gray floral textile
Photo by Thought Catalog on Pexels.com

Make friends with native speakers 

Your chances of meeting native people living in the same area as you are quite high. You can go to bars or restaurants for foreigners, join social clubs or sports activities, and find people who want to exchange languages. You can even volunteer as a guide at a tourist attraction near your home to meet Chinese speakers from all over the world. Additionally, with the growth of social media, you can reach out to others who love to practice Chinese with you on social platforms and expand your network. 

Choose the right Chinese learning method 

One of the fastest ways to learn Chinese is to use the right learning method that works well for you. If you prefer to study in a classroom environment, where you can have interaction with teachers and classmates, enrolling yourself in a community free language learning class is ideal. Nonetheless, if you have a busy schedule, you may find yourself interested in learning Chinese through online websites such as Pandanese or mobile applications.  

Hopefully, you can find one or all of the above 5 methods helpful in mastering Chinese learning. If you need specific advice on the most effective ways to learn Chinese, Pandanese is always ready to support you! Reach out to us or leave a comment below and share with us your thoughts! 

3 proven ways to learn Chinese using online platform at the comfort of your home

You don’t have to be enrolled in a professional language school to learn Chinese well. But the surprising thing is that the majority of Chinese learners still choose to enroll in long-term and pricy language courses, which can triple the price of an annual or lifetime subscription study plan of online language platforms. 

However, the world is changing and with the development of technology, Chinese language learners are choosing to utilize an effective educational platform like Pandanese to master their favorite language at the expense of less than $10/month. 

Let’s walk through these 3 proven methods to master your Chinese at the comfort of your home. 

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Practice makes perfect 

Daily practice is one of the most efficient ways to learn a new language. With so many distractions stemming from different sources both online and offline nowadays, blocking out approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour per day to dedicate to your language improvement is already an amazing start. By practicing daily, even just 5 new words or 3 new characters per day, you are one step closer to fulfill the vocabulary goal that you set out for yourself. 

Easy said than done, what you want to know is how to achieve this daily goal without going to a language class supplied with a strict teacher and printed books and resources? Actually, it’s simpler than you thought. If you have a computer or access to one, you can access an educational language website at the click of a button. 

Learning a challenging language such as Chinese online that you can easily subscribe to at a fraction of the cost reduces the friction between studying at your convenience and having to show up in class. Both methods provide you with the study resources and materials you need. However, using an online study platform gives you more freedom in structuring your study time if you are tight on time. You can freely choose when to study your favorite language. You do not need to worry about showing up in class on time while there is always a risk of something urgent comes up at the last minute. Additionally, you may not feel lazy or reluctant to open your computer and browse through several fun flashcards per day to memorize new cool Chinese words.

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Make it stick 

Spaced repetition makes learning Chinese less intimidating. In the Chinese language, there are a challenging number of characters, radicals, and phrases that need to be learned. Because of these elements, some Chinese learners have been struggling with following through with their study process. However, Chinese is just the same as other languages, that it is not designed to be learned at one time. This is where spaced repetition comes into play. It is known that the spaced repetition technique, coined by Hermann Ebbinghaus, helps to boost long-term memory and is used extensively in education curriculums. One of the most common applications of spaced repetition is the use of flashcards. 

Flashcards are the main method on all online educational language platforms due to the specific reason mentioned above. The additional features that language learning website like Pandanese offers based on the flashcard system are lessons, tests and study reminder. Hence, what you are getting from learning flashcards online is not just the benefit of repetition, but also of the interactive learning approach that is usually offered only in class. 

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Seeing is learning 

Visual aids bring your Chinese learning to the next level. Many learners, as well as non-learners, know that the Chinese language is famous for its rich vocabulary of characters. These characters look cool, and if you know about 100 words made up from the most popular characters, you may feel like a superhuman. The reason for this is that characters are quite hard to remember and the combination of characters to make up words seems limitless. This fact sometimes turns off Chinese learners. However, if you can learn Chinese characters like reading manga, or watch a TV show, by having all the visuals, you may feel learning this language is like a walk in the park. 

Images of Chinese characters with fun art explanations of their meanings are fully optimized on many online learning websites such as Pandanese. This is possible because the websites want to stimulate learners visually. Additionally, without the presence of a teacher, the platform ensures that anyone can understand the meaning of words and phrases by simple but fun explanations in the form of pictures. So even if you find reading words, not your strong suit, you will have no problem learning Chinese online.

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Whether you are choosing Pandanese or any online learning platform, you are utilizing the power of technology to master Chinese at the comfort of your home. With so many options out there to choose from, hopefully, you can find the right fit for your study journey that makes it an enjoyable and rich experience. 

Reach out to us at Pandanese to learn more about what we offer and have a fun trial run with us. We would love to accompany you on your journey of knowledge and wisdom. 

One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.

Frank Smith

The Chinese 5 Phases

The Yin Yang Theory

The Yin Yang theory is an ancient Chinese philosophy created long ago and still deep rooted in Chinese culture today. The most infamous part of the theory is perhaps the symbol of the theory. A circle divided into two sides, each side colored black and white. If you see the picture above, you’ll notice that they are not fully black nor fully white as there is a small dot with the opposite color on each side. This symbol is a representation of the theory’s belief of balance and interconnection. A simple explanation for this theory is that good things can’t always be fully good, and bad things can’t always be fully bad. Nothing is ever fully perfect or imperfect, the good and bad cannot be fully separated and will always be connected in a certain way. This philosophy is most commonly found in martial art teachings and exercises such as Tai Chi and Qi Gong. The Yin Yang theory later made it into pop culture and international fame when the famous martial artist, Bruce Lee, made his break into Hollywood. Bruce Lee’s break into Hollywood brought up traditional Chinese martial arts to light along with the studies that the martial arts was based on including the Yin and Yang theory. Other applications of the Yin Yang theory can be found in Chinese Metaphysics Feng Shui, Traditional Chinese Medicine and a less well-known application, the 5 phases. 

The 5 Phases

The 5 phases or wu xing 五行, is an ancient Chinese philosophy as old as the Han dynasty in China. As ancient as it may be, the philosophy can still be found in modern day Chinese culture, for example, in Chinese medicine and Chinese astrology. In the 5 phases philosophy, each phase is represented with an element derived from nature. The 5 elements in this philosophy are water, earth, fire, metal, and wood. Each of the elements has different relationships with the other elements both negative and positive.

Chinese Traditional Medicine

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In Chinese traditional medicine, these elements can be used to represent an organ and medicinal herb. A traditional Chinese medicine doctor can decide on which medicinal herb can be used to treat a problematic organ based on the elements that the organ and herb is represented with. Take for an example the lungs. The lungs in Chinese medicine are represented with the element metal. The herbs in Chinese medicine are represented with tastes complementary to the elements. The tastes of the herb can be categorized into salty, sweet, bitter, pungent and sour. The herbs with pungent taste such as agarwood, tangerine peel, and wild mint, are represented by the metal elements therefore believed to be effective in treating lung problems.

Chinese Astrology

Similar to Chinese medicine, Chinese astrology also uses these elements as a representation of astrological phenomena and space objects. This representation is also the source of one of China’s four great folktales, the Tale of the Cowherd and Weaver girl. The folktale represents why the star Vega (weaver girl) and Altair (cowherd) are separated by the Milky way (heavenly river). Other than a source of fairy tale, these elements can also be combined together with the Chinese zodiac giving the astrologer insights on a person’s personality, fortune and love. 

Find out your element!

Left to right: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water

Getting to know your element is as easy as pie. All it takes is your year of birth to figure out.

If your year of birth

Ends with the number 0 or 1, your element is metal

Ends with the number 2 or 3, your element is water

Ends with the number 4 or 5, your element is wood

Ends with the number 6 or 7, your element is fire

Ends with the number 8 or 9, your element is earth

Let us know your element in the comments below!