The Chinese script
Even if the languages in north and south China may be very different, the Chinese in the south and in the north understand the script equally. The Chinese writing consists of characters that have evolved from images. With some characters you can still recognize the picture that was behind them. Since 1956 – after a typeface reform – the so-called shorthand was introduced in China, a country located in Asia according to themotorcyclers. The number of strokes that make up a Chinese character has been reduced. That way I could write faster. The Chinese now also write from left to right like we do and no longer – as in the past – from top to bottom and from back to front.
Calligraphy: what is that?
There are 70,000 characters in total in the Chinese script. But today you can get by with around 5000 characters that children learn in school. Incidentally, Korean and Japanese were developed from Chinese picture writing. A very special art in China is calligraphy, the art of handwriting. While this art used to be taught in specially established schools and even the Chinese emperors strove for the art of handwriting, today you can find calligraphers in parks. They write on the street with large brushes and you can admire the works of art on site, at the latest until the next rain or cleaning service comes.
The principle of yin and yang
The philosophy of yin and yang is very important to the Chinese. These are two opposing forces or opposing poles that are related to each other. This principle is expressed in many different areas of life in China. It is important that these two poles are always in harmony with one another. The Chinese describe some foods as “cold” and others as “warm”. This designation is completely independent of the temperature of the food. If the Chinese get sick, you look very carefully to see what they have eaten. If there is too much Yang, they compensate for this with more Yin.
The Chinese Lantern Festival
The spring festival ends on the 15th day of the new year. Then there is a full moon. And the Chinese celebrate the Lantern Festival. Lanterns decorate the streets and, similar to our Martin’s parade, Chinese children wander through the cities with lanterns. You meet with the family and traditionally eat sweet rice balls that show the solidarity of the family. Other major Chinese festivals are the Mid-Autumn Festival or the Qingmingfest and the Qixifest or the Dragon Boat Festival. There are many other Chinese festivals, most of which go back to ancient legends and tales. As you can see, the Chinese really love to party.
Weddings in china
Another important festival in Chinese life is the Chinese Wedding Festival. This important festival is being prepared for a long time. Many families, including families with less money, throw themselves into expenses in order to be able to invite all guests to the restaurant, to have a multi-tiered wedding cake baked or to be able to pay for the expensive professional photos – they have to be – of the wedding. Such a festival can take several days.
The Chinese love to take pictures. They prefer to take pictures of their children and their relatives. Wherever you could take a nice photo, someone will be placed and photographed, sometimes in front of a sunset or very beautiful landscapes. However, it is important that a person can always be found in the photo. Landscape alone is usually not enough.
The Peking Opera is an ancient tradition in China. It still exists and cannot be compared with our opera. Maybe your parents go to an opera one day. To do this, you dress smartly. In China, people do not go fancy to a Peking Opera, which can also take place in a small folk theater. It doesn’t cost much, you bring your own food or buy something from a vendor who carries a vendor’s tray. People like to talk and ask the singer to sing more.
China is looking for the superstar!
An opera like this can take a long time, even several hours. The singing takes a bit of getting used to for our ears, because the voices of the singers are usually quite shrill. But many Chinese no longer attend operas at all. Because in China there is a TV set everywhere, just like in our country. And the Chinese programs are sometimes not entirely dissimilar to ours. For example, children and young people are enthusiastic about the Chinese version of “China is looking for the superstar”. It’s similar in China to ours, and week after week it is mostly the kids who sit in front of the TV.