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Chinese Customs: the most diverse in the world

Chinese Customs have a rich history

China is one of those countries in Asia, which includes a variety of customs and traditions due to its geographical location and ethnicity. The total number of people living in China is approximately 1 billion and it represents 56 ethnic groups of minorities. By the help of a detailed survey, it is revealed that the largest ethnic group in China consists of 900 million people and they are called Han Chinese, whereas, the smallest ethnic group, known as Hezhen, includes only 2000 people. Similarly, there are other honorable ethnic groups in China, which are known by the names of the Naxi, the Mongols, the Tibetans and the Manchus.

Language

According to Mount Holyoke College, the Chinese language has seven major language groups and each of them has their own variations. 71.5% of Chinese population speaks Mandarin, whereas, Wu is spoken by 8%, Yu by 5%, Xiang by 4.8%, Min by 4.1%, Hakka by 3.7% and 2.4% of the population speaks Gan. According to Jerry Norman, the professor of linguistics at one of the famous universities of U.S.A has described the Chinese language as a mixture of several dialects that includes various regional forms rather than a sole language. He further gave an example by explaining the difference between the languages spoken in Chaozhou and Beijing as the same difference is found between France and Italy. However, China’s official language is Pŭtōnghuà, which has connections with Mandarin, also called the modern Chinese language. It is also found that a huge percentage of the Chinese population is also fluent in speaking English, especially the new Chinese generation.

The Traditional Chinese Food

Without any doubt, the Chinese food is popular in the entire world and just like the language Chinese food is also strongly affected by ethnic and geographic diversity. Although there are various styles and techniques of Chinese cooking, but the most famous are Cantonese that attributes stir-fried cuisines. The second famous Chinese cooking style is Szechuan, which is known for spiciness and ingredients like ginger, peanuts and sesame paste are mostly used in this style. Rice is a must-included food item in most of the recipes, in fact, rice for the people of China is similar a complete repast and this is why they called it Fan in the Chinese language, which means meal. Meat is only consumed on special occasions and the Chinese people prefer eating Tofu instead of Chicken or Pork, and this is also the major source of providing proteins. The majority of Chinese people include scallions, beans sprouts and cabbage as a side salad and they enjoy the combination of Tofu with all these food items.

Celebrations and Chinese Customs

Chinese cultural is full of colors and the best time to witness different customs and festivals of China is from mid of January to mid of February as the biggest Chinese spring festival takes place every year during these months in honor to welcome the new lunar year. The festival is celebrated in remembrance of the ancestors and during all these days, the people of China mostly eat mustard greens and rice congee in order to purify the body. The all famous dragon dances and fireworks are seen in this festival.

China is equipped with numerous customs and traditions, which are celebrated by every single Chinese individual. The respect given to the ancestors by Chinese people proves that their souls are rich with the history and no matter what dialects are being followed by the people the customs of China never fail to promote unity and love for one another.

About Author

Active traveller with a love for Asian food and Japanese anime.