First Time in China? Top 10 Things you Need to Know!
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First Time in China? Top 10 Things you Need to Know!

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For those coming to China for the first time, you may want brush up on not just a few important conversational phrases, but also on the cultural misconceptions that have often been associated with......

For those coming to China for the first time, you may want brush up on not just a few important conversational phrases, but also on the cultural misconceptions that have often been associated with China. Whether you want to pin the blame of these stereotypes on popularized television shows and movies, or the oh-so inaccurate portrayals of Chinese culture embedded in the minds of the ill-informed; here is a list of 10 things that you should know before stepping foot in the mainland.

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  • 1. First time in China? Top 10 things you need to know!
  • 2. 1. •Don’t be confused, “Chinese” is not a single, unified language. It is composed of many different dialects depending on the region of China it is spoken. •The most common dialects of Chinese are Mandarin and Cantonese. •There are dialects of Mandarin that have unique phrases and accents, such as the use of the “r” sound to end certain words in Beijing;
  • 3. •Although there are a couple of Chinese words represented by one character, most are composed of two or more characters. 2.
  • 4. •Despite some traces of Chairman Mao’s virtues still intact in China today, such as the censorship of various social media and news sources, Communism is not the voice of the entire country. 3. •The misconception stems from the fact that China’s political structure is founded on a one-party system and it turns out that the Communist Party of China is the current ruling party.
  • 5. •Many people living in China use Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to gain access and browse through “banned” websites. 4.
  • 6. •It is disrespectful to stick your chopsticks upright in your rice because often it is associated with funerals. •When someone passes away, a bowl of rice with chopsticks is offered as a symbol of feeding the spirit during the afterlife. 5.
  • 7. •Egg rolls, beef and broccoli, and our beloved fortune cookies are all examples of Western interpretations of Chinese dishes. •Generally speaking, Chinese cuisine consists of dishes that aren’t as fried, oily, or drenched in MSG-based sauces. 6.
  • 8. There are a couple of things you should be aware of: (1) bring your own toilet paper or tissues, (2) make sure to roll up your pants before doing your business, (3) discard the used paper in the basket, not the actual toilet. On a high-note, it is actually healthier to use a squatter toilet (statistical evidence of lower hip and back disease in Asian societies). 7.
  • 9. 8. •In Chinese culture, refusing gifts and compliments is actually considered polite •It is a sign of humility, gratification, and thankfulness that this person went out of their way to give you a gift or a compliment.
  • 10. 9. •English has been integrated in the Chinese education system and is an increasingly spoken language in the major cities of China. •Most Chinese people are very eager to practice English with you, so you don’t have to fear the language barrier.
  • 11. There is More to China than Shanghai and Beijing 10. If you want to get the true authentic experience of Chinese culture, it’s highly advised that you adventure beyond the popular touristy spots of China.If you want to get the true authentic experience of Chinese culture, it’s highly advised that you adventure beyond the popular touristy spots of China.If you want to get the true authentic experience of Chinese culture, it’s highly advised that you adventure beyond the popular touristy spots of China.If you want to get the true authentic experience of Chinese culture, it’s highly advised that you adventure beyond the popular touristy spots of China.If you want to get the true authentic experience of Chinese culture, it’s highly advised that you adventure beyond the popular touristy spots of China. •If you want to get the true authentic experience of Chinese culture, venture beyond the popular touristy spots •For example, Suzhou is dubbed “The Venice of the East”