China has slowly been growing its tourism and welcomes thousands of tourists annually. Visitors speed off to see major sights such as the Great Wall of China and pay tribute to some historical sites like the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall. For locals, they have probably gone to these places more than once or have thoroughly studied the history of your country in school. One famous saying says, to know the culture of a country, you must act or experience what they do on a day to day basis. Of course, there might be some language barrier but you’ll get around with translation.
If you go to the villages of China, you will see that Chinese people enjoy different pastimes. It is a way of bringing people together; and if you’re a tourist, it is a great way to learn about China’s culture and its people. Some of the Chinese favorites pastimes are Mahjong, KTV, food trip, and sports.
Mahjong is known worldwide as one of the Chinese classic games. It has been present since the time of Confucius. You will easily identify a mahjong table because of the small painted tiles. Each tile has a specific value and the aim is to use the tiles you’ve been dealt with to play a hand. There are many sets of designs to match or organize in a sequence to make a play. Mahjong is seen all over China from small towns to major cities. Not only is it played in private spaces like in homes and parlors but also in public places such as restaurants and shops alongside the streets. It seems like it has been part of their way of life. For some, however, they have transformed mahjong into serious gambling. So, if you want to try this game, make sure that it is just of fun with no money involved because you might get in trouble especially that you don’t understand their language.
KTV is short for Karaoke TV. Like other Japan and the Philippines, Karaoke is a very popular pastime in China. Chinese go the KTVs for different occasions like birthday celebrations; but not necessarily, it can just be to have fun with some friends. This is famous for young adults like students or workers in their 20s. They go to KTVs to unwind with their friends after a busy day at work or a tough day at school. Rates of KTV ranges from 15-50 RMB. If you get to meet some Chinese locals, this is probably one of the best ways to socialize with them.
Food will never be missed in ways to understand a country’s culture. Known all over the world as a food that originated in China is Dim Sum. Dim sums are small servings of Chinese recipes. Although it’s more popular in South China, you will find this almost everywhere. There are several ways in preparing dim sum, it can be prepared in small plates of steamed food like Xia Jiao (Shrimp and Pork) or fried food such as Feng Zhu (Chicken feet with peanut and chili pepper). Cakes and dessert can also be in the form of a dim sum. One example of a dim sum dessert is Ma Ti Gao, which is translated as water chestnut cake.
Sports in China are heavily influenced by westerners. Although Chinese have martial arts which have a strong historical background from China, western sports have become more popular nowadays. Ping pong and badminton are the most famous sports in China. Many would also say; basketball and football have paved its way to popularity in the country. If you are able to encounter people who are playing these games and you know how to, it may be a good way to socialize.