5 Things to Know about Chinese People

Working and living with Chinese for nearly a year, makes me kinda think that I know them pretty well. Of course, everyone is different and I can’t really put them all into one box with the same label. Here is my top 5 things you should know about Chinese and note this is only my personal opinion based on the interactions I have made for the past 10 months of my stay in China.

 

1. CHINESE ARE VERY DOMESTIC.   

-They always stick together and they would do anything for their parents, brothers, sisters and other member of the family.

– Every Chinese has at least 20 brothers even if they are not related but they call “brothers” their best friends, childhood friends and neighbours and they would devote everything for each other.

– When they travel they are very homesick and they can’t get used to living on their own.

– It’s also very difficult for them to move out from their family house to their own far away from their hometown so they mostly stay in their hometown and find a job there.

– They depend financially on their parents even when they work full-time.

– They do all they can to spend bank holidays, especially Chinese New Year and Spring Festival, together.

 

2. THE FOOD GOES SECOND AFTER THE FAMILY.

– For Chinese food is everything and having a dinner is a ritual.

– They eat very long tasting all dishes placed on the table, making all important decisions during the lunch or dinner and make businesses also eating.

– If Chinese hasn’t had his meal at certain time, he/she will refuse to work.

 

3. CHINESE ARE VERY HARD-WORKING.

– Chinese work a lot and they work very hard. A typical teacher in my school works roughly 12 hours a day 7 days a week teaching 20 classes a week and spending hours and hours in the office.

– They believe that if they don’t do their best, there are going to be at least 100 people who can do their job better, quicker and with a pleasure, and they’re probably right.

– Setting up a business in China is super easy so people usually cook some local food and sell it on the street. They are likely to work from 6 am to 10 pm without having a break (they eat food when there are no customers).

 

4. CHINESE ARE BAD-MANNERED.

– Some Chinese might be disgusting picking up their nose, spitting, making a poo and peeing on the street and smacking while eating really loudly.

– They push each other when queuing and might be sometimes aggressive when trying to get somewhere first. I don’t think they understand the concept of a queue really.

– They sometimes don’t use a toilet paper, don’t wash their hands after using the toilet and use their hand instead of tissue when sneezing.

 

5. THEY ARE NEVER FLEXIBLE.

– If they didn’t do something yesterday and will not do it tomorrow, they do not understand why they should do it today, so they won’t do it, full stop.

– They stick to one thing/ job and do it every day in exactly the same way, for example an oral English teacher will not teach writing or reading- his/ her job is to teach speaking so if the student comes to this teacher’s office and ask how to write the word, he/ she will be sent off to another teacher who is responsible for writing!!

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28 Comments

      • hello.
        i am an Indian and i am shifting to china in January 2017. i know English,Hindi,Gujarati and Chinese language. i am 23 yrs old .so can you suggest me that what business or anything i can start up on my own in china keeping into consideration that what does Chinese people expect from Indian or any foreigner. that is in short market survey for the requirement there. i will be very much thankful if u help me out.

  • In great commanding style.now dont ask what is commanding?i will like to know how they treat one outsider?how much people knows english?

    • Unfortunately, Chinese don’t speak much English apart from “Hi/Hello”, “What is your name?” and “Where are you from?” I find having a conversation with English teachers difficult. I’m treated well though, the school cares a lot about me and people usually try to make China my home:).

    • Hey! Nice to meet you. I’m Agness and I’m a traveller :) You can find more about me on the homepage :). What brings you here? Do you travel at all?

  • The reason why Chinese are lack of manners is due to stupid Chinese education and majority of Chiense population are uneducated, especially those who were born before 1980s. China is totally screwed up by the dumb and evil communist peasant regime. China is at least 50 years behind Western countries. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singopore,Hong kong and Macau are the only First-world countries in Far East.

    • That’s a very brave and harsh comment. I agree with the education part and how it influenced their bad manners. In terms of behaviour they are indeed behind Western countries but catch up with their growing market, modern cities and the new technology in my opinion.

    • Hello! Though I agree on the education part, you should know that nowadays in mainland China, the education has greatly improved and the young generation typically are well-groomed, well-mannered and a pleasure to be around. The government is improving, and the people know now what the world expects them to be like manner-wise. The time period that you are referring to is long gone, though perhaps some of the older generations still behave ‘rudely’ as a matter of habit.

  • Thank you.i have readed many books on china.but it’s different to come to know by a real traveller.i am feeling like that i am watching china by your no by a travellers as well as teachers eyes.can i ask you some more questions?

  • You are a big harted lady.how do you choose this profession?what was your instinct behind it?how you came to china?what was the difficulties when you are trying to settle down as a foreigner?where are you working in china?do they trust you after a span of one year?i am very happy that poland is one of the host nationsof euro2012.thank you.

    • Q1.: I guess teaching has been my passion since I was a kid and what’s more important my mom’s a teacher and she has been my role model so I learnt a lot from her. Q2: Teaching has been kind of tradition in my family and one day I realized that it can be a great way of earning money while travelling :). Q3: I found the job offer on the Internet and been successfully accepted after my Skype interview. Q4: There were few difficulties I need to admit but the worst 3 things were slow Internet and facebook/ google/ twitter access blocked, no privacy (they always want to know everything about you) and language barrier. Q5: China, Hunan province, Huayuan town. Q6: I don’t know if the trust me or not, but I don’t trust anyone:). If you want anything else, just let me know. Cheers! Enjoy your weekend!

      • i will like to ask what is there any difference between modern cities and villages?i know it is.but how big?can you give me some examples of that?how much hours one chinese works and also you?

      • Hey Abhay,

        Today I will work as a replacement for Agness and answer your questions today. She’s away for one day and won’t be able to reply now.

        Well, the difference is huge, yet there are some common things too. Let’s start with differences. In small villages you’re rarely anonymous. As a foreigner people will point at you with their fingers, shout “hello” and treat you like a star sometimes. It’s funny and in the long time – annoying. They will make sure you feel good and welcomed, but may easily overdose their hospitality.

        In the small places it’s much harder to find someone speaking English, which is hard enough in big cities.

        I think the pay is similar in both big and small cities. Although city schools pay a lot to compensate for slightly higher prices, whereas village schools pay more to attract foreigners. Although it’s cheaper in small towns, I think, you are more likely to earn more money while spending less. It’s because of lesser competition compared to more popular amongst foreigners big cities.

        In terms of hours I work around 10 hours a week and Agness around 30. Compared to Chinese teachers who work nearly every day (if not every day) for 12h/day it’s not a lot.

        Working in small places is great to really get a feeling of a culture, but earlier or later you will start missing interactions with other foreigners. Therefore, please think carefully if that’s something for you.

        Hope I have answered your questions to your satisfaction. If you have any other concerns or would like some more details please don’t hesitate to ask. As I said, Agness will be back tomorrow.

        Take care,
        Cez.

  • hi there!
    i agree with numbers 1-4 but am a bit partial about number 5.
    i think that depends on the situation.
    it’s kind of hard to get used to their beliefs and culture,
    i’ve been there a few times and I always can’t stand their public smelly toilets,
    and maybe bec, of illiteracy, you get those unwanted habits too, picking nose and spitting here and there to name a few. ^0^
    but it’s slowly changing its ways, learning the ropes, trying to catch up,
    though, in some small provinces, they;re still close minded,

    • Totally agree with you. I lived in a very small village where people are still behaving badly but as you pointed out it is getting better. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

  • Stop talking like you know everything about China. I have been there and what you said is so rude and most of them isn’t true.
    It’s because of people like you that people from all over the world have false impression about Chinese. You should be ashamed.

    • You wrote this on an old article from three years ago. Things have probably changes since then (even in the littlest things) and since it’s an old post she probably won’t even read your comment. I just happened to be clicking through the archives. Why bother? In fact, why not write your own article on Chinese people?

    • What a douche, what she is saying are based on her observation during her teaching assignment. Well you might not agree because you are Chinese (well that’s a fact), but as far as I am concerned most of these are true.

      Well different Chinese living in different countries & regions might have different attributes. Overall, they are a bit similar in their characters like being too strict on one thing, working very hard even neglecting rest and a bit selfish towards other. Again, not everyone of them are bad but you can possibly recognize this clear similarities between Chinese if you are not one of them.

  • I think what you do is by far, freaking awesome!!! Would love to make time to do it myself! But I am an American and you know how we are! Always putting things off because we are always in such a rush! I am older now and run my own business so time is very important and precious to me. I wish I had the nerve to sell all I have and just travel! China has always been at the top of my list to visit! But never a priority and now I feel as I have truly missed out. God bless you both, be safe in your adventures!!

  • Sorry. Not all of them are as what you said. At least I have never picked my noise on the street and I am always flexible for my plans. What you wrote is just a small group of people would do, doesn’t mean all Chinese are the same!

  • God knows why I clicked this website when I just broke through the Greatfirewall. Well, I suppose what made one “Chinese” upset from the earlier comments might be the writer’s word choice. For example, not ” every” Chinese has 20 brothers without blood bonding. And certainly not “all” of them would devote “everything” for each other. I personally think writing about the impression of one race after only 10-month period would not be adequate enough. Anyways, I’d like to give some of my thoughts to what the writer had observed from the perspective of a Chinese.

    -Saying “brother” to friends and acquaintances is more like “bro” in English, drawing some sort of intimacy.
    -The bro of a Chinese is likely to help with fighting ,arguing ,lending money or some small favours. But it has to be really good friends. As far as I lived, it’s rather rare to see someone devoting everything to another.

    -Chinese do get some kind of “homesick” while traveling, I reckon. Their stomach is just as loyal as any other foreigners’ when they’re away from their home food after a few days. They like to stick together as a group or a couple. I’m not sure if it’s because they lack the ability of being on their own, but they tend to not like being alone. I think that’s common for human natures. Admit or not, I’ve often seen groups of tourists when I lived in a western country several years ago. However, Chinese could inevitably get noisy when they travel together. That’s something I couldn’t tolerate either.

    -People from small cities usually won’t move out of their parents’ houses till they get married, and they do rely on their parents helping them to pay for the mortgage of their new houses. Due to the roaring price of the house market, it’s impossible for them to afford on their own.

    -There’s usually a business related when people make important decisions during a long dinner. Families and friends seldom do that. Ohh,unless they want to borrow money from you!

    -I find it’s surprising when you say “Chinese will refuse to work if they haven’t had one certain meal.” In what kind of situation? Chinese workers usually are required to continue their work even if it’s time for a meal. This happens a lot in service industry.

    -From all the things I’ve read in the writer’s stereotype of Chinese, I find “they sometimes don’t use a toilet paper” quite disturbing. I don’t know about how Chinese guys handling their down under issues, for women they DO. If one forget to bring the TP, they’re probably gonna ask of it from friends. Somehow, I find it’s interesting that the writer could spot the occasions when they DON’T. I never really pay attention to this area, since it’s quite private… Anyways, I think this is a personal habit and it could happen to anyone despite their races. I challenge all of us that in our entire life,not for once that we forget to wash our hands after using the loo. Guilty as I am!

    Overall, it’s a nice thing to kill sometime before bed. I do think the Chinese who commented earlier was a bit radical. Nonetheless, I also think it’s just not civilised and wise enough to call someone a “douche” on internet, which could easily cause an unnecessary hateful dispute –I see that happening on Chinese internet every day. Wish you all who are interested in traveling China discover your own excitement.

  • Not all of this is true- I have a Chinese origin and my Mum doesn’t match all these things. I also have a completely Chinese friend who is the complete opposite about being homesick.

    But thanks anyway

  • Thank you for sharing. But some of the passage are not true. Because china has a large population, you should make those conclutions in probability method

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