Chinese which is the most widely spoken language in the world as well as one of the most impenetrable for foreigners. There are many regional dialects of Chinese although the most widely spoken is Mandarin and Cantonese.
Chinese characters evolved over time from earlier forms of hieroglyphs. Chinese contains over 40,000 characters, but a well-educated person can recognize around 6,000 characters, some 3,000 are required to read a newspaper.
Chinese zodiac is a scheme that relates each year to an animal. This is the year of horse.
Chinese New Year is the most important of traditional Chinese holidays. Windows and doors will be decorated with red color paper-cuts and couples with popular themes of happiness, wealth ans longevity.
On the eve of Chinese New Year, supper is a feast with families. The family will end the night with firecrackers (and eating dumplings).
Early the next morning, children will meet their parent/grandparents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year and receive money in red paper envelopes. Chinese people love red color which symbolizes prosperity and good luck.
The period round Chinese new year is also the time of the largest human migration and between 150 and 200 million migrant workers in China bring home their earnings and go to have a unit dinner with their families on Chinese new year eve.
Most married couples in China are subjected to one child policy which is introduced in 1979 to curb massive population growth (which is changing now). It is believe to have prevented more than 300 million births since then. Another consequence of the policy has been the emergence of so call “little emperors”, a generation of self-concerned consumers has developed.
While Chinese education system has rapidly developed there remains a heavy emphasis on passing exams. The upshot of this is that exams dictate the curriculum while Chinese students can master and memorize incredible amounts of knowledge and in formation; they often lack the ability to critically think, develop their own opinions, and engage in creative activities.
Due to the prosperity for preferring sons over daughters, China is facing a large population imbalance with currently around 120 boys born for every 100 girls. By 2020, there will be 30 million men than women.