Tom Songer 2018 Suzhou, Taicang, China

What makes this country great that Westerns will reconsider much later? It’s a country with over 1.4 billion people and a density of 147 people/Km² (1 square mile = 2.5899 Km²) it has become the largest populated country in the world. Invertedly there are a same number of people in India that continues to rise at a rate of 0.59%, ranking 159th in the world. If that didn’t make your jaw drop, these facts will!

1. Awakening Giant

In a country of over a billion people, it can be hard to find a quiet spot to rest your head. But the Chinese are rightfully skilled at the art of extreme sleeping or napping in many precarious situations. Once a German photographer Bernd Hagemann took to the streets of China and found a country in the strangest positions. He photographed and placed them on his website Sleeping Chinese

1024px-People_sleeping_standing_up

(By Stougard [GFDL http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html or CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, from Wikimedia Commons)

It’s noted that Napoleons aphorisms has become China’s favourite cliché, “Let China sleep; when she wakes she will shake the world.” Written out of context, it is a quote that launched a thousand articles ‘The Awakening of the Red Dragon.’ China has awoken and perhaps it is time to put this particular quote to sleep.

2. Polite habit of spitting.

Sun Yat-sen, the revolutionary leader and first president of the Chinese republic said in a 1924 speech, “Spitting, farting, growing a long fingernail’’ to pick one’s nose, ‘‘not brushing teeth,’’ in these things ‘‘all Chinese people are unrestrained.” (Tatlow 2013) Of course you might get that deep chuck chew from the back of the throat cough, or something you would only hear from a vegetable juicer on its last leg. The habit or culture of spitting is natural to over a billion people who don’t think twice.

குற்றாலம்_மலை_பகுதி

Smartsweet 32632 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17544389 from Wikimedia Commons

In the East, “spitting” has become second nature by many past generations. Meanwhile the thought and word that best describes spitting is disqusting to the West as well as the act has become less frequent. Not to recognize what is or isn’t polite, spitting in Asia has always been something one does before or after a meal, cigarette, drinking, or even walking or standing in line on a crowded street corner. While China is considered by many who spit the loudest, India has the “dribble” effect and in North or South Korea it seemed more of a contest of who can hit a target or spit the farthest. It is a cultural thing  and not a habit so bring tissue or get use to it. To bring it up one would only “re-gwet“.

1024px-No_spitting_sign_(China)

By Inductiveload [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

3. Suffering elderly population.

Men out number the women by 39 million – population of California alone. Cheng Yuan, acting director of the non-governmental Pingji Center in Guangzhou, said the stringent population controls of the past four decades had also ensured that there aren’t so many younger people to take care of the country’s elderly. (Denyer, S., and Gowen, A. 2018) The one baby per household policy. of the 70’s was renewed to include two forty years later. Meanwhile its long awaited controversy over selective abortion, abandoned baby girls, and the country’s family planning restrictions has been put to rest.

Dalian_Liaoning_China_An-elderly-Chinese-at-Xinghai-Bay-01

Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas Wkipedia

The epidemic of limiting the household was lifted in 2013. Yet the imbalance has distorted the economies of the world as well as China’s social security and wealfare system. And according to Li Shuzhuo, leading demographer at Xi’an Jiaotong University, “the future, there will be millions of men who can’t marry, and that could pose a very big risk to society,” (Denyer, S et) leaving a larger gaps for interacial marriages, immigration policies and even larger households. Restrictions apply. (See a banker, accountant, goverment, doctor and family for more details)

4. Survival of the fit!

Whether on a train, plane, street, subway or in line at the store, “get out of the way”! Get in queue, look side to side and don’t be offended if someone coughs and you feel a little water on you. And if your not touching your not in queue so you will lose your spot, turn, or chance to be next. Meanwhile don’t pretend it was rude or you will be considered rude yourself. It’s simple, leave your attitude at home, get out of the way or step up to be next. No excuses, sorry’s or appologies unless you own the car, plane or train – there is always room for a simple pardon me. While it might be crowded during rush time everywhere, people are friendly to one another. Try speaking the mother tongue and travel farther.

Queue_at_ticket_counters_of_metro_Beijing_South_Railway_Station_(20170523121042)

By N509FZ [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, from Wikimedia Commons

5. Free Speech

In this satirical portion of the article where free speech is not wanted must be second to none and gut renching (no picture lol).  However the in-store or on the street megaphones endless mind-crunching loop to the restricted public air waves (Virtual Private Networks (VPN)  and social networks) three that I can’t understand, If there is an important political meeting in China, expats turn to their VPN’s and the locals shop. When the meetings are over the expats shop and the locals stay home. And even if one has WeChat there is very little socializing to be done. Locals who have grown accostume to waiting in line while the arrogant or ignorant waits patiently to be pushed out of line. Free speech is about patience and not snuffing out a message.  To not know is foolish and to know is complacent.

6. Secret to Proverbs

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Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas / Wikipedia.com

Lastly a classic Chinese lantern riddle or a single sentence proverb can bring mindfulness meaning and happiness in almost everything we seek.

万里追随你,从不迷路。不怕冷,不怕火,不吃又不喝。太阳西下,我便消失。

I can follow you for thousands of miles and not get lost. I do not fear cold or fire, and I neither eat nor drink, but I disappear when the sun sets in the west. Who am I?

Answers:

你的影子 – Your shadow

欲速则不达 (yù sù zé bù dá) – More haste, less speed.

爱不是占有,是欣赏(ài bú shì zhàn yǒu, ér shì xīn shǎng)-Love is not about possession, it’s all about appreciation.

“您先请”是礼貌(“nín xiān qǐng” shì lǐ mào) – “After you” is good manners.

广交友,无深交(guǎng jiāo yǒu,wú shēn jiāo) -A friend to everybody is a friend to nobody. 

一见钟情 (yí jiàn zhōng qíng)- love at first sight. It’s generally used for people, but you can also use it for other physical objects. 

山雨欲来风满楼(shān yǔ yù lái fēng mǎn lóu), Coming events cast their shadows before them. 

Travel lightly my friend. Each one of your footprints is a legacy for the next generation.

References:

G. (2018, March 20). 200 Most Famous Chinese Sayings. Retrieved from https://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/learning-chinese/chinese-sayings.htm

Tatlow, D. K. (2013, October 16). China, Spitting and Global Tourism. Retrieved from https://sinosphere.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/16/china-spitting-and-global-tourism/

Denyer, S., and Gowen, A., “There’s too many men”: What happens when women are outnumbered on a massive scale. (April 18, 2018). Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/world/too-many-men/?utm_term=.5b1227fd2580