Saturday, March 5, 2022

Travel the World - China

I started a 50-week series in 2019 that I called Travel the World. Each week of the series I visited a randomly-selected country, sharing bits of information about that country. I then chose one tidbit of information about that week's country as inspiration for a card. As I explored those 50 countries in 2019, I knew I would continue on until I've visited every one of the 195 countries in the world. By the end of 2021, I'd virtually traveled to 145 countries and plan to complete my journey to all 195 countries by visiting the last 50 this year.

This week's country is...

China


China is the world's third biggest country by territory, and it has the largest population. 

China borders 14 countries. The countries bordering China are: Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar (formerly called Burma), Laos, Vietnam and North Korea.

Despite its size, all of China is in one time zone.This means that in the West of China, the sunrise can be as late as 10 AM.

Most people in China live in the eastern parts of the country, the western parts are only sparsely populated.

One in every five people in the world is Chinese. China's population is four times that of the United States.

China has 18 cities with a population greater than 10 million people.

Mandarin is not the only language in China. There are others such as Yue, Wu, Minbei, Minnan, Xiang, Gan and Hakka. Some regions in China also have their own dialects.

China is considered a “coconut culture”. Chinese people present a stony, formal exterior, but they are actually as warm and welcoming as other cultures. Close friendships and relationships in China are earned over time compared to Western countries.

Family members living in one home is a reflection of Chinese success. Elders are highly revered in China. Younger generations are also expected to take care of their aging family members. 

In China, if you have parents that are over 60 years old, it’s illegal to not visit them regularly.

China's Grand Canal is the world's oldest and longest canal at 1,114 miles long with 24 locks and around 60 bridges.

Shanghai boasts the longest metro system in the world beneath the city with 365 miles of tunnels and track and 364 stations.

The Forbidden City in Beijing is a palace complex, complete with over 9,000 rooms, filled with artifacts, history, and culture. It covers an area that is 720,000 square meters (or 180 acres). For reference, that's twice the size of the Vatican in Italy and three times the size of the Kremlin in Russia.

The Forbidden City sees approximately 14 million visitors annually, making it China's single most popular tourist attraction.

Calligraphy brushes and ink pads are the most popular souvenir to China's tourists.

China has the longest sea-crossing bridge in the world. The total length of the bridge is 34 miles, including a 4.2-mile tunnel.

The bicycle was introduced in China around 1891 by two American travelers. The bicycle is now the primary transportation for millions of Chinese.

Put all of China’s railway lines, it can loop around the earth two times.

The Great Wall of China originally acted as a barrier to protect the country from nomadic groups and invaders. The Great Wall also regulated trade along the Silk Road, and served as a means to monitor immigration. The great structure stands at 20 ft – 46 ft and stretches at a length of 21.19618 million m. However, most people don’t know that the bricks were held together by a mixture of sticky rice flour and slaked lime for the Ming Dynasty section of the wall. 

The Bailong Elevator in Wulingyuan area of Zhangjiajie, China can carry visitors up to 1,000 feet high on a cliff’s edge. This elevator is the world’s heaviest and highest outdoor elevator.

China builds a new skyscraper every five days. There is no country in the world that is growing as fast as China. In a year, China builds at least 73 new skyscrapers.

Facebook has been banned in China since 2009.

Fortune cookies are not a traditional Chinese custom. They were invented in 1920 by a worker in the Key Heong Noodle Factory in San Francisco.

Toilet paper was invented in China in the late 1300s. It was for emperors only.

Chinese invented paper, the compass, gunpowder, and printing.

The Chinese invented kites ("paper birds") about 3,000 years ago. They were used to frighten the enemies in battle, and Marco Polo (1254-1324) noted that kites were also used to predict the success of a voyage. It was considered bad luck to purposely let a kite go.

Football (American soccer) was created in China.

Cricket fighting is a popular amusement in China. Many Chinese children keep crickets as pets.

Every single Panda living in the whole world belongs to China…except for two! The only two pandas in the world that don’t belong to China live in the Chapultepec Zoo in Mexico City, Mexico. The Mexican pandas are named Xin Xin and Shuan Shuan, but they don’t belong to China.

The national animal of China is the Giant Panda.

The Giant Panda is a pretty good swimmer.

There are many endangered animal species living in China. Among them are the Giant Panda, the South Chinese Tiger and the Chinese Alligator.

China’s Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys live at a higher altitude than any other primate except humans.

Ping pong is one of the most popular games in China, but it was not invented in China. It originated in Britain, where it is called table tennis.

The number one hobby in China is stamp collecting. (I'm pretty sure this is postage stamps, not the kind of stamps I personally collect. <insert grin>)

Historians speculate that as the Chinese population grew, people had to conserve cooking fuel by chopping food into small pieces so that it could cook faster. These bite-sized foods eliminated the need for knives and, hence, chopsticks were invented.

In another site, I learned that chopsticks were originally used for cooking, not for eating.

In A.D. 130, Zhang Heng, an astronomer and literary scholar, invented the first instrument for monitoring earthquakes. The machine could detect and indicate the direction of an earthquake.

The most important holiday in China is New Year or Lunar New Year. Chinese New Year’s celebration lasts for 15 days. It’s the biggest holiday in China which is usually celebrated in January or February. 

According to popular legend, tea was discovered by the Chinese emperor Shennong in 2737 B.C. when a tea leaf fell into his boiling water. The Chinese consider tea to be a necessity of life.

Offering a cup of tea to older generations by the younger generations is a way to respect one’s elders in China. Couples customarily serve tea to their parents and elder family members in a Chinese marriage ceremony. Drinking tea before or after dinner is a traditional practice to socialize with friends or relatives in China. It is common to see a group of Chinese people sitting together to drink tea in their spare time. 

The bat is a traditional good luck symbol in China that is frequently depicted in designs for porcelain, textiles, and other crafts.

Chinese people avoid using or mentioning the number “4” as it is associated with death.

White, rather than black, is the Chinese color for mourning and funerals.

Red symbolizes happiness for the Chinese and is commonly used at Chinese festivals and other happy occasions such as birthdays and weddings.

Unlike brides across the world, Chinese brides wear red instead of white. 

In some parts of China, "pigtails" were associated with a girl's marital status. A young girl would wear two pigtails, and when she married, she would wear just one. This may have contributed to the Western view that pigtails are associated with children and young girls.

Diapers are not popular in China. Most children wear special pants with big hole bottoms. When they feel they need to make a poo or pee, they just squat and do it wherever they want.

More than 35 million people in China still live in caves.

Half of the world's pigs live in China.

China is the largest producer of tomatoes.

For most Chinese, it is a tradition to eat vegetables and rice for daily meals, especially for lunch and dinner. Vegetables and rice are the most common ingredients in Chinese food. 

China produces the most gold of any country in the world.

My inspiration for this week's card is based on this fact about China... Ice cream was invented in China. Marco Polo is credited with taking the recipe back with him to Europe.


Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp Set: Whipper Snapper Emery stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Paper: Neenah 110# Solar White and SU Daffodil Delight CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies: MFT Stitched Rectangles and Paper Roses Stitched Circles

Embellishments: Heart Brad from an unknown vendor






1 comment:

  1. WOw - that's quite some country Jeanette - thanks for all that information. Loving your card, and I certainly didn't know that ice cream originated in China!!
    Stay safe
    Blessings
    Maxine

    ReplyDelete