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Chinese Culture (Beginner Level)

At eChineseLearning we know that the Chinese learning experience requires not only a focus on the Chinese language, but also on Chinese culture and history. Our resources will introduce you to key points of Chinese culture, important historical events, fun festivals, taboos, and more! Best of all, these materials are FREE for you to explore! They are also a great companion to our Chinese Immersion Program, for those planning to study, work or live in China. If you are interested in learning more about Chinese culture, you're in the right place!

Teaching Chinese culture and tradition is an essential part of teaching Mandarin Chinese. Not only are the words and phrases important, but learning about the lives of Chinese people adds a motivation to integrate and inspire my students to continue to pursue the language. Today, I’m going to introduce four traditional events that Chinese couples ...


A very enjoyable part of the experience of learning Mandarin Chinese in China is the opportunity to be able to see and experience new parts of the world. Sometimes, those “new” parts are actually quite old!
I’m going to introduce to you some places referred to as “中国四大古都 (Zhōngguó sì dà gǔ dū),” or the “Four ...


It’s very likely you have heard of Mahjong before, you might have even played some version of it on the computer or your phone. Or, perhaps you saw the Chinese mafia in movies playing Mahjong. But, do you know its everyday significance in China?
麻将 (májiàng) Mahjong

Note: “将” has 3 different pronunciations: jiàng, qiāng, and ...


Key Learning Points (Preview): 赏月 (shǎngyuè): v. to admire the full moon

月饼 (yuèbǐng): n. moon cake

On Mid-autumn Festival, the custom of “赏月 (shǎngyuè) admiring the full moon” began with people in ancient China, and is still maintained. In the Zhou Dynasty, on the night of the Mid-autumn Festival, people would offer sacrifices to ...


Key Learning Points (Preview):
粽子 (zòngzi) n. rice dumpling

 

庆祝 (qìngzhù) v. to celebrate

 

In the west, people "庆祝 (qìngzhù) celebrate" Easter Day in memory of Jesus. They eat Easter Eggs to commemorate this day. In China, people have a similar celebration of a heroic figure from ancient times on the Dragon Boat Festival. Instead of Easter Eggs, Chinese people ...


Dragon Boat Festival in Chinese is 端午节(Duānwǔ jié). It is on the fifth of May of lunar calendar. There are many legends about this traditional festival and the most popular one is “屈原 (Qū Yuán)QuYuan,” who was a Chinese scholar and minister to the King of State of Chu during the Warring States period. He ...


Have you ever heard of Chinese “糖画(tánghuà) sugar painting?” If not, check out the video below for a glimpse of this intricate, edible art!

Have you ever seen anything like what the artist makes in the video? Do you think the way “糖画(tánghuà)” is made is pretty amazing?
If you visit China, you might find that in ...


A:   Nĭ zhăng dé zhēn piàoliang.
A:你    长    得   真       漂亮。
You are so beautiful.
B:   Nălĭ   nălĭ.
B:哪里 哪里!
You flatters me.
A:   Méimao, yănjing, ĕrduo,  bízi,    zuĭ chù chù dōu piàoliang!
A:眉毛、      眼睛、 耳朵、鼻子、嘴  处   处   都     漂亮!
Your eyebrows, your eyes…everywhere (on ...


The “饿鬼节 (È Guĭ Jié) Hungry Ghost Festival” of Chinese Taoism is also the “盂兰节 (yú lán jié) Ullambana Festival” of Buddhism, commonly called “Ghost Festival鬼节 (guĭ jié) Ghost Festival“or “中元节 (zhōng yuán jié) Mid-July Festival.” It falls on the fifteenth of every lunar July. (In 2009, Hungry Ghost Festival will falls on ...


Before the guests arrive, most Chinese hosts will make certain preparations, such as cleaning the house, setting the table with a tea pot and cups, an ashtray, and some candy or snacks. When the guests are seated, the host will first serve tea, and then offer cigarettes, or snacks. While talking to the guests, the ...


Chinese Appellations
中国人的称谓很复杂,同事之间可以称职务,如“麦总,刘经理”等,熟人之间可以直呼其名,或者在姓的前面加上“老,小”来称呼,如:“老王,小王”等。比较正式的场合对不熟悉的人一般可以称“先生,女士,太太,小姐”等。
The Chinese system of names and titles is by and large complicated. Titles may be used to address each other among one’s colleagues, e.g. “màizǒng and Liú Jīnglǐ“. For acquaintances personal names and surnames may be preceded by “lǎo” (old) or “xiǎo” (young). Formal patterns of address include “xiānsheng” (mister,Sir). “nǚshì” (Ms or Mrs), ...


After accepting invitations from a friend, you must choose a special gift for the host. Many things could be on your present list: fruit, clothes, or books. However, in China, the Bell “钟”(zhōng) could never be given as a present.
In Chinese, “钟”(zhōng) has the same pronunciation as “终”(zhōng), which means “the end, the death.” “送钟”(sòng ...


Have you ever invite your Chinese friend to dinner? How to express “it is my treat, let me be the host”? Listen to how these two guys say.
Jīntiān de cài hěn là.  Búɡuò, wǒ hěn xǐhuɑn.
F: 今天    的 菜  很  辣。不过, 我  很   喜欢。
These dishes are very spicy, but, I like it.
Wǒ zhīdào nǐ yě ...


Chinese food includes many different styles: the major ones are Lu (Shandong) cuisine, Chuan (Sichuan) cuisine, Yue (Guangdong) cuisine, Min (Fujian) cuisine, Su (Suzhou) cuisine, Zhe (Zhejiang) cuisine, Xiang (Hunan) cuisine, and Hui (Anhui) cuisine. These are often referred to as the “Eight Major Cuisines” of China.

Lu cuisine is represented by Hongshao ...


The question most frequently by tourists to Beijing is: “Where are the hutongs?” Beijing’s hutongs were built in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), and at one time numbered in excess of 6,000. The earliest ones were built in the areas between Chaoyang and Dongcheng districts, and were quite orderly laid-out. The hutongs that run from south ...


Costumes have maintained an important place in Chinese culture for more than three thousand years. Moreover, Chinese costumes are magnificent and colorful. Many dynasties throughout China’s history each had its own unique style of costumes, with styles changing or disappearing as the dynasty changed, declined, or were replaced.

Chinese Cheongsam
The cheongsam, or Qipao in Chinese, evolved ...


Farewells in China, like welcoming receptions, follow certain etiquette. In formal business situations, the following procedures are usually followed for a proper farewell: first, determine the level of farewell ceremony; then, arrange proper transportation; give or exchange gifts; and finally see off the guest. As guests leave, hosts will usually observe the following etiquette: first, ...


汤圆 (Tāng yuán)  Sweet dumplings

Guò nián, guò nián, nuò mĭ zuò tāng yuán.
过     年,    过    年,    糥   米 做    汤   圆。
Celebrate the spring festival, celebrate the spring festival, Use glutinous rice to make dumplings.

Zuò de tāng yuán yòu bái yòu yuán,
做    的  汤     圆 ...


Chinese Food for Mid-Autumn Festival
月饼(yuèbĭng) Moon Cake

The Origin of Moon Cake

Moon cake comes from the Yuan Dynasty. During that time, people would not stand the cruel domination taking place, so many people staged uprisings to fight against the Yuan Dynasty rulers. Zhu Yuanzhang, the most prominent one, united all the people to ...


In the Chinese language, the number 9 has the same pronunciation as “久(jiǔ)” which means “long lasting.” Therefore, 9, 99 or 999 (or more 9s) can all be used to express the wish that beautiful things will last long, for example love, friendship, happiness and so on. In some areas in China, it is a ...


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