15 Weird And Crazy Facts About China
Maybe you know a thing or two about China -- like how it's the second-biggest economy in the world, or how they're obsessed with creepy pandas. But what do you really know about China, other than you don't know much, and it seems kinda weird?
Even if you already know fortune cookies aren't actually a thing there, there are wayyy more interesting facts. Try dropping these over dinner the next time you order take out.
1. People eat dogs to celebrate summerThat little guy? He's what's for dinner... at least in Yulin for a day. In the southwestern Chinese city, people eat dogs on the summer solstice festival, and about 10,000 dogs are killed and consumed. Dog meat's believed to bring good luck and health. That gives an entirely new meaning to "the dog days of summer."
2. There's only one time zoneChina is the third largest country in the world and just slightly larger than the US, in terms of total square mileage (check out these overlays). And yet, it uses Beijing Standard Time across the 9.6 million square meter soil. As a result, the Sun rises around 10am in Xinjiang -- China’s westernmost province. If the US worked that way, it might explain why people on the West Coast are so much more laid back -- they never have to get up early. But unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), the US figured out that maybe having the sunrise at 10 isn't a great idea.
3. You can't have kids until the government lets youShotgun weddings are not exactly a thing in The People's Republic. Married couples have to apply for and be approved for a Family Planning Certificate, formerly known as Birth Permit, three months before or after the pregnancy. And only with a certificate will your baby be considered legal. It gives an entirely new meaning to planned parenthood.
4. Women have to sit for a month after giving birthAfter delivering her baby, a mom has to sit in bed for 30 days, suffering a restrictive confinement which is, according to traditional Chinese medicine, supposed to be "good" for her to recover. No bathing, no washing her hair, and no walking. But the trade-off is being fed loads of nutritious food, like chicken soup. Honestly? No wonder you've gotta get a license to have kids. It also includes a month of breakfast in bed.
5. Eggs boiled in virgin boys’ urine are a delicacyYou thought eating bugs or dogs was weird? Try a "sophisticated" version of boiled eggs: urine eggs, which are boiled for an entire day in the urine of boys under the age of 10. Locals believe they have myriad benefits, such as increasing circulation of the blood. And it's such a stalwart, the tradition was recognized as local intangible cultural heritage in 2008. That still doesn't make it any less gross.
6. Soccer originated in ChinaSee that, England? Not your game. China may not excel at good old footie (as some call it), but it’s actually the birthplace of the game. Cuju, which literally means “kick the ball with foot,” was a popular game all the way back during the Han Dynasty (206 BC- 220 AD). Later, it spread to neighboring countries like Japan, Korea and Vietnam.
7. Significant Other rentals are a real thingBeing single can totally suck, especially when you head home for holidays and face an endless barrage of parents’ interrogations, such as “Are you seeing anyone?” “When are you getting married?” or "You're a failure." OK, that last one's not a question. But you can easily shut mom and dad up by renting a lover online and showing off your new, awesome SO. Then you can totally milk sympathy from everyone when you lie and say you got dumped.
8. Business deals require you to drink
Drinking culture is deeply rooted in Chinese society, but it goes way past owning the best-selling beer in the world. Making social connections, giving a toast, drinking up -- this is all basic drinking etiquette at a banquet. And the more you drink, the more your boss or business partners will like you -- basically the opposite of an American holiday party, where you're pretty much walking through a bigger HR minefield with every extra drink you down.