Subscribe to our mailing list

Youtube Video Of The Day

12 Warning Signs That You Are Dealing With A Person Who Is Evil

10+ Things Inside Of A Chinese Home That I Could Not Get Used To

Different cultures come with different rules, traditions, and superstitions. When you visit a new country or a new home, it is quite intriguing to see the drastic differences between their culture and yours.

In Western culture, we have our set of norms and standards. We have breakfast in the morning, lunch at noon and dinner after work. We invite friends over for dinner, we overeat on certain holidays and we splurge (financially) on other holidays. Fridays are designated for going out and partying while Mondays are reserved for the drag that is going back to work. Now, when we decide to visit a different family or a different culture, all of the sudden things go out of whack. No longer is it appropriate to eat with forks and spoons and in some cases, some foods are strictly prohibited.

So here at Providr, we decided to take to Reddit in order to uncover some unknown curiosities about visiting a Chinese household. Whether it is their reluctance to use the number four or their insistence on using chopsticks, here are 24 unique and unknown things about a Chinese household.

Chinese families rarely invite guests over. This is because homes in Hong Kong are not all that spacious as in Western countries so most times family gatherings are done at restaurants or inside of diners.

When Chinese families do get together they tend to go out because a traditional dinner has many dishes. When friends or family go out they tend to visit a restaurant as it is not so expensive and usually in Chinese tradition, the person who invited everyone out generally pays for the dinner.

In a small town in the Wudang Mountains, many houses do not come equipped with their own showers or toilets. Because these homes are located in a remote countryside their interiors only consist of two things: the characters on the door which say ‘good luck’ and a portrait of Mao Zedong in the largest room. In Shanghai, they have a restaurant called the ‘toilet restaurant’ where diners sit on toilet seats to eat their food. 

In small towns such as Wudang, most homes are NOT multi-unit apartments and are instead one-story houses that look a lot like concrete buildings. In a lot of these cases, most people need to use an outhouse (outdoors) and have to shower at local facilities such as a Kung Fu school or a regular school.

Most bathrooms in China are not outfitted with a toilet bowl, in fact, they are just floor pans. So men and women need to squat over these floor pans in order to do their business. They do not have traditional ‘flush toilets’ and Chinese people believe that their method is better for digestion.

As mentioned earlier, many Hong Kong households are not big at all. Because of this design, most apartments cannot afford to install a large bathtub. Instead, there is a shower that runs directly into the floor. This way, the floor and your body are both being washed at the same time making it economical and time efficient.

Since the homes are not that big, the kitchens aren’t that massive as well. There is generally only enough space for a sink, some drawers, and a stove. As mentioned earlier, most family gatherings are done at restaurants or outside of homes so kitchens aren’t that big to accommodate large families.

Since the homes are not that big, the kitchens aren’t that massive as well. There is generally only enough space for a sink, some drawers, and a stove. As mentioned earlier, most family gatherings are done at restaurants or outside of homes so kitchens aren’t that big to accommodate large families.

Despite the sizes of apartments in Hong Kong, most residential places are extremely expensive. To rent an apartment in a secluded town is about 200 dollars a month but go to Shanghai and a tiny room will cost you more than 600 dollars a month. Half decent apartments in Shanghai can be as much as three thousands dollars a month!

New houses or apartments are usually finished without window frames. This means that most new homeowners need to install the glass windows themselves. This may be why some homes in Hong Kong can be seen with linen covering their windows because the glass has not been installed yet. 

Because of the small rooms, many buildings in Hong Kong are built vertically and not horizontally (in order to save space.) As a result, Chinese builders and developers have set bars on the windows in order to prevent children from falling out of these windows. Most apartment complexes also come with their own security gates.

In Hong Kong, it doesn’t get nearly as cold as it does in Canada or the United States so there is really no need for a central heating system. However, there are still electric heaters in certain bathrooms and one essential element of a Chinese bathroom is the electrical heating lamp that hangs from the ceiling.

In rural areas, such as in the Wudang Mountains, most homes and families do not have any heating at all so they just stay in their homes wearing their winter jackets all the time. To them, the winter temperatures of 32 degrees Fahrenheit really isn’t that bad.

In China, due to its size, many villages which can be mere kilometers apart, can be extremely different in terms of culture, language and diversity. Some neighboring villages don’t even speak the same dialect and as a result, do not converse. Other times, food found in one village is completely ignored in a neighboring village.

In the Chinese culture, it is typical to ask really personal questions but physical contact is generally frowned upon. For instance, elderly or seniors will openly ask about one’s marital status, annual salary or age but don’t like too much personal contact such as hugging or back-slapping.

Of course, every Chinese household comes with the use of chopsticks. There is an etiquette that revolves around the use of chopsticks and certain guidelines that need to be adhered to. For instance, it is not appropriate to stick your chopsticks vertically into a bowl because it signifies offering food to the dead.

More etiquette in regards to the use of chopsticks: chopsticks must be of the same length (uneven chopsticks once again signify death,) you cannot chew on chopsticks, play drums with the chopsticks, or dig through the food for tastier pieces with your chopsticks.

In Western cultures, it is typical to compliment one another but in a Chinese household, compliments are generally deflected. For instance, most people will respond with ‘na li, na li’ after getting a compliment which means ‘where? Where?’

If you offer someone a gift in a Chinese household it will almost always be refused at least once before they accept it. It is custom for the gifter to insist that the receiver take the gift before the receiver will actually accept it. It is also not typical for the gift to be opened in front of the guest.

Chinese households are all about respect, social status and ‘face.’ It is all about losing face and saving face, which essentially means maintaining one’s dignity. Things such as losing your temper, openly confronting someone, putting someone on the spot or failing to properly respect someone can all cause another person to ‘lose face.’

During the introductory process, most Chinese households will address you by your last name first. Chinese tend to be more formal with Westerners so they will most likely address you by Mr. or Mrs. and in some cases, the title of your profession will be used to address you. For instance, Teacher Li or Manager Choi.

Shaking hands is always a general way of greeting someone but it is also polite to stand when someone enters a room. This is more so the case when an elder walks into the room or when a senior official enters the room during a business meeting. It is okay to remain seated when someone who is very obviously your junior enters the room.

When presenting your business card, it is appropriate and polite to present it with both hands. In a lot of Chinese houses, business cards are not just reserved for business meetings but they are used for a wide array of introductions in numerous gatherings.

When presenting your business card, it is appropriate and polite to present it with both hands. In a lot of Chinese houses, business cards are not just reserved for business meetings but they are used for a wide array of introductions in numerous gatherings.

Advertisement

More From Providr