China is a huge, overwhelming, and totally fascinating country to be in right now. It seems to be a mixture of unusual old traditions and new advancements, many of which are equally as strange.
Here, we’ve put together 30 of the weirdest and hard-to-figure facts about this incredible country. Read through them to get a better understanding of just how compelling China actually is – #12 is pretty epic.
#31. China only recently embraced video games.
For 14 years, China banned gaming consoles like Playstation and XBox. The ban was lifted in 2014.
#30. Children poop everywhere in China.
Split-pants are often worn by Chinese children so that they can easily use the restroom whenever they want. It is not uncommon to see a Chinese mother holding her baby, split-pants downward, over a public trashcan.
#29. Some Chinese police use geese instead of police dogs.
According the Chinese authorities , geese have great vision and can be aggressive, making them a great alternative to a police dog.
#28. Soccer originated in China.
Cuju, which literally means “kick the ball with foot,” was a popular game during the Han Dynasty (206 BC- 220 AD). Later, it spread to neighboring countries like Japan, Korea and Vietnam, and eventually led to what we know today as soccer.
#27. It is possible to restore your virginity in China.
In a more disturbing plastic surgery trend, some Chinese women pay hundreds to restore their hymens before their wedding night.
#26. Pajamas are the new black in Shanghai.
PJ’s are the outfit of choice for Shanghai residents, who wear the clothes out for lunch and to the market.
#25. Many Chinese children are being named after the Olympic games.
More than 4,000 Chinese children are named Aoyun, meaning “Olympic Games.” It’s actually quite common for Chinese children to be given names of common events and popular slogans.
#24. “Urine Eggs” are somewhat of a delicacy in China.
So, here’s a real thing that exists in the world: Urine eggs are boiled for an entire day in the urine of boys under the age of 10. Traditional Chinese medicine claims that eating these eggs have plenty of health benefits, including increased circulation of the blood.
#23. You can’t have kids until the government lets you.
Married Chinese couples have to apply for and be approved for a Family Planning Certificate three months before or after the pregnancy.
#22. Most Chinese are tuned into the same channel at 7pm.
Every day at 7pm, most Chinese televisions are turned to 30-minute long news program by state-run China Central Television. It has been China’s most-watched television program since 1978.
#21. There’s only one time zone.
Despite being the third largest country in the world, China only has one time zone, Beijing Standard Time. As a result, the sun rises at 10am in cities such as Xinjiang, located in China’s westernmost province.
#20. They have a festival dedicated to eating dogs.
According to Chinese tradition, eating dog meat stimulates internal heat, as well as bringing good luck and health.
#19. Soon, China will have the most Christians on Earth.
The Christian population is growing rapidly, and by 2030, experts predict that China will pass the United States and have the most Christians in the world.
#18. Everyone goes on vacation at the same time.
Everyone gets holidays at the same time – for Chinese New Year. In just 40 days, it is estimated that 3.7 million Chinese people are traveling.
#17. Many Chinese residents are not forced to move form their homes, even in the wake of new construction.
Referred to as “Nail Houses,” these are the homes of residents who refuse to move in order to make way for building. In some cases, builders are forced to simply work around the Nail Houses.
#16. The infamous One Child Policy actually had severe consequences…but not as severe as you may think.
Chinese people who had more than one child often had to pay heavy fines during the beginning days of this policy. However, although it was widely publicized in western media, forced sterilization or abortions are relatively rare.
#15. You can hire someone to help you avoid traffic.
If you find yourself caught in a traffic jam in China, there are services you can call which will send someone on a motorcycle to collect you – along with someone to sit in your car and wait.
#14. At a certain time, China executed more convicts than every other country combined.
However, after this information became international news, the Chinese government begin giving more suspended death sentences than executions, which is basically equivalent to life in prison.
#13. Sometimes, China makes mistakes with food.
#12. In 1973, China proposed to give the U.S 10 million Chinese women to boost U.S.’s population.
#11. In China, you can rent a significant other.
There are services in China that allow you to rent a date online – unlike Western escort services, the goal isn’t sex. Instead, Chinese people rent their significant other to get their parents to stop complaining about being single.
#10. There are a lot of empty spaces in China.
In fact, many of China’s abandoned cities are brand new, and have never even had people living in them.
#9. The Chinese are great at replicating things.
China loves to replicate things – and not just DVDs or designer sunglasses. For example, in Shanghai, there is a place called Themes Town, which is supposed to be a miniature replica of London.
#8. Some 35 million Chinese people still live in caves.
In his book “Riding the Iron Rooster: By Train Through China”, Paul Theroux writes, ” There is no government program to remove these troglodytes, but there is a scheme to give them better caves. It seemed to me a kind of lateral thinking. Why rehouse or resettle these cave-dwellers? The logical solution was to improve their caves. That was very Chinese.”
#7. Drinking isn’t just for fun.
Drinking culture is deeply rooted in Chinese society, and employees are often required to drink at work functions for as long as the boss wants.
#6. Chinese researchers wear panda suits to fool cubs.
In order to care for panda cubs and introduce them to the wild, workers at the Hetaoping Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Panda dressed up in panda suits, so the cubs wouldn’t feel threatened.
#5. Women have to sit for a month after giving birth.
Much like other East Asian countries, mothers in China are encourage to stay on bedrest for 30 days after having a baby. This time is thought to be restorative for the mother’s body and womb.
#4. China has a dwarf theme park called “Kingdom Of the Little People”.
In one of China’s more exploitative endeavors, the Kingdom of the Little People employs over 100 little people, who are supposed to entertain visitors by singing and dancing.
#3. The Chinese army uses pigeons to send messages.
China’s military is training 10,000 pigeons as part of a “”reserve pigeon army” to serve as a back-up communication system.
#2. There are no movie ratings in China, but there is plenty of censorship.
Mainland China lacks a film ratings system, there is a committee that is responsible for cutting any film scenes they deem inappropriate for viewers, regardless of age. Any scene that defaces China usually gets deleted. For example, in the James Bond film Skyfall, the scene where a Chinese security guard gets blown away ended up on the cutting room floor.
#1. There are plenty of weird buildings in China.
Across China, there are a variety of unusual buildings, including this gem, which is the CCTV headquarters. There are also buildings shaped like fish, and one shaped like a mobile phone.