10 things you didn’t know about China

By now, everyone has heard about the Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors and Forbidden City, but there’s a lot more to China than ancient landmarks. Here’s a list of things you probably didn’t know about this amazing country and culture.

China isn’t actually called China. Most locals call it Zhongguo, which means “The middle kingdom”. The word China was derived from the state known as Qin, which unified China and formed the Qin Dynasty.

Heavy user of social media? Get ready to go cold turkey in China, because you can’t access Facebook, Instagram or even sites like YouTube anywhere inside the country, thanks to the “Great firewall of China” which the government uses to censor the internet.

China has the largest military force in the world with over 2.2 million people enlisted.

Tibetan Buddhists planning on being reincarnated in China have to fill out a bunch of official government paperwork beforehand.

Buddhists planning on being reincarnated in China have to fill out a bunch of official government paperwork beforehand.

Tomato sauce, or ketchup, is a Chinese invention. Far removed from the bright red liquid we know and love today, it was originally a pickled fish sauce called “ke-tsiap”.

Savory food not your thing? The Chinese invented ice cream too, after some genius blended a rice mixture with milk and snow.

A hangover of the country’s one-child policy, there are lots more men than women in China. Hurtling toward a romantic disaster, it’s estimated there’ll be 30 million extra men than women looking for love by 2020.

While they’re at the forefront of modern technology, China still use a primitive method when it comes to ensuring cadet soldiers keep their heads up straight – they stick a pin through the collar of their uniforms, facing up toward their neck!

Currently ranked 71st in the world, China is widely accredited with the invention of soccer in the second century BC. Linzi, the capital of the ancient Chinese state of Qi, is said to be the birthplace of “cuju” or “kick ball with foot.”

Chinese women traditionally get married in red (see photo above), which is a lucky colour. White is associated with death.

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