Meet Liza

Liza, 26, a Bachelors Graduate, arrives in Foshan 3rd week of February was welcomed by her host family from Foshan City, Guangdong.

Liza, a very nice and shy type girl. It is her first time going abroad away from her own family. She is away from her own country but didn’t experience homesickness because her host family treats her as a part of their family. Let’s get to know her experience in China.

How was your stay in China?

I can say that my stay here in China is great, my host family are all nice and good to me and the place are very safe.

What do you like most about china? ex: traditions, culture

I am enjoying their culture, and I am learning to adapt it little by little.

What do you like least about china? ex: traditions, culture

So far, None. I am enjoying their traditions and culture.

Have you tried Chinese food? What are your most favorite Chinese food?

Yes, I always eat Chinese food here in my host family’s home. I like the Chinese fried chicken marinated with sauce and the homemade noodles.

What do you usually do during your free time?

I usually do during my free time is reading books because they have a lot of books here and chatting with family members and surfing on the internet.

Do you have any advice for future applicant like you?

China is a very great Country, and my work here is not totally hard and I can feel that they treat me as one of the member of their family. It is already my two weeks here in China and I can say that I am doing really good with my host family. so my advice for my fellow applicant is grab every opportunity. Do not get scared going to China because Chinese people are very nice and hospitable and always remember that our sacrifice away from our family is for our family’s great future.

 

Thank you Liza for answering our questions. Goodluck and Hope you enjoy the rest of your stay here in China.

 

Year of the Pig 2019 : A Year of Fortune and Luck!

Chinese New year in 2009 starts on Tuesday, February 5th and ends on January 24th, 2020. Conforming to the Chinese horoscope , the year of the Pig 2019 comes right after the Year of the  Dog (2018) and before the year of the Metal Rat (2020)! The Pig occupies the last (12th) position in the Chinese Zodiac. You are a “Pig Chinese Zodiac native” if you are born in one of these years: 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019 . According to the chinese astrology , 2019 is a great year to make money, and a good year to invest! 2019 is going to be full of joy, a year of friendship and love for all the zodiac signs; an auspicious year because the Pig attracts success in all the spheres of life.

A Sneak Peek Of What Year 2019 Will Be Like For You

  •  Rat – A year full of happiness and prosperity!
  •  Ox – A good year for Ox. A time with good opportunities to make money.
  •  Tiger – Born in a strong and independent zodiac sign, as a general rule, you do what you please. This year through, you will need to learn how to come to terms with others.
  •  Rabbit – An excellent year is waiting for you! A bit less wary than usual, you will easily get close to others and make new friends.
  •  Dragon – For you, the impact of the Pig’s calmness will mean a year of reconsiderations.
  •  Snake – This year you’ll have to be combative and persuasive
  •  Horse – The year of the Pig 2019 is going to be more auspicious than the Dog Year 2018 !
  •  Goat – A 2019 year under the mark of chance, when all your ambitions will be fulfilled .
  •  Monkey – A year under the influence of chance !.
  •  Rooster – This year you need to actually pay attention to the quality of your relationships with others, if you want to succeed.
  •  Dog – This year count only on your own efforts in order to succeed.
  •  Pig – The year 2019 is yours, right? Start by setting your priorities and then get to work: once you start moving, you will start seeing results.

Choose your chinese zodiac sign

CHINESE ANIMAL SIGN BORN IN
Rat Horoscope 2019 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008
Ox Horoscope 2019 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009
Tiger Horoscope 2019 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010
Rabbit Horoscope 2019 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011
Dragon Horoscope 2019 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012
Snake Horoscope 2019 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013
Horse Horoscope 2019 1942, 1954,1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014
Goat Horoscope 2019 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015
Monkey Horoscope 2019 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016
Rooster Horoscope 2019 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017
Dog Horoscope 2019 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018
Pig Horoscope 2019 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019

Feng Shui in the Year of the Earth Pig: lucky symbols

  • Lucky Numbers: 4, 6, 8
  • Lucky Colors : yellow, gray, brown, golden
  • Lucky Days: the 2nd, the 7th, the 10th, the 11th day of every month of the Chinese calendar
  • Lucky Directions: southeast, northeast

In 2019, the ruling Tai Sui is Xie Tai. In the year of the Pig 2019 the position of Tai Sui is at North West 3. 2019 Feng Shui remedies for maintaining a good relationship with Tai Sui in 2019 : Place a Pi Yao statue in the southeast to prevent the bad luck and the illness Tai Sui can attract, in case the above mentioned rules are not respected.

In chinese astrology, bracelets and figurines with pigs containing different crystals, are also considered lucky. in the Year of the Pig 2019. For those who wear them, the Pig ensures a constant, high income, abundance and prosperity. It is also an excellent Feng Shui present for those who wish to change their job and to obtain a “fatter” pay.

Top 4 Feng Shui items for 2019

NAME MAIN PROPERTIES
Pi Yao Statue it is thought to be able to attract wealth from everywhere and to ward off ill fortunes and bring good fortune  
Pig Statue for happiness and prosperity
Himalayan Salt Lamp perfect for a romantic evening in with a loved one, a reading lamp in bed to calm and soothe you before sleeping, pleasant in the office to help you de-stress
Foo Dogs Guardian Lion protects a family wealth and social status  

Career

In the professional activity of Rat, Ox, Rabbit and Goat natives, everything should go very well. Full of energy and combativeness, the natives of these zodiac signs have every incentive to take advantage of any opportunity and set their goals as high as possible. Their efforts will be capitalized, having the chance on their side, between July and October of 2019. At the beginning of fall and towards the end of 2019, they will have to work harder, in case they are involved in teamwork projects.

The professional activity of Tiger, Horse, Monkey and Pig natives, in 2019: at the end of February and all throughout March, it is best to balance their efforts otherwise, they will risk being overcome by exhaustion. Only from October-November of 2019, the natives of these zodiac signs will be able to achieve all their goals. This will ensure harmony at your workplace and help you improve the relationship with others. Also, the amethyst tree can help you attract financial luck and get more career opportunities.

In terms of professional projects and activities, 2019 is going to an interesting year for the natives of Dragon, Snake, Rooster, and Dog. More ambitious than usual the natives of these zodiac signs will stop taking refuge in secondary roles and will dare to put themselves in the spotlight more often. Their efforts will be rewarded right from the beginning of the Chinese New Year 2019. Few delays and inopportune timing are possible towards the end of 2019, but the final annual report is going to be positive.

Health

The health of Rat, Ox, Dog, and Monkey natives in 2019:
From a physical point of view, nervousness is going to be their enemy during this year. According to the horoscope, the natives of these zodiac signs should not allow an excess of energy wrongly channeled to transform in stress or insomnia.

A Feng Shui remedy very used against stress and insomnia is to place a Feng Shui Tortoise Turtle in the western corner of the house. To maintain their balance, ideal for these natives would be to practice a sport, but on regular bases.

 Those born under the Tiger, Rooster, Horse and Rabbit zodiac signs have an enviable energy all throughout 2019. Yet, these natives should make sure not to overestimate their strength. Also, the excess risk (alimentation and not only) should be carefully regarded, because it can throw their body out of balance.

Health-wise, those born under the Dragon, Snake, Pig, and Goat zodiac signs should have a reasonable attitude: they risk being out of shape. They will have so many things to do that their energy reserves, although important, can get depleted from time to time. The natives of these zodiac signs should allow themselves few days of rest and, once invigorated, they will be ready to hit the road.

Chinese Love Horoscope 2019

In love, happiness awaits for those born under the Rat, Pig, Rabbit, and Dog zodiac signs. The married natives will be loving and passionate and their partners will be delighted.

For the single natives, 2019 seems to be a favorable year for special meetings. For the Rat, Pig, Rabbit, and Dog natives that are involved in relationships, the Feng Shui experts recommend placing Mandarin Ducks on their nightstands. The Mandarin Ducks represent romance, devotion, love, and the partner’s loyalty.

In love, the first trimester of 2019 is very auspicious for the married natives of Snake, Ox, Tiger, and Monkey. If in the last months of the Dog Year 2018, difficulties shadowed their married life, the partners can now restore the trust and fondness into their relationship. Beware! During the fall, they might be tempted to have an affair. If they are single, 2019 will be a pretty calm year. Only towards the end of the year, starting from November, they might have an important meeting.

For the natives of Dragon, Rooster, Goat, and Horse that are involved in relationships, the year 2019 might be pretty stormy, especially if their married life doesn’t meet their expectations. In a permanent dispute, they risk wasting their energy trying to overcome difficulties. Place a pair of Feng Shui swans in a well-lit area with a good chi energy, so that everyone around can benefit from the attributes the swan represents. The Feng Shui swan symbolizes grace, beauty, purity, love, and delight.

However, 2019 is the year of bachelors, who at the end of summer or during the fall will have a decisive meeting.

The Luckiest Chinese Horoscope Zodiac Signs in the Pig Year of 2019

The natives of Horse, Ox, Dragon, and Pig represent some of the blessed Chinese zodiac signs, having the gift of longevity and health. The natives of these zodiac signs have a powerful constitution, an excellent physical condition, which will ensure a wonderful 2019 in love and in the career.

The natives of Snake, Rat, Ox, and Rabbit will manage to take advantage of opportunities to improve their personal and professional life. The Romance Flying Star will bring luck in love and marriage. The single natives might attract a new life partner, while the natives already involved in a relationship might think to formalize their relationship or move to the next level, children.

The natives of Monkey, Rooster, Goat, and Tiger will benefit from promotions and possibly higher wages during this year.

Also, there are good business opportunities with the Rat natives. As long as they act with diplomacy, the natives of these zodiac signs might also have a good year in their love life. Some problems might occur health-wise.

The General Characteristics of Pig Zodiac Sign:

The Pig belongs to the group of water signs, it represents the beginning of winter and is the birth month of wood. Therefore, the Pig symbolizes the plant germination and the birth of a new life form. Consequently, the Year of the Pig can bring a new start in the international relationships and a new social order and, in some countries, can lead to new regimes and new governments. The Pig is also considered a “Traveling Star”, that’s why the Year of the Pig will stimulate traveling more than other years. The tourism industry will greatly benefit from this.

According to the Chinese tradition, the Pig is the life-lover archetype and, in 2019, we all need to learn how to take advantage, in an intelligent manner, of everything that’s beautiful in life. During this year, all the qualities of the Pig sign will find a way to express themselves: firstly, the gentleness and the generosity. Therefore, we’ll need to be more attentive to others and, on a collective level, all the altruistic initiatives will be favored. Another great quality of the Pig is the joy to live, and the Chinese astrologers believe it would be difficult to find another zodiac sign exulting as much optimism as the Pig. This characteristic can be an inspiration for all of us, giving us a better mood and a 100% zest for life…But, caution!

As all Chinese zodiac signs, the Pig also has its weaknesses. Endowed with an extraordinary imagination, the Pig sometimes lacks realism and can be content only with dreaming, instead of acting. This year we need to avoid this inclination which might take us out of the race before the finish line.

Not least, the Pig is naive: his kindness prevents him from seeing treachery, which makes him an easy target for unscrupulous people. Therefore: be a bit more suspicious in 2019 and try not to see life in pink all the time.

The Child Born in the Pig Year

Honest, determined and loyal, the child born in the Pig zodiac sign is worthy of your trust. A good student, the child will work hard, never complaining when facing difficulties. It is advisable to give him all your support when needed and you will notice how he will rebuild his strength, overcome the failures and restart everything with renewed forces. Great organizer, the child will efficiently plan activities, but most often other people activities, because, in general, he cannot stand constraints.

The Man Born in the Pig Year

The adult born in the Pig year represents the knight stereotype – honest, resolved, and brave. Generous and very genteel, he will share his money with you, if needed, but his expectations are as high. With his proverbial calm, he will tolerate many things and because he dislikes arguments, he will always cede, never seeking revenge. He will not even tell you that you are not right. The Pig natives are smart and they know how to defend their interests.

The Woman Born in the Pig Year

The woman born in the Pig year has exemplary cleaning skills. Perfect host and great housewife, she wholeheartedly loves her husband and children, which represent her pride and the center of her life. She panders to their every whim and gives her supports even more than necessary. She ensures an atmosphere of contentment and full understanding in her entourage and family.

Pig’s Love Compatibility and Relationship

The Pig native is one of the most sincere and modest sign of all zodiac signs. The naturalness and sincerity make him irresistible for the Goat, Rabbit, Tiger, and Dog natives. The Pig natives are very devoted to their love relationship, they regard their partner with respect and try to offer as many fulfillment, happy moments as possible, this is why they are appreciated by the Monkey, Rat, Ox, and Horse natives.

Animosity and long-lasting conflicts might occur between the Dragon, Snake or Rooster natives and the Pig natives. Communication doesn’t really exist in these amorous entanglements and the relationships between the natives of these zodiac signs can be acceptable, but only moderately.

Usually, the love affairs between these zodiac signs are not permanent.

Source: https://www.thechinesezodiac.org/astrology/chinese-horoscope-2019-year-of-the-earth-pig/

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year Everyone!! CulturalPair Shanghai wishes you four seasons of peace and a flourishing year. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

 

 

 

Credits: @rawpixel and @katemangostar

21 Things To Know About Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is celebrated by more than 20% of the world. It’s the most important holiday in China and to Chinese people all over. Here are 21 interesting facts that you probably didn’t know about Chinese New Year.

1. Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival

In China, you’ll hear it being called chunjie (春节), or the Spring Festival. It’s still very wintry, but the holiday marks the end of the coldest days. People welcome spring and what it brings along: planting and harvests, new beginnings and fresh starts. You can also call it the Lunar New Year, because countries such as North and South Korea and Vietnam celebrate it as well. And because the Spring Festival goes according to the lunar calendar. Which means . . .

2. There’s no set date for Chinese New Year

According to the Lunar calendar, the Spring Festival is on January 1st and lasts until the 15th (the full moon). Unlike western holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas, when you try to calculate it with the solar (Gregorian) calendar, the date is all over the place. Chinese New Year ranges from January 21 to February 20. In 2019, it occurs on February 5th.

Modern Chinese calendars use the Gregorian calendar but include lunar holidays. The lunar calendar is still really important in China, even though it has officially moved to the Gregorian calendar like the rest of the world. All traditional holidays and days such as the Winter Solstice are celebrated. Some people still calculate their birthdays and ages according to the lunar calendar too!

3. It is a day for praying to gods

The Spring Festival was originally a ceremonial day to pray to gods for a good planting and harvest season. As an agrarian society, the harvest was everything. People also prayed to their ancestors, as they were treated as gods . The best foods are offered to the gods.

 4. and fighting off monsters

But the myths are much more interesting. According to one legend, there was a monster named Nian (年). It would come about every New Year’s Eve. Most people would hide in their homes. But one boy was brave enough to fight him off using firecrackers. The next day, people celebrated their survival by setting off even more firecrackers. And that practice became a crucial part of the Spring Festival.

5. The most fireworks are set off in the world that night

As in the myth about Nian, firecrackers are supposed to scare off monsters and bad luck. So people stay up on Chinese New Year’s Eve and set off firecrackers at midnight. In the morning, firecrackers are used again to welcome the new year and good luck. Both firecrackers and fireworks sound throughout the night.

That same night, families also burn fake paper money and printed gold bars in honor of their deceased loved ones. Similar to the Korean Chuseok holiday or the Mexican Day of the Dead traditions, they believe the offerings will bring fortune and good luck to their ancestors in the afterlife.

6. (but sometimes it’s illegal)

Due to safety reasons and concerns for air pollution, many Chinese cities have banned fireworks. More than 500 cities have restrictions too. But… many people don’t care and they do it anyway. Beijing had banned fireworks for 13 years. The ban was lifted in 2006 because of the angry public.

If you’re in China during this time, you’ll probably be able to hear and see the explosions for at least 3 nights (and it can go on for weeks).

The Spring Festival is technically 15 days. But celebrations start on New Year’s Eve (making it 16 days). You can also say that the holiday season starts in (lunar) December with the Laba Festival (腊八节—là bā jié). That’s around 40 days of celebrations!

During the holiday, Chinese people spend twice as much on shopping and eating out than Americans spend on Thanksgiving. Traditionally, you have to spend time with your family and can only go out after the 5th day. It’s a national holiday. The large majority of stores are closed too. So in the month before, people will buy nian huo (年货), or New Year’s products. The Chinese stock up on cooking supplies, snacks, gifts, new clothes and more.

8. The Spring Festival causes the largest human migration in the world

The most important part of Chinese New Year is the family reunion. Everyone should come back home for the New Year’s Eve dinner.

But since in modern China, most elderly parents live in rural villages while their children work in the cities. The migration back home and to go on vacation is called chunyun (春运), or Spring Migration. Even on normal days, subways to work are jammed pack with people just barely squishing past the door. You can imagine the intensity of the chunyun. Plus, the earliest you can buy train tickets is 60 days before. It leads to a mad rush of literally fighting for tickets. In 2015, statistics showed that around 1,000 tickets were sold each second.

9. Singles hire fake boy/girlfriends to take home

You know those nosy relatives during Thanksgiving? It’s even worse in China. Especially since having children and passing down the family name is one of the most important parts in Chinese culture.

Some desperate singles resort to hire a fake boyfriend or girlfriend to take home. Those who can’t (or don’t want to) go home can rent themselves out. For some of the other questions though, such as your salary, career or when you want to have kids, can’t be helped.

Showering isn’t allowed New Year’s Day. Sweeping and throwing out garbage isn’t allowed before the 5th. This is to make sure you don’t wash away the good luck!

On the other hand, there’s a day before the Spring Festival dedicated to cleaning. This day is to sweep the bad luck away and make room for the good. Most hair salons are closed during the entirety of Chinese New Year because hair cutting is taboo. What else is taboo during Chinese New Year?

  • Hair cutting (before February 2)
  • Using scissors, knives and other sharp things
  • Arguing, swearing
  • Saying unlucky words (such as “death” and “sickness”)
  • Breaking things

11. Children receive lucky money in red envelopes

In other cultures, children receive gifts for holidays. Gifts are also exchanged during the Spring Festival. But Chinese children receive something else too—red envelopes. Depending on the family, the children can get up 1000 CNY (around $150) per envelope.

Also called red packets or pockets, they include money. This money is supposed to help transfer fortune from the elders to the kids. They can also be given between bosses and employees, co-workers, and friends. With the development of technology, digital red pockets are the trend now. People like to send one into group chats and watch the others fight for the money. This is called qiang hongbao (抢红包), or literally “snatching red pockets”.

12. You eat dumplings for every meal, every day

Well, technically you’re supposed to. But not many people do that anymore because you can have too much of even the most delicious foods. So most people will eat dumplings during the New Year’s Eve dinner. Others will eat them for the first breakfast.

Dumplings with Chinese New Year decorations. Contrary to popular belief though, dumplings aren’t popular everywhere in China. It’s more of a northern thing. In the South, people would rather eat spring rolls (egg rolls) and balls of glutinous rice in soup called tangyuan (汤圆).

13. Chinese New Year desserts have special meanings

A lot cultures have symbolic foods, such as the Yule Log cake. But so many Chinese New Year deserts have special meanings behind them. And it’s mostly puns in the name. Make sure you get your fill of meaningful desserts! Take the tangyuan for example. It literally means “soup balls.” But it sounds like tuanyuan (团圆), which means reunion. So it’s no surprise it’s a popular dessert during Chinese New Year. Nian gao (年糕) is a type of rice cake. It symbolizes success each and every year. Fa gao (发糕) is a the hybrid of sponge cakes and muffins. People dye it festive colors. The fa is the same as in fa cai (发财), which means “to get rich.” And everyone wants that!

14. There’s wine specifically for the Spring Festival

Chinese people love drinking. There’s a saying that there’s no manners and/or etiquette without wine. This means that you need to have wine for every ceremony, festival or important dinner. There’s wine for engagement dinners, weddings, birthdays… and of course, the Spring Festival. With such a rich wine culture, it’s no surprise that there is a bunch of drinking games you play. However, it’s not all fun and games.

When you’re eating with someone older than you, as is the case with New Year’s dinners, you need to follow strict toasting etiquette rules. They include the order of toasts, seating, how you hold the wine glass etc. etc. To learn more read our post on Chinese new Year’s drinks and etiquette.

15. The Chinese decorate everything red for Chinese New Year

Every family will deck their homes in this color. Do you remember the story about Nian? Firecrackers aren’t the only thing that scared the monster away. Red is also an invaluable weapon, and used in nearly all Chinese New Year decorations. Red is China’s favorite color and it’s pretty obvious during Chinese New Year. The Chinese will hang up red lanterns and strings of (real or fake) chili peppers, paste red paper onto doors and windows, and more! New clothes are also believed to bring good luck and start over fresh. People will add new red clothing to their Spring Festival wardrobe too.

Western horoscopes include 12 zodiacs, one for each month. There are 12 Chinese zodiacs Chinese zodiacs as well, but the animal is for the entire year. They are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.
2019 is the Year of the Pig. Some of the animals (such as Rat, Snake, Dog and Pig) aren’t normally well-liked in Chinese culture. But as a zodiac, their positive traits are bestowed on people born that year. They play a much bigger role than in Western cultures. Your animal can decide your career, health and relationship success. Make sure you find out what zodiac animal you are!

17. Your zodiac year is bad luck

Your benming year (本命年—běn mìng nián) is the year of your zodiac animal. And of the 12 year cycle, it is the unluckiest for you. There are multiple explanations for this. The Chinese believe that children can easily be taken by demons. And your benming year is your rebirth year.
There’s also a mythological creature named Pi Xiu (貔貅) that you can wear as an accessory for good luck. During this year, your weapon of defense is the color red. Just as you can decorate your home in red for protection and fortune, you can also wear red clothing. Many people will wear red underwear every day of the year. Others add on red shirts, pants, jewelry, insoles and more!

18. You grow 1 year older on the Spring Festival

In China, you have a “real” age (实岁—shí suì) and a “fake” nominal age (虚岁—xū suì). The real age is the one we all know about. You grow one year older on your birthday. The nominal age though, increases with the Spring Festival.
This was the age most people went with until recent times. But it’s still common nowadays, or used interchangeably. If you’re particular about it, make sure you ask!

19. The New Year greeting in Chinese is “xin nian kuai le”

The phrase literally means “Happy New Year.” But in Hong Kong and other Cantonese-speaking regions, it’s more common to say “gong hei fat choy.” In Mandarin Chinese, it’s “gong xi fa cai” (恭喜发财). It means “congratulations on the fortune.”
If you check out other greetings or blessings, you’ll see that most are about:
  • Plentiful harvests
  • Wealth and fortune
  • Health and longevity
  • Having children and large families

Food, money and health are things that everyone wants. Passing down the family name is of utmost importance. That’s one of the reasons why China has such a large population.

20. Chinese New Year ends with the Lantern Festival

The first full moon of the (lunar) year is the Yuanxiao Festival (元宵节—yuán xiāo jié) or Lantern Festival (灯节—dēng jié). Though family is still important, it’s still a night of partying and freedom. Lanterns come in all shapes, sizes and colors. In ancient times, girls weren’t allowed to venture outside by themselves. But on this night, they were able to walk around, moon-gaze and look at the beautiful lanterns. Because of this, it’s also known as Valentine’s Day in China.

21. Chinese New Year is celebrated all around the world

One out of every 5 people in the world is Chinese. But that stat doesn’t include the millions of overseas Chinese and people of Chinese descent.

Spring Festival celebrations in London, UK. London, England; San Francisco, USA; Sydney, Australia; all claim to have the biggest Spring Festival celebrations outside of Asia. We’re can’t say if that’s true or not. But if you have a Chinatown nearby, you can definitely get a feel of what the celebrations are like.

Make sure you go check out the parades, lion dances, lantern statues, fireworks and amazing food!

 

Source: https://chinesenewyear.net/21-things-you-didnt-know-about-chinese-new-year/

Interesting Facts about China

Are you looking for facts about China? Then you’ve come to the right place! Here are 25 Interesting China Facts, and further down you can also read some more general facts about China that might be good to know!

1. FOOTBALL (SOCCER) WAS INVENTED HERE

2.200 years ago, the game that later turned into football (soccer) was invented in China.

The world’s first soccer ball was a leather ball filled with feathers and hair, and the game was called ‘Tsu’ Chu,’ which literally means ‘kicking ball.’

2. CHINA IS THE WORLD’S MOST POPULOUS COUNTRY

With more than 1.4 billion people, China holds the world record for having the largest population on Earth. India is not far behind though with 1.3 billion people, and they’re estimated to take over the 1 place in a few years.

But to this date, China can pride themselves on having the largest population in the world!

3. THE SUNRISE IN PARTS OF CHINA CAN BE AS LATE AS 10 AM

Despite being a wide and large country, China only has one time zone – Standard Chinese time. This means that in the West of China, the sunrise can be as late as 10 AM!

This means that when it’s 6 o’clock in the nation’s capital, it’s 6 o’clock almost 3,000 miles further west, in Kashgar.

4. THE ELDERLY RIGHTS LAW

If you have parents that are over 60 years old, it’s illegal to not visit them regularly. This is definitely one of the most interesting China facts, since, in many other countries, the elders are being forgotten or put into rest-homes.

5. CHINA HAS THE WORLD’S LARGEST ECONOMY

In 2014, experts claimed that the Chinese economy has become the largest economy in the world. It’s the biggest exporter and is considered the largest economy in the world when it comes to purchasing power parity.

However, in nominal GDP, it’s the second largest economy.

6. THE CHINESE NEW YEARCELEBRATION LASTS FOR 15 DAYS

First of all, the New Year in China and the European or American New Year is not being celebrated on the same date. The first day of the year falls on the new moon between January 21 and February 20, so it differs from year to year.

Secondly, this celebration is ongoing for 15 days instead of just 1 that westerners celebrate the new year.

Definitely one of the many interesting facts about China!

 7. FORTUNE COOKIES ARE NOT A TRADITIONAL CHINESE CUSTOM

Did you know that fortune cookies actually were invented in San Fransisco? Today more than 3 billion fortune cookies are made each year, but it’s not a traditional Chinese custom, even if many westerners think otherwise.

8. CHINA HAS THE WORLD’S LARGEST STANDING ARMY

Did you think that the United States has the largest army in the world? Guess again. The mighty superpower country China has 2,183,000 personnel they can send to war if they have to.

That’s almost 1 million more than what the U.S Army has in active duty.

9. IN 2020, IT’S ESTIMATED TO BE 30-40 MILLION MORE CHINESE MEN THAN WOMEN

This is a big problem that China is facing due to the one-child policy that has been standard for the last decades. Since they only can have one child per family, it has led to the fact that a lot of parents want a son and not a daughter.

China is still very traditional as a country, and because of parents only wanting a son, it has led to the problem that about 30-40 million men can’t find a Chinese wife to marry because they’re already taken.

10. CHINA’S RAILWAY LINES ARE SO EXTENSIVE AND LONG THAT THEY COULD LOOP AROUND EARTH TWICE

China is the 4th largest country by area in the world, but the railways are widely expanded throughout the country. In fact, the Chinese railway is so extensive that it could loop around the Earth, not once, but TWICE!

 11. IT’S MANDATORY FOR COSMETIC PRODUCTS TO BE TESTED ON ANIMALS

This might not be one of the most exciting facts about China, but it’s interesting because this is totally prohibited and banned in Europe. In 2018, there’s no need to perform a test on animals, because it can be both cheaper and more effective to do it on “fake skin” and other techniques.

But, still, every cosmetic product that’s on the Chinese market has to go through tests on animals. I really hope China will change this, as I see China as a very progressive country in many ways, and they can become the front leader by being innovative and compassioned.

12. A NEW SKYSCRAPER IS BUILT EVERY FIVE DAYS

No country on Earth is growing as fast as China. The cities are being transformed fast, and on average, there is a new skyscraper somewhere in the country every 5 days.

In a period of a year (365 days), China gets at least 73 new skyscrapers!

 13. FACEBOOK HAS BEEN BANNED IN CHINA SINCE 2009

But there are still at least 95 million Chinese users who get by the block via various VPN services. With that said, most people use other social media channels such as Baidu, WeChat and Sina Weibo.

They even have their own version of YouTube called Youku Tudou.

14. WANG, LI, AND ZHAN ARE THE MOST COMMON SURNAMES

They make up about 21% of the total population, which means that one in every five people will have Wang, Li or Zhan as their surname, which is actually referred to as the first name in China.

15. ONE IN EVERY FIVE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD IS CHINESE

If you didn’t think learning Chinese was important, then you might need to re-think that thought. About 1 in 5 people worldwide are Chinese, which in a percentage equal to 20% of the total population in the world.

While most of them reside within the People’s Republic of China, it theoretically means that if you meet 5 people, at least one of them will be Chinese.

5 X FUN FACTS ABOUT CHINA

  • More than 35 million people still live in caves
  • There’s a bridge between mainland China and Macau, where cars switch from left to right-hand drive and vice versa
  • Spitting, yawning, grunting and burping are normal behaviors when you eat in China
  • Ice Cream wasn’t invented in Italy, it was invented in China 4000 years ago
  • Many Chinese emperors considered themselves to be descendants of dragons

5 X CHINA FACTS FOR KIDS

  • Table Tennis is considered the national sport
  • Half of the world’s pigs live in China
  • Paper money was invented here
  • All of China uses the same time zone despite the country’s size
  • The national animal is the Giant Panda

RANDOM FACTS ABOUT CHINA AND THE CHINESE PEOPLE

  1. 100 million people in China live on less than US$1 per day
  2. China is the world’s biggest exporter
  3. More than 45 billion chopsticks are being used per year
  4. A soup that’s made from bird saliva is considered a delicacy – Bird’s nest soup
  5. The Chinese language is the oldest language still in use in writing in the world
  6. About four million cats are eaten every year in China as a delicacy
  7. The Chinese consider number 8 as lucky. The reason for this is because it sounds similar to the Chinese word for “prosperity”
  8. One-third of the population can’t speak Mandarin, which is the country’s official language
  9. The color of red is a sign of happiness, and that’s why it’s so frequently used in festival decorations
  10. China is the largest producer of tomatoes

GENERAL FACTS ABOUT CHINA

Below are some general info such as total population, land area, biggest lake, highest mountain and other general facts about China that might be interesting to know.

  • Total Population: 1,415,045,928
  • Capital: Beijing
  • Life expectancy: 75.7 Years
  • Highest Mountain: Mount Everest
  • Land area: 9,596,961 km2 (3,705,407 square miles)
  • Largest Lake: Qinghai Lake
  • National Day: 1 October
  • Government: Unitary one-party socialist republic
  • Party General Secretary and President: Xi Jinping
  • Currency: Renminbi (CNY) – (¥)
  • Official language: Standard Chinese
  • Official script language: Simplified Chinese
  • Religion: No official religion
  • Official Websitewww.gov.cn
  • Member of Nato: No
  • National songYìyǒngjūn Jìnxíngqǔ – “March of the Volunteers”
  • Time zone: China Standard Time (UTC+8)
  • Country Number/Prefix: +86
  • Country Code: CN

THE BIGGEST CITIES IN CHINA

If you’re looking for facts about China, it might also be interesting to know which are the biggest cities. Here’s a list of the top 10 biggest cities ranked after population.

Guangzhou Tianjin
Shanghai Shenzhen
Chongqing Chengdu
Beijing Dongguan
Hangzhou Shenyang

 

SOURCE: https://www.swedishnomad.com/interesting-facts-about-china/

HOW MODERN CHINESE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and we hope all of you are getting your share of festive cheer. Whilst you relax and eat Christmas cookies, we want to let you know how Christmas is celebrated in China.

A relatively modern phenomenon in China, Christmas is one of the Western festivals that has really captured the nation’s imagination in recent times. As many major Chinese cities are truly international with global brands, you can see Christmas lights, trees and decorations everywhere in urban areas, especially now China has a huge expat population. You can be walking down the street or in a store to the tune of ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘Last Christmas’. You won’t be able to get the voice of George Michael out of your head. It won’t be amiss to see someone dressed as Santa Clause in a shopping centre in Shanghai. However to many native Chinese, Christmas is seen as a light-hearted occasion without the serious knowledge of the origins of the festival – a time when young Chinese like to head out and socialise. It has become a major annual commercial event, this is one of the things it shares with Christmas globally. There are sales galore.

The Day of the Apple

During my first Christmas Eve in China I received an unusual gift from my Chinese friend – an apple. This is how I learnt of the unusual tradition that has developed in China on the twenty-fourthDecember. The day before Christmas Chinese people like to give and eat apples as gifts. The reason for this is because:

Christmas Eve in Mandarin is called ‘píng’ān yè’ (平安夜) which means peaceful or quiet evening. This is derived from the Chinese translation of the Christmas carol ‘Silent Night’.

Apple in Chinese is ‘píngguǒ’ (苹果) which sounds like peace – ‘ping’ (), hence why apples are given out as gifts.

So how do you say Happy Christmas in Chinese?

圣诞快乐!

Shèngdàn kuàilè!

Other key Christmas words:

Shèngdàn jié (圣诞节) – Christmas festival

Shèngdàn lǎorén (圣诞老人) – Father Christmas/Santa Claus

Shèngdàn shù (圣诞树) – Christmas tree

Shèngdàn hèkǎ (圣诞贺卡) – Christmas card

Shèngdàn lǐwù (圣诞礼物 Christmas present

Shèngdàn gòuwù (圣诞购物) Christmas shopping

Shèngdàn huǒ jī (圣诞火鸡) – Christmas turkey

Shèngdàn dà lǐbāo (圣诞大礼包) – Christmas crackers

Shèngdàn wà (圣诞袜) – Christmas stockings

Shèngdàn sònggē (圣诞颂歌) – Christmas Carol

Hú jìshēng (槲寄生) – Mistletoe 
Báisè de shèngdàn jié (
白色的圣诞节) – a white Christmas

Xuěrén (雪人 Snowman

Posted By Instant Mandarin | 2018/12/23

Source: https://www.instantmandarin.com/news/how_modern_chinese_celebrate_christmas?fbclid=IwAR2by225lyCgndnHimRT0-vvsuBy7W9I0WfxXoCQtb5gkf_e884sCr6RJyg#.XCBtSHZnH3Y.facebook

The Season of Joy, Sharing, and Loving has arrived!

CulturalPair Shanghai is wishing you and your family health, happiness, peace and prosperity this holiday season and in the coming New Year.

May the magic of Christmas fill your heart all year long!

Filipino China: My Pinoy Life In Shanghai China

by Melchor Saribay

Since when have you been staying there? Can you recount briefly why you moved there?

I have been living in Shanghai since January 2011. Before that, I had lived in Dubai from 2005 to 2010, working for Creative Kingdom Inc. – an American architectural design & master planning company. At around July 2010, Halcrow, a multinational urban design and engineering company, offered me a better job opportunity in Shanghai. At first I declined the offer due to the fact that I did not know much about Shanghai. I did not know the language, and my previous company gave me no reason to complain. At that time, I was working in our office in Chiang Mai, a popular tourist destination in northern Thailand. After several meetings and negotiations, I was convinced to accept, and in January 2011, I moved to Shanghai.

 

 

Tell us something about your place?

Shanghai is a cosmopolitan city with a population of approximately 24 million people, made up of the local Shanghainese, migrant workers from all over China, and expats from all over the world. It is the premier financial center of China and a popular tourist destination renowned for its historical landmarks such as the Bund, the Yu Garden and the former French Concession, as well as the Lujiazui skyline with its modern skyscrapers. Shanghai has many parks and museums, and is in close proximity to several beautiful water towns. It has been reported that Shanghai Disneyland will open to the public on June of 2016.

 

What do you do for a living? 

I am an architect and urban designer/planner. I am responsible for leading several teams of urban designers and architects in the concept and detailed urban design of large scale developments such as new towns & cities, central business districts, mixed-used, commercial, residential, industrial and resort developments located all over China. I also visit the Middle East when I am requested to help out in our offices there.

Our projects are located all over China, so my job requires extensive travel – around 20-30 trips a year by plane or high speed train. And mind you, China is almost as big as Europe! One time, I had to go to the city of Urumqi in Xinjiang province located in western China, and the plane ride took 6 hours.

 

Is there a Filipino community there?

Yes, and there are more than 3000 Filipinos living here in Shanghai. There are different Filipino groups that are classified by profession, hobbies and sports.

The few organization or groups that I know are:

  1. FilsDrawing – an organization of Filipino Designers composed of architects, urban designers/planners, landscape designers, interior designers and graphic designers.
  2. United Architects of the Philippines – Shanghai Chapter
  3. Pinoy Roadies – Filipino cycling group
  4. Filsba – badminton
  5. PMAS – musicians
  6. BPCom (Bagong Pinoy Community) – Filipino community in Shanghai

The Philippine Consulate organizes and sponsors an annual event where all Filipino residents and groups in Shanghai are invited to celebrate the Philippine Independence Day.

Tell us about your life there? 

Life here in Shanghai is very comfortable. It is a multi-cultural city, and it is not difficult to blend in as there are a lot of establishments where English is understood and spoken. Of course, being able to speak the local language is very helpful. I can only understand a few words and phrases, but I have managed to survive 5 years here. At work, my colleagues speak to me in English and translate for me during meetings with clients and other consultants.

We live at the Lujiazui CBD area located in the Pudong New District .It is a mixed-use area which has commercial, office, residential, entertainment, dining, retail, recreational and tourist destinations. We live in a residential development that is composed of 8 high rise residential apartments and has its own park, children’s playground and a nursery & kindergarten. It is very ideal for a young family like ours (We have 2 young girls aged 2.5 years and 1year old). It is within walking distance to a riverside park and boardwalk where I take my kids for a walk in the morning and on weekdays before I go to work – that is, when the weather is good. Shanghai has four seasons. It gets really cold in the winter, and there are times when the air quality is bad due to the pollution.

I get to and from work by subway or taxi. Shanghai has a very good public transport system consisting of taxi, bus, ferry and the metro/subway. These can all be accessed using just one transport card. Shanghai has the most extensive subway network in the world. It is more than 600km long and has 366 stations. Plans and construction are underway for additional lines and stations to make sure that by 2020, every part of the city will be less than 10 minute walk from a subway station. Shanghai is also a very safe and walkable city.

 

 

What do you do for recreation?

On weekends and sometimes in the evening of weekdays, I go cycling with my Filipino friends or with a multinational cycling group. There are many cycling destinations within Shanghai and one lane in each direction of almost all the roads are dedicated for bicycles and scooters.

My family and I often go out to eat and have coffee in one of the many restaurants, bars and coffee shops in the city. Dining out is one of the popular activities for people in Shanghai. It is reported that there are about 45,000 restaurants, bars, coffee shops and food kiosks in the city.

Before we had children, my wife and I would go on day trips to nearby resort cities such as Suzhou which is 20 minutes away, and Hangzhou, which clocks in at a bit over an hour, both by high speed train.

Shanghai is only a 3 and a half-hour flight from Manila, and less than a 2-hour flight from Seoul, where my wife is from. This makes it very convenient for us go home for the holidays.

 

What cultural practices/behaviors have you acquired from your host country?

Naturally, China’s cultural heritage is rich and wide-ranging, but some of the most prominent are:

1.) Drinking tea is very popular in China. There are many different teas for different occasions and seasons.

2.) Giving out business cards with two hands with the card facing the recipient,

3.) The need to toast to the client or host when they proposed a toast to you. Refusal would be disrespectful, and if they drink it bottoms up, you have to do the same.

4.) Personal relationship is very important, especially during meetings or presentations. All your efforts and good deeds will amount to nothing if you do not attend a meeting called by the client. There are instances where we would travel 3 hours by plane or high speed train and stay overnight in another city, just to have a 20 minute meeting with a client for a minor adjustment to the design. In other countries this could be done via a simple email or teleconference.

 

 

Your greeting to Filipino across the globe?

Nihao! If you have not been here to China, it is worth visiting. It has a lot of history and beautiful places to visit. It is very different from the negative comments that you may have heard about. I too had a negative notion about the country before I came over, but I was surprised to see how good the developments are in this part of the world, especially in cities like Shanghai and Beijing.

FYI, China is not cheap for expats. From my experience, the cost of living is more expensive here in Shanghai than that in Dubai. Shanghai is currently the 6th most expensive city in the world.

 

source: http://illustradolife.com/pinoy-life-shanghai-china/

Chinese President Xi Jinping honors Rizal, Filipino hero with Chinese roots

Chinese President Xi Jinping honored Jose Rizal, a Filipino hero with Chinese roots, as he began his official activities for his two-day state visit to the Philippines.

Xi led a wreath-laying ceremony at Rizal Park in Manila at around 4:30 pm on Tuesday, November 20, the first day of his state visit.

He was accompanied by former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, while a band played “Pilipinas Kong Mahal (My Beloved Philippines),” a song that speaks of offering one’s life for the country’s freedom.

In an article on Monday, November 19, Xi mentioned Rizal among notable Filipinos with Chinese ancestry.

“Many born on the southeast coast of China sailed across the sea to settle down in the Philippines and have since lived in harmony with the local community,” Xi wrote.

“The ancestors of José Rizal, national hero and founding father of the Philippines, came from Jinjiang of China’s Fujian Province. The famed Chinese General Ye Fei, who fought for the founding of New China, was born in Quezon of the Philippines. For both our peoples, these are proud names to remember,” the Chinese president added.

Xi was a former governor of Fujian, the province of Rizal’s ancestors.

Xi then proceeded to Malacañang to meet with President Rodrigo Duterte and other Cabinet members, and to witness the signing of agreements.

Comparing Duterte to Rizal

Xi mentioned Rizal in at least two speeches later on Tuesday.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I would like quote the words of Dr Jose Rizal: ‘It is a useless life that is not consecrated to a greater ideal.’ These stirring worlds of the founding father of the modern Philippines speak the minds of the Chinese as well as the Filipino people,” Xi said in his joint press conference with Duterte.

In his speech at the state banquet in his honor, Xi pointed out that Rizal “led the struggle against colonial aggressors and made the ultimate sacrifice for which he will always be remembered by the people of this country.”

“Some of you may not know that his ancestry could be traced back to Jinjiang City in China’s Fujian Province where there is also a monument dedicated to him and where his heroism is widely known. Jose Rizal is not only the father of this nation but also a symbol of fraternal relations between the Philippines and China,” the Chinese president said.

Xi then compared Duterte to Rizal, as he praised the Philippine leader for the “turnaround” in ties between the Philippines and China.

“I commend the President for taking on Jose Rizal’s mantle and for his commitment to an independent Philippines,” Xi said of Duterte.

https://www.rappler.com/nation/217144-xi-jinping-visit-rizal-filipino-hero-with-chinese-roots?fbclid=IwAR2BI9VU4bXGtMBYNZmzT25HjhphATuoukxZvzECtJz7YAej6adMtuO3VqE

CulturalPair Shanghai welcomes the very first Indonesian nanny “Masdalena”

 

Masdalena, 23, from Indonesia.  Bachelors degree graduate. She was invited by the family from Hangzhou to work as a nanny with them.

Let us learn from her how she applied to our Program.

What was your first impression of our company?

My first impression, I’ve thought that its really good company I mean, for youngsters around the world it’s really good opportunity to join so I think the company really innovative to make this kind of program for youngster like me.

Can u tell us about your experience applying with our company?

 First , I just follow the instagram account of au pair shanghai but then I saw many story in the feed icon that’s make me more interesting to apply, then I apply first thru DM and one of you guys send me the form and the requirements thru email. I think it’s a really good opportunity, that’s really friendly and nice.

Do you believe that this program can help a lot of families and nannies? Why?

Yeah, Of course, I mean family now a days in the big city they really need help or I mean atleast that can count on with their children while they were busy at their work and provide English training for the children. We need that to improve the children, it’s literally edge for them and I think it’s really good, And for the nanny it really good for us that is a fun experiment. Maybe some like she’s just taking care of children. But it is really good for gaining experience and also you can learn something with that.

What is your rating of our company based on your experience 1 is the lowest and 5 is the highest

I think the company worth the 5. Because I really feel the friendliness of you guys while responding to my questions. I met some mistake before but you know how to respond it well. I feel really good to be and it feels nice to be treated like that so I think 5

Any last message to our company, family and future applicant.

First for the company keep up the good work, and the family I hope, for all the family, host family can treat the aupair or the nanny  like their actual family member they have to know that we really come all the way from our home country and we need to feel home too in this place. So I really hope that host family can treat their aupair and nanny like their own family. For the future applicant, if you are now aged 18-25 and you already graduated and you think that you have nothing to do now, I really recommend you to apply with this program

Welcome to China Masdalena, enjoy your stay and we hope you will learn more about Chinese language and culture!

A Smile a Day

We live in a busy world,stressful times and pressures of life mounting ever so high,that the health of most people suffers poorly. Depression, frustration and stress are common nowadays, lesser people are happy and satisfaction seems far reaching to some. Happiness has become a destination.

However nothing is hopeless, here is a remedy for all the above mentioned health strains, A smile.
It can very well be seen as just a product of muscular contraction, where the eyes beam bright and the corners of one’s mouth curve upward in an effort to express satisfaction. As small a gesture it is but a smile from a relative,friend or total stranger on the street is a lasting memory because it triggers a feeling inside you boosting your mood. The rich might not lose from it, the poor might nit gain but none can say i can do without a good feel,that comes from sharing a smile.

A smile is reflected by babies upon the first weeks of birth and their smile relates to internal feelings,its a reflex smile that occurs even for adults when they listen to music or are enjoying a good meal.

When you smile ,you release endorphins and chemical substances called neurotransmitters in the brain,which give you a happy feeling. The release of endorphins is considered a natural reliever from the stresses and pressures of life,it becomes a mood lifter as it puts you in a relaxed position. Not only does a smile have a positive effect on our health but it also in exchange affect those of others too as it communicates a persons feelings needing no words.

When you smile more you not only look better more attractive but also confident relaxed and sincere saying a lot about your personality. Know also that a smile is contagious,one smile can lead to additional smiles.

Why not challenge yourself to practice this simple gesture daily,be the positive and happy one in the group and it will affect others in a positive way.

Cultural Diversity

Cultural diversity can be referred to as the variation in cultures, culture shapes a person be it in their behavior, their beliefs, religion and language. It allows you to define your identity in a colourful world.

Our races classify our physical characteristics, like the colour of our skin, the shape of our eyes, the texture of the hair, the shape of your nose, the list is endless but those characteristics are to tell us that the world is very big and each part of that world is a home to diverse human species.

The beauty of our cultures being different and physical characteristics builds curiosity, never mind stereotypes put out there but a curiosity that you yourself would like to fulfill. There are certain cultural standards that go through generation lines, that move us to judge other cultures. Its not a bad thing but if your way of life differ from another persons way of life then it calls for questions to be asked and its only human to answer them yourself based on the knowledge you have.

Diversity in culture makes the world or to put it at minimum, it makes a country interesting,because with all these culture interacting on a daily basis a level of knowledge is imparted in each of us ,language skill is also boosted.

However the mistake we make is believing that our culture or race defines who you are, who are you? Because you have a gift of free will, you can define yourself in a way that goes beyond physical appearance but in a way that sees the background image. As different as we are, we live in the same world with same life problems that no body is immune to. It is through those experiences and perspectives that we come together as one.

There is something amazing that each person holds within them that goes beyond cultural differences,we all have a story to tell and cultural diversity gives a chance to strip ourselves off of what you know and believe in and allow yourself to be educated by the multiple cultures that surround you.

The beauty of life is in sharing of experiences and knowledge, getting to know one another on ground level, aside from language,race and culture. Given the chance take advantage of the variety of cultures that exist in your presence, share your culture and allow others to do the same,there is nothing to lose but there’s a beautiful world to be created through open minds.

Oh but we do not need school for this ,all we need is to grasp the beauty set before us, and start to define oneself separate from cultural standards, we could have better societies by seeking to find the identity behind ones race and culture,because each of us posses that background person.

Learn a lesson from the Ants

You may ask yourself how lesson and ants fit into one sentence. Well it is believed that ants are a wise group or crowd as they are referred to. Aside from research, our own observation of ants has lead numerous of us to see the wisdom of this colony irrespective of their size. Allow me to introduce you to an ant.

The ant is of the family formicidae, categorized along side the wasps and bees. Ants are referred to as a crowd or colony because they form colonies ranging in size, almost all the colonies with have the presence of a male figure who is fertile and is called “Drones”, there also a presence of a fertile female referred to as ” Queens”. The term relating to queen ants is not that of governmental role but because the role of the female is egg laying and they therefore take the title of “Mother Ant”, and their life span runs up to 15 years as oppose to male ants who live for a shorter period.

Ants cooperate as a colony, to a point that an ant alone in singular form is less effective to when they are in collective form, they are most likely to perform complex tasks. A colony survives through working together and this encompasses communication. Ants have a great deal of communication skills, they communicate through chemicals called pheromones, which assist them in following each other to a piece of food in order to bring it back to the nest.

As per the title of the article, human nature has a lot to learn from the Ants colony because they posses wise qualities and the following are attributes of Ants that we can put to use for the successful accomplishments of our tasks.

√ Ants are hard workers, and in a general form they say hard work pays off.

√ Ants are supportive and Helpful to one another, they exercise sharing amongst themselves, despite the challenge posed to them of death,they collectively engage in a task be it collecting food or building their nests.

√ Ants are protective toward each other and this means unto death for them which is unfortunate.

√ They feed one another, which again brings out the quality of sharing. They call each other when they find food and they become a colony.

√ They work collectively

√ They posses incredible strength, for their size they can pick up things that are three times bigger then they are,its also a sense of bravery and self belief.

√ Ants are persistent, they overcome size obstacles and others posed to them, when carrying masses of food back to their nest for a given season.

√ They are a focused, they come out for a mission and that is what they do till they go back into their nests.

Other teachings from Ants are that of punctuality, which brings out the term the sooner the better. There is a lot we can learn from ants and put to use in our daily lives, in the success of our businesses, in the fulfilment of our goals it all boils down to hard work and being focused. If you want to accomplish things with success, refrain from being a dead fish, communication is key, Learn a lesson from the Ants, observe them and be inspired by their tiny selves at work.

Fascinating Mongolian Culture

If anything one would be fascinated by the sight of Mongolian Women’s attire alone, and be eager to find out more about the culture itself, well here goes.

Mongolia is located deep within eastern Asia, between Russia and China. Mongolian culture is highly influenced by Mongol nomadic lifestyle,which relied on their animals for survival and moved their habitats several times a year, they are constant immigrants.

Approximately 3 million people live in Mongolia and of that estimation about 25 to 40 percent of them still live that nomadic lifestyle but big city lights still continue to attract many of them to move away from horses and goats.

Mongolians have their own traditional social customs ad etiquette which consist of the upholding of honesty,courtesy and hospitality. A guest in their homes is welcomed with a hand shake and served a bowl of milk tea.

The fascination lies mostly on their adornment, they find a way to adapt to natural conditions and have yet developed natural costumes of loose sleeved tunic and long sash with Mongolian boots,with head dress. The women are sure to adorn themselves with head wraps made of pearls ,coral and gem forming beautiful patterns. Their attire is customized by high color robe with long loose sleeves ,matched with a sash worn around the waist. The attires are made suitable for horse riding made of silk and satin.

Mongolians have many customs and superstitions namely the fact of being afraid of misfortune and belief in good and bad omens.
They believe the most endangered member of their families are their children, who there by were given “non names” such as Nergui meaning Mongolian without a name, but each name imparted the child’s character,fate and destiny. Present day too the name represents qualities like strength and solidity for boys and beauty in the case of girls.

One of their superstitions is that of deceiving evil spirit by painting young children’s forehead with charcoal when going out at night misleading a evil spirit into believing what is seen before its eyes is a rabbit with black hair and not a child.

Mongolian cuisine is primarily inclusive of meat and spices,which vary from one region to the next,within the 20th century vegetation become part of their diet.

There area many factors of interest that can draw you to Mongolian culture,but the beauty lies in the fact that you can meet people of the nationality who reside in China,which is where one found fascination in this ethnic group.

Chinese Cuisine

Chinese society has a fixed culture and their cuisine is the most important part of their culture. The cuisines originate from the different regions of China and from Chinese people who reside in different parts of the world.

The significance of the cuisine differs from province to province, it is based or decided upon their background and ethnic groups. Ingredients of each cuisine is dependant on the provinces geographical features which encompasses its mountains,rivers, forest, because the features will determine the availability of specific ingredients locally for their signiture styles and preference of preparing such cuisines.

The most praised cuisines are Chuan Lu,Yue and Huaiyang which are a representation of
West, East,North and South. In China there are 8 modern cuisines present in every meal of the day aside from their staple foods which are Rice,Bread and a Variety of Noodles.

The traditional aspect you find described in the cuisines by use of color,smell and taste as well as the appearance and nutrition of the food. The one thing about most Chinese cuisines is the health factor.

Come to China and experience the culture plus enjoy the different cuisines based on which ever province you reside.

Cell Phones – Their impact on society

Cell phones play a huge role in our lives, but over the years research has brought to light that cell phones are slowly causing a drift in communication. We live in a society where everyone is tweeting, emailing and writing on blogs, we have become so preoccupied with our cell phones that we have learnt to ignore the beauty of our surrounding, be it nature, friends, family even strangers.

Yes cell phones have given us a quicker and more effective way of communicating but it has also broken down our ability to hold face to face conversations, our ability to even build and maintain relationships, we even have lost the sense of being satisfied.

Study has shown that our constant reliance on cell phones has resulted to emotional, relationship and educational problems. We have moved from having realistic goals and working slowly on them to swimming in frustration,stress and anxiety because we see the picture perfect life communicated to us social media that we check and update every day of our lives, we endeavor to live those live ourselves,forgetting that filter can beautify everything which then saps us of the joy of satisfaction about life in general.

Our relationships are unfortunately made or broken by cell phone texting as we find ourselves interpreting texts that do not need any interpretation. Not only has texting broken communication with our partners, friends etc but has also robbed us of language, precisely English, because every word in the way if communicating via text is abbreviated, grammer and spelling automatically lost.

Texting has messed with our mental ability and emotional growth within communication, we are now unable to express ourselves face to face as effectively as we do behind our cell phones, we have become lazy to work and improves ourselves personality wise because why should we if we can paint a picture behind our cell phones that portrays a totally different person to when you are met physically.

Before cell phones many families survived and had strong genuine bonds, these days we host family gatherings so everyone can come and stare at their cell phones and good byes are said without having really held good conversations and strengthen bonds.

We can say no lose your cell phone and start a new life without it but we can only encourage you to use it wisely, take time to observe your surroundings and make it a point that not a moment in your life passes you by while you were too busy on your cell phone, to be present in that moment.

The Benefits of Cultural Exchange

Moving to a new country  a walk in the part for some, but rather a daunting experience for others. However in the program of cultural exchange, one stands a chance to reap many benefits that you take along with you when moving to your own country, not just the benefits which come with the program but also those that come naturally and have to do with the self.

When you leave your familiar and plug into the unknown shows your commintment to wanting to understand other people and cultures and it also offers you a grreat deal on knowledge about the world, the kind of knowledge you won’t be satified with just by reading about it in books or the internet.

 

Hree are some oof the benefits of participating in a cultural exchange program.

  • Develop Communication and problem solving skills

Being a different country and living with  a host family, you have to communicate with on a daily basis considering the language bearer. One is pushed to be creative in as far as their ablitiy to get the message across using your communication skills, there by also improves  your overal ability to communicate with others.

  • Experience a different culture

Some things can not be taught in a class room mainly culture, it is best learned through experience and exposure. Being a part of a cultural exchange program gives you a chance to experience a certain culture first hand, giving you an important insight into other perspectives, it helps broaden your horizon and encourages you to develop new opinions and ideas pertaining the culture.

  • Overcoming Obstacles

Moving to a new environment alone can pose a challenge to an individual , but when facing obstacles as a young person, it gives you a sense of accomplishment and it boosts your self esteem as well as self awareness. When returning to your home country you are armed with a great deal of ambition and confidence to take on new challenges and even pursue new goals.

  • Become socially adaptable

Not being in your usual zone, you automatically engage in new and unfamiliar social situations. by going through social customs on a daily basis allows you to be more flexible and adapt to unknown situations. You also become more apprectiative of another cultures beliefs, ideas and it pushes you to be open minded and develop a spirit of compromise.

  • Building long-life friendships 

For some young people, this is their main goal to interact socially and make new friends. Living wost family allows you to participate in their day-to-day life making you another family member. You either return to your home with that bond of new family and continue to be in contact with each other or you can even meet other foriegners in that country for reasons different or similar to you own, and so your circle of friends gets bigger.

 

As much as being aware from home is daunting ,learning to be in communication via cellphone only can be frustrating.  However the overal experience allows you to grow  and be independent also making you even more eager to experience other cultures as well. These and many other benefits await you out there so travel along, be brave take the chance, participate in a cultural exchange program.

Why attitude makes a difference

A number of people have chosen to pick a destination for their happiness,meaning whatever circumstances they may find themselves in currently pushes them to postpone happiness and dwell in a circle of hopelessness.

Generally the following things may prove to have an effect on ones happiness,”their circumstance,”their attitude” and “their genes”. However numerous people will vouch that attitude towards life trumps ” circumstance and genes”, because as much as we have little control over everything else,we most definately have control over our attitude.

Some may say keeping a positive outlook all the time is impossible and being unrealistic, and they may have views like the following.

*why would you hide your hardship by wearing a mask of optimism.
* No amount of positive thinking can change my circumstance.

It can also be a matter of being referred to as a dreamer,and all those views are very much accurate. But there still exists benefits from having a positive attitude.

* Having a cheerful heart and positive outlook is considered good medicine as affects your health benefits.

* Being pessimistic can sometimes rob you of the strength you might have had to resolve whatever situation you find yourself in,you become demotivated to go as in your head the outcome will always be a fail before even starting.

* Be slow about receiving and be ready to give, giving does not only relate to material but giving your time and energy to others can help motivate you to have that kind of giving attitude that not rewards the person at the receiving end but also rewards you, the giver.

There are so many benefits connected to having the right attitude,with the correct attitude you stand a change to either succeed or fail,the ball is in your court. when you can’t change the circumstance,change the attitude.

Piece of advice, wake up every morning with a good thought,positive affirmation and tackle whatever comes your way with a “i can” kind of attitude you might reap the benefits.

Tips and Tricks for Filipino Nannies

For parents having the best nanny for their children is key point, and as we venture into our new program which the Filipino Nanny Program. We do right by our new candidates to share a few tips and tricks on how to excel in their job.

The Filipino Nanny is assigned to the following responsibilities

  • Prepare meals and cleaning afterwards
  • Making school lunches
  • Helping with bath time
  • Driving children to school and  activities
  • Helping with homework and tutoring
  • Doing kids laundry
  • Keeping kids rooms clean and tidy

To fulfill such responsibilities of caring for youngest member of a family one must always or ensure that they remain present in every moment and always lively. The following tips on mastering your job as a nanny will be helpful to you if you are Filipino and you have considered to be a participant in our program.

  • Create and Maintain consistency with parents wishes and expectations on your daily routines, and this is best achieved through communication. The need to create a bond through understanding each other will make both parties happy.
  • Keep it Fresh , if you have worked with children before you would know that kids like to stay interested and to always achieve that kind of attitude from them, you as a nanny must always be open to new ideas of activities that best suit the interests of the kids you are caring for
  • Allows Maintain a Balance, children can adapt to a new individual very easily which means you can easily switch from being a stranger they are afraid to approach to being a friend, but to maintain a balance of being a friend to the kids and being a secondary authority in the house , you must know when is it appropriate to run around, switch to silly play mode and when to switch back into being a disciplinarian. This will allow the nanny & child relationship bond to not only be based on friendship and fun but also have a level of respect.
  • Be Ready to Go Above and Beyond, Try your best to move away from the ” its not my job” kind of attitude, because the failure and success of anything in life stems from a persons attitude on how they approach everything. We are not saying slave here but should you be asked to do a little extra when it comes to your responsibilities, do it with pleasure go and extra mile,don’t sigh. Your attitude is very much clear to your employer and we can never know the reward of the kind attitude you display.
  • Be Sensitive & Respect Boundaries, Always be patient and be aware of the fact that you are present in another families home, in which they are raising their children in and have accommodated you into their private and personal space, always remember that which you came for, and that is the children,put them first, be patient,be respectful of set rules in the home and  both parties will be happy.
  • Be Positive, remember a sunny smile and cheery attitude is contagious. That which you give out is that which you will receive in return, move from an ” I will try” to an “I will” kind of approach. Before bringing a problem to employ try to find solution yourself, and if you do bring it be sure to take your hosts views and opinions and share your own with an open mind.

Looking forward to welcoming our Filipino Nannies and hope these tip will be put into action, we can also learn from you as you can learn from us!!

China Welcomes 300,000 Filipino Workers, Chinense Internet Not Impressed

With improved ties between China and the Philippines, the two countries have struck a bilateral agreement that loosens Beijing’s restrictions on the hiring of Filipino workers, laying the ground for employment of about 300,000 Filipinos in the country, said Philippines Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, according to Gulf News.

The labor deal is one of six agreements signed between the two countries during Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s four-day visit in China and Hong Kong, where he attended the Boao Forum for Asia and met Xi Jinping. According to the Philippine News Agency, Duterte returned home last Friday with a bunch of goodies, including promises of Chinese assistance for infrastructure projects, economic cooperation, and agricultural technology.

Gulf News reports that in addition to the general labor agreement, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the employment of 100,000 Filipino English-language teachers in China was signed during Duterte’s trip. The MOU covers details such as a monthly salary of $1,500, additional benefits, work hours, and other terms of employment.

“There is a big demand for English teachers in China. Chinese nationals want their children to speak English. They lack sufficient numbers of teachers who can speak English. Families want English-speaking maids who could help children with their studies. China also has a growing aging population,” Bello said, adding that since Chinese families are now able to offer decent salaries, China’s labor ministry is also hoping to recruit Filipino workers in other occupations, such as cooks, caregivers, musicians, and nurses.

While the news was not picked up by major news accounts on social media, a Weibo user with 1.8 million followers named Wang Xiaodong 王小东 cited it in a post, in which he wrote: “300,000 Filipino workers are coming and these English teachers from the Philippines will be offered $1,500 a month. [crying face]” The post so far has attracted hundreds of comments (in Chinese) echoing the same angry sentiment demonstrated by Wang. “While a lot of local graduates from English majors can’t find a job, China still wants to introduce Filipino English teachers. Can you please ensure the employment of locals first before helping other countries?” a typical comment reads.

Let’s meet Zsuzsanna !

Zsuzsanna is a 20-year-old Hungarian Au Pair who lives in Wuxi. She takes care of Vicki, a cute little 9-year-old girl. She is going to tell us about her life in China.

Au Pair Shanghai – Why did you decide to participate to the Au Pair in Shanghai program and become an Au pair?

Zsuzsanna – Last year I decided to attend a Chinese class at university but found out that it was very hard. When I failed the exam I looked for a better way to learn the language. I always wanted to live abroad and because I have 8 brothers and sisters and babysitter experiences I thought that the Au pair job would fit perfectly. I looked on the Internet and found a partner of Au Pair in Shanghai who put me in contact with them.

Au Pair Shanghai – How was your integration inside the family?

Zsuzsanna – To be honest the first two weeks were really challenging. It was the first time I’d be this long away from my family. I felt exhausted because of the jet lag and I had to adjust to a new culture. Vicky was shy and, as I she did not know me, very suspicious. Two weeks later things were much better, she even wanted to sleep in my bed. I just needed to be patient. She’s such an amazing child !

Au Pair Shanghai – Could you describe a typical day for you?

Zsuzsanna – Usually my host mother takes care of Vicky in the morning and the bus picks her up by 8 AM. I use this free-time to go to my everyday running practice, watch some TV shows and learn how to cook Chinese food with my host mother. When Vicky comes back home, she has Chinese and mathematics lessons and then I teach her English. We play and have a lot of fun during this teaching time.

Au Pair Shanghai – Did you make any friends since you arrived?

Zsuzsanna – Yes! People are really nice here. One day as I was taking a walk, this girl came to me and asked for a selfie. We shared our contact details and met again for dinner. We were at the restaurant and next to our table there was these 2 guys who asked me where I was from. They happened to be Hungarian too and the four of us are still friends!

I also have a running team who I practice and do competitions with. Running with this team makes me feel ready for the day and it’s a good way to meet new people.

Au Pair Shanghai – What are your plans for the future?

Zsuzsanna – It’s been 3 months, I have 3 more to go and I would love to visit other cities. I’ll probably go back home, carry on with school and, why not, come back in Wuxi to finish my studies.

Au Pair Shanghai – A few words to the young girls like you, who might be interested in being an Au pair in China?

Zsuzsanna – Do-not-hesitate! It’s a really good experience. You get to know a different culture and meet a lot of new people. A piece of advice: learn some basic words in Chinese, it might be useful when you arrive until you get your official Chinese lessons. I feel blessed to be here. It feels like a new challenge every single day!

Thank you, Zsuzsanna, for taking the time to answer our questions and share your adventure with us. We wish you the best !

Living as An Au Pair in China – Veronica’s Story

Have you been thinking about coming to China as an Au pair but you are still worried or scared of a very different country such as China? Read this interview with one of our Au pairs and maybe it will help you to decide.

Veronica,23, a very nice and friendly girl from Mexico, is an Au pair in Jiaxing, a city close to Shanghai. When I met her at our office for the first time, she was not used to so many things in China – Chinese food, people’s habits, Chinese language, transportation, a lot of people everywhere. Now, a couple months later, she knows how to order things in “Taobao” (a Chinese website for online shopping) and enjoys trying Chinese specialties.

Here is a short interview we took with Veronica.

   What do you think about the Au pair program in China?

It is a great opportunity to open your mind about how the life in China is different than the one in your country. Culture, the way people meet, talk, spend their free time.

    Why did you choose Au pair program in China?

Before coming to China I believed that it is an amazing country and now I know China is really indeed one wonderful land, it has a beautiful culture and the people are great.

    Have you traveled while being an Au pair in China? What is your favorite place in China?

Yes, a little bit. China is very big and you need a lot of time to travel around. I like Wuzhen very much, it is an old city and it is a beautiful place to visit.

    Do you like Chinese food? Name some favorite ones!

I love Chinese food. I love dumplings, noddles and the hotpot.

    What is the most “interesting” food you have tried in China so far?

The most interesting food I have tried in China is chicken feet.

  Do you have any advice for future Au pairs coming to China?

Don’t be scared to try new things, to taste new food, to meet new people. And try to learn as much as you can, enjoy every day like it would be the last one.

Tips on Spending Time with Children

Playing is the way children learn about the world around them. Not only is it fun, but it is critical to children’s development. Through play, babies and toddlers try out new skills, explore their imagination and creativity, and learn about relationships with other people.

The role of fantasy

In the time spent with kids, it’s important to encourage dramatic play. One of the best parts of play is pretending. Fantasy has a big part in a child’s world. Provide old clothes, shoes, handbags and hats for dress up. Also provide props to be used during play, such as pots and pans. Children love the opportunity to handle grown-up materials.

A welcoming environment

playing - culturalpair

Each child should have the opportunity to play in a child-friendly place. Turn off the television and make sure breakables are put away, and you’ll be on the way to having a wholesome play environment for your child. Words of encouragement without “taking over” the play are also helpful. Try asking open-ended question such as, “What would happen if…” or “How else could you use…” This helps to expand their play, while keeping it child-directed.

Discover new places

It may mean that you go somewhere else to play such as the park or the pool. Another way is to take play outdoors, such as moving your child’s play kitchen outside. Sometimes just a change of scenery will promote new ways to play.

Spend time together

Some ideas to spend some time with your host-kid?

Class - culturalpair

Play outdoors. Push kids on swings. Make mud pies. Go on a hike around the neighborhood. Take a nature walk in your backyard.
Play games – card games – board games – silly and wacky kids games. Help them learn to take turns, how to win and how to loose. Praise them. Encourage them. Laugh with them.
Get involved in a craft project together. Build a jigsaw puzzle as a family. Bake cookies. Paint a picture.
Listen to music together. Sing along. Play rhythm instruments along with music. Get out the guitar or keyboard and make music.
Read a book together. Ask questions. Ask them to change the story or make up a new one.
Watch a movie together. Find out what they liked – how they felt. Discover the child’s interests. Comment on and discuss any bothersome content either words or actions.
Play kid games like: Follow the Leader – Guess What I Am? – Hide and Seek.

If you love kids and you want to live abroad, check our programs and apply now.

Living as an Au Pair in China

Our Au pair Arianna, 27, Italy talks about her experience in Weihai, China.

Weihai – Shandong province – it’s the major eastern harbor in China and one of the favorite seaside location by Chinese people.

Why did you choose Au pair program in China?
I chose this program because it is a beautiful solution to whom is willing to stay in China and wishes to deeply discover it’s customs and traditions. It can offer an opportunity to learn the Chinese language and the culture directly “in the field”.  I needed to start a new experience which could allow me to grow and to get more awareness while learning a fascinating language.

Have you traveled while being an Au pair in China?
While working as an Au pair, it could happen that the family may ask  you to travel with them. In my case, I’m curious and I love to see other places, but I  really like Weihai, the city where I live.

Do you like Chinese food? Name some favorite ones.
I do like Chinese food, it’s very delicious, but there are some dishes of which the taste is too strange, for example I’ve tried silkworms: not too bad, but I prefer dumplings, of course!

Have you experienced a cultural shock in China? Could you give an example?
China is very different from Western countries, in general I don’t really like some habits that Chinese have (for example to spit out in public or to throw rubbish on the street) but beyond this, they are very hospitable, kind and caring, whereas Westerners tend to be more individualist.

Do you have any advice for future Au pairs coming to China?
My advice for the future Au pairs: leave your country with a very open mind and be strong. This experience is as arduous as useful and fascinating. You will encounter difficulties but what you will get in return is priceless.

Chinese Cultural Activity

Chinese culture is definitely one of the most interesting cultures in the world. It dates back few thousands years, it includes Chinese tea ceremony, Chinese calligraphy, Chinese painting, Kong fu, playing on typical Chinese instruments, Beijing opera, paper-cutting, Mahjong and many others.

Au Pairs come to China not only because of learning a language, spending time with Chinese kids but also for experiencing Chinese culture at first hand. Au Pair Shanghai enables them to get the chance to become masters in Chinese calligraphy or Chinese painting at least for a while.

 CHINESE TEA CEREMONY

China is well-known for its variety of teas, green tea, Oolong tea, black tea, Pu-erh tea, etc. Not tasting a Chinese tea while being in China is like being in Paris and not seeing Eiffel Tower.

PLAYING 古筝(gu zheng)

I have no words for describing that nice, soft sound that “gu zheng” makes. We listened to a song about a fisherman with a slow beginning representing a caChinese Cultural Activitylm, peaceful landscape and a fast end that represented a successful day with many fish caught. Some of the au pairs tried to play it as well.

CHINESE PAINTING

We also attended a Chinese painting class with a wonderful teacher who explained us mysteries of Chinese painting. We tried to paint a bamboo with his instructions and help.

CHINESE CALLIGRAPHY

Chinese characters are like an eight wonder of the world. They look so beautiful but writing them is not easy. If you want it to look professional, that’s almost Chinese Cultural Activityimpossible for foreigners. However, Au Pairs did a great job and even calligraphy teacher was surprised by their knowledge of characters and ability to write it nicely.

This cultural activity day organized by Outuo (Shanghai) Cultural Exchange Co., Ltd. was a great success. We all enjoyed it and learned something new. China is a wonderful country with an amazing culture. Come here and you will never regret it!

Follow us on social media platforms to get better idea of our programs and find interesting articles about China.

Useful Apps for Your China Life

Are you planning to travel to China? Are you looking for a new live or just an adventure? Well, you might know that China is not the easiest destination. China is getting every year more and more global, but – at the same time – it is still very attached to its traditions. Communicating, although you speak Chinese, is not always easy, especially for cultural reasons.
We want to list the best apps to make your visit to China easier.

VPN

Most of the Western common websites are not accessible from China, due to government restrictions. But don’t be afraid: the solution is to install a VPN on your smartphone or in your laptop before going to China. There are free and paid options: check online the one which suits to you!

WeChat

Chinese people are always at the phone. The reason? They have a great and user friendly app: WeChat. This app works both as a messenger and a social network. It allows to send texts and vocal messages, customized stickers, video calls and money transfer (from this spring it allows also international money transfer). You can share your “moments” (posts, pictures, video, links) with your friends and find new friends with the options “people nearby” and “drift bottle”.

WeChat connects to official WeChat pages and personal profiles via QR code: that’s the reason why you will see many billboards and ads with a big QR code. In fact, WeChat is also used for marketing purpose: to get more visibility, many brands and companies promote their QR code and send info and incentives to their WeChat fans.

WeChat developers are always updating the app, so it performs extraordinarily well.

Pleco

Pleco is one of the best Chinese-English dictionaries. It works offline and can be used as a reliable tool to communicate with only-Chinese speaking people. It comes with features such as  handwriting recognition (you can draw characters you don’t know) and voice recognition (you can get people to speak into it when you don’t understand what they’re saying). Don’t forget to set the pinyin and handwriting keyboards on your phone, so you can use all the features Pleco offers. Pleco is very useful tool also for learning Chinese.

Maps

To travel in China you’ll definitely need a map: Chinese cities are huge and provide efficient public transports. There are loads of app maps and most of them don’t need internet coverage. You can put in your beginning and end station and the app will plan the quickest route for you. They also tell you the costs and how long the journey takes. Maps of stations are included along with information about facilities close to each station including food, shopping and entertainment.

Check these apps out, they are for free!

– Mx data
– Metroman
– Ulmon
– Citymaps

Air Quality China

More and more city residents across the country realized air pollution has become a serious threat to their health. The sky is rarely clear blue, and many people wear pollution masks while communing. Air Quality China is a free Mobile application to check real time Air Quality Index (AQI) values of all major cities in China. It also comes with an app widget which is updated automatically for every 30 minutes.

Well, if you have downloaded these basic apps, you will be serenely able to travel to China.

Cheap or Expensive? The Cost of Living in China

The cost of living in China is something that is often misunderstood. Many people think that the cost of life in China is cheaper than other places in the world. It’s true that China is still a developing country and the living standard for the majority of the population is very low. However, the cost of living in the major cities is comparable to other big cities in developed regions. Still labeled a third world country, China’s major cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou – have surpassed the US in their creative architecture, attractive job offers and innovative apartments. They also offer amazing nightlife, a unique culture, plenty of drinking and dining options, and career opportunities.

So, what’s the answer? Is China a cheap or expensive country?

The answer is not easy. Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong have become some of the most expensive cities to live in the world. If you move within the “higher circles” of Chinese society and expat communities, expect to pay Western prices at top-level restaurants and other places.

Hong Kong - culturalpair

On the other hand, you can still live relatively cheaply if you stick to the living standards of the lower and middle class ends of the local population. Riding buses instead of taxies, eating at cheap noodle outlets and living in an old-fashioned Chinese apartment with little or no amenities will save you a lot of money. If you move out of the big cities, prices for everything drop dramatically, often by more than half.

Au Pair programs are a great opportunity to live in and discover China as a citizen – and not as a tourist. Take a look to our Cultural exchange programs.

Tips to Get the Best from Your Au Pair Experience

Being an Au Pair is not easy: you live a period away from home, in another country with a new family with different habits, lifestyle and language. There are many difficulties an Au Pair has to deal with (like cultural, environment, language etc.), but once you pass the tests, you will become stronger and you will have the right attitude to deal with the problems.

1. Get ready. Prepare all necessary documents in advance and leave nothing for the last time. Above all, be psychologically ready. Start getting information about your new country and city, study culture, language and habits.

2. A new family. Evaluate different families before choosing the one which fits you better. Get as much information as possible about them, look for the family that seems closer to you and your lifestyle. Consider the free time that you are offered and family’s availability: it’s important to know each other better and appreciate their culture.

3. Be active. Try to make you useful in any situation and be always polite. If you do not understand well what is happening around you, don’t be afraid to ask your family: they will appreciate your efforts. Remember that you are here to break down language and cultural barriers.

4. Kids. Sometimes children are very demanding. So do not just look at them from a distance reading on the sofa: kids want you to participate in their games as a friend or a older brother. They will immediately grow fond of you.

5. Spare time. Youtravel-culturalpair will
have free time to explore your new country. So, do not be lazy, go out, discover the new world you are living in, make new friends! Join a language school, in the gym, go to pubs and cafes, meet people. And remind the host family is the perfect guide!

6. Don’t look for another job. Working during your free time can make you exhausted, at you won’t be able to appreciate your experience as an Au Pair in China or other countries.

7. You are not an employee. If you think that the family is exploiting you, evaluate pros and cons, and you will discover that they are actually offering you a lot: their experiences, their habits, their life! Nevertheless, it has to be clear that you are a member of the family, and you don’t have to be exploited.

8. Deal with misunderstandings. Be mature in incomprehension between you and the family. If the situation is unbearable, try politely to make them understand your point of view. If, at the end you decide to leave the family, communicate your decision in advance so that they can have time to look for another Au pair or another solution to their problems.

9. The end of your trip. You have certainly learned many things. You know enough about the culture of the host country, the lifestyle and eating habits. You have learnt how to live in another city and the detachment from that will be tough, what at first was difficult now it is familiar. Promise to get back to the host family, to keep in touch and to go visit them.

Au Pair programs are a great opportunity to live in and discover another country as a citizen – and not as a tourist.

Tea culture in China

Tea culture in China is as old as China itself. The legend tells that Yan Di, one of three rulers in ancient times, tasted all kinds of herbs to find medical cures. One day, as he was being poisoned by some herbs he had ingested; a drop of water from a tea tree dripped into his mouth and he was saved.

Nowadays

The Chinese tea ceremony emphasizes the tea itself, rather than the ceremony. It focuses on what the tea tastes like, smells like, and how one tea tastes compared to the previous tea, or in inclusive rounds of drinking. It doesn’t mean that each server will perform the ritual the same way and it is not related to religion. Every step taken during the ceremony is meant to be a sensory exploration and appreciation.

tea-ceremony-culturalpairTea ceremonies take place in different circumstances:

Sign of respect. In Chinese society, the younger generation shows respect to the older generation by offering a cup of tea. Inviting and paying for their elders to go to restaurants for tea is a traditional activity on holidays.

In the past, people of lower rank served tea to higher ranking people. Today, as Chinese society becomes more liberal, parents may pour a cup of tea for their children, or a boss may even pour tea for subordinates at restaurants. The lower ranking person should not expect the higher ranking person to serve him or her tea in formal occasions, however.

Marriage. In the traditional Chinese marriage ceremony, both the bride and groom kneel in front of their parents and serve them tea as an expression of gratitude. The customary phrase spoken to the parents during this ritual can be translated as “Thank you for bringing us up. Now we are getting married. We owe it all to you.” The parents will usually drink a small portion of the tea and then give the couple a red envelope, which symbolizes good luck.Chinese wedding - culturalpair

The tea ceremony during weddings also serves as a means for both parties in the wedding to meet with members of the other family. As Chinese families can be rather extended, it is entirely possible during a courtship to not have been introduced to someone. This was particularly true in older generations where the patriarch may have had more than one wife and not all family members were always on good terms. As such, during the tea ceremony, the couple would serve tea to all family members and call them by their official title.

Drinking the tea symbolized acceptance into the family. Refusal to drink would symbolize opposition to the wedding and is quite unheard of since it would result in a loss of “face”. Older relations so introduced would give a red envelope to the matrimonial couple while the couple would be expected to give a red envelope to younger relations.

China has a great history, and tea ceremonies are just one of the signs of Chinese traditions.

If you want to discover more about China check our programs.

How Do Chinese People Have Fun?

Chinese people have definitely different habits compared to people in Western countries. If Westerners like going out for a drink and a chat with friends, Chinese people don’t. They prefer spending their free time outdoors, going to the park to fly kites, singing, tai chi and public dancing and playing dice, cooking together. Parks are filled with people from dawn until dusk.

KTV
KTV (karaoke television) is extremely popular in the whole China, to people of all the ages. Besides singing KTVs may offer a wide range of other amenities: drinking, eating, dancing, playing games. This is an ideal place for people to meet with friends, colleagues or clients.

Table tennis
Table tennis and badminton are two of the top pingpong – CulturalPair sports in China. Parks and gyms have table tennis set-ups. Parks also host free badminton courts, but the experienced player tends to avoid these due to the wind. Chinese companies sometimes rent out badminton courts for their employees to play after work.

Kites
Kites have a colorful history from the days of ancient China through modern times and around the world. The origin of the Chinese kite is synonymous with the origin of the kite. As mentioned, Chinese people love to go to the park. In China, cities have usually many parks where people can relax and escape the bustle of the city for a few hours. It’s pretty common to go to the park and see beautiful kites flying. You may assist to a wonderful kite show every day. Chinese – kite – culturalpair

Mahjong
Mahjong is a favorite cultural activity for many Chinese people, specifically the elderly. It is played by four people sitting around a square table. Tiles are used in place of traditional playing cards, and the goal is to be the first player to get a complete hand by making four sets of three and a pair. Mahjong is played casually and also competitively, by placing bets on each hand. In China, it is common to see tables erected in shady village squares or in parks. Business-minded families set up Mahjong tables in their homes to rent out to players.

Chinese Cultural Exchange

Chinese society generally, has figured out how to stay separate from the western world, furthermore a significant part of the “mixing” that has occurred in different societies and nations because of the west’s impact. The present time is just the second time in China’s history that it has ‘opened-up’. The main being the Yuan line which was basically Mongolian (albeit after at some point they got “absorbed” as all the rest do as well, and afterward toppled therefore).

Current time of Chinese cultural exchange society opening up to western impact was impelled by Deng Xiao Ping with his ‘open-entryway’ approach actuated in 1978. Yet the thought processes were absolutely not ‘we should all Chinese cultural exchange our way of life and live cheerfully ever subsequent to, figuring out how to adjust to one another’, however assuredly ‘how about we discover how to profit, thrive and be intense as a country’

Numerous a non-Chinese have discovered Chinese society confounding, and that is not out of the ordinary, in light of the fact that it is (for a non-Chinese). Chinese society doesn’t hold to standards in the same path as western society does, and truth be told this inflexibility showed by westerners is in some cases considered by local Chinese to be very bizarre, this is taking into account the impact of China’s occasionally said (nowadays) religion of Taoism/Daoism in the terrain, which has been intentionally sidelined by China’s comrade government.

As of late, China has effectively directed Chinese cultural exchanges with different nations, taking an interest and facilitating such exercises both in China and abroad. For example, presentations on Chinese cultural exchange relics were held in New York, Washington, London and Paris, where they were generally welcomed. The Information Office of the State Council held the “99 Chinese Culture Week” in Paris, “A Tour of Chinese Culture in the United States” in 2000, and the “China Day” at the 3rd Asian-Pacific Week in Berlin in 2001. The three expansive scales, exclusive requirement thorough Chinese cultural exchange exercises showed the great, overwhelming picture of China in the continuous change and opening-up, and advanced the Chinese cultural exchange and shared comprehension with related nations.

Cultural Exchange in China with CulturalPair

I have learnt so much being a Cultural exchange in China. It’s a unimaginable ordeal in case you’re interested in it. Here and there the dialect boundary is hard when you’re all alone investigating, yet it helps you to develop and figure out how to think and react quickly. The cultural contrasts are likewise a test to get used to, and can turn into a tiny bit grinding now and again, yet you get the most astounding pay off, you get the chance to join stunning families, and watch/help the children learn and develop in tremendous ways.

One thing is certain: you will experience troubles. Cultural exchange in china stun, correspondence issues with the family or the children will detest you. However, in the event that you have arranged for anything than you will have an incredible time here, on the grounds that you will understand these issues will be simply day by day challenges that will make you days considerably all the more fascinating. The sustenance is incredible, in no way like what you would discover in Europe. What’s more, it is a groundbreaking background to find the current Far East.

I know different au pairs who, then again, had a few issues principally because of cultural exchange in china contrasts, so my recommendation to Cultural Pair staff would be that of making it all the more clear to au pairs as what’s in store from the project before they apply, and give somewhat more backing if there should arise an occurrence of issues or false impressions with the crew. Other than that, you’re all making an extraordinary showing arranging social affairs with au pairs and making us feel exceptionally welcome in this lovely nation. Keep it up!

Cultural Pair is a cultural exchange program that joins travel, work, and study- -while giving you the undertakings you need and an opportunity to have some good times in the wonderful Middle Kingdom! We furnish you with a 3-12 month arrangement in a noteworthy Chinese city with a Chinese or Expat crew.

Columbian aupair in China

A brand new weekday for us, and we welcomed in new au pairs.One is Carolina from Columbia and she has been to China before. She traveled China for 20 days and went to Suzhou, Nantong, Shanghai and Beijing, all representitive cities in China. They must left an impression on her so that she is willing to be an au pair in China now.Before she came to China, Carolina had been teaching English to kids in pontifical Bolivarian School. She is a responsible, committed and independent person mostly account for her teaching experience. Carolina said what she likes most is making people laugh. She was once a member of the choir when she was at school so she learned some music relating courses. One thing she enjoys best is shareing time with kids, play with and learn from them. Carolina has a big family so she has the chace to grow surrounded by kids and have fun with them. Since Carolina has been in China for 20 days, she was deeply attracted by Chinese culture, she held the desire to be an au pair in China. She is willing to try Chinese lifestyle and know this ancient country in a better way.We all hope she will have an amazing experirence in China!

AUPAIR IN CHINA

Fortunately, China is an alluring au pair destination because of the interest for English talking overseers for youngsters. Endless supply of your time abroad, you will have a more noteworthy comprehension of the Chinese society – through both the eyes of a relative and explorer, and you will have an exceptional bond dissimilar to whatever other with your receiving gang.

Live in Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and numerous other Chinese urban communities with ALL settlement and suppers gave by your gang. You will likewise get a month to month recompense to cover any individual costs or maybe a couple experiences around China in your available time. Acting as an Au Pair abroad in China will give you a viewpoint on the way of life and significant childcare experience.

Subsequent to arriving in China you will be met by our Cultural Pair operators to join other au pairs on the system for a 5-day landing introduction and preparing camp. This will outfit you with the aptitudes should have been an effective Au Pair and gives you time to conform to another culture, and associate with other global Au Pairs working in your general vicinity, before leaving to meet your receiving crew . What a phenomenal approach to put in a crevice year!

Families hoping to contract an Au Pair need to open their kids to the English dialect and additionally grow their social training. You will work with Smaller Earth preceding takeoff to guarantee that you are coordinated with a suitable crew. There are two distinctive time periods you can work in China: three months or six months. In case you’re having an extraordinary time and might want to stay for more, you can extend your stay up to 12 months after your entry in China. For more data about Au pair in china please click here

Halloween in Aupair Shanghai

Halloween atmosphere around us,happy with your guys,our big gathering in KTV.dancing,singing,do every funny and interesting things.

Au Pair Shanghai and Cultural Pair

Au Pair Shanghai and Cultural Pair belongs to the Outuo (Shanghai) Cultural Exchange Co., Ltd.  CulturalPair promotes all kind of cultural exchange programs but Au Pair Shanghai specialized on Au pair and Demi pair programs, aiming to create opportunities for young people to travel and to learn about different countries in order to better understand the people, history and culture of these countries as well as to improve their language proficiency at university and at the same time working.

Cultural Pair  offers homestay, teaching jobs, volunteer opportunities, Chinese language learning ,  internships , Au pair cultural exchange , partnerships with organizations, university and high school programs etc. You will thrive as you learn how to navigate life independently through work and study. We are able to match families and Au pairs according to their personalities and goals to make the transition easier.

Since our establishment in December, 2009 we have successfully matched more than 300 families and our programs earned a very good reputation in China for providing the best service possible. We carefully research the Chinese families which might be the best suitable for you, pay close attention to these families, ensuring them to observe the regulations about the wages, the working conditions, the working time and our projects are safe and protected by law.

 

 

aupair with hostfamily

This is one of aupair with her shanghai hostfamily had a grea time with each other,although this aupair already finished her aupair job and left,still keep in touch with each other.

Natalia and her host family

Natalia, a girl came from Columbia, is cheerful and enthusiasic. She is now getting along well with the host family. Baby girl likes her very much and host mother also see her as a member of the family. They spent a lot of time together. Natalia teaches family English while family teaches her Mandarin. They both have a lot of fun together.This is photos Natalia sent to us. As we can see, they are really a family now.

Mandarin Course for aupairs

Au pair Shanghai offers Mandarin courses for au pairs. Au pairs in Shanghai can attend the class. We classify two phases to learn basic Mandarin. Class one is set to acknowledge pinyin and basic words for necessary. Class two is able to have a talk on daily topics. Usually, our Mandarin teacher prefers to combine playing games with learning. Only speak Chinese can you complete the game. Take the challenge, learn new words. If you are au pairs who are not in Shanghai, don’t worry, we also have courses online. We will teach Mandarin on Skype or some other way. In some host families, they even are willing to find a Mandarin teacher for you.Let’s laugh out loud in class.

Au pairs and Agency in China

Many au pairs hesitate to choose an agency. In fact agency can help them a lot. Firstly,agency can help au pairs better understand Chinese culture and learn basic Mandarin.Then, agency can match suitable host families and ensure au pairs safety. What’s more, agency can help au pairs renew their visa. The most important is that while au pairs have cultural conflictions with host families,which is inevitable, agency will mediate with both sides. Agency will improve the conveniece of au pair journey. Remember, while looking for an agency, make sure of their certificates and avoid of scams.When it comes to pocket money, it will be a little bit embarrassed but very important. According to CAPA (Chinese Au Pair Association), pocket money should be 1000RMB (?162 / €130). Chinese commodity price makes it reasonable. Besides, host family and agency will take responsible for au pair’s insurance, accommodation and meals, visa, flight ticket dispense, Mandarin courses, which cost at least 10,000RMB (especially visa fee). Au pair is not a job. Cultural exchange is the final destination We are glad to answer your questions about au pair program all the time. Welcome to experience Chinese culture?

Our First Offline Activity

Last weekend, we had our first try on offline activity. Thanks for host parents and au pairs sparing their time to attend this activity.The atmosphere is so liven up as children are so active and happy. Thanks lovely children for giving us such an unforgetable memory.Au pairs in China is more like a tutor who teach children not only language, but how to behave themselves. Like companions in their growth. Nowadays, parents suffer from social pressure, they cannot spare too much time playing with their kids and they are worried ahout grandparents indulging children. Au pairs now play an important role to help children grow up in the right way. To have good manners, to be independent, to respect others and so on. To some extent, we are all gardeners who can cultivate and children are flowers who are waiting for blossom. It is such a moving thing to see children grow up in a healthy and

How do you become an au pair?

IAPA does not directly place au pairs with host families, but the IAPA member agencies do!To contact an IAPA member agency about taking the next steps, you can either:Review the list of IAPA members and contact a member directly by email, telephone or fax.Fill out our information request form. IAPA will send the information to the members in your own country and you will be contacted directly.**The details you submitted will be provided to relevant member agencies and can be used for future research purposes. IAPA will NOT distibute your details to any other third parties.What if there are no IAPA members in the country where I live?Contact the relevant governmental department in your country of residency and ask them to provide you with a list of reputable au pair agencies.Note: it is important to check the reliability of any non-IAPA member agencyContact an IAPA member in the country you would like to visit as an au pair. It is possible the IAPA member has a partner organisation in the country where you are located.

Russian Aupair in China

Hello everyone,I’m natalia from Russia,Although I’m not like very outgoing person,but I’m easygoing,sometimes i like reading,cooking and watching movie;maybe like hanging out with my family and friends.I like traveling,china is my dream country,we are not very far,but this is my first time come here.My host-family from guizhou,i checked on the website,there is very comfortable and very good environment,i like my hostfamily,I’m very appreciate AUPAIR SHANGHAI help me find a good family for me.I hope i will have a great pair journey in guizhou with my host family.

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