15 Unusual Chinese Customs That Will Surprise You

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Many of us know that China houses one of the oldest cultures in the world, and yet their customs are often still unknown to the Western World. As one of the world’s largest players in the global economy, a major factor in many international wars, and a dominating presence throughout history, it is important that we all understand a few of the more interesting and unusual Chinese customs.

Body Doubles

Body Doubles

npr.org

Often most popular with richer populations due to the payment involved, many Chinese have been caught allowing stunt doubles to stand in for them not on the set of extreme movie scenes but on trial to accept unearned sentences.

Canine Status Symbol

Canine

factslist.net

With dogs previously being a delicacy, dogs have since become prized possessions. In fact, an oil baron bought a Tibetan Mastiff in 2011 for $1.5 million USD.

Facekinis to Shade the Skin

Facekinis

tumblr.com

Where some may consider tanned complexions to be exotic and beautiful, the Chinese feel the exact opposite. In much of Asia, it is seen as a status symbol and an allusion to wealth if your skin is much paler.

For this reason, many women not only wear bikinis on their bodies but “facekinis” on their faces to protect their skin from as much sun as possible and maintain a lighter complexion.

Marrying the Dead

Marrying

guim.co.uk

In China it is believed that all who are to be happy are to be married. While we may joke that our marriages will be the death of us, this is actually true in China. If someone died a bachelor or bachelorette, it is Chinese custom to provide a wife or husband for the afterlife.

This may come in the form of a living or similarly deceased partner. If somebody is paired with a living partner, the living partner will remain celibate for life. If they are paired with an equally deceased partner, they will be buried together even if they never met during their lives.

Karaoke Nights

Karaoke

telegraph.co.uk

As with many cultures in Asia, the Chinese enjoy a good karaoke night more than a classic movie night or a fancy dining experience. In general, they would rather crank some pop music and turn the volume up on the microphone than they would have a quiet night with family or friends.

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Katie Steinharter

Katie Steinharter

Katie Steinharter lives in Denver, Colorado but finds herself at home all around the world. She recently spent three months traveling through Southeast Asia and Australia, helping social enterprises and NGOs develop strategic marketing plans. Currently Katie is a freelance writer and marketing consultant for start-ups in Colorado. In her free time you may find her reading a book at her local cafe, on the backside of any Colorado ski resort, or just laying on a hammock in the backyard of her parents’ house in Maine.