Tag Archives: Chinese culture

Chinese culture

Chinese dating, reading habits, and Frog

If you’re into Chinese dating, you might actually find yourself changing your reading habits and trying to learn more about Chinese culture. This might be because you want to read the same books your online love interest is reading, or you might simply want to stay ahead of the curve.

That’s where Frog comes in. It’s not a book you have to read, but you might very well want to read it if you are interested in China’s one-child policy. Although the policy might be controversial to some people, it is an inescapable truth and part of China’s history and culture.

Dating love

Frog is a 400-page book that takes a look at a small Chinese town’s midwifery and the politics of abortion during the most intense years of the country’s one-child policy. Mo Yan, who also won a Nobel Prize in 2012, wrote the book. He is one of the few novelists who have not been jailed by the government for his work or beliefs, nor has he fled the country.

The book, which is written in the form of a letter, tells the story of one young man growing up during one of China’s most notably turbulent periods. The tale is filled with wry humor, which is surprising for the depth and heaviness of the subject matter. Topics include war, famine, the enforcement of the one-child policy, and even Chinese dating gone wrong.

Although Frog is filled with heroic children of the revolution, loyal communists, and brutal reality (although the magic of the culture is not lost), Yan also critiques the system indirectly and raises plenty of questions for discussion.

If you want to beef up your reading list in preparation for Chinese dating, you might be interested to know that Frog is being released in the U.S. this week.

Chinese dating sites: what’s does the red envelope mean?

You might have noticed images of a red envelope on some Chinese dating sites as well as other websites focusing on Chinese culture. So, what’s the story with this little red envelope? We’ve put together some FAQs for you!

What is the red envelope?

In traditional Chinese culture, the red envelope is a long, narrow envelope filled with money. These envelopes are usually decorated with gold Chinese characters representing wealth and happiness. The red envelopes are given out for birthdays, weddings and other celebrations.

red chinese  money envelope

Why is it red?

As you might already know, red plays a prominent role in Chinese culture and it symbolizes luck. Many people use the envelopes to wish good luck to a newly married couple or for someone’s birthday.

Who receives these envelopes?

Red envelopes are commonly reserved for the younger generations; their parents, grandparents, and older relatives and friends typically distribute them. It is customary to present the envelope with both hands and to receive it with both hands. It is considered a solemn act.

How much money goes inside?

The amount of money that is placed inside the red envelope varies depending on the situation. For younger children, the equivalent of about $7 is standard. For teens, it’s usually an amount sufficient for buying a t-shirt or movie ticket. Employers usually include a month’s salary while wedding guests offer the approximate amount the couple might have paid per plate at the festivities.

Chinese dating sites often use imagery of the red envelope without any explanation; so many people associate it with romance and dating. As you can see, it actually has a much deeper meaning!

Do you know who the Chinese dating gods are?

So you’re into Chinese dating, but do you know anything about the deities that represent love and lust in Chinese mythology?

Chinese gods

Yue Lao

You’ve heard of the Man in the Moon, but have you heard of the Man under the Moon? Meet Yue Lao, a popular Chinese deity. He is the overseer of heterosexual marriage and is often connected to the red thread of destiny. He is known for binding two people’s hearts together in love and marriage. The most well known story involving this god might be that of Wei Gu, who wanted to know who was destined to become his wife. When Yue Lao showed him the vision of an old woman and young child living in poverty, Wei Gu ordered that they be killed. The child was injured but managed to escape, and she ended up becoming Wei Gu’s wife years later.

Tu Er Shen

Tu Er Shen is a relatively minor figure in Chinese mythology, probably because he represents homosexual love and marriage. As a mortal, he was known as Hu Tianbao and was considered a “peeping tom” and subsequently beaten to death. However, the gods were impressed by his unrequited love and restored him to life as a deity instead of a mere mortal. In many cases, Tu Er Shen is depicted as a rabbit. It is worth mentioning, however, that despite Tu Er Shen being worshipped, homosexual activity is a criminal offense in China.

Of course, there are more deities that oversee Chinese dating, including Chuang-Mu, who is the goddess of the bedroom and sexual delights. There is also Fu-Hsi, who is the god of happiness and oversees love, destiny and success.

Chinese dating, love, and funerals

If you are new to Chinese dating, the one thing you’ve probably already picked up on is that the customs in China are a lot different from those in the West. You might expect Chinese customs for funerals to be different as well, but did you know that they are actually a lot like Chinese weddings?

Chinese wedding

Let’s start with the phrase “hongbai xishi,” which means “red-white happy events.”  In China, red is the symbolic color for weddings and white represents funerals.  Lots of companies even market themselves as hongbai xishi experts, which means you could find your wedding and funeral planner all in the same person!

Although both events might involve some celebration, how else are Chinese weddings and funerals similar?  Here’s a look at a few:

  • Lots of food. Weddings and funerals always involve lots of food, but in China, this goes beyond what you might expect.  In China, there seems to be banquet after banquet set up much like a wedding reception, right down to the tables and flowing alcohol.
  • Money.  Money plays a big role in Chinese weddings and funerals.  At weddings, couples are typically presented with that iconic red envelope stuffed with money.  However, the same goes for Chinese funerals.  Guests typically present the bereaved family with the same.
  • Processionals.  At weddings, the bride is lifted and her dowry items follow with jubilance. At funerals, it isn’t quite the same, but there is an ornate procession to the tomb filled with colorful clothing and traditional white caps of mourning.  There is also somber music for the funeral procession.
  • Firecrackers.  The Chinese like to send newlyweds and the recently deceased off with a bang!  Firecrackers are used at both weddings and funerals.  They can be used as an explosive good-bye and to wish people well on their next journey.

If your Chinese dating grows into something more serious, you will undoubtedly attend both Chinese weddings and funerals, so don’t be shocked at the similarities.