China Everyday Life

By | June 3, 2021

How do you live in China?

The more than 1.3 billion Chinese need living space and that is scarce in China, especially in the big cities. That is why many houses are being built in China, especially high-rise buildings. Unfortunately, these new buildings often fall victim to old districts. Despite the new buildings, many Chinese have little space to share. A Chinese family of three lives in a 1.5-room apartment with 30 square meters. A person in China has an average of 10 square meters per person available for living. That is very little.

Living in the smallest of spaces

Measure out your apartment and see how big your children’s room is. It is probably quite large by Chinese standards. The new Chinese apartments have better hygienic conditions than the old ones, but they often lack life and comfort. When furnishing their home, the Chinese like to follow the principles of Feng Shui. In doing so, they follow rules about where you can put which object exactly. We now also have apartments that are designed according to this principle.

Feng Shui

According to, Feng Shui is a science of furnishing one’s home so that energy can flow properly, because that is very important in China. To do this, you have to set up plants or certain furnishings in the appropriate places. But in a crammed 1.5 room apartment this is not that easy. Bedroom, children’s room and living room, all in one. In addition, there is usually a very large television set and the Feng Shui idea has to wait first.

Wind and water

Nevertheless, Feng Shui is very important for many Chinese. By the way, Feng Shui means “wind and water” . The idea comes from Daoism and wants to limit apartments with the elements wind and water. This is again related to the Chinese principles of yin and yang. Even large residential projects often follow the ideas of Feng Shui and experts accompany the planning of such buildings.

Of course, there are also rich Chinese who do not live in a small apartment, but rather buy large houses. Because many Chinese like to orientate themselves towards Europe, these houses are often built in the European style. But this is a minority.

China Feng Shui

Car instead of bike?

Chinese people ride bicycles. This is what we usually think when we think of Chinese streets. But now we have to say “Chinese rode bicycles”, because the Chinese now mainly drive cars. In China, the number of cars on the roads is increasing year after year. More and more Chinese are able to buy a car and are taking advantage of this opportunity. There are more and more streets, in big cities often up to twelve lanes next to each other and sometimes streets one above the other. At the same time, air pollution is growing, a large part of which comes from cars. Often you can no longer walk through the streets without a face mask, a picture that you often come across in the streets of China’s major cities.

Chinese names

More than 1.3 billion people live in China, but they only share around 500 different family names. You can be sure that there can be mix-ups here. Millions of Chinese are called Wang or Li, for example. Every 13th Chinese is called Li, by the way. In China, however, the surname comes before the first name. The first name is very important. Since there is often only one child in a Chinese family, it should be given a beautiful and, above all, unmistakable name. With boys the terms “strong” or the like are often used and with girls it is more about elegance and beauty, which should already be expressed in the name. These designations are added to the name. Sometimes children are named after the time of year they were born, the location or the time of day. If you were to be called “dawn” in China, you could assume that you were born in the early morning. If your name were “Spring Flower” then…?

Your brother is coming

Incidentally, siblings often address each other as “older sister” or “younger brother”. And older people are often prefixed with the term “old”, for example “old Wang”. This is not at all disrespectful, but rather very respectful of older people in China. By the way, there are also names that seem very strange to us. In a rural one-child family, the first-born girl can then be called “Your brother is coming” in the hope that the second child will be a boy.