(People's Republic of China, 中华人民共和国, Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó)
- Location: East Asia
- Capital: Beijing
- Language(s): Mandarin
- Population: 1,339,834,123
- Total Area: 9,640,821 sq km
- Currency: Chinese Yuan
- Curious Alcohol Fact: Yellow wine is the most popular wine in the country and it is made from rice!
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 5.80 liters
- Most Popular Drink(s): Tea (of all types), yellow wine.
I have always viewed China with a great sense of awe and respect. However, when I visited the country, the feelings did not only become greater, they turned to reverence. There is no way you will visit this country and not be dazzled by its greatness. Of all the nations in Asia, China is the largest and like many of us know, no other country in the world has more people than China. It is said that about one in six inhabitants on this planet is Chinese. On any map of East Asia, almost all the land is covered by the People’s Republic. China is not only large in population; it is also one of the largest in the world in terms of area, trailing only behind the Russian Federation and Canada. The economy of the country is also the largest in the world and has one of the fastest-growing rates in the world. China has been a superpower for more than 4,000 years. I can go on and on but the summary is that irrespective of the angle you look at China, you will always see a giant, and a benevolent one too.
China is a multicultural, multinational and multiethnic group. There are various ethnic groups in the country but the largest is the Han (Chinese) and they outnumber all other groups. Therefore, from an angle, the Han have conferred a homogenous nature on the country. The minority groups are about 55 in number and many of them are found in autonomous regions. Some of these are Mongols, Bai, Dai, Lahu, Tibetans, Miao, Yi, Uyghur, Zhuang, Kazakhs, Koreans and Thai. The commonest language is Chinese (Mandarin), which is also the most widely spoken language in the world. Apart from Mandarin, there are other dialects of Chinese spoken in the various provinces. The traditional religions in China are Confucianism, Buddhism and Daoism. Many of the minorities like the Uyghurs, Kyrgyz and the Kazakhs are Muslims and are collectively known as the Hui. Among some other groups, Christianity is practised.
Places To Visit
If one is to list the sites of attraction in the fabulous city of China, there will not be an end to such a list. China is a legendary place of unparalleled beauty and majesty. Some of the places that you must see in China include the following: the Forbidden City in Beijing (the capital city formerly known as Peking), the Great Wall of China and the Three Gorges Dam, the largest in the world.
Chinese Foods and Drinks
In many parts of the globe, Chinese foods are quite popular, and there is virtually no capital city in the world without one Chinese restaurant or the other. So, you can imagine my excitement upon being served Chinese food –in China! As you would have guessed, my favorite meal was a plate of noodles although I later ‘graduated’ to the Chinese fried rice. Rice and noodles are some of the most popular foods in the country. Tea is the most popular drink in the country and yellow wine is sold almost everywhere.
Sports in China
Honestly speaking, I was not surprised to learn that the most populous nation in the world has a very vibrant sporting life. For those who watched the 2008 Beijing Olympics, nothing could have been more spectacular. If you call China a nation of many sports, you will be right. The following are some of the most popular sports in the country –football, gymnastics, figure skating, golf, basketball, table tennis and chess. If you want a taste of ancient sports, the dragon racing festivals will be ideal for you.
Interesting Facts About China
• China is by far the most populous nation on earth with over 1.3 billion people.
• The Chinese have bestowed upon humanity one of the oldest civilizations.
• The country has one of the most intimidating armies in the world. The Chinese actually have the largest standing army on earth and has the second largest budget on defence anywhere in the world. China is also one of the few countries of the nuclear club.
• Chinese are known for their abiding loyalty and humility.
- There are 22 provinces and five autonomous regions in China.
- In terms of area, China remains the second largest nation on earth, second only to the vast Russian Federation.
- In the past, China was ruled by hereditary monarchies called the dynasties.
- At a time, China was defeated by Japan, which was then an empire.
- The country is home to the legendary Great Wall of China.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2013 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).
John Young (Hong Kong).