Why do the Chinese like red

How the Chinese tick: Better smelly tofu than smelly cheese!

The Chinese think and act differently in many things. Often this otherness shows up in the very little everyday things. To get a glimpse of the foreign way of thinking of the Chinese, business travelers and tourists should know the five things that the Chinese like and dislike. Do you know the five things? So what are the five important things the Chinese don't love? China expert and author Susanne Heimburger put them together.

Room at the end of the corridor: If you want to panic a Chinese guest, you should have a room ready for him at the end of the corridor. Many Chinese still believe in ghosts and that they can only go straight ahead, but not around the corner. The ghosts do not come into rooms on the side of the corridor, but a room at the head end invites you to lively visitors from the beyond.

White pigeons: What is a symbol of peace to us is a herald of death to superstitious Chinese. In general, white is considered the color of mourning in China: Traditionally, white clothes are worn at funerals (red at weddings, by the way).

Empty plates: You get a Chinese host in distress if you always dutifully empty your plate. You will then be given a second look until you finally stretch your sails and leave something on your plate. To see a guest sitting in front of an empty plate is a shame for a Chinese, it would show stinginess and mean that you cannot afford to eat your guests. There is no connection between not eating and bad weather as we know it in China.

Brown skin: You won't find self-tanners in Chinese supermarkets. The bleaching cream is more common. Because in China, pale skin is still considered beautiful. Despite globalization, the Chinese don't follow this western ideal of beauty for once. Beach vacation is still in, that's why there are now full-body swimsuits.

Cheese: Researchers found the oldest cheese in the world on Chinese soil of all places - in the Taklamakan desert. It was stuck to a mummy that was found there in early 2014. The average Chinese themselves still consider cheese to be rotten milk. So, as a rule, you can't really inspire a Chinese guest with a colorful cheese plate.

What the Chinese really love

And the Chinese like these five things very much. Knowing this, in turn, facilitates communication with Chinese interlocutors and creates sympathy:

Red things: While we “see red” - and don't mean anything good by that - red is the absolute lucky color in China and is therefore extremely popular. Traditionally, marriages are dressed in red, and money is often given away in red envelopes. That being said, it is of course the color of the Communist Party. Allegedly they wanted to change the traffic light colors during the Cultural Revolution - drive with red, stand with green. But that never happened.

Smelly tofu (chòu dòufǔ 臭豆腐): The name says it all: it is tofu, which indeed smells terribly. Legend has it that Wáng Zhìhé (王致 和) invented it in the 17th century. The poor man had failed the imperial official examinations and had to hire himself out as a tofu seller, but had apparently not dealt with the best before date of the product: Once he had bought too large a quantity of tofu and stored it in barrels for too long - the tofu was fermented , but it didn't taste that bad! The dish is still available today at street stalls or in restaurants.

Dragons and Bats: As we have already explained, the friendly Chinese dragon is a real symbol of luck. The same applies to bats, for example, because the Chinese word for “bat” (fú, 蝠) sounds like the word for “luck” (fú, 福). And five bats are the pinnacle of happiness, they stand for the "five bliss" (health, long life, wealth, virtue and a quick natural death).

Many people: The Chinese don't like to be alone, especially not in their free time: They meet in parks to dance and play collectively, they gather in restaurants to celebrate the meal together loudly. Mass gatherings are not a problem for them. By the way: According to Chengdu Business News, China's largest indoor swimming pool in Sichuan Province reportedly attracted a record 15,000 visitors in one day (even though most Chinese cannot swim at all).

Chicken claws: In fact, fried chicken claws are an extremely popular snack in China right now. You can also find them in supermarkets (often right between dried fruit and potato chips, so be careful where you get to ...). But did you also know that, according to an old Chinese popular belief, a schoolboy should not be given chicken claws to eat "because otherwise he would get the habit of scratching the pages of his schoolbooks"?

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