Chinese Culture

Other Considerations

  • Red and gold are considered to be lucky colours by the Chinese. However, writing in red is taboo – it was historically used to write bad news or indicate that someone is a blood enemy. Black is the colour usually associated with death.
  • Numbers: Odd numbers are considered unlucky, so gifts should be given in even numbers. Four, however, is considered an unlucky number while eight is the luckiest. Six connotes progress and smooth development, and nine is the emperor's number.
  • Spitting in public is common in some regions of China. The behaviour is necessitated by some health conditions caused by the effects of pollution.
  • Air pollution is a serious problem in China, as smog is thick over urban areas. Chinese people may avoid talking about pollution to foreigners as there can be shame associated with it. Others might be open about the topic, but it’s still a good idea to approach it with sensitivity. 
  • The government plays a different role in the lives of Chinese residents. It may involve itself in their daily activities, and some measures have an extreme impact on people's personal choices (e.g. the now-defunct One-child policy). There is a general expectation of widespread surveillance in the country. The Chinese government has been known to continue monitoring Chinese residents living in or visiting Australia. Many public spaces in China have political and governmental figures and emblems throughout them to promote loyalty.
  • The relationship between Taiwan and China is a very sensitive topic. Be considerate of its complexities should it arise in conversations. Many of the younger generation of Taiwanese wish to define themselves as distinct from China. On the other hand, many Chinese consider Taiwan to be a part of China.
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