China: 15 Things You Didn’t Know (Part 1)

Jane Qing
Jane Qing

China is an often-discussed international competitor of the United States, and yet so much of its culture is unknown to most Americans and individuals in the Western world in general. Here is a list to increase what you know – and maybe to challenge what you think you know – about the huge Asian nation.

Number Fifteen: Chinese Soldiers Train With Upward Point Pins in Their Collars. You know those little pins that help clothes together? If you’re a soldier in the Chinese army, you have to keep one in your collar, pointing up at your neck, so that you keep your chin up. That’s what patriotism is all about.

Number Fourteen: The Most American Condiment of All is Actually Chinese. That’s right, ketchup was invented in China, not in the United States. Although it seems like it must have been very different originally as it was a pickled fish sauce when it was invented.

Number Thirteen: China Loves to Execute People. The United States might have the dubious distinction of jailing its people at a higher rate than China, but the Chinese execute their citizens at four times the rate of anywhere in the world.

Number Twelve: In China, Geese are Used as Police Animals. They might not be able to smell out drugs like police dogs, but anyone who has encountered an angry goose knows that they’re aggressive little nuisances.

Number Eleven: Millions of Chinese Citizens Live in Unique Cave Homes. They’re called Yao dongs, and over 30 million Chinese live in them. That means there’s a population the size of a medium-sized country living in cave dwellings in the country.

Number Ten: China’s Pollution is So Pervasive that is Affects Other Nations. Apparently it can even travel across an entire ocean; some reports suggest that Chinese pollution is making its way across the entirety of the Atlantic Ocean and impacting cities like San Francisco.

Number Nine: There are Chinese Counterfeit Operations Hidden Underneath Lakes. This is one of the most absurd things to be true about not only China but in the world. The Chinese are known for counterfeiting high-end brands, but recently it came out that some of these operations are actually literal underground operations, tucked away underneath lakes. Check back for more surreal truths about China in part two, coming soon.