1) What do the children do when they are born? Is there any special thing that happens?
The relatives have a party. It is no different for boys or girls. They cook lots of good food to celebrate. It is an exciting moment for everybody.
2) What do children 1-5 do with their time?
In the cities, they go to kindergarten from 3 years to 5 years. In the remote country, they are taken care of by their parents or grandparents. Everyone lives together. In the city 90% of the children go to Kindergarten. It is not just play. They learn how to sing and how to count. Sometimes, they hire English teachers. They have 3 meals at school.
3) At what age do the children go to school and at what age do the children end school?
4) Do the people of your country go to college?
Yes, but they need to pass an examination in order to get into college. In the cities 2/3 of the students pass. In the country, only 2 out of 10 pass.
5) What do kids 6-11 do with their time?
Elementary School. From 8 to lunch, they have 4 classes. They have lunch at 1:30, and then they have 3 more classes. 9 years is compulsory from 6 years until 15 years. Winter Holiday is January and February. In summer, it is August and September. Otherwise, they are in school. They have homework when they are on holiday. They play outside or play computer games. Some go to more school to learn English or more Chinese.
6) What do kids 12-19 do with their time?
Senior high school students ply less. They spend more time to study to go to college.
7) What do the adults do?
Most of the parents work. Tourism trade is the third largest industry in China.
8) Do the adults work?
9) Do the mothers normally work?
10) What do 20-30 year-olds do?
They work. Higher educated people can work for foreign interest companies, and if they speak a foreign language, they are even more popular.
11) What sort of holidays does your country celebrate?
The most important holiday is the Spring Festival. It is the Chinese lunar year. They have 7 days off. People cook and have family parties or they go to restaurants. Parents and older relatives will usually give money to the children to “ya sui” which means to live longer. Money goes into a little red envelope, “educational hope project”. They donate hope money to the rural poor, or they donate used clothes or things to the West. Every year, the government appoints a young girl for a family to support. It is voluntary.
12) Are there any REALLY special holidays?
Spring Festival is really special. May 1st is Labor Day.
13) What sort of homes does your country’s people live in?
2 million people in Beijing live in “hutong” – the way to the next water well. People also live in apartment buildings.
14) Is there any special clothing different from ours?
Native costumes are used in dance and celebrations.
15) Is there a different language your country uses?
Mandarin is the official language throughout China. There are many official dialects.
16) Are there just a few words that are different in your country’s language?
There are 50,000 characters in the language. Each semester, a child learns 350 characters.
17) Is there a different culture in your country?
It’s China! There are 56 different cultures – one for each nationality.
18) What kind of pets do you have in your country?
Dogs are pets. People have to pay a tax to the government to have a dog.
19) What kind of instruments does your country play?
We play drums; the pan pipe; erhu, which has two strings and a bow; pipa, which has 4 strings and is plucked; bamboo flute; and the kujung, which is like a steel guitar.
20) What kind of sports are used in your country?
The sports we play are table tennis, soccer, basketball, badminton, gymnastics, and roller skating.
21) What do people 60-90 and older do?
Women retire at 55, and men retire at 60. After you retire, you get a pension. You can work more. Older people do Tai chi in the mornings.
22) What do you do when someone is born?
We celebrate with the family when someone is born.
23) What do you do for birthdays?
For children, they like to go to McDonald’s or Kentucky Fried Chicken to get presents and sing happy birthday, but only until they are about 15.
24) Is there anything else you would like me to know about your country?
Francis loves his country. Everybody should be proud of who they are.