China, the "middle of the world"

China is one of the largest countries in the world. In fact, it’s the 3rd largest country and is home to over 1 billion people.? China can be found in Asia. China is a very popular place. So let’s do a little history lesson about this amazing place.

The Name

China’s name has been around since the 3rd century B.C.E., when China was under the rule of the Qin (pronounced chin) empire. In modern Chinese, the name China is translated “middle of the world.”

Currency

The money of China consists of three things: a yuan, a jiao and a fen. A yuan is made up of ten jiao, which in turn is made up of ten fen. Chinese money comes in bills and coins. One yuan is equal to fourteen cents. It used to take eight yuan to make one U.S. dollar. Now it takes seven yuan to make a dollar.


The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall is China’s most famous landmark. The wall is more than 4000 miles in length and is the only man made structure that can be seen from space. The wall was built to keep invaders out of China. But the Great Wall isn’t the only wall that was built by the Chinese. It’s just the largest and longest. Long before the Great Wall was started, the people in the area known as China built other walls for the same purpose as the Great Wall.

What makes these walls so unique is that they were built entirely by hand. Even the newest sections of the Great Wall were made before the invention of cranes, trucks and cement mixers.

As was stated before, the Great Wall is over 4000 miles long. If the wall was in North America, it would stretch from Florida all the way to the North Pole!

Construction on the Great Wall started between 217 and 210 B.C.E. Again, the purpose was to keep out raiders. Three thousand miles of wall were built, but nearly 1 million people died and the country went bankrupt. Then, in the 14th century C.E., the emperors of the Ming Dynasty decided to rebuild the wall. It is this Great Wall that is visited by many people every year.

In China, I’m a monkey!

LOL!

No, I’m not really a monkey. What I’m referring to is the year I was born. I was born in 1992, and in China, that means that I was born in the year of the monkey. It’s considered polite to ask the name of the year someone was born if you want to know how old that person is. This is known as the Chinese zodiac. There are twelve animals, so the name of the year you were born occurs once every twelve years. The twelve symbols are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Boar.

Fast Facts

China’s Capital is Beijing, also known as Peking.

Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism are the main religions of China. Most Chinese are atheists.

The Flag is red with yellow stars. The red symbolizes the revolution of 1949. The large yellow star represents the communist government. The four small stars around the large star stands for China’s People.

The highest point in China is Mount Everest. The lowest point is the Turpan Depression.

Mount Everest is located in Tibet. Tibet is the setting of James Hilton’s book Lost Horizon.

Famous people of China include Jet Li, Li Bingbing, Lucy Liu, Chin Ning Chu and Jackie Chan.

Yes, China is a very wonderful place. It’s full of history. There’s no end to how much can be learned about this wonderful country. You may not be able to visit it, but that shouldn’t stop you from learning about it. Have fun in your exploration of this country.

Zai Hui and wu an. (That means see you next time and goodbye in Chinese.)


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