Starter level quiz on the traditions, geography, history and language of China (1).
1. The Chinese character for heaven or sky is what?
The horizontal stroke on top represents the sky which is above the figure of a large man 大dà.
2. The United States of America is called what in Chinese?
美měi means beautiful on its own, so with 国guó it means beautiful country. It was chosen as a rough transliteration of America.
3. Which Chinese city generates more money from gambling than Las Vegas?
The Chinese are famous for their love of gambling and the former Portuguese outpost at Macau remains the capital city of gambling, although Hainan Island is starting to catch up.
4. What is the number nine in Chinese?
Nine is Jiǔ 九 and it is a strong yang number as it is 3 times 3 and 3 is a yang (odd) number. The emperor is associated with nine and there are numerous usages of nines in the Forbidden City including the 'Nine Dragon Wall'.
5. The largest hydro-electric dam in the world is located on which river?
The Sanxia ('Three Gorges') dam is located in Hubei province on the Yangzi. It was completed in 2006 and created a reservoir 400 miles [644 kms] long. It is not the largest dam in the world though - that title is currently held by the Kariba Dam in Zimbabwe.
6. Which of these animals is NOT associated with China's astrological cycle of years?
The astrological cycle of years is rat; ox; tiger; rabbit; dragon; snake; horse; sheep; monkey; rooster; dog and pig
7. Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) usually takes place in which month(s)?
January or February
April or May
The Spring Festival starts on the second New Moon after the Winter solstice, the date falls between January 20th to February 21st depending on the position of the moon each year and lasts for two weeks.
8. Whose mumified body can be seen at the south side of Tiananmen Square?
Mao Zedong's mummified body is located on the south side of Tian'anmen Square. On the west side is the ‘Great Hall of the People’ where the NPC meet, and there are museums to the east. It is a vast open space of 109 acres [44 hectares] and has seen rallies of a million people
9. The Forbidden City in Beijing was built during which dynasty?
The Ming dynasty capital was initially at Nanjing but Emperor Yongle moved the capital back to Beijing and built the Forbidden City on the ruins of the former Mongol capital (then called Dadu) .
10. Laozi is considered the founder of which tradition?
Daoism (or Taoism)
Lao Zi is considered the founder of Daoism. Unlike Confucius details of his life are very sketchy; often based on myths and legends. His name just means 'Old (or Venerable) Master'. Lao Zi probably lived in the sixth or possibly the fourth century BCE.
11. What is the capital city of Fujian province?
Fujian is a mountainous province with a rocky coastline on the Taiwan Straits and East China Sea. Fuzhou was a busy port all the way back in the Tang dynasty.
12. What is the Chinese Emperor's throne called?
The Imperial Dragon Throne is located in central position in the Forbidden City, Beijing. Dragons are associated with the Emperor as they are powerful and wise.
13. The Yangzi River is one of the longest rivers in the world, where does it stand in the world rankings for length?
The Yangzi river is the 3rd longest river after the Nile and Amazon rivers.
14. Zài jiàn means what in English?
再见 zài jiàn for goodbye is literally 'again see' so it is just like the French 'au revoir'.
15. Wanglang Nature Reserve is home to which famous Chinese creature?
The Giant Panda lives in mountainous regions of Sichuan; Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces. A captive breeding program has started to increase numbers of this critically endangered animal.
16. The Bund is a famous waterfront feature in which city?
The world famous Bund (外滩 Wài tān in Chinese) along the waterfront was established in the 1920s in Shanghai's great international era as a trading port. The name 'Bund' comes from the Persian 'band' for embankment and is widely used in India, Japan and China.
17. What is considered the luckiest number in China?
Eight is the luckiest number and you often see it associated with gambling web sites having 888 as part of their name. The Beijing Olympics was opened on the 8/8/2008 at 8p.m.
18. Canton is the old name for which city?
The name was given by early European traders who rendered Guangdong (the name of the province) as Canton. Guangzhou is the name of the city. The character 州 'zhou' means administrative center or prefecture and is part of many Chinese city names.
19. The Art of War was written by which ancient author?
Sun Wu (Tzu)
Laozi (Lao Tzu)
The Art of War 孙子兵法 was written about 2,500 years ago by Sun Wu (Sun Tzu). It was the standard text on military strategy for over two thousand years.
20. Qingdao, famous for Tsingtao beer, was under which country's control at the end of the 19th century?
Qingdao means 'blue-green island' and it remained a small fishing village for many centuries. The Germans took control in 1898 as a treaty port and held it until 1914. it is a popular beach resort on the Shandong peninsular.