8 strange Chinese things in foreigners' eyes
外国人眼中八件奇怪的中国事情
来源:China Daily 翻译:Jim Wu

Editor's note: What are the things considered the norm in China but weird to foreigners? Some Forum readers share their opinions. You're also welcome to join the discussion.
编辑者:哪些事情在中国认为很正常,但是外国人却觉得很奇怪?一些论坛用户分享了他们的观点。同样欢迎你加入我们的讨论。

MichaelM (US) 美国网友
I heard recently that after giving birth, women aren't allowed to take a bath or shower. They shouldn't wash their hair for over a month. They shouldn't return to work for nearly 3 months. Very different in the West. I really don't know or understand the rationale or if it's just some kind of tradition.
我最近曾听说在生完孩子以后,妇女不允许洗澡或沐浴。她们一个月以内不应洗头发。她们至少3个月不应该回到工作岗位。这跟西方非常不一样。我真的不知道也不理解它的道理,或者这只是某种像是传统之类的。

Some of the no-nos on the traditional list, even though most new mothers are unable, or unwilling, to observe them all strictly nowadays, include: no direct contact with the wind, no going out, no fruits, no vegetables, no salt, no wearing sandals, no exposing of the heels, no leaving empty space between the waist and back of a chair (cushion required), no hair washing, no baths, no brushing teeth, no brushing hair, no TV watching, no crying, no boiled water, and more.
即使现今大多数的新妈妈没有办法,或是不愿意去严格遵守,但它们仍然在列在传统习俗清单之中,它们包括:不直接吹风、不出门、不吃水果、不吃蔬菜、不吃盐、不穿凉拖鞋、不暴露脚后跟、不要在背部和椅子间留有空间(必须坐垫子)、不洗头、不洗澡、不刷牙、不梳头、不看电视、不哭、不喝凉白开等等。

Sarah (UK) 英国网友
In China, all water has to be boiled before you can drink it. I am not sure why the Chinese do it, but I have heard that it is very good for your digestive system.
在中国,你必须把水煮过以后才可以喝。我不能确定为何中国人这么做,但是我曾听说过这是样对消化系统非常不错。

golden_fred (US) 美国网友
Drinking is a part of Chinese culture that I find weird. If you want to create or enhance your network, you have to drink as much as you can.
饮酒是中国文化的一部分,而且我发现很奇怪。如果你想建立或增强你的人际网络,你不得不尽量的喝。

Seneca (US) 美国网友
A far more pervasive feature is the red envelope. If you are married to a Chinese you will be surprised by the sheer number of events that give people an automatic right to obtain red money-filled envelopes:
- A house-warming party;
- the marriage;
- death of someone;
- promotion (of a civil servant);
- birth of a child;
- birthday;
一个非常普遍的特色是“红包”。如果你和一个中国人结婚,你会非常惊奇,竟有这么多的事情理所当然需要赠与红包:搬家、结婚、葬礼、升职(公务员)、生娃儿、生日。

Chili (US) 美国网友
In China, children were raised primarily by the grandparents because of the parents needing to work. My husband was raised by his grandparents, and my in-laws were raised by their grandparents. Should children's primary caretakers be their parents?
在中国,孩子主要是由爷爷奶奶(或外公外婆)所带大,因为他们的父母需要工作。我老公就是由他的爷爷奶奶(或外公外婆)所带大,而且我的亲家人也是被爷爷奶奶(或外公外婆)所带大。孩子的监护人 应该是爷爷奶奶(或外公外婆)么?

MichaelM (US) 美国网友
I'm studying for the driving exam. The laws are similar to the West. What's amazing is, NO ONE FOLLOWS THESE LAWS IN CHINA! Seriously. The licensing process in China is far more difficult than in the West. However, it seems that in China, as soon as you do get the license, you forget everything that you learned and do whatever you want, whenever you, wherever you want, however you want. Parking on sidewalks, driving on the wrong side of the road, constantly honking the horn and many others. Most of the laws are exactly the opposite of what more than 50% of the drivers do in China. In the West, we have driving laws that are enforced. It is rare to see someone breaking the driving laws in the West.
我正在学习考驾照。驾考的法律规则与西方相似。但是让人吃惊的是,没有任何人在中国遵循这些法律!我不没有开玩笑。 证件获得的过程比西方要困难得多。然而,在中国这里看来,一旦你获得了证件,你忘记了你所学到的一切而按照你想的一切做,任何时候、任何地方只要你想这么搞,无论你怎么想的。路边泊车、逆向行驶、长按喇叭和其他很多事情。大部分法律就是与大于50%中国司机驾驶行为相反。在西方,我们有驾驶法规,它是强制执行的。在西方,很难看见有人正在违反驾驶法规。

robert237 (US) 美国网友
My wife tells me I'll have good luck when I sneeze.I like this much, much more than hearing the tired, old "God bless you" common in the West.
我老婆告诉我,如果我打喷嚏我会走好运。我非常喜欢这种方式,比起听腻了的、老套的“上帝保佑你”舒服多了。

DMZappa (US) 美国网友
Cupping therapy. My wife does dry Cupping Therapy and I understand it is an ancient practice but I don't see any benefits or results to it. I believe it is to draw bad blood to the surface of one's skin.
拔火罐。我老婆做干式拔火罐治疗,我理解它是一项古老的践行。但是,我从没发现它带来的任何好处或是结果。我相信它是将坏血拔到皮肤表面来。

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你好!
I think "strange thing" number one is a very interesting topic. Many westerners don't seem to understand "坐月子"--as some say, "sitting the month," or "doing the golden month." For me, it is one of my favorite topics!

It is my understanding that Traditional Chinese Medicine refers to the 40 days or so (roughly, one month) after giving birth as "the golden month," and this is regarded as a very special time in a woman's life. Moreover, it is believed that a woman can possibly obtain robust health, and overcome any chronic diseases she might have, if she is properly nourished and well cared for in this time. However, it is also seen as a very critical time, because if the woman is not well taken care of during this period, she could develop a chronic illness later on in life. When I was pregnant, I read a book called, "Ancient Healing for Modern Women: Traditional Chinese Medicine for All Phases of a Woman's Life," by Dr. Xiaolan Zhao. In the book, an example that Dr. Zhao gives is the connection between bathing/showering/hair-washing (and also the exposure to very cold, harsh temperatures) and arthritis. Dr. Zhao goes on to explain that while not all of the practices for observing the golden month are practical for everyone, a woman during her golden month must remember to take very good care of herself, to ensure that she has a proper recovery from childbirth. In short, it is my understanding that what a woman eats, drinks, and does affects her recovery postpartum--at least, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. Just like the author of the article states, not everyone is able or willing to observe the golden month as tradition dictates; but, there are still a few of us out there who take the golden month with a degree of seriousness. :-D ;-D

exactly!

My wife feels that most women no longer do 坐月子 but still have the "full month" banquet.

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