What is the culture of China, in the present as well as in the past? What are linguistic, religious, racial, and ethnic influences? In this course, we talk with photographer Philip Goldberg who has lived and worked in China for 16 years.

China is a large and diverse country roughly the same size as the United States. 

  • China’s population is the largest in the world: approximately 1.43 billion. 
  • By comparison, the US has approximately 323 million.


Many people have an outdated impression of Chinese culture and tend to focus on historical culture rather than the current culture. “Present day Chinese culture is an amalgamation of old world traditions and a westernized lifestyle. The two co-exist like the traditional Yin Yang formula of balance. This can be seen in the juxtaposition of towering skyscrapers with heritage buildings, the contrast of western fashion with the traditional Chinese Qipao dress, the people's paradoxical affinity for both dim sums and McDonald's.” Penn State. Chinese Culture, Tradition, and Customs.

This course covers the following topics:

Chinese Culture:

  • Dates back over 5000 years.
  • The Four Great Inventions of Ancient China: gunpowder, paper, printing, and the compass.
  • Other inventions: 
    1. Kites were first used as a way for the army to signal warnings. 
    2. Umbrellas, silk, boat rudder, hot air balloons, seismographs to measure earthquakes, matches, and many more. 
  • The current culture in China.

Race and Ethnicity:

  • China is composed of 56 ethnic groups. 
    1. Han Chinese account for 91% of the overall Chinese population, and the other 55 groups make up the remaining 9%.
  • The minorities of China mainly live in the west, southwest, and northwest of China, but can be found everywhere.
  • Is their ethnic friction in modern day China?



  • Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism are the predominate religions, although Confucianism is a school of philosophy rather than a religion.
  • Confucianism propagated “Ren” (Love) and “Li” (rituals), signifying respect for society and social hierarchy. 
  • Taoist believe they should live in harmony and “go with the flow.”
  • Buddhism emphasized on the need to attain self-emancipation through good deeds.


Chinese Language:

  • The official dialect of China is Mandarin, also call "Putonghua." 
  • More than 70% of the Chinese population speaks Mandarin, but there are also several other major dialects in use in China: 
    1. Yue (Cantonese)
    2. Xiang (Hunanese)
    3. Min dialect
    4. Gan dialect
    5. Wu dialect
    6. Kejia or Hakka dialect.
  • The Chinese language is the oldest written language in the world.
  • The Chinese written language uses single distinctive symbols, or characters, to represent each word of the vocabulary. 
    1. One must be able to recognize 2,000 to 3,000 characters to read a newspaper. 
    2. Although many Chinese dialects exist, the written language is a common form of communication. Even though people are not able to verbally communicate in different provinces, they are able to understand each other in writing. 
    3. The written language can be further subdivided into three forms: simplified, traditional, and informal slang or phonetic.

*This course includes a 1-hour conversational audio lesson, a 10-question quiz, and a certificate of completion with the successful completion of the quiz at 80%. 

Your course will remain active for 180 days from purchase date.

This course aligns with the following regulatory requirements.

Hague Treaty on Intercountry Adoption*

 96.48 (c)(1)

*Important Information for agencies on Hague Training Requirements 

Virginia Compliance



*Important Information for agencies on Virginia core competencies.

Illinois Licensing Standard §401.520

*Important Information for agencies on Illinois Adoption Requirements.

Nebraska Licensing Requirement 005.16(D)(i)(8)

*Important Information for agencies on Nebraska Adoption Requirements.