Family life in China is very diffrent from the lives we live in America. They have rules and customs that we wouldn't even imagen having here in the United States. By reading these passages on the Chinese family life including the one-child policy, Chinese names, and Chinese arranged marriages you will learn many things about how the Chinese people live in China!

One-Child Policy

Can you imagine not having brothers or sisters? That is exactly what every child In China has to go through. In China there is a law called the one-child-rule. This rule controls the population in China so it doesn’t get too big. It restricts parents from having more than one child. This rule was made by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1979. The purpose for the one child rule was to limit the demand for natural resources, reduce the population, and make more jobs available to the people. The one child policy does not however apply to everyone in China. There are few minorities that can have more than one child.
This is a picture of a Chinese family and their child.
This is a picture of a Chinese family and their child.

There doesn’t seem to be an end to the one child rule in China. “Minister of the State Commission of Population and Family Planning Zhang Weiqing confirmed in early 2006 that China's one child policy is consistent with the nation's plan for population growth and would continue. (One Child)
The policy had forced many women to turn to abortions. The one child policy has prevented more than 250 million births from the year1979 to 2000. In 2001, 20,235 abortions were done in China. In China today there are 108.5 boys to every 100 girls.
The one child policy in China has fixed some of the problems in China, but it has also caused many more. There are millions of men in China that will never get married because there are no more girls left in China for them to marry.

This is a picture of a baby Chinese girls in an adoption center.
This is a picture of a baby Chinese girls in an adoption center.
This is a picture of the effects of the one child rule.
This is a picture of the effects of the one child rule.

A Chinese is name is made up of a family name (surname), which is written first, and then comes the personal name
A Chinese is name is made up of a family name (surname), which is written first, and then comes the personal name

Chinese Names
By Maureen

Do you ever wonder where you got your name from? If your parantes named you after someone or they just thought it was was cute name for you? Well in China names are given with a lot more thought in mind. In the Chinese Culture, names are a huge deal; they also were in China’s history. People were given surnames and clan names, China first followed a motherly naming system then changed to a fatherly system, and children are named with their parents’ hopes and dreams in mind.

In Chinese history, there were two types of family names, surnames and clan names. A family’s surname came from the name of the village where someone lived or someone’s family. The clan names came from the name of the territory, or the title given by an emperor for a great achievement. When this first came out only nobles had surnames as well as clan names. There were many rules or discoveries the people found out about their names. Men and women with the same clan name could marry, but not with the same surname. This was because they discovered marriages between close family members were harmful to future generations. The people also used their clan names for many ceremonies, “A clan name is carved on a man’s tombstone to indicate a hope that he will return there,” (Origin of Chinese Surnames 4). Also, “The Chinese had their clan names written on lanterns which are hung high in a prominent place, such as the main entrance of a house,” (Origin of Chinese Surnames 5). The Chinese had many uses for their surnames, receiving the names was a whole different story.
This is a name that means wealth, or money.
This is a name that means wealth, or money.

In earlier Chinese years identification was given only to someone’s mother and not to someone’s father. The surnames of earlier Chinese people followed the motherly line. Sometimes people only knew their mothers, they did not
This is an example of what a full chinese name looks like, this is Gāo Shào Mī.
This is an example of what a full chinese name looks like, this is Gāo Shào Mī.
even know who their fathers were. This motherly time period was the 21st century in BC. It continued like this until ruler Fu Xi Shi made the rules of marriage, “Children started recognizing their fathers and they began to bear their fathers surnames,” (Chung Yoon 2). From then on, the traditional Chinese tradition is for children to take their fathers name, like in America. Now, Chinese family names are always passed from father to child. After marriage, women usually retain their birth surname. Now we’ve established Chinese surnames, we can see how children get their given baby names.

Naming Children in China is a very important step. Children are named after the expectations from their parents. Parents name their children with different categories in mind, like honorable accomplishments, school success and brains, beauty and good health, social and finical standing, a safe and non dramatic life, and the power of a strong spirit and independence. Those are the expectation they are supposed to live by, “As the name stays with the person through out his or her life, it serves to remind him of what his parents expect of him,” (Chinese Baby Names 1). Also, children could be named after a specific family member, meaning their parent wants them to live like that family member. Names are only ever repeated by a complete accident, the Chinese want their names to be entirely unique. Also, unlike our country, in China people do not have middle names. They state their surnames first, then their given name. The Chinese have a whole different system with their names.

In the Chinese tradition people have surnames and clan names, were a motherly society, and are now a fatherly society, and have great names with expectations in mind. So maybe next time a baby is due in your family, instead of just looking for a cute name, try finding a meaningful name, like the great Chinese tradition.

Arranged MarriageCarrie

The Chinese culture has used arranged marriages for many centuries. An
arrange marriage is when someone other than the two people getting wed makes the
decision for both of them to get married. In Chinese family life it is apart of their culture
to engage in arranged marriages. The importance of this practice can be illustrated
This is a picture of a Chinese wedding dress.
when one examines its purpose, its process, results.
Getting married is the most important thing in Chinese culture. It does not matter
if you found your other half. Even if you have fallen in love you may still be put in an
arrange marriage.
The two people that know their child best is the parents. That is why most
This is a picture of Chinese wedding rings.

arrange marriages work out. In China they have a less divorce rate then in America.
“The argument is that because parents know their children best and have the wisdom
and where withal to select the best candidate the marriage will benefit from the support
and encouragement of their elders and hence will be durable and permanent.”
The idea of arrange marriages were to make their child have a strong future and
a strong union. With this idea families will be healthy, happy, and strong.
Arrange marriages were very popular in Chinese culture, and family life. It was
also a big part of their history.

This is a  picture of a typical wedding cake.
This is a picture of a typical wedding cake.


  • "Arranged Marriages." China Travel Guide. 1 Mar. 09
  • Effects of one child rule. (Online Image) Available paradoxhtm/girlchild.htm
  • Girls in Adoption. (online Image) Available. CBNnews/153682.aspx
  • "One-Child Policy." One-Child Policy. 10 Mar. 2009. 7 Mar.2009
  • The Origin of Chinese Surnames. 5 Oct. 2001. China Vista. 1 Mar. 2009