Monday, October 10, 2011

Mandarin Mondays: 很大

Rural meets City
Because of China's national day this month, we're learning more about this fascinating country, and I'll be sharing some of the facts we've learned each Monday.

This week we've been learning about how big China is. China is a very large (hěn dà, 很大) country. It is in fact the biggest country, in regards to amount of people. China is the world's most populous country with over 1.3 billion people. They have a saying here, people mountain people sea (rén shān rén hǎi, 人山人海), meaning sometimes it looks like there is a mountain of people and sometimes it looks like there is a sea of people. However much of China is not densely populated; the rural areas are still quite open and spacious. But if you are in a popular place in a big city, you can feel like you've suddenly become part of a mountain (shān, ) or sea (hǎi, ) because of people (rén, ).

Construction Downtown
China is also big in the amount of land it covers, approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3.7 million square miles). China is 3rd or 4th in the world in total land area, depending on how it is calculated. The People Republic of China is a single party state governing 22 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 directly controlled municipalities, and 2 colonies.

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