If you are in China and want to live an authentic Chinese life with local people, KTV is one of the places to be. Karaoke is a really famous activity among Chinese people, and experiencing it with locals can help you to get closer with them and enjoy parties that are totally different from western culture.
If you speak Chinese and immerse yourself with the people, often times you’ll realize that they come to accept you as part of their group. Singing karaoke is one of the activities that will help you discover unique things about Chinese culture. If you haven’t experienced karaoke parties in China yet, here are 6 interesting facts to know about KTV:
1. KTV IS OPEN 24/7
Most of the KTV places in China never close. Most Chinese people go there during the evening around 8 or 9 pm. However, since this is the most popular time slot, prices are also the most expensive. This is why some people would wait until midnight to go there since the rooms become cheaper. It is also normal for Chinese people of any age to go to KTV during afternoons to enjoy singing sessions while eating snacks and drinking tea.
If you heard about people singing at KTV during the morning, it could well be people that have been singing all night long and that are just not ready to go home yet.
2. Sometimes, you should be prepared to drink a lot of alcohol
It is part of the Chinese culture, especially among Chinese men, to drink beer or Baijiu when gathering with friends and family during hotpot dinner or KTV sessions. So be ready to 干杯gān bēi (drink up). It is part of Chinese culture to toast with people that are with you in order to make them feel that you consider them and care about them. If someone toasts with you ten times in ten minutes, just go with it and drink up ten times.
3. Average karaoke sessions can last 4 hours
Short singing sessions only exist in mini karaoke booths that you find in Chinese shopping malls. However, when going to KTV with your friend, average singing sessions will usually last for four hours or more. It is then important for you to learn more than just one or two Chinese songs, so don’t forget to prepare yourself (here are some famous Chinese songs that will make you a superstar during KTV parties). 4 hours may sound too much, but time actually flies in those karaoke rooms.
4. KTV rooms provide a lot of more than just a singing room
Chinese young people love playing drinking games that may require different things such as cards, dice, tissues and other objects that make the party crazier. This is why KTV places offer all of these things in one single room. While one or two people are singing, the others are usually playing drinking games. They also provide free snacks and fruits that are included in the price. If some people want to eat more, they can order many choices of good cuisine such as beef noodles,
5. Nobody cares how bad you sing
There is no need to be shy or ashamed. Singing at KTVs is not a Chinese version of the X-Factor contest. They don’t care about how bad you sound. The most important thing is that you are having fun and that you don’t forget to toast with your friends and play drinking games. In addition, your local friends would be so proud to hear a foreign friend singing songs in their mother tongue.
6. You may sometimes sing and drink for free
Sometimes, some of your friends call you and ask you to join them in a KTV party already occurring where there are a lot of people that you don’t know. What may happen is that you arrive at the party, sing, drink and go home, without knowing who’s the generous person that paid for everyone. Once again, this is part of Chinese culture; Chinese people don’t really like to pay separately, so when going out with their friends, they would rather take turns to invite everyone when going out eating, drinking or singing.
Other interesting facts:
- China holds the record for the longest karaoke session with 456 hours, two minutes and five seconds (that’s 19 days!) and a record 6,281 karaoke songs sung.
- You can find mini karaoke booths in shopping malls and enjoy short singing sessions. Last year, already 20,000 of them were implemented throughout China and made a profit of 3.18 billion yuan (US$470 million).
Karaoke is a huge thing in China. Chinese people from any age love to gather together and enjoy hours of sessions where they can sing, laugh and eat all at the same time. It is definitely a must-do when going to China since it is part of the Chinese culture. It is also an amazing way to get closer to your friends and create strong bonds.
What do you think about Chinese KTV parties? Have you ever participated? What are your best memories?