Today, the way of life in China is not different at all from that anywhere else in the world due to Western influence. You can see in China today modern apartment complexes and towering high-rise buildings as well as modern style homes. Clothing in China is very similar to that of the Western culture now.
However, tradition still lingers in all Chinese households and societies all over the world. In older neighborhoods, rural mud and straw houses can still be seen, and in rural areas the traditional ways of life is still very alive. And although the way of life now is much modernized, traditional values of family importance and reputation is still felt by all families.
Today, the Chinese live in smaller family units, usually only with parents and children, and sometimes grandparents. Almost all adults have a job, male or female. In many families, grandparents look after the house and children during the day, and more and more children attend nursery schools and kindergartens so that mothers can be free to work.
Today, girls as well as boys are valued. Women now do many kinds of work outside the home. Many young households share in the shopping, housecleaning, cooking and caring for the children to show that they believe the sexes are equal. Some of the older generations may still show slight hope for a grandson or great-grandson and disappointment if the outcome is a granddaughter, but in the end they love and value each with equality. However, equality between the sexes is more widely accepted in the cities than in the countryside.
Relationships have become more democratic as parents no longer expect their children to show unquestioning obedience; however, most Chinese parents today, although much more lenient and reasonable, are still strict and expect a good deal of respect. As for marriage, young people today generally choose their own marriage partners on the basis of shared interests and mutual attraction. However, parents still play a role in arranging some marriages, especially in rural areas. Any couple today would at least consult their parents about such a major decision.