Discussion » Nonsense » Gaps between Chinese and Foreigners

  • 芝芝
    芝芝 wrote:
    Have you felt any? I feel this a lot at work place, like in a group event, Chinese talk to Chinese, foreigners talk to foreigners- gaps are obvious. It is hard to mingle with a "foreign" group, even though you know you are working in the same place...
  • 芝芝
    芝芝 wrote:
    According to a friend, this is what they call "pecking order"
  • Saint - Spartacus
    the humor,
    so culture cap, history cap,
    depends you want to be a fake or a true Clown
    the point is be apart of ,fundamentally.
    include emotion Release
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahahaha ... most Chinese that I have met, in Australia anyway, often told me that they dont know what's all the fuzz about cricket, the game ... just 13 men (2 batsmans and 11 from the other team) standing on the field all day long, under the torching summer sun, and most of them are not even running, why?

    I cannot explain it, but when someone hits a four or a six (similar to a home run in baseball), or when the batsman was balled out, or caught, or just run out, there is often a natural high on the ground ...

    Having said all that, what I wanted to say is that in order to mix with an "alien" group, one needs to learn to appreciate everything (at least shows some interest) about that group, regardless of the skin color or language ...

    Due to the nature of my job, I have to mix and mingle, but I suck at it ... e.g. someone asked me to go out to meet people from this site (in real life), but I resisted, not only because of the smoking and drinking, perhaps more about my own stubbornness and my lack of understanding of the humor I have seen ...

    Anyway, to answer the question(s) here ...
    1. be prepared (and have an open mind) for any cultural shock
    2. listen but dont talk until you are expected to (if you are trying to join an alien group for the first time, you probably dont know much about their habits and usual conversation topics, so not talking is usually best)
    3. ask questions when you dont understand (but be smart about it, or feel free to ask stupid questions if your objective is, like me-self, to act crazy and stupid)
    4. dont daydream when you cannot follow the conversation, you probably need to have a break or you just dont fit in this group, and most importantly ...
    5. smile, but dont show your teeth and definitely dont grin ... unless you are joining the circus, otherwise idiotic grinning is difficult to be understood ...

    Needs more coffee ...
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    PS. If you dont like a particular group, dont fake it or act it, instead, stay away from it ...
  • pommie
    pommie wrote:
    That’s not what “pecking order” means. I don’t know the term for what you are describing but it’s more like “birds of a feather flock together”.

    Also, only Chinese people have the idea of all foreigners together vs all Chinese.

    There is no “foreign land” where they talk “foreign speak” and eat “foreign food” together.

    Of course, English speakers find it easier and more comfortable to talk to other English speakers. French speakers find it easier and more comfortable to talk to other French speakers.

    In a large social group women tend to gather with other women. Young people gather with other young people.

    I don’t think it’s a conscious thing. It just take more effort to mingle with people different to yourself. The people who do cross the divide tend to have better social skills.
  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:
    Gaps betw,een Chinese and Foreigners? Ahhh..there are gaps between A and B, but what you are asking is related o gaps between to sets. There are tons kinds of Chinese, and "foreigners" come from many many countries, belong to many many culture and sub-culture. Got it? really tired of such a question...
  • MiLo
    MiLo wrote:
    i m sure there is a big huge gap between da fan and the poster of this thread, haha
  • Petter Meisfjordskar
    It is easy so long as you have a common interest.
  • Mathew Abisai
    Mathew Abisai wrote:
    i think the best way is just to appreciate the fact that u r able to be together under a single room, im sure when a foreigner approaches a chinese for help chances are high that he/she will offer the help...same goes vice versa.....its just understood....normally everyone got a self defence mechanism....u chill more with people u are used to or confortable with....its not that u got fear for others oor u r discriminating them or u dnt like them. u do like them but u still havent reached some common grounds yet...if u wanna feel it.....try testing it, to to a group of foreigners and try to talk to them whatever conversation they had they will somehow try to halt it and pay more attention to u.....even if u just intended to engage in a very simple casual conversation....and for some people to be a center of attention its kinda hard, u might justt see him/her fading the conversation and soon u will hear nice meeting you guys.......i remember one day me and my countrymates were in the subway...we were talking about genetics, dna and living longer, and then this other chinese guy joined our discussion with really interesting topics, or points......so all of a sudden my countrymates stopped talking and attentively listened to the guy....somehow i could see the guy was getting a bit uncomfortable because everyone's eyes were on him......so i intelligently created an environment that the guy had a conversation with one person and the rest continued....this show us that once u introduce a different entity in a group it becomes a point of interest, and many people dont really like being on the spot light they just wanna be part of the whole team.....
  • 芝芝
    芝芝 wrote:
    hehe always learn a lot from uncle Ding Dang!

    I think it takes time, and efforts to join any group, especially when they are from a different culture.

    And of course one needs to have an open mind about this, if I am not interested in every topic of this group, then maybe I might just not fit in here.
  • Daniel Kristoffersen
    we can bridge the gap
  • Petter Meisfjordskar
    @Zestxfactor
    Start with me.
  • 芝芝
    芝芝 wrote:
    haha ls , how?
  • くり
    くり wrote:
    DA FAN 曰”Gaps betw,een Chinese and Foreigners? Ahhh..there are gaps between A and B, but what you are asking is related o gaps between to sets. There are tons kinds of Chinese, and "foreigners" come from many many countries, belong to many many culture and sub-culture. Got it? really tired of such a question...“

    AGRRRRRRED.
  • pommie
    pommie wrote:
    "AGRRRRRRED"?

    You got lockjaw mate or what?
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahahaha ... mate, he had trouble typing ... maybe he has his hands busy?
  • くり
    くり wrote:
    @pomegranate,
    Se lever du pied gauche?

  • pommie
    pommie wrote:
    Sorry, bud. I don't know Paris talk. Seems like you have problems with your Rs though.

    Try this one: “Around the rugged rocks the ragged rascal ran”.
  • pommie
    pommie wrote:
    I take it you don't appreciate the humour, あにき?

    You have a face like stone!
  • くり
    くり wrote:
    no problem with Rs at all and interesting to see that u didnt get it. But indeed i got a problem to understand your humourism, but I guess you´ve already heard that many times, after primary school, isnt? ;)

  • Minger
    Minger wrote:
    Pinko,
    I agree with you, and I think I'm part of this phenomenon. A few reasons from my point of view:

    - My Chinese is pretty bad, so it's hard to keep up with a conversation held by a group of native speakers
    - I have no interest in saving money to buy a house, eating seafood, buying brand name clothes, KTV, or many other topics that are popular with a lot of Chinese people
    - I am interested in working out, martial arts, snowboarding, hiking, eating foreign foods, being extremely sarcastic, and other topics that are not popular with a lot of Chinese people (at least not where I work)
    - I can understand the Chinese spoken by most foreigners, because they speak slower and have a similar vocabulary to mine
    - More of my interests tend to be shared by foreigners rather than local Chinese. At a minimum, we can always discuss all the things about Beijing that are notably different from wherever we're from, which is enough foundation to establish a not entirely superficial conversation over an extended period of time.

    I guess these are all pretty basic, understandable reasons. In the states, most (non-local) Chinese people tend to group together too, presumably for inverse reasons to what I mentioned above. It is different for the Chinese people who grew up in the states, and I imagine it is also different for the non-Chinese ethnics who grow up here (although there are almost none right now).
  • Peter Baird
    Peter Baird wrote:
    There is one place there are no gaps between Chinese and foreigners-the subway! Not many gaps to be found there at all.
  • Kodi
    Kodi wrote:
    @Peter: You beat me to the clever comment about eliminating gaps between foreigners and Chinese! HAHA

    My friends tell me more and more that I am becoming Chinese and that I have certain Chinese qualities, however my OS is still American. Obvious differences in philosophy I cannot seem to reconcile with my thoughts. I have an intense interest in learning about China and making it my home base on Earth. I am sure the gaps between some people and Chinese are smaller or larger depending on the particular case.

    Remove the gaps between foreigners and Chinese, "Hug a Chinese or a foreigner today!"
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahahaha ... Kodi, you will need to run very quickly if you hug the wrong person ...
  • Undermoonlight
    ...It's a gradual process...I mean, how can you expect some Chinese people who have never talked to foreigners to be suddenly eloquent and interesting in the on-line community...allow them to observe and learn...however, the open attitude should be much appreciated...
  • Undermoonlight
    ..by the way, what's wrong with this website tonight?...i've posted several comments, but only this one can be seen?...I don't like to say or type the same thing for the second time...but perhaps no one cares...
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Oh? I just came home and online ... and everything is OK ...
  • Undermoonlight
    ...So it's just periodical spasms...haha...
  • 芝芝
    芝芝 wrote:
    thank you 莫明

    your words are really inspiring. actually that's what I've been thinking too. but that's like a kind of bias that what Chinese are interested in wouldn't interest foreigners, and what foreigners like wouldn't be popular among Chinese. when you are holding such bias, it is difficult to melt into a group, or welcome a *different people* into your group.

    Maybe most people are not cool enough, including myself.
  • Minger
    Minger wrote:
    Pinko,
    I wouldn't say it's necessarily a bias, at least in my case. It's just that it has turned out that (by the numbers) more foreigners have things in common with me here than Chinese people do. It is certainly not the case that I don't welcome Chinese friends, or that they do not welcome me.

    It is definitely a case of me not being cool enough though, since I should try harder to fit into the local society, try the cicada cocoons, learn to enjoy ktv, etc. Characters are formed when we're relatively young though. Although I grew up with a relatively international group of friends, I didn't have money and I didn't get to travel. Thus I'm somewhat ingrained with relatively American tastes that differ from a lot of Chinese.
    As I mentioned, Chinese who move to the states are pretty much the same way. Those who move there young enough fit into society very well, but those who don't move there until college or later tend to remain more comfortable with the chicken feet than with sports.
  • 芝芝
    芝芝 wrote:
    hmmm...
    but then it comes to my original question, people from different culture, is it really impossible to fill the gaps?

    maybe those who are willing to try harder have luck, but they might need a strong attraction to the different culture, which could be the driven force.

    For me, so far, I don't have a strong attraction, but I do want to make more friends from different countries.
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahahaha ... Pinko, did you enjoy the girls' night out last night? How was it?

    Before one could have "attraction", there has to be some curiosity ... why do they dress like this ... why do they talk like this ... how could they eat this ... what else do they do in their spare time ... etc ... and then if something like "wow, that seems interesting" come up, then there is "attraction" ...

    In your case, you might just be curious ... so my advice is to observe and ask questions in order to learn more, even try to be involved, but if you dont like it, dont pretend just for the reason of staying in the group, because living a lie and then get caught is far worse than telling the truth ...
  • 芝芝
    芝芝 wrote:
    hehe thanks it was ok. we went to the tree and got the dirty look from the waitress, probably because we are not foreigners.

    you are right, the reason I can't involve probably is because it doesn't interest me enough. I like certain group, but when I talk to them I found their lives are just like that, not intereting to me that much.

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahahaha ... "we went to the tree and got the dirty look from the waitress, probably because we are not foreigners" ... what kind of dirty look? I wonder if the waitress might have some other dirty ideas in her mind ...

    It's perfectly OK if you are not interest, because then you dont need to waste time and effort ... one must know oneself and then be honest to oneself, otherwise, what's the point of telling the truth?
  • 芝芝
    芝芝 wrote:
    but I am working in a foreign company! I am surrounding by foreigners, that's why I want to "mingle"with them。。。
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Well, that makes some difference to the approach, because in this case, you cannot just simply walk away if you dont like it ...

    I dont know about the culture of your company or your colleagues, but my advice is to be honest up front, and tell them what you like and what you dont like ... e.g. if you dont drink, tell them ... if you have special diet habits (just as an example), tell them ...

    However, if you dont understand their jokes, you will need to be selective when you tell them, and whom you tell ... it is usually best you ask one (and only one) person in private ... if you ask in front of everyone because everyone gets the joke except you, they might give you that special blank stare, and if you do it a few more times, you might get the isolation treatment ...

    By the way ... to understand a joke is about understanding a particular culture, it's a learning curve ...

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