Discussion » Chinese Language & Culture » 老外眼中的东西方文化差异

  • Clarissa
    Clarissa wrote:
    这是我的加拿大朋友写下的。他在亚洲国家生活了数年,经历了很多cultural shock.可能正如我们去西方要经历cultural shock 一样。

    他眼中的中国人和加拿大人的差别:
    1. Attitude toward wealth/prosperity

    China: poverty a 'recent memory' for many
    strongly oriented toward accumulation of wealth
    disiplined savers
    Canada: poverty a 'distant memory' for many
    only slightly oriented toward accumulation of wealth, since government
    provides basic needs to all
    liberal use of credit; many Candadians are in heavy debt despite wealth

    2. Leisure
    China: Leisure 'optional' after basic needs are taken care of and large
    savings are accumulated.
    Canada: Leisure a 'human right' the goal of earning money is to spend it on
    leisure (travel, sports, vacation, house, etc)

    3. Food
    China: 'live to eat': food is a central disucssion topic and meal times are
    religiously adhered to
    standard greeting: have you eaten lately
    Canada: "eat to live" food is seldom talked about
    standard greeting:'nice day, eh?" or "cold enough" (meaning: how will
    the weather affect leisure?"

    4. Cultural identity
    China: cultural identity rooted in China's long history and beautiful written
    language
    pround of history + language
    Canada: cultural identity rooted in georgraphy(short 100 year history);
    obsessed with what Big Brother thinks of us
    proud of geography

    5. Future
    China: Strongly oriented to the future: willing to sacrifice now for tomorrow
    Canada: strongly oriented to the now: unwilling to sacrifice today for tomorrow


    6. Class structure
    China: visible class divisions
    deference to authority and leadership
    success achieved by paying respect + giving 'face' to leaders.

    Canada:few visible class divisions; critical of outward signs of wealth
    suspicious and critical of authority and leadership
    success achieved by 'going your own way' against leaders

    7. Relationsip(guan xi)
    China: being 'well-connected' is vital for success
    merit not as important as relationship
    it is not what you know, it is who you know
    Canada: people admire the 'self made man'who succeeds on his own
    success more related to merit than being 'well-connected'
    it is not who you know, it is what you know.
  • NN
    NN wrote:
    Well wrote!
    "Have u eaten lately" is quite impressed,but I think is sort of similar to your western guys say "What is the weather like today?"
  • anita sønsterud
    thank you for sharing!!
  • wrote:
    So, you have to wait for another 100 years to meet the great change in China, you have to have enough patience, hehe.

    I do not care, because I will die at that time.
  • anita sønsterud
    Sun,u r always like that sharp!!!
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahahaha ... Clarissa, I am curious:

    1. what were your Canadian friend doing when he/she was in China?
    2. And where did you Canadian friend live? Which province? Which city?
    3. And most importantly, what group or category of people did he/she mix with?

    For (3), my rough guess would be:
    - middle-to-upper income bracket
    - perhaps only business or company leaders, with good "connections" via family and friends
    - middle-to-old age, because most young people I know, dont fit (1) and (2)
    - well educated (both school and family)

    Would that be about correct?
  • Minger
    Minger wrote:
    Clarissa, thanks for sharing. I pretty much agree with it all (just for mainlanders, I wouldn't make any comment if it's intended to evaluate any other cultures.)

    Uncle D, why do you feel Clarissa's stereotypes don't fit for most young people? I think they do although not quite so directly. Young people may not have firsthand experience with being in extreme poverty, but their parents did, and it still affects how they were raised and their attitude towards money.

    Since the parents experienced real poverty and don't want their kids to, the kids are spoiled rotten and waste their parents money on clothes or traveling without understanding the value of it. BUT, once they get out of school and work, they still share rent in 1,000 rmb or lower places outside the city, sacrificing leisure and lifestyle for savings, in order to buy a flat in Beijing by the young age of 60. Actually, most of the exceptions I know to this in Beijing are the ones who's families are well off enough that the kids don't have to learn the value of money ever. They behave much more like us North Americans.

    I don't think the attitudes towards savings and leisure are anything to do with culture though, I think they're just due to how many generations people are away from poverty. In China it's zero or one, except for certain people who work in the or left the country at sensitive times in history. My great grandparents and grandparents (1st and 2nd generation impoverished immigrants) behaved exactly the same way. My parents and my own generation though, being one or two degrees removed, behave much less "Chinese".
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahahaha ... Ming, do you suppose your sampling might be a bit too small?

    Even if we exclude the "filthy rich 2nd gen", there is still a certain population of post 80 and post 90, brought up in fairly well off families as the only child, and these "kids" would certainly have no awareness of poverty ... in Chinese, 饭来张口, 衣来伸手...

    The group you were talking about, is often referred to as the "Ant Tribe" and their life style is not by choice ... also, if we consider a 2M yuan flat, 30% down payment is more than half a million, and for people making 2000 yuan per month, even making the down payment is an impossible dream ...




  • Minger
    Minger wrote:
    DD, I'm sure my sampling might be more than just a bit too small...
    It's really hard for me to figure out what might be the true "middle class" here. I tend to classify people making over 50,000 a month (salary or "gifts") as flat out rich, because it's such a small fraction.

    I was thinking more the young people making ~10k a month though. Their parents usually knew poverty, but the kids didn't. IMO they still mostly live in Tongzhou or Xierqi or some other place impossibly far from the city in a shared flat so that they can save up money.

    Although really, no matter what people make, I don't imagine most younger people ever buying a flat here without using their parents money...

    In the demography you described, you don't think the kids learn saving habits from their parents?
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahahaha ... gotta rush, so I will just leave a mark here for now, and then get back to you later, otherwise this thread might sink so far below the surface that it becomes a national treasure :)
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahahaha ... I am back, and I want to be bad ...

    Last checked, people making 100k per year (as a single person) is considered "middle class" in Beijing, but for a second-tier ot third-tier city, it is supposed to be "well off" ... and I have also heard someone also said that a couple (or a young family with or without kid) having a total of 100k per year is considered middle class as well ... so the definition varies, and as far as I am concerned, the amount of RMB in the bank account is the most practical ... heehee ...

    About your 10k "margin" ...

    A lot have changed since I came to BJ in 2006, and people making 10k (to, say 20k) per montn include a lot of BJ home grown as well as people "imported" from other provinces, and the diversity of background is really wide ... FYI, I have in fact met someone here from WLIB making less than 2k per month but came from a very well off family, and has no idea how to save money ... so I conclude that it is difficult to say whether 10k per month can be used to "determine" whether a person grew up in a poor family or not ...

    Deeaming the impossible ... i.e.buying an apartment ...

    You were correct that for the majority younger than 30 to ever own an apartment, it will need to be a "joint" effort, either as a couple and/or with help from either parents ...

    About the two groups of people I had discussed ...

    The first one can afford to save but dont know how to or dont care about it ... and the second, they know how to save, but cannot afford to ...
  • Minger
    Minger wrote:
    uhm... what were we talking about?
  • Linda Marie Hylander
  • kö
    wrote:
    老外 还总是觉得 中国女人很open····
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahahaha ... allow me ...

    ... we were talking about saving habits of young people in China
    ... we were talking about what is considered "middle class", and what is considered "rich", or sort of talking about it
    ... we were talking about people living in cheap housing, saving to buy their own future home, as impossible as it might actually be in this life time
  • Minger
    Minger wrote:
    Oh.
    So we weren't talking about how open we think Chinese girls are?
    ^-^
    If I'm not mistaken, one of your initial points is that most young people you know actually do fun things and don't save money, rather than living like a slave to buy a house, right?
    Could you introduce me? I don't know anyone who does fun things.
    Well, maybe that's because I'm working like a slave too and am not such a fun person myself...
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahaha ... doing fun things and save money at the same time? I dont think I had said that, did I? hahaha ... just come to the forum, that's fun things and save money :)
  • Minger
    Minger wrote:
    Yeah, this is probably the most entertainment I have...
    I'm not sure I still fit the profile of Canadian anymore.
  • TOTORO
    TOTORO wrote:
    Miranda Hu wrote: Posted 3 weeks ago 老外 还总是觉得 中国女人很open···

    因为有些女孩特别张开...



    反正加拿大是老外之乡?
    有意思....
    最多中国人的国家就是加拿大,最融资得到护照就是加拿大...don't shit where you eat ;=)

Please login to post a reply to this thread.

WeLiveInBeijing

WeLiveInBeijing.com is a social community for people living in or traveling to Beijing.

Powered by: Bloc