Sometimes I can’t help but agree with the notion that eastern and western cultures are quite different. From my personal experiences I have depicted a few of the differences I’ve seen. The blue image on the left represents the west while the red one on the right represents the east. Let me know how much they align with your own experiences!
I have to admit that Chinese people always take pictures or selfies when travelling. This habit can’t be denied. However, my Belgian friend never brings his camera while travelling in China. He also refused to take picture with others for most of the time he was here (his parents are Chinese so he’d been in China many times before. Maybe this is not a good example.) What about you? Are you capturing every moment with your camera or do you take the moment in when traveling?
2. Meals in a day
Chinese people barely eat cold foods for meals; at least it’s true for me (maybe it’s because I’m old…)
During the summer, when the weather is still hot, Chinese people sometimes eat something cold as a meal but mostly for lunch. Dinner is quite important in Chinese culture and it is the most plentiful meal in a day, therefore something cold can’t be the main course. As for breakfast, there are so many kinds, but they are all hot, like buns, noodles, and soybean milk.
In China, no girls would like to tan during the summer. You can find girls under umbrellas or in big hats to escape from the sun. I told a driver once when it was raining that I didn’t want to take my umbrellas with me and that I didn’t care if I tanned. The driver then said: It’s easy to know that you are single… See the importance of an umbrella in the summer? It is absolutely a compliment if you tell a Chinese girl that her skin is very light.
4. Attitude towards weather
I guess that in Beijing the pollution has greater influence than the rain. But since everyone is wearing a mask no one shows any expressions on their face. Here in Beijing, we all get happy when it rains because that means the rain will flush out the particles in the air.
5. Daily life of seniors
I’ve met several grandfathers who learned how to drive so that they can deliver their grandchildren to the school. It is true that most grandparents would love to or have to help to take care of the grandchildren. Typically, young parents have to work and are always too busy to accompany their children, especially during the summer vacation and winter vacation. Fortunately, grandparents are more than happy to raise the little ones. If Chinese seniors don’t need to take care of their grandchildren, then most of them would raise a dog. The majority of people walking dogs on the street are seniors.
I’m not much of a partier so I didn’t know a lot about parties, but I feel like the image above describes typical high school parties in both cultures.
See? We do have a tradition of partying. Parties for adults won’t be the same as that of young people, and there seems to be a shift in China where young people prefer western style parties. This difference may soon be quite small in the future. One thing is for certain, Chinese people will try everything to be not alone at party, which doesn’t and won’t change at all.
7. Being punctual
There are simply too many factors to consider when talking about being punctual. Traffic jams are typically the best excuse in large cities like Beijing, and it is a fact that no one can estimate the time it will take to get through rush hour. Personally speaking, I believe in arriving 5-10 minutes early to be polite and respectful, however others fell that being 5-15 minutes late can be forgiven.
Like other Chinese people I take a shower every day after I get off from work, sometime between 9 or 10 in the evening. I personally feel that it is best to take a shower at night because my home is cleaner than outside so I want to be clean before going to bed. (This is also in part the reason for which Chinese people change shoes when going back home or to others’ home.)