Culture: Culture and Chinese People Essays

Submitted By Smiles1989
Words: 810
Pages: 4

When studying abroad, traveling in a foreign country or just learning a foreign language, we may come across a large number of culture differences. They are so inevitable in all aspects of social life. Without culture awareness of those differences, embarrassment or misunderstandings will occur. Take England for example, cultures differ a lot compared to those of our country. In terms of utterances, in order to praise the one who works so hard and is so powerful, Chinese people will say he works like a cow while the English tend to use the phrase “he works like a horse” or “as strong as a horse”. To the best of my belief, the reason for that was so simple: In ancient times, Chinese people used cows in cultivation but English people used horses instead. Another example is that English people can call the name of the seniors directly to address them while in China it’s considered rude and offensive. In addition, English people address people mostly with “Mr.”, “Mrs.” or “Ms” together with their family name, no matter who he is or what social status he possesses. However, Chinese people like to address people with both their family name and titles, for example “Director Lee”, “Engineer Chen”, to show respect. We must be aware of these differences so that we can have better communications with foreigners, otherwise a cultural gap will form. When it comes to dealing with privacy, English and Chinese hold different perspectives. English people think private information such as age, marriage, career and so on as something that they should keep to themselves and others do not have the right to interfere with. While with an attempt to greet or to show concerns, Chinese people like to ask others about their family, occupation, etc. and they feel comfortable when being asked such questions because they like to be concerned by others. When hearing words like “You are fat”, “You are thin” or “You don’t look healthy”, English people feel embarrassed. These kinds of words can’t express concerns for him or her, rather, they may be interpreted as impoliteness. England is a country that individualism prevails. English people are encouraged to develop self-confidence, to speak up or even to show up in public. Freedom, individual participation are emphasized in this country. On the contrary, Chinese people are taught to emphasize collectivism. They are always modest, courtesy and tend to keep silent when they have ideas. These differences in both cultures, which are so obvious, also lead to differences in personalities of English and Chinese. As the saying goes, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Therefore, it’s better to wipe off the habit of being modest and express your ideas bravely. When it comes to the reasons of values on individualism and collectivism, which is contradicted to each other, I’d like to mention two main reasons. Firstly, the location. England is surrounded by oceans and it certainly forms an open culture, which encourages exploration. Therefore, English people tend to be competitive and independent. On the contrary, China formed an inland culture which values conservativeness and cooperation.