2015-03-28 12:48:30评论 文化 国际 外国人 中国人


Thearticle named What China Gets Right aboutRelationships written by Sam Massie reminds meof the Quora question – a classical one – about the opinion aboutChina and Chinese people. Well, obviously, the answer won’t be thesame if you ask different people. Here, I want to discuss thisquestion with all of you.


Now,let’s imagine that we are going to have an interview about theopinion about China and Chinese people. To me,the interviewees can beclassified into two groups: those who know not much or have a verybasic idea about China; and those who understand the Chineseculture very well.


To thosewho have never been to China or have never got any chance to get toknow the Chinese culture and people, it’s very easy for them toreach some stereotypicalconclusions about China andChinese people:


“When Iwas child, I was taught to be careful around Chinese people, thatthey were the type that smiled whenoffended because they'll stab you in the back(literally andfiguratively) in revenge, that theyvalued money over human life, that that was motive for all theiractivities.” – Quora User


Thisanswer provides us, if I can say so, a racist’s stereotype ofChinese people (though there is no denying that some of ourfellow-citizens just behave so, which always makes me feelashamed).


Ofcourse, some people do have a vague idea about China – a longhistory, a huge population, the Great Wall, Panda Express,festivals, tea, kung fu movies, karate (oops it’sJapanese), cheap and bad clothes (oh, no… and I’m afraid they’renot really cheap), the manufacturing power, a very large internalmarket, and hardworking (yes, especially high schoolstudents).


All ofthese are rather simple and general.


Bycontrast, to those what we call a China hand, it is quite obviousthat the word “Chinese” bears much more.


Intoday’s ever globalized world, more and more foreign friendsare becoming more and more interested inChinese culture. They learn the Chinese language, make Chinesefriends, watch Chinese movies and TV series, and pay visits or evenmove to China.


Theyunderstand the differences between the oriental and the occidental,and they could see through the appearance.


Just aswhat Sam Massie has recognized, maybe in many cases, the firstimpression of some Westerners about China is no more than rudeness,but it is actually not that simple. What should be highlighted hereis thein-group / out-group effects. I think he is right ofsaying that “rudeness to strangers is the flipside of deep bondswith loved ones”.


I alsofeel happy that he understands the generosity and other goodqualities of Chinese people: the emphasis on action rather thanwords, introversion and sincerity, as well asthe intimacy of friendshipand so on.


To me, nomatter what the Westerners’ opinions are, what really matters ishow we behave and the way we treat others. What’s youropinion?





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