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Contrasting Chinese and Western Culture

Chinese society generally, has figured out how to stay separate from the western world, furthermore a significant part of the “mixing” that has occurred in different societies and nations because of the west’s impact. The present time is just the second time in China’s history that it has ‘opened up’. The first being the Yuan administration which was of Mongolian influence.

The second timeframe could apparently be said to be amid the frontier “occupation” of Shanghai, yet even that was just geological and not across the board, so it’s flawed whether this period can be referred to as a case.

The third and current time of Chinese society opening up to western impact was by Deng Xiao Ping with his ‘open-entryway’ arrangement impelled in 1978. However, this time, the thought process was different. He described his phylosophy through a metaphor of a white and a black cat. They may be different colors, but they still are valuable if they catch mice. By this Ping meant that no matter the foreign influence of capitalism or traditional Chinese business practices, the goal is to make a profit.

Many foreigners have found Chinese culture confusing. Chinese culture doesn’t hold to principles the same way western culture does. Chinese culture in comparison to western ways of life is much more relaxed and passive while still maintaining a focus in the workplace. This comes from the influence of China’s Taoist religion in mainland China. In the late 1900s, Taoism was deliberately sidelined by China’s communist government.

In a nutshell, Taoism maintains the principle of flexibility in the face of all situations. ‘Be like water’ is one of the guiding principles taught in Taoism.

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These Taoism principles have been applied to Chinese culture:

Money:
Within a Chinese family moves like a circle. It moves from parents to children, and then back again from the children to their parents when they’ve grown older and are working. In western culture, for the most part, money moves downwards, and it’s not considered any child’s responsibility to be financially responsible for any parent. Westerners are more reliant on retirement funds, pensions, and savings to support themselves in their old age.

Individualism:
Individualism valued greatly and promoted in the majority of western cultures. Possibly due to the education system requiring the student to have and express their ideas and opinions. A person with creativity and analytical ability is usually more productive and useful to western society. In China, however, and in some ways Chinese culture itself, individualism can be seen as a threat to ‘the greater good.’

Communication:
Any form of communication within Chinese culture that may be likely to cause offense or loss of face will be mostly indirect and filled with non-committal responses. However, what constitutes ‘offense’ in Chinese culture, is not necessarily equal to what causes offense in most western based cultures.

For example, sometimes in China saying to a male “Wow, you’re fat,” can be perfectly acceptable depending on the situation and individuals involved. Obesity can sometimes be viewed in a positive light. An individual who has gained a lot of weight has had access to an excess of food because they have been very wealthy. Mainland Chinese almost never consider the idea of obesity due to poor genetics.

Thought-Process:
The associated imagery and thought-process of a mainland-born Chinese can be vastly different to most other countries. One reason is due to cultural differences, history, and literature. For example, Ten years ago, if you asked a Chinese person what a monkey eats, he would probably reply by suggesting a peach.

Most often, people showing an interest in becoming involved in Chinese dating are advised to learn about the culture and society of this ancient nation. However, not many people seem aware of the fact that Chinese culture, like most other cultures across the globe, has undergone drastic changes in the past couple of decades. That is why a majority of people seeking information about Chinese culture tend to end up gathering knowledge about the rituals, traditions and customs that have long ceased to be followed by these oriental people. For men and women seeking a Chinese life mate or dating partner, it is vital to gather information about the culture that is prevalent in the Chinese society.

A lot of people are surprised to learn that modern Chinese culture is an amalgamation of various global cultures and the best aspects of traditional customs. Even though western culture and society highly influence the lifestyle of most modern day Chinese youngsters, they still have great respect and regard for their ancient morals and value systems. That is perhaps why, even though these youngsters are willing to experiment with relationships while using Chinese dating sites, they still believe in the concept of remaining faithful to their life mate for life once they become involved in a committed relationship.

The influence of other global cultures on Chinese people has helped in bringing out the best in them. This is evident on online Chinese dating websites as well, where the Chinese females, who were once considered to be too reserved and submissive have become confident enough to hold intellectual discussions with their dating partners on a broad range of subjects. Not only are the Chinese natives using online dating sites more confident and outspoken but their outlook towards this modern method of finding love has also changed significantly. Being significant differences in ancient and modern Chinese culture can prove extremely helpful for individuals seeking success in online dating and finding Chinese life mate.

Dressing:
There are many different ways to dress in traditional Chinese dresses with a modern twist, such as a Cheongsam dress or a Mao suit. The Cheongsam is a traditionally designed dress that originated back in the seventeenth century. The original concept of this dress was vast and oversized, with a high neck and a straight lined skirt. The dress would cover the body head to toe, leaving only the head, hands, and feet exposed. The dresses were typically ornately designed with detailed embroidery and made from luxurious silk. It is possible to order modern versions of these dresses, including an updated sleeveless or short sleeved design. Modern versions of Cheongsam dresses are made from the traditional silk as well as a variety of other fabrics.

Cheongsam dresses used to be worn by women on a daily basis. However, now they are more suited for formal or special occasions. They are an ideal choice for a party, wedding, or beauty pageant and are an excellent alternative to wearing a traditional evening gown. A simpler version of the Cheongsam dress design is also a typical uniform for service staff in the hotel or airplane industry in Asian countries. The dress dates back to Manchu’s rule over China. The Banner System put into place during Manchu’s rule divided families into classes and the Cheongsam dress became a symbol for the Manchu women, earning the dress the nickname of the “banner gown.” A male version of the Cheongsam dress was created for men in the early 1900s, and around the same time, the female version of the dress was reinvented in the factories of Shanghai. The dress was extremely popular among the wealthy and famous. A few decades later the popularity of this style of dress had wanted but was still worn by many women in Hong Kong.

Traditional Cheongsam dresses can be found affordably for as little as 100 dollars, though a custom design tailored to fit your body can cost far more. Though online gallery, Chinese clothing are easy to purchase which have the beautiful rich colors and detailed embroidery. The intricate embroidery details found in these traditional dresses are now being incorporated into other styles of clothing such as the Mao suit. A Mao suit is inspired by the design of the Cheongsam dress but is a two piece business suit that is designed for men. Both the Cheongsam dresses are a great way to honor the rich Chinese culture while dressing for a formal occasion.

Chinese Beverage:
Chinese traditions are very much different from other countries of the world. Chinese tea, along with its silk and porcelain is just a few articles of trade that reveal the uniqueness of Chinese Culture. Strategically, China has hidden in the boundaries of Siberian winters to its north, heavy rainforests to the South, the great Himalayas Mountain, Gobi and the Taklamakan Desserts. Chinese culture and traditions were developed so rare and distinct because it was made in remoteness from the rest of the world.

There are many aspects of Chinese culture that has long existed in China aside from the renowned Chinese tea traditions. Some these include Chinese martial arts, Chinese cuisine, Chinese paintings, Chinese opera, Chinese Literature and Chinese gardens that have captivated many travelers to go to see China every year.

Among the Chinese Culture mentioned beforehand, Chinese cuisine, Chinese tea beverage and Chinese martial arts have gained vast popularity across the globe. Many people have accepted these cultures and make it also a part their life.

Chinese cuisine is widespread in many countries in Asia, America, Australia, Western Europe and South Africa from China. Chinese food connoisseurs have also spread out in countries like Eastern Europe and South Asia. Examples of well-known Chinese cuisine are American Chinese cuisine and Indian Chinese cuisine modified for local taste.

Chinese tea beverage in many kinds and class has gotten into the interest of many tea consumers all over the world. Chinese Teas are famous for its aromatic aroma, stimulating and comforting effect. With that, tea beverage is among the top 3 beverages in the whole world together with coffee and cocoa. Tea trees from other parts of the world originally came from China either directly or indirectly. For that basis, China is famous as the home of tea.

Along with the popularity of Chinese tea, is the spread out of the Chinese martial arts known as kung fu from the district of China to the regions of Asia and other parts of the world. At the onset, the influence of Chinese martial arts could only be read from books and seen in performance arts in Asia. In recent times, it extended to movies and as a result, it has gained wider audience and influence. Many of the younger generations all over the world have become fascinated by it and included it in their lives in the area of physical fitness training and that of self-defense.Chinese culture is unique and distinct from any other countries and continues to influence even today.

Traditional Chinese culture has a long history and is profound and extensive; the excellent traditional culture has nurtured numerous fine works of art which spread around the world. The aesthetic art of 5000 years of civilization deserves people’s better explore and use. In recent years, clothes design has already begun to emerge in some Chinese-style innovation and interpretation. The constant emergence of Chinese elements gives Chinese traditional culture and exit. No matter popular Chinese style or the revival of Beijing Opera, they all suffice to prove the influence and power of traditional culture on the fashion industry. Using traditional culture to interpret modern fashion, which is probably the breakthrough of the Chinese local brand future road.

Chinese bag culture museum is set up by Red group; there are four exhibition halls in total including case history, legends of 600 years, inclusive world and brands. The purpose is to mine, transmit and develop Chinese traditional aesthetics, adding power for cultural heritage and recovery of Chinese traditional culture, thus rebuilding national confidence through the power of a brand. We can see no matter exquisite wood beads jewelry or cheap bracelets; they are more inclined to have Chinese style.

This is not the first time that Red Valley relates to the heritage of traditional culture. Back in 2009, Red Valley invests to build the first domestic leather museum–Shu He cobbler history gallery. As a new representative of the national leather brand, Red Valley has been committed to exploring leather culture and heritage of outstanding folk arts and seeking correspondence between traditional culture and fashion. The director of Red Valley said “the culture of Chinese bag is extremely rare; it is the cultural heritage of leather culture and history. The pursuit of Red Valley is to build a national leather brand and pass on the culture of leather”.

Culture is the core of the product; the product is the carrier of culture. Compared to traditional hats, clothing, Chinese leather industry develops relatively late. But with the rapid development of a dozen years, China leather manufacturers and the scale of output increase a lot, independent leather brands also begin to be on the stage. Under such circumstance, emphasis on the combination of traditional culture and fashion is a very innovative entry points. The first benefit is to improve the cultural quality of products and exerts great influence on markets by the power of the brand. The second is to narrow the emotional distance between products and domestic consumers because of cultural connection.

The influence of the Chinese culture can be felt throughout Sydney, Australia and it is for this reason that the local Chinese Community created the Chinese Garden in 1988 as a way to not only celebrate, but share their culture with all of the Australia. Chinese landscape architects and gardeners have not only worked hard creating this incredible Chinese garden but maintain it as well.

Creating the perfect balance they used some key elements to create this tranquil and peaceful tourist attraction. Filled with flowing waters, plants from the Orient, as well as stone and architecture they created a lovely garden based on the principles of the Shang Dynasty some 3000 years earlier. The Chinese Garden of Friendship is a smaller version of a private garden taken from this era.

In sharp contrast to a western garden a Chinese garden allows nature to flourish and allows for a more natural looking setting that does not trim or plant in any structure but more allows nature to mold the garden instead of having the gardener mold the plants. It is an exciting adventure filled with winding paths that lead to more spectacular garden views.

The Chinese Friendship Garden is open to the public daily from 9:30am-5pm with the exclusion of Good Friday and Christmas and is situated right next to Chinatown in Darling Harbour making it a marvelous place to come by after shopping in Chinatown and breaking for lunch. The garden is a fantastic place to unwind while experiencing the heart and soul of Chinese culture with the additional features of the Dragon Rock and Wall and naturally the beautiful Twin Pavilion.

Admission to the Chinese Garden is $6 for adults, $3 for minors 14 and under, and $15 for a family of four with an Audio tour available for purchase in English or Mandarin for only an extra $4 per group. Maps of the Gardens in addition to as the Audio Tour can be downloaded free of charge off the web as well.

While there are many incredible things to see and do as a tourist in Sydney, you will find that spending a day learning about the Chinese culture by touring Chinatown and then heading over to the Chinese Friendship Garden can be great fun. This trip combines a fantastic tourist attraction, some shopping, and excellent Chinese Cuisine into one day that is sure to please your entire group. Engulf yourself in Chinese traditions and spend the day out in the Chinatown region of Sydney.

Aside from this form of example, what would be considered a logical thought process in most western educated individuals, is not often followed by a mainland-born Chinese. This is not to say it’s not within the structure of their thoughts, only to say they do not limit themselves to it in thought and communication.

Age and Power:
In Chinese culture, if someone has age or power over you, you are supposed to defer to them in all situations, especially in public. It is just unacceptable for you to contradict them no matter even if you are quite obviously right. If you really must, though, or have the concern to raise, you should only do it in private on a one-to-one basis, and not when anyone else is in earshot.

It was only after the repetition of this that I found the common denominator: Chinese culture is like the layers of an onion, with many layers contradicting the previous layers precepts, but ultimately dependent on the situation at the time, ever flexible depending on priorities at any given moment.

Too many westerns would like to be able to frame Chinese culture with their view and understanding of their culture, but it just doesn’t work; It’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. At best it provides a limited viewpoint, the like of which is diametrically opposed to actual Chinese culture based as it is on situational flexibility.

On the other side, this is the 5 top customs you should know.

As more and more Western-educated Chinese return to the motherland, the opportunities for expats considering a move to the Far East are changing. Rumour has it that so-called ‘expat packages’ is on the way out as the newly-developed China focuses more on employing from within.

So what could this mean for Westerners looking to relocate to the world’s most populous nation? Could the influx of Chinese employees in western companies lead to more Western employees in Chinese companies? Here are a few customs to become familiar with should that be the case:

1. Guanxi

Probably the most difficult Chinese custom for westerners to understand, guanxi, literally translated, refers to a person’s relationships, both personal and professional. However, as a concept guanxi is perhaps best translated as ‘saving face’. It’s decided by things such as age and rank and is the notion of maintaining the view by which others see and judge you; it forms a significant part in many aspects of Chinese culture.

There is a very strict chain of command in the Chinese workplace. Any attempt to circumvent the chain and talk directly to a boss or senior staff member, thus ignoring guanxi, is not only viewed as gross misconduct, but also a blatant show of disrespect to your superiors and can be punishable by termination of the contract.

It can be particularly frustrating when, as a subordinate employee, you are made to take the fall for something that was quite obviously not your fault so that the senior staff is not seen to lose face.

2. Communication

Exchanges in a Chinese company is an entirely different animal to that in the west and often ties in with guanxi, as both are large to do with how colleagues interact among themselves.

For example, the Western cliché of the chat by the water cooler doesn’t apply; in fact, office banter, in general, is more or less non-existent and any attempt to initiate it is often greeted with furrowed brows. It is also not uncommon for colleagues sitting side by side to communicate with each other on a computer – normally via an IM service – rather than actually talking.

In cases of communication, being the foreigner has its advantages as we are more or less left alone to do whatever it is our colleagues think we do. However, this causes a lack of direction, constructive criticism, praise or advice which can sometimes leave you feeling a little isolated.

3. Medical

For many of us the idea of undergoing a medical examination before starting an office job seems a trifle excessive, but in China, you don’t get a choice. Essentially the employer is only looking for any infectious diseases and the like, which I suppose is fair enough.

4. Idiosyncrasies

A Chinese travel guide will say that the people of China have a multitude of quirky habits. These habits also operate in a Chinese office situation, such as everyone eating lunch at their desk or fines for not closing the office door in the proper manner. However, my personal favorite is nap time. As soon as the allocated lunch period is over – for the record, what time you eat lunch is not up for debate – someone comes along, turns the office lights off, and everyone goes to sleep for an hour. It’s just like being back in nursery school.

It may also be a tradition not to wear outdoor shoes in the workplace, which means removing them at the door and replacing them with ‘slippers.’ This is especially interesting on the day of my interview as I was unaware of the rule and thus arrived at the office, suited and booted, only to be told I had to remove my shoes.

5. Hidden extras

In June 2012, the Chinese government imposed a new law aimed at stemming the flow of foreigners coming to work in China. It stated that any foreigner seeking employment within the country would have to return to their home country first to pick up the working visa, at their expense.

This combined with the cost of the visa (£66), the medical (£58) and the residence permit required to live and work legally in China (£40) can add up to some costly start-up expenses.

On the bright side, it’s rumored that the new Chinese government, which assumed power in mid-November, will take countermeasures to further open the country up to foreign investment and therefore relax the newly tightened immigration employment laws.

Therefore, living and working in China comes with a list of advantages which include;

Flexibility: It would astonish a great many people in America, for instance, that China has less little decides that may impact your day to day life as a vacationer or expat. For the most part, insofar as it’s the same old thing and nobody is getting harmed, the guidelines in the city are extremely casual. The police are around, yet don’t make their rounds forcefully.

Cost: Many essential costs in China will be a small amount of the expense of West Europe or North America. For instance, things like filtered water, fundamental dinners and obviously the magnificent open travel.

Open Transit: Cities substantial and little have broad open travel frameworks of anything from tuk-tuks to transports you can use with essential Chinese learning, to light rail to an associated tram framework. These nearby travel choices are associated with China’s stunning web of trains which run from more seasoned, slower models to 300+km/hr slug trains. The projectile trains are making it simpler than any time in recent memory to get from city to city without experiencing broad security or leaving your packs.

Friendliness: Locals in every region are cheerful to see you in China and will welcome you with grins and give back yours. Yes, China is swarmed, and frequently we are excessively occupied with, making it impossible to give you heaps of time or consideration. However, remote explorers, for the most part, locate the Chinese local people friendly and willing to draw in you in any circumstance! Need assistance? Only ask (use non-verbal communication if necessary)!

Differing qualities of areas and urban communities: China is colossal and populated. This implies there is an impressive differing quality among individuals and areas, in spite of what nonnatives may think about China. The neighborhood tongues, design, history, cooking, traditions and state of mind may differ extraordinarily from area to locale. Indeed, even the most well-known diversion, Mahjong, “má jing pái ” (麻牌), shifts in its standards and amusement pieces from region to area.

Food: Chinese nourishment is misconstrued in western nations. It is regularly lessened to browned rice and sweet and harsh chicken. There is a great deal more here! The differences of Chinese nourishment, similar to Mahjong rules, fluctuates significantly from city to city and region to area.

Contrasting Chinese and Western Culture
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