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Cultures in Contrast --- Some Differences Between Americans and Chinese

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Cultures in Contrast --- Some Differences Between Americans and Chinese Robert Bolding Schilling Farms Middle School Taking Noodles Noise from Noodles: 1) it is hard ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Cultures in Contrast --- Some Differences Between Americans and Chinese


1
Cultures in Contrast --- Some Differences Between
Americans and Chinese
  • Robert Bolding
  • Schilling Farms Middle School

2
General Remarks
  • An understanding of the differences between
    people from different cultures is of vital
    importance for harmonious relationships.
  • Our experience tells us that a rule which is
    passionately held to be correct today was equally
    and firmly frowned on at some other time or in
    some other place.

3
General Remarks
  • It is probably the different ways of thinking
    that lead the different people to the different
    understandings of a certain phenomenon in terms
    of culture.

4
Different Ways of Thinking
  • The comments on the pictures
  • The blue picture indicates the way of thinking,
    call a spade a spade.
  • The red picture indicates the implicit mild
    way in thinking.

5
Different Ways of Thinking
  • The implicit mild way in thinking could be
    dated back to a literal works of art entitled
    Zhong Yong by Zi Si (Shen Kong, 483-402 BC),
    the grandson of Confucius, in Warring Times.
  • Zhong Yong refers to the Doctrine of Mean, or
    the Happy Medium, aiming at the promotion of
    mildness and moderation in thought and behavior.
  • Four intentions related
  • A. not overworked while working,
  • B. not overjoyed while entertaining,
  • C. not too tough on others,
  • D. not too much luxury.

6
Example
  • Not too tough to others
  • Chinese style Even if a criticism is given to
    someone who makes a mistake, it would be put in a
    mild and roundabout way so that the person would
    accept it easily.
  • American style If a criticism is given to
    someone who makes a mistake, it would be a direct
    one to the person, which makes him know his fault
    immediately.

7
Focuses
  • Therefore, we would restrict out perspectives to
    some aspects that might arouse the
    miscommunication and misunderstanding between the
    Americans and the Chinese.
  • Some aspects are related to
  • Daily communication
  • Hospitality
  • Table manners
  • Romance and sexuality
  • Privacy
  • Others.

8
Daily Communication
  • Language Use for Greetings
  • Meeting people is one of the daily activities. In
    the use of language, the different greetings
    between the people
  • In English
  • How do you do!
  • Nice to meet you!
  • How are you?
  • Etc.

9
Language Use for Greetings
  • In Chinese
  • Xinghui, Xinghui! (Happy to meet you! Happy to
    meet you!)
  • Chi fan le ma? (Have you had your meal?)
  • Chi le mei you? (as above)
  • The Chinese style of greeting would bring some
    puzzles to Americans.

10
Interpreting a Smile
  • It may be difficult for Americans to believe that
    smiling for the Chinese not only means that
    someone is happy but sometimes also means that
    someone is sorry for the error he/she has
    committed.

11
Interpreting a Smile
  • It is desirable for a Chinese to apologize with a
    smile, which indicates humbleness and
    embarrassment.
  • A belief in a smile can kill anger could
    account for the phenomenon that the Chinese
    smiles when he/she wants to apologize.

12
Girl or Woman
  • A Chinese teacher of language talked about a
    group of female international students in class
    and referred to them as girls. One of the
    female students (American) complained why it was
    so.

13
Girl or Woman?
  • Chinese perspective In China, girl means
    someone who is young and single. Woman refers
    to the female who is married and might not be
    young. It is insulting to call the young females
    women in China.

14
Girl or Woman?
  • The American perspective?

15
Compliments
  • Any compliment is welcome both in US and China,
    so long as it contains no hint of surprise or
    hidden criticism, and isnt too intimate for the
    relationship.

16
Compliments
  • It isnt easy to handle compliments. From time to
    time, compliments in one country are not those in
    another. (e.g. compliments about the beauty of a
    woman)

17
Misunderstanding of Compliments
  • (An American Teacher a Chinese student are at a
    party)
  • Dear Lisa, you look very pretty tonight.
  • No, no(shyness)
  • Yes, really beautiful.
  • No, Im not!... (shyness grows stronger)

18
Making an Appointment?
  • Many Chinese sometimes would like to drop in
    their friends home without an appointment. It
    doesnt mean that they are rude but indicates the
    close relationship between true friends.
  • Some people are overjoyed to have friends roll up
    uninvited others regard unexpected visits as a
    violation of privacy.

19
Dropping In
  • Dropping in without any appointment would make
    Americans uncomfortable. Even a refusal could
    occur to the unexpected guest.

20
Dropping in
  • In China, if someone drops in uninvited, it isnt
    rude to say youd love to see him but its not a
    good time.
  • However, a relation who drops in deserves more
    tolerance than a dropping-in neighbor.

21
Hospitality --- Overdone or Underdone
  • Chinese hospitality --- overdone
  • As a very hospitable people, the Chinese attach a
    lot of importance to taking care of their guests.
    They would try to help their guests with almost
    everything and feel bad if a guest had any
    complaint.

22
Overdone hospitality
  • A family dinner party as an example
  • 20 dishes of different kinds
  • Pleasant to the eyes
  • Delicious in taste
  • Special in aroma.

23
Overdone hospitality
  • The host would say to the guest, it is very
    sorry that we could not offer you as many as
    possible dishes because of a short notice of your
    visit. Please help yourself.
  • This statement gave a surprise to the guest.
  • There is so much food, why, how could we finish?

24
Overdone hospitality
  • Moreover, the Chinese host would try his best to
    persuade the guests to eat more than they could.
    This would be a great show of the hospitality and
    the perfect respect to the guests.

25
Hospitality in US
  • American people also keep their hospitality
    towards their guests. At a family dinner party,
    an appropriate amount of food would be offered to
    the guest. (not as many kinds as the Chinese do,
    but quite enough to eat)

26
A Gift to Friends
  • Gift is only a symbol of person-to-person
    communication as well as a reminder for the past
    experience in terms of friendship.
  • It is normal both in U.S. or in China that people
    like to offer gifts to their friends.

27
A Gift to Friends
  • In China, sending a gift to a guest, sometimes,
    is a devotion to show ones sincere thanks or
    best wishes to others.
  • They would think hard and decide what to be sent.
    Usually the gift looks very special.

28
A Gift to Friends
  • The Americans would be more practical in
    presenting a gift to their friends if necessary.
  • It seems that they would concentrate more on the
    practice of friendship than on the offer of gift
    itself.

29
Table Manners
  • Chinese would invite their guests to their family
    for a family dinner party, especially when they
    have known each other very well.
  • To dine with the Chinese family would always be a
    happy event to the host/hostess and the guests,
    but sometimes some misunderstandings or
    confusions might be inevitable.

30
Table Arrangement
  • Round Table
  • (Chinese)

H
G
2
1
Mostly the hostess of the family or the female
members would not sit at the table with the
guests.
4
3
6
5
8
7
(Door)
31
Table Arrangement
  • Round Table
  • (International)

Host
3
1
7
5
6
8
2
4
Hostess
(Door)
32
Use of Chopsticks
  • Misuse of chopsticks (some forbidden behaviors)
  • 1) Never erect the chopsticks in the bowl (It is
    a ritual for the respect of the dead),
  • 2) Never cross the chopsticks on the rim of the
    bowl,
  • 3) Dont suck the chopsticks,
  • 4) Dont move the chopsticks to point the others
    at the table,
  • 5) Dont use the chopsticks as other tools.

33
Taking Noodles
  • Noodle soup is one of the every-day delicacies in
    China, especially in the Northern part of China.
  • However, the fact that the noodles are slurped
    means eating noodles from soup is a noisy affair.
    Such noise is taken for granted as part of the
    dining experience.

34
Taking Noodles
  • Noise from Noodles
  • 1) it is hard not to make noise while eating
    noodles
  • 2) noodles could be cooled by slurping in slowly
  • 3) it is an indication that people are enjoying
    the meal.

35
Taking Noodles
  • It is nation-wide accepted that people in China
    use the chopsticks to eat noodles while the
    Americans use the fork.

36
Drinking at Table
  • To show their hospitality to the guests,
  • To make the guests feel welcomed,
  • To create a harmonious atmosphere at the table,
  • To feast their guests as much as possible.
  • Notes sips and bottoms-ups

37
Romance and sexuality
  • A love story between a Chinese young lady and an
    American young man.
  • What do you want to do?
  • Where to go today?
  • Up to you.
  • Whatever you want to do.
  • Wherever you want to go.
  • At last, love has lost.

38
Romance
  • Chinese perspective
  • It is a desirable trait in China for one to think
    for others in a loving relationship, or even in
    partnership.
  • People sometimes tend to subordinate their own
    needs to others in order to show respect, or
    love, or politeness.

39
Romance
  • American perspective
  • In the western cultures, couples who are truly in
    love typically share thoughts and opinions about
    almost all things all the time.
  • The lack of opinion about what she and he might
    do could be a sign one was losing interest in the
    other. It may mean that one no longer loves the
    other.

40
Directly or Indirectly Showing Your Love
  • The responses to the expression I love
    you are different.
  • An American man would directly say I love you
    to the lady he loves.
  • A Chinese man would say something in a roundabout
    way to express his idea.

41
A Dream of Butterfly
  • A typical love affair in ancient China about
    saying I Love You directly or indirectly.
  • The major characters Shanbo Liang (m) and
    Yingtai Zhu (f).

42
A Dream of Butterfly
43
Different Sense of Beauty
The picture below just indicates the different
angles between the Chinese and the westerners in
appreciation of the beauty of human body.
44
Privacy
  • Privacy seems to be the priority in US and in
    China people have been more and more aware of
    privacy since Deng Xiaopings open-door policy.
    But it still needs much improvement.

45
Queuing
Queuing in public could tell exactly the
difference between Chinese and American cultures.
The Americans would like to keep a distance in
between, but the Chinese would like to stand as
closely as possible while queuing.
46
Other Differences
The sense of punctuation is one aspect that tells
the different attitudes. The blue picture
indicates the time most western people keep,
while the red picture indicates the attitude of
the most Chinese towards the time.
47
Showering in day or at night?
True or not? It is controversial.
48
Leadership
Different concepts in leadership between the
Americans and the Chinese.
49
The End Thanks a Lot!
50
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