As Americans reflecting on our life in China reveals countless differences between the two cultures especially in our characters and day-to-day interations with people. From being more low key and flexible to not taking life so seriously, we've thought back to how Chinese culture influenced us, and you know what, it hasn't been a bad thing!
1. Paying Little Attention to Family
Family is the most important for Chinese. Chinese always have filial piety in their mind in all ages. And they take it as immoral when we do not respect our parents and the elderly. For example, the average man, 30 years old, must raise his parents, his own kids and wife and nearly always with great pressure. They think about their parent 's views and wishes when marrying. Their parents always have a great control over their children. Even when they reach adulthood their parents still want to know everything about their kids. We see this view in a different light now, from when we first arrived we barely spoke with our parents about personal issues and regularly didn't ask advice when we should have. After China, we've reconnected with our parents in a far healthier way; And we've been impressed with our increased happiness of everyone for this too.
2. Wearing Shoes Indoors
In China, we never wear shoes inside someone's house but back home it's common to hear “Oh,it is ok if you leave your shoes on” from many of our friends when going for dinners or parties.
Nowadays when friends welcome us to their home in America and say this to us we hesitate
at the idea of wearing shoes inside, frankly due to how filthy the soles are.
3. Not Loving Vanity
Being a rich man is a vital in China to most Chinese. Chinese always love facing and comparing themselves with others. Chinese first thought is in others is clothing and appearance. Chinese think that face is even more important than their life. The loving vanity and comparing themselves with their friends, neighbors, colleagues and relatives including work, life, study, kids and so on helps with taking care of your own well-being which is often forgotten when back at home.
4. Being Addicted to Empleomania
A good scholar will make an official in old age China. But now it is a sense of superiority of Chinese ' mind when they are an officer and very rich with reputation. Chinese also try their best to get the things they want no matter what situation they are in. People always strife openly and secretly to be a officer in the government that is the highist value of embodiment.
5. Not Learning a Martial Art
Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li and other famous martial arts actors who are experts in martial arts and always prominent in the cinema in films we adore; Never did we take a closer look at the language of martial arts behind the scenes. We always thought that all Chinese practice martial arts everyday; found this was not the case and took a great interest in going into Shaolin Temple, where there is real Kungfu, and broadened our understanding of the wonderful world of Kung Fu!
6. Looking down on Gambling
We are surprised that gambling is everywhere in China allbeit officially illegal. It is the most famous sport in China. Rich men always put large amounts of money into the gambling. What's surprising though, the poor are heavy gamblers too. They prefer not to spend money buying useful things but instead on gambling. Generally speaking, there is no happiness if they don't gamble. Before China we were aggainst any form of gambling. With it everywhere around in China we have gradually started to tolerate gambling and even take part in a little harmless fun playing cards with a little bit of money too! The important lesson we learned was that without risk or potential loss of something it can never have any value.
7. Poor respect for foreigners
As we all know, Chinese are always crazy about foreign things and obsequious to foreigners. So, foreigners are treated well in China. We visited new places where many Chinese starred at us but did actually show such courteousness and warm welcoming into their homes and lives, now we can't help but be more respectful and accepting of foreigners in our own country.
We Don't regret the American Habits We Lost After Working in China
So some of our habits reflect ourselves, but the good things about China always outweigh the bad. We think the biggest change in ourselves is being more patient. No matter where are you from, we hope everyone can mostly see the good side of the world and have confidence to touch and explore new things to have a truly wonderful enjoyable life.