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Old 06-05-2013, 04:17 PM
 
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Would you say the culture of the Chonglands feels really "alien" to a Westerner? Perhaps less so now, due to capitalism and Americanization, especially among the post-80s and post-90s generations?

Does it feel like another world or is it similar to any Western country just inhabited by Chinese people?
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Old 06-05-2013, 04:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belmont22 View Post
Would you say the culture of the Chonglands feels really "alien" to a Westerner? Perhaps less so now, due to capitalism and Americanization, especially among the post-80s and post-90s generations?

Does it feel like another world or is it similar to any Western country just inhabited by Chinese people?
Have you been to other countries?
I would say China is way more "western" than Egypt, which I visited; but of course more "exotic" than France and Germany.

In the cities, things work in the same way as in Europe, basically. The country side is totally another story.
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Old 06-05-2013, 04:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettafish View Post
Have you been to other countries?
I would say China is way more "western" than Egypt, which I visited; but of course more "exotic" than France and Germany.

In the cities, things work in the same way as in Europe, basically. The country side is totally another story.
No but my best friend has been there.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,154,437 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belmont22 View Post
Would you say the culture of the Chonglands feels really "alien" to a Westerner? Perhaps less so now, due to capitalism and Americanization, especially among the post-80s and post-90s generations?

Does it feel like another world or is it similar to any Western country just inhabited by Chinese people?
What's a 'Chonglands'? I guess that's a pet name for Chinese?

Anyways, to answer your quetion about 'culture'.

CULTURE is a like an ICEBERG. On the surface, it LOOKS like the foreign culture is just like you, but of a different ethnicity. THe observable culture is the tip of the iceburg. I can see that Chinese dress this way, or do this thing...and it's visible and such. There's a false illusion that if people are living typical lives of buying, sleeping, working, they are just like us, but look different.

But, like an iceburg, the culture is deeply entrenched and highly invisible just below the surface. If you actually lived in ANY foreign country, but especially a Westerners in China, there will be unbelievable amount of cultural differences just below the surface, that you'll come to some conclusion equal to 'These people are absolutely crazy!!!'

In short, there is an enormous difference, on every level. That being said, if you are open to learning it, and experiencing it, it's a very fascinating experience. It enriches your life tremendously.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:39 AM
 
Location: City of Angels
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i dont understand what exotic means

china feels like china.

have to second tiger beer here, wtf is chonglands?
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:57 PM
 
32,071 posts, read 32,968,461 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettafish View Post
Have you been to other countries?
I would say China is way more "western" than Egypt, which I visited; but of course more "exotic" than France and Germany.

In the cities, things work in the same way as in Europe, basically. The country side is totally another story.
It only appears more Western in China's big cities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
What's a 'Chonglands'? I guess that's a pet name for Chinese?

Anyways, to answer your quetion about 'culture'.

CULTURE is a like an ICEBERG. On the surface, it LOOKS like the foreign culture is just like you, but of a different ethnicity. THe observable culture is the tip of the iceburg. I can see that Chinese dress this way, or do this thing...and it's visible and such. There's a false illusion that if people are living typical lives of buying, sleeping, working, they are just like us, but look different.

But, like an iceburg, the culture is deeply entrenched and highly invisible just below the surface. If you actually lived in ANY foreign country, but especially a Westerners in China, there will be unbelievable amount of cultural differences just below the surface, that you'll come to some conclusion equal to 'These people are absolutely crazy!!!'

In short, there is an enormous difference, on every level. That being said, if you are open to learning it, and experiencing it, it's a very fascinating experience. It enriches your life tremendously.
I agree that much of the culture is invisible but just walking around China and see the way people (women and men, meaning the fashion trends), one can see the differences in the clothing between China and Western countries although at a superficial glance one might think everything is the same. Westerners living in China can definitely feel and see the differences that a Westerner tourist might not observe.
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:12 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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It's all relative, and the 'West' in itself is so diverse. Someone from the Midwest of the US would find Italy very different. Being most familiar with Australia, the US and NZ in that order, I would say that China does feel pretty different. Like others have said, though, civilisation itself can somewhat smooth over cultural differences that remain unseen or not fully appreciated by the short term tourist. In China the most deep-seated of which, I believe, relate to both traditional ancestor religion, collectivist Buddhist and Taoist/eastern philosophies and Confucianism...the Cultural Revolution eroded some of that, but a lot of it remains, especially in rural areas. In the cities especially, especially the more international ones, however, I think these are giving away to Western individualism and capitalism, so that the young generation of Chinese are more westernised than ever before. I don't think they'll ever become completely like Americans, however, there are probably things that remain entrenched by thousands of years of near isolation.
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:19 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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I forgot to mention that in China we went on a local tour, and travelled with local Chinese people, and they just seem like people anywhere. In some ways the Japanese actually seem to behave more differently. I also have several Chinese friends, and from speaking to them there are obvious differences but I find the similarities are far more. We're all human after all, no matter how we dress like or what we eat, important things like family, faith, pride in one's homeland are universal.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
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I think it depends on your definition of "exotic," how you intend to experience the place, things like that. I mean, on the one hand:










On the other hand,








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Old 06-07-2013, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Striving for Avalon
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The foreign-ness is stunning on your first morning as you leave the hotel. I walked down Haiphong Rd in Hong Kong and was hit by it: the teeming masses, the juxtaposition of western fashion boutiques next to a traditional herbal pharmacy, hawkers, Chinese gov't sponsored anti-Falun Gong propaganda posters, lots of traditional Chinese letters.

And this is in the touristy district of arguably the second most Western friendly city in Asia (the first being Singapore).

I can't imagine a 3rd tier industrial city in central China where no one speaks English, the food is bizarre, and the lifestyle is still 30 years behind the (comparatively) grand glittering cities of the East Coast.
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