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Old 12-31-2013, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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I feel a lot of the workaholic work culture in countries like Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and now China is largely driven by their determined drive in the post-war years to match the developed economies of the west. It required a concerted national effort - everybody and everything working to the point of exhaustion - for these economies to be where they are today. Japan's large corporations functioned like families, as did Korea's 'chaebol's', where one's loyalty was first to the company. This loyalty led to a family-like commitment to succeed. While already prosperous, I feel this feeling that this hard work was required continues to this day...the education system in South Korea seems especially gruelling. SK is on the rise, while Japan stagnates. I hear that the whole emphasis on education and performance is relaxing a bit in Japan, is that true? Unemployment is also pretty high...

Would you say this largely explains the workaholic/education/career/money obsessed nature of many East Asians? I don't think they're innately any more hard-working than say Europeans (I mean look at the industrial revolution) or Americans, but this rapid economic rise taught them the value of hard work.

 
Old 01-01-2014, 04:54 AM
 
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as opposed to "laid back" or "relax" culture of Southern Europe, SE Asia, Latin America and Australia.

It maybe explained by differences in climate.
 
Old 01-01-2014, 05:20 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lokeung) View Post
as opposed to "laid back" or "relax" culture of Southern Europe, SE Asia, Latin America and Australia.

It maybe explained by differences in climate.
Well Singapore is an exception. Plus Vietnam has more of that same work ethic. I don't think it's lacking in urban Southeast Asia, and in rural areas, their work is pretty tough regardless. Australians now work pretty hard too but we still don't push our kids too hard and know how to relax, although there are still a lot of workaholic types here.
 
Old 01-01-2014, 02:03 PM
 
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What explains the "workaholic rapid rise" is: Chinese diaspora.

Take a look at Lynn Pan's book Sons of the Yellow Emperor.
 
Old 01-01-2014, 04:47 PM
 
Location: East coast
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One thing I wonder is why has there not been an equivalent in South Asia, despite the stereotype of East Asians and South Asians in the USA in a sense both being similar. Both having either high income or if not high income, at least a hard-working image such as working long hours (eg. Engineers, computer programmers, convenience store or motel owners) seems to be the media image.
 
Old 01-01-2014, 05:17 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
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It hasn't relaxed in Japan, as far as I can tell. In a past life, I managed my Japan sales channel partners and visited them 4 times a year and they always overachieved. Most of the folks worked at least 10-12 hours a day.
 
Old 01-01-2014, 05:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Well Singapore is an exception. Plus Vietnam has more of that same work ethic. I don't think it's lacking in urban Southeast Asia, and in rural areas, their work is pretty tough regardless. Australians now work pretty hard too but we still don't push our kids too hard and know how to relax, although there are still a lot of workaholic types here.
What you described about Australia I would also have to say the same about Latin America having been to Mexico and knowing some South Americans.

Also, didn't Vietnam used to be part of China? How is Singapore culture and work life? Is it a live to work or work to live?
 
Old 01-01-2014, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markovian process View Post
One thing I wonder is why has there not been an equivalent in South Asia, despite the stereotype of East Asians and South Asians in the USA in a sense both being similar. Both having either high income or if not high income, at least a hard-working image such as working long hours (eg. Engineers, computer programmers, convenience store or motel owners) seems to be the media image.
I think a lot of Indians do work hard, it's just not the same type of white collar office jobs. I for one think picking tea for 10 hours a day for 30 years, or stooping under the hot sun in the paddy fields, or shovelling coal (something you see even old women doing), or breaking stones, working to survive not for a raise/promotion or to get that new BMW is tougher. In many ways i think rural people in Asia have it harder, not to downplay the psychological stresses of some white collar jobs.
 
Old 01-01-2014, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccm123 View Post
It hasn't relaxed in Japan, as far as I can tell. In a past life, I managed my Japan sales channel partners and visited them 4 times a year and they always overachieved. Most of the folks worked at least 10-12 hours a day.
I heard that in Japan one should never leave before the boss, but that a lot of workers just spend more time in the office to 'save face' without actually being that productive. Also a lot of them are expected to entertain clients out of hours, getting drunk in izakayas or karoake bars or sake bars getting drunk, and often come home in the wee hours of the morning.
 
Old 01-01-2014, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joseanto071 View Post
What you described about Australia I would also have to say the same about Latin America having been to Mexico and knowing some South Americans.

Also, didn't Vietnam used to be part of China? How is Singapore culture and work life? Is it a live to work or work to live?
It was for over a thousand years (well part of the Chinese Empire at least) so the influence is profound. Most Vietnamese culture seems to be handed down from the Chinese. Singapore seems pretty tough, from what I know, very competitive, government encourages hard work, very little/no welfare even for the old. Yet Singaporeans love to shop and eat too.

For those interested in typical/stereotypical Singaporean life:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbIHUjxO06I

part 2 is also available on YT
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