U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Asia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 08-19-2015, 05:16 PM
 
1,424 posts, read 771,755 times
Reputation: 515

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by robto View Post
When I went to the Netherlands I didn't speak a word of Dutch, my English was pretty bad and didn't knew nothing about Dutch culture or customs. And with me there were many Italians and Middle Easterners in a similar situation. Nonetheless we were able to make a lot of friends and invited on many social events, that didn't happen to my East Asian colleagues. Maybe they have enough social skills to live in their respective countries, but if they go overseas they seriously need to adapt.



So in the Middle East. But you don't even know the Iranian girls I've met when I was in Holland. They did not behave as you expect them to behave...
But you were familiar with western culture, more or less. You knew the difference between Guinness and Heineken, you knew what samba and rumba look like, you know Byzantine Empire fell to Ottoman Turks, you knew some lines from Shakespeare... Ordinary Chinese know next to zero about those things.

In Shanghai and Hong Kong, most western expats only make friends with other expats too, because they cannot adapt to local society.

Iranians are actually very westernized, at least the young people are.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-19-2015, 11:04 PM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
9,957 posts, read 13,694,697 times
Reputation: 11466
Quote:
Originally Posted by yueng-ling View Post
But you were familiar with western culture, more or less. You knew the difference between Guinness and Heineken, you knew what samba and rumba look like, you know Byzantine Empire fell to Ottoman Turks, you knew some lines from Shakespeare... Ordinary Chinese know next to zero about those things.

In Shanghai and Hong Kong, most western expats only make friends with other expats too, because they cannot adapt to local society.

Iranians are actually very westernized, at least the young people are.
As far as adapting to society, I can tell you that in terms of normal, day-to-day interactions and the like, I haven't had a very difficult time adapting to life or modern culture here, and neither do most expats I know. Most of the people who come to China (or any other country, for that matter) from the West do so because of an affinity or interest in the place; since we are coming from developed, first-world nations, and most of the ones who do move are educated, degree-holding individuals and/or have some skills, they usually made a conscious choice to go there instead of staying in their own home culture and are at least somewhat interested in it.

The biggest hurdle that I experience on a day-to-day basis is the assumption that I not only don't understand anything about Chinese culture, but also that I'm simply not capable of it. This isn't the case in most Western nations, which have usually experienced at least some degree of immigration if not being heavily immigrated to (US, CAN, UK, FR, etc) for multiple generations and so people well and truly don't know if the Chinese or Arab person in front of them just stepped off a plane or was born and raised there.

I have people say rude or nasty things about me right in front of or next to me because they assume that foreigners don't ever speak Chinese - even after I have just spoken to them in Chinese (a lot of the Africans here in GZ who have been here for years and speak very good Mandarin or even Cantonese are subject to this to a much worse degree than I). One of the biggest hurdles in speaking Chinese is that when you do speak, some people get so hung up on the fact that a) you have an accent, and b) you aren't Chinese, that they convince themselves that they can't understand you. I've had many situations in which I'm ordering food, directing a taxi, etc where the person starts telling me that they don't understand, and a nearby Chinese person will step in and say, "he just asked for noodles with no meat, can't you understand him?" I usually have to stop the person, say very clearly, "ting wo shuo, hao bu hao?" ("listen to me, alright?"), and then repeat it exactly as I said before, and then they get it.

Stuff like this makes people less apt to want to integrate, and it's part of the reason that you have communities in the West that don't - Mexican immigrants in some parts of the Southwest who are surrounded by anti-immigration folks that don't treat them with any respect and assume the worst about them are more likely to stick to their own than Mexicans who immigrate to a place like LA or SF, where the vast bulk of people are totally fine with them and treat them more or less like anyone else. Expats in HK usually *do* have a good number of local friends because the culture there is more open to foreigners and better equipped to deal with them, while I certainly know people in GZ who have been here for two or three years and don't have any Chinese friends.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-20-2015, 12:53 AM
 
1,424 posts, read 771,755 times
Reputation: 515
Quote:
Originally Posted by 415_s2k View Post
As far as adapting to society, I can tell you that in terms of normal, day-to-day interactions and the like, I haven't had a very difficult time adapting to life or modern culture here, and neither do most expats I know. Most of the people who come to China (or any other country, for that matter) from the West do so because of an affinity or interest in the place; since we are coming from developed, first-world nations, and most of the ones who do move are educated, degree-holding individuals and/or have some skills, they usually made a conscious choice to go there instead of staying in their own home culture and are at least somewhat interested in it.

The biggest hurdle that I experience on a day-to-day basis is the assumption that I not only don't understand anything about Chinese culture, but also that I'm simply not capable of it. This isn't the case in most Western nations, which have usually experienced at least some degree of immigration if not being heavily immigrated to (US, CAN, UK, FR, etc) for multiple generations and so people well and truly don't know if the Chinese or Arab person in front of them just stepped off a plane or was born and raised there.

I have people say rude or nasty things about me right in front of or next to me because they assume that foreigners don't ever speak Chinese - even after I have just spoken to them in Chinese (a lot of the Africans here in GZ who have been here for years and speak very good Mandarin or even Cantonese are subject to this to a much worse degree than I). One of the biggest hurdles in speaking Chinese is that when you do speak, some people get so hung up on the fact that a) you have an accent, and b) you aren't Chinese, that they convince themselves that they can't understand you. I've had many situations in which I'm ordering food, directing a taxi, etc where the person starts telling me that they don't understand, and a nearby Chinese person will step in and say, "he just asked for noodles with no meat, can't you understand him?" I usually have to stop the person, say very clearly, "ting wo shuo, hao bu hao?" ("listen to me, alright?"), and then repeat it exactly as I said before, and then they get it.

Stuff like this makes people less apt to want to integrate, and it's part of the reason that you have communities in the West that don't - Mexican immigrants in some parts of the Southwest who are surrounded by anti-immigration folks that don't treat them with any respect and assume the worst about them are more likely to stick to their own than Mexicans who immigrate to a place like LA or SF, where the vast bulk of people are totally fine with them and treat them more or less like anyone else. Expats in HK usually *do* have a good number of local friends because the culture there is more open to foreigners and better equipped to deal with them, while I certainly know people in GZ who have been here for two or three years and don't have any Chinese friends.
Some Chinese people do have difficulties with accents they are not familiar with.
I once met an American on a train from Guangxi to Beijing. His pronunciation was decent and I understood him well when he spoke Mandarin, but another guy from Dalian often could not understand him, which really puzzles me.

When I traveled to Shandong with friends, some of us understood the local dialect well but others had a big problem. None of us were from Shandong.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-20-2015, 01:11 AM
 
Location: Asia
2,773 posts, read 1,167,249 times
Reputation: 3035
Quote:
Originally Posted by 415_s2k View Post
One of the biggest hurdles in speaking Chinese is that when you do speak, some people get so hung up on the fact that a) you have an accent, and b) you aren't Chinese, that they convince themselves that they can't understand you. I've had many situations in which I'm ordering food, directing a taxi, etc where the person starts telling me that they don't understand, and a nearby Chinese person will step in and say, "he just asked for noodles with no meat, can't you understand him?" I usually have to stop the person, say very clearly, "ting wo shuo, hao bu hao?" ("listen to me, alright?"), and then repeat it exactly as I said before, and then they get it.
This used to be true in Taipei, but, in my experience is much better now than it was years ago. I often experienced it with respect to bus drivers, who would be so nervous about speaking with a foreign national that he/she would freeze and be unable to understand my question. Nine times out of ten, other passengers listening (because they all were!) would then yell at the driver telling him/her what it was I was asking. The passengers had no trouble understanding me, as they were not nervous because I was not speaking to/with them.

I still have to stop Taipei taxi drivers now and then and tell them to stop talking and just listen.

There is an old joke about a Catholic priest in China back before "Liberation". The priest spoke excellent Chinese, having been in China for many years and having devoted himself not only to his vocation, but, also to learning Mandarin. One day, he was walking to Beijing and while still out in the countryside, came to a fork in the road. Unsure of which road to take, he asked two farmers working in the field by the side of the road which road would take him to Beijing. Neither of the farmers replied and just stood their looking at the priest with their mouths open. After an awkward moment of silence, the priest selected one of the roads and hoped that God would have him on the correct path. As the priest walked away, one of the farmers said to the other farmer, "I didn't understand a word that foreigner spoke. But, I swear it sounded like he was asking which road leads to Beijing!"

Last edited by Salmonburgher; 08-20-2015 at 02:26 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-20-2015, 02:06 AM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
9,957 posts, read 13,694,697 times
Reputation: 11466
^ Haha, that did make me smile... it's pretty much dead-on.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-23-2015, 01:45 AM
 
71 posts, read 84,781 times
Reputation: 62
Nothing cool or special about having needle straight hair or eyelids.. I prefer my hair to be dense, thick and somewhat wavy.. And I like it when my soul meets the sun.. My eyes are of course double lid.. And I'm asian..not east Asian thank goodness! No offense
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-23-2015, 06:09 AM
 
919 posts, read 627,041 times
Reputation: 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by robto View Post
When I went to the Netherlands I didn't speak a word of Dutch, my English was pretty bad and didn't knew nothing about Dutch culture or customs. And with me there were many Italians and Middle Easterners in a similar situation. Nonetheless we were able to make a lot of friends and invited on many social events, that didn't happen to my East Asian colleagues. Maybe they have enough social skills to live in their respective countries, but if they go overseas they seriously need to adapt.
To my eyes, Christianity and Islam are pseudo-Judaism. Because those who believe in Christianity and Islam can't become Judaists, they feel inferior to Judaists. This kind of inferiority feeling makes them gather more people to their sides. The more believers they have, the more confident they seem to feel. This is why both Christianity and Islam are quite aggressive, compared to other religions.

While I've never met a Buddhist who knocks on the door and tries to make me read their scriptures, there are uncountable people who do for Christianity, no matter in Japan, Korea or Taiwan.

Those people, who were born and raised in areas affected by those two religions, tend to be aggressive, or talkative in daily life.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-23-2015, 06:57 AM
 
Location: Asia
2,773 posts, read 1,167,249 times
Reputation: 3035
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yanagisawa View Post
Those people, who were born and raised in areas affected by those two religions, tend to be aggressive, or talkative in daily life.
Go back to 1937 and tell us what made the Imperial Japanese Fascist Militarists so aggressive.

And what made the Yuan so aggressive? They basically protected Tibet and treated the Tibetans as a priestly class. But, the Mongols were pretty aggressive, by any measure.

Try again!

Thanks!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-23-2015, 04:10 PM
 
71 posts, read 84,781 times
Reputation: 62
I met a native American once who looked totally Japanese.. I kid you not.. I can usually tell the difference between east Asians.. Japanese tend to be more pale in complexion.. Have thicker and more lustrous shining hair.. Their hair look more healthy in comparison to say...Chinese hair.. Which is 'too straight'..can be quite thin and generally look more dull.. Chinese people literally are the 'yellow' race.. They are yellow while Japanese are more pale skinned.. Koreans are similar to Chinese but also more pale skinned.. So Chinese are the 'dark skinned' people of east asia
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-23-2015, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
9,957 posts, read 13,694,697 times
Reputation: 11466
Quote:
Originally Posted by shapeshift View Post
I met a native American once who looked totally Japanese.. I kid you not.. I can usually tell the difference between east Asians.. Japanese tend to be more pale in complexion.. Have thicker and more lustrous shining hair.. Their hair look more healthy in comparison to say...Chinese hair.. Which is 'too straight'..can be quite thin and generally look more dull.. Chinese people literally are the 'yellow' race.. They are yellow while Japanese are more pale skinned.. Koreans are similar to Chinese but also more pale skinned.. So Chinese are the 'dark skinned' people of east asia
"The Chinese" are also a mix of a number of different ethnicities... even the Han Chinese, who are the supermajority of China, are themselves a mix of a ton of different ethnic groups lost to antiquity. It's like how people of European descent are considered "white," but those "white" people can have blonde, brown, black, or red hair, any one of a number of different physiologies, facial features, etc.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Asia
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top