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China Nice...

I have noticed that the Chinese people show a lack of nonverbal communication as a whole. Nonverbal communication plays an important role in our daily life and sometimes can convey more meaning and power than actually speaking. Americans are very vibrant in their nonverbal communication. For instance; head nods, hand gestures, and facial expressions can imply anything from a call to action to a person’s mood. The Chinese people seem to be more reserved or at least the gestures are less expressive. I am not sure what the reasoning behind this might be. I assume that is the way that people are raised and is deemed culturally acceptable. In the United States, you are continually told to “express yourself” and “be yourself.” In China, the message seems to be “blend in and don’t make a fool of yourself.” I think this is unfortunate because nonverbal communication can speak volumes about a person’s thoughts and feelings without verbal interaction.

I have also noticed the lack of politeness in some of the areas we have visited. For instance, if someone bumps into you, the likelihood of an “excuse me” (in Chinese, of course!!!) is almost nil. ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ are definitely not as common in China as in the United States. Good luck crossing a street in a crosswalk while you have the ‘walk’ light. One takes their life into their own hands when crossing the street, especially when alone. Just a few observations...This has been a fantastic trip so far; I have thoroughly enjoyed it thus far. We are all looking forward to the second day of class tomorrow!