Today was the first day of class. Fantastic. Although my motives were definitely set on learning from the lectures, there was one thing that was burning in my head... When am I going to practice with the Tianjin breakdancers. Ok, this might sound a bit selfish and not related to the whole business and economics in China deal, but hear me out.
One thing I learned from lecture today, especially from an HR perspective, is to take into consideration the extreme polar differences in culture. After realizing what Jun Hua was saying in Bcomm about high context and low context cultures, I knew I had to seriously mingle with local people, the new generation of Chinese. I figure the students are great resources and I've learned a lot from them, but how could I not learn more from someone I can sweat, struggle, work with and share one prevalent thing in common with?
The Tianjin bboys are some of the coolest cats, yes I said cats, in the world. I had a 25 minute conversation solely on lifestyles of these guys and how they interpret the hip hop culture (which is shared throughout the entire world. Legitimate hip hop and non legitimate hip hop). We talked about China's cultural differences from the world and how that affected how they interpreted this culture. It was absolutely astounding. Their take on this self expressive culture is so new to them that they are still looking up "rules" and knowledge about it. Learning how to battle (compete), cypher (sharing knowledge), practicing and musicality.
How can I not learn from their experiences and stories about how they strive to create something so new to the Chinese culture? From an HR perspective, learning about how Chinese people interpret such a self expressive and low context culture such as hip hop has been a breath of fresh air. I hope at some point everyone can have such an experience in their field of study.
Tianjin rocks. I love it way better here than Beijing.