China Day 5 (Tianjin)
Today Dahui talked about the differences between the Chinese and American cultures. I found many similarities between Americans and the Chinese, but there were also some very distinct differences. We were asked to name Chinese cities and I felt pretty stupid because I knew only 4 or 5 cities. The Chinese students were also asked to name off American cities but they did not know many either, so I didn't feel as bad. We then helped each other out and named a few more cities for each other. I learned today that in the Chinese language it is more important to read between the lines of what people say than what is actually said, where as in America speaking is very direct and there is not much dissecting of people's speech necessary. I also learned that the Chinese are very collectivist in their speech and do not refer to themselves much, where as Americans are very individualistic. We also learned more about every day differences between the Chinese and Americans, such as when we shower, what silverware we use to eat, what old people do in their free time, etc.. We learned about 10 rules when engaging with the Chinese and I will try my best to remember these rules as I go on through this adventure in China. The Chinese and Americans are very different in many ways such as Individualism, power distance and long-term orientation. Despite these differences I have gotten along with the Chinese students very well and I hope I can make a few long-term friends while I'm here.