I talked about the difference between China and Occident in previous article. I want to mainly talk about the culture difference between China and Occident today. There are great differences between Chinese culture and Occident culture. I summarize three aspects:
1. Differences of Value Concept and Moral Criteria.
Occidental culture worships individual struggling and personal honor; on the contrary, Chinese culture doesn’t advocate that show off the personal honor, but advocate modesty. Chinese think self-denial is the modest behavior. “Your English is very good,” “No, no, my English is very poor”; “You’ve done a very good job,” “No, I don’t think so. It’s the result of joint efforts.” Occidental think this modesty of China style not only deny self, but also deny the appreciate ability of laudator.
There are strong self-center consciousness and independent consciousness in Occidental culture; Chinese culture advocate dedicate unselfishly. It is a kind of virtue that cares about others voluntarily in China. So Chinese are warmhearted.
Occidental culture advocates pioneering spirit. Do the remarkable enterprise that forefathers have not done; Traditional Chinese culture advocates golden mean. Chinese are not good at taking risks, willing to maintain the current situation, keep harmonious.
Occidental culture attaches great importance to individual freedom, unwilling to be restricted; Chinese culture emphasizes collectivism and harmonious cooperation, advocate shares together happy and sad.
2. Differences of Social Relation.
There are strong equality concepts in Occidental culture. No matter is rich or poor, everybody is equality; Chinese culture has traditional class Concept. Father has absolute authority as opposed to son, the teacher has absolute authority as opposed to students. The family background still plays an important role in people’s growth.
The structure of American family is simple: Parents and teenage child make up nucleus family together. Once children get married, must move out, the independence is necessary. Thus train independent life’s ability, but drifted apart the relation between the relatives at the same time; The family structure of Chinese style is more complicated. The traditional happy family is Four-Generations-under-the-Same-Roof e-Roof. In such a family, the old man looks after children, descendants support the old man after growing up, interdepend between kinsfolk, help each other, make the kindred relation close. However, this kind of life style is unfavorable to the independent ability to train the young man.
3. Differences of Social Etiquettes.
Chinese like asking the other side name, age, work site or income, etc. when meet. Occidental think that infringes others’ personal secrets. Chinese always like greeting: “Have you had your meal?” “Where are you going?” when meet friends on the way. This is courteous greeting in China. But the occidental will think you want to invite him to dinner or meddle in his private affair. Occidental are used to greet: “Hi!” “Nice day, isn’t it?”
Occidental will open at once in front of guest and praise in succession while receiving the gift. Chinese often put aside while receiving the gift and without look. Chinese think it is impolite behavior that open gift in front of guest.
Chinese is solicitous and hospitable, will pour wine into cup of guest constantly and advise guests to eat more dishes. Thus make occidental feel difficult to deal with. This is Chinese habit. The habit of occidental is: Help yourself, Please!
Therefore, it is extremely important that know culture difference between China and Occident. Thus can clear up the misunderstanding, will help to communicate. Fully understand the other side and respect the custom of the other side in communication, reach the best communication result.