Author: sunnylin01

Finding Waldo: Why Making Chinese Friends is Difficult [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2012-8-31 07:56:33 |Display all floors
This post was edited by WhiteBear at 2012-8-31 08:04

if I may reply to Your questions, traveller...

1. How important is the command of Chinese language to reach the people? Does it make any difference or is the importance of family bonds, ethnic, racial, national affiliation predominant as ever?

- important when You want to make friends who can not speak Your language, but more important is Your attitude. You do not have to be the same race, or familly, but accept China "as it is" not wanting to be "as I imagine" or "as on West (North :) )"

- it is not "easy" to make "penyou" just on the street, but when attend any party etc... being "friends" is as easy as to say "Yes, I met him once"

2. Is there a "breaking point" of keeping a distance? If you pass this breaking point you can be accepted as "my buddy"?

- chinese "penyou" is not the same as "buddy" or "friend" in western culture, it is much easier to have "penyou" and easier to un-"penyou" with them ;) (they just dissapear...)
- breaking point? going out for lunch is a sign that You are or can be "friends" (meaning "penyou" off course)

3. mixed marriages

- there are many of them, more than You can immagine :)


and small resume.

I see, that You judge China by BeiJing standard? This is (IMHO) wrong, because this city is not average in China.
There are many armed forces in city itself, and many of them both work and live in city centre.
Man who works in that services are "not encouraged" to make friends with other nations, for obvious reasons. So their families.
Also there are many foreigners like You in the city, so "average BeiJing'er" -  who is accidently not working for Army or other government service - may be just borred to all of Them trying to make "foreign EXOTIC friends", just the same as in other parts of China (specially in smaller cities) we are borred with "helloooo!!!!" on almost every street and every corner.

You want to make "penyou" in Beijing? Try at lunchtime or late afternoon around universities, in parks and small restaurants, where students eat. Or attend to some "language exchange". Even on this site You may find many persons who would happily be Your "penyou" in langguage exchange. Try it :)

And remember, Beijing IS a somehow nice city, but it is NOT a representative sample of China :)

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Post time 2012-8-31 09:34:18 |Display all floors
This post was edited by Raff at 2012-8-31 09:36
traveller_in_Cn Post time: 2012-8-30 22:20
Disappointed in a way, yes, confused not.

I based my opinon on my casual acquaintances with Chin ...

Anyone abroad would sometimes feel the shock of culture ,which give them the feeling of unsafety and make them keep to "themselves".As a foreigner, it is never easy to really have a relaxing and close circle of local friends.
And you are definitely going through all of this now.You cant accept their habitude.It is beyond you to find  a guy talking loudly in the public with other chinese quiet and silent .

When you said that they are simple and primitive .Do you mean "shallow" or something ? But some would said that chinese is sophisticated. Get to say we are good at "dealing with" different people in our own way.
So it is difficult to figure out what a chinese really means,right?Most often they are just playing dumb instead.
What you are facing is a people ,a culture .So changing your angle of view to look at chinese would make everything easier.

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