Author: haishiwo

Is it hard for expats to make Chinese friends?   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2012-5-11 15:13:45 |Display all floors
I do think it is a phenomenon exist . I myself experienced it before. When I was on my university years, I was thinking to  make friends with those international students, however,I failed at the end. And I thought the greatest problem between our chinese students and those international students was the cultural differents. They might know about some of chinese culture and language, but it is not enough for them to well understand our local habits. Even as an english major students, it was difficult for us to well communicate with them.  When we tried to talk to them , the first thing hit our might was about whether they trust us or not. And I do think they might fall into the same situation with us. Therefore, in the end  we could not very smoothly communicate and when we failed for the first several times, we might not try it again that to make friends , I mean,  real friends with those international students. It seems there was an invisible wall between both of us.
I, myself do strongly hold the opion that both of our two parts need to know each others cultures and the language deeply .

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Post time 2012-5-11 15:28:17 |Display all floors
This just represents a minority of foreigners.

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Post time 2012-5-11 15:55:03 |Display all floors
shameless Post time: 2012-5-11 12:49
hmm,
I still say so, after a while they got to know me and respond accordingly...
then again, Chin ...
honestly, foreigners are much better people at their home country


Well, after living for a while in China you take the habits of the people. If I wait quietly to be served at a restaurant I will never be waited on, I'll have to yell a loud "fu yuan" to get what I want.
If I do not push in the metro I won't get out (or in). If I am not careful and don't speak up people will skip the queue. So I dare say, yes, I am a much well behaved person in France than I am in China (I don't really like the word "better" in this case).

Let me tell you a true story that happened to me. It was in december 2006, I was in Paris on my way back to Shanghai (already spent a year in Shanghai) and in Paris Airport I met with a nice Shanghai man. He was elegant, polite, civilized, he helped an older French woman with her luggage, offered a family with children to skip the queue in front of him (he spoke perfect French). We hit it off and decided to sit close to one another in the plane and we really had a good time during the trip. When we arrived in Shanghai, the first thing he did off the plane was to light a cigarette on (inside the airport), he was yelling loudly on his phone and running around and pushing people when going through immigration. I was really surprised and I told him honestly "why do you behave like an ass when you were so polite and civilized in Paris ?". I think I will always remember his reply : "because here I can behave this way".
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Post time 2012-5-11 15:55:37 |Display all floors
haishiwo Post time: 2012-5-11 13:32
Traditional Han Chinese are not sports-lover,, . Actually, my friends, who are studying in US to ...

Traditional Han Chinese LOVE to watch sport, they're just shy to practice it
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Post time 2012-5-11 15:59:12 |Display all floors
Amy_Kyo Post time: 2012-5-11 15:13
I do think it is a phenomenon exist . I myself experienced it before. When I was on my university ye ...

Fair and balanced post.

However I believe the problem (on both sides) is people want the other one to understand their cultures and also tend to put cultures in competition !

There are things in Chinese culture I know I will never understand, I just accept the difference, there re things in my culture foreign people will never understand either, they should not worry about not understanding, they should just accept it.

The other day I went to Italy and brought Parma ham to my inlaws. They were very unhappy and didn't take it because "we don't know how to eat it". My wife later told me in Chinese culture people do not eat raw meat (which is not always true, I can think of at least 10 dishes of raw meat in China). Truth is they were afraid to try something new, to get out of their comfort zone.
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Post time 2012-5-11 15:59:36 |Display all floors
haiwei7865 Post time: 2012-5-11 15:28
This just represents a minority of foreigners.

Nah, most foreigners think this way
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Post time 2012-5-11 16:14:56 |Display all floors
MisterPanda Post time: 2012-5-11 15:59
Fair and balanced post.

However I believe the problem (on both sides) is people want the other on ...

Amy_Kyo, well written.

There always seems to be a competition, particularly with Chinese men. Many times I have been approached by men at functions (dinners, work-group outings), and so often the disucussion becomes an interrogation, often on a controversial topic such as T___t.

When I say I do not have an opinion on the subject, the discussion becomes more intense from the Chinese side, "Surely you must have an opinion on the subject?", "No, I have never been there, I do not know the facts, so I cannot form an opinion".... that is the end of the discssion:-(

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