How do you view your own culture in the eyes of a foreigner? What do you think chinese think of the west (or canadians)?
Questioning Your Culture
I have decided to try and condense this a little as my first draft was very long.
How has my view of Western Culture changed: I view the West as very spoiled and with very little control of themselves. The West had everything it needed to live wonderfully but it was never satisfied, it kept pushing and pushing for more toys and more luxuries it didn’t need and it will now pay the price for that stupidity by having it’s economic systems crash. I love our freedoms in life but they require the people who have them to have self control over their actions which it seems many people just don’t have. This does not mean I want the government to put controls in place like they have in China, just that I wish our education system would teach more skills on how to control our lives better and how to be happy with what we have.
If I think about it in regards to Canada specifically, What China has taught me about Canada is that Canadian people are incredibly lucky, not to say they are good or anything like that, no people are better than any other. I mean lucky as in we have done absolutely nothing to deserve what we have. Many Canadians seem to have this idea that Canada is clean and beautiful because we’re such a great country, but we found it this way and in fact many Canadians seem intent on destroying all the things that make our country great. It’s similar to China in that way, except I can understand why China is destroying their environment and accepting a strict, authoritarian government, I don’t agree with it but I can understand it. What I can’t understand is why Canadian people seem to be OK with going the same route and it makes me very sad.
What do I think Chinese view the West as: I would say there are three main types of views on the West, the first hate it, second love it and the last have mixed feelings. Those who hate it generally don’t really know much about Western culture to begin with and usually just hate it because of Nationalistic reasons. Those who love it also often don’t know our culture so well and have only really looked at some of the good parts without worrying about the bad.
However, most Chinese fit into the last category of mixed feelings. I think most Chinese don’t really trust Western culture due to Chinese culture’s distrust of foreigners. They feel our media is overly critical of them, Western people are too open to things like sex and drugs and that the Western countries don’t like China. But at the same time they seem to feel like China is overly positive of itself, Chinese people are too traditional about sex and modern ideas and that the West is more free in life. The real truth for how most Chinese view the West is that most Chinese don’t really know very much about the West except what they see on TV, Movies and magazines. Even many Chinese who go abroad to study end up staying in Chinese dominated dorms, speaking Chinese, hanging out with Chinese and eating Chinese food. This has led to a very strange view of the West and our culture based on rumours, half truths and media distortions.
Hopefully as both the West learns more about China and China learns more about the West, these misunderstandings will disappear and everyone can realize just how similar we all are. As the biggest thing that living abroad has taught me about the world is that we are all really basically the same and the differences that do exist are greatly over exaggerated by those who just want us to fear and distrust each other so that it’s easier for them to control us.