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Originally from Seattle, USA, I've lived in China for 27 years now, 22 of them in Taiwan. For those 27 years I have been teaching English to Chinese people of all age levels; kindergarten, primary school, junior high, high school, College, University and many business managers. I have traveled to many countries, enjoy cycling very much, enjoy reading and studying and love Chinese Art Museums and walking through Nature. My favorite musical instruments are 古筝。。 古琴 。。 琵琶。。 二胡 。。 笛子 。。 (guzheng, guqin, pipa, erhu, dizi).
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Life Should be Cherished    

By WarmLife
1180 Views | 4 Comments | 5/28/2016 2:08:47 PM

I recently told a really good Chinese friend of mine ..  maybe one of the myriad of reasons for the misunderstandings between Chinese and Westerners belong to Ethnocentric social behavior on both sides of the proverbial fence.  



For centuries or maybe even millenia Chinese social behavior has been considered "inscrutable"  --  Which makes reasonable sense until people begin to realize that they are only seeing "the forest" without the trees ... 



Thus the interaction between each would either escalate or evaporate quickly due to how stubborn either side wishes to be .  Unfortunately, both sides are not able to grasp or understand the embedded social cultural habits that have been there for tooooooo long .   



Also, unfortunately most people prefer NOT to invest time, effort, passion, into getting more deeply acquainted with other social cultural habits ...  Why should they?  After all ... my social cultural habits are certainly much more rational, better, convenient, comfortable, acceptable and of course definitely Correct!



This attitude definitely belongs to ethnocentric mindset .   



What does this mean?  A person who is willing to invest effort and even passion to spend much more time with the local residents of any City (especially outside of the typical business meetings or dinners) along with those living in much smaller towns or even villages ... will slowly yet surely begin to lose "the proverbial chip on their shoulder" ... their attitude will change and thus the stubborn ethnocentric social behavior will begin to dissipate ...



I am not suggesting that foreigners find ways to change the Chinese mindset -- for the same reasons that I have argued strongly with Taiwanese exhibiting their ethnocentric lifestyles in California ( Little Taipei - Monterrey Park... Vancouver ... Richmond (near Vancouver) or other Chinatowns ... There are plenty of Chinese (Taiwanese or any other Chinese group)  who simply move to Western countries and then behave in a similar fashion to expats or foreigners moving into China .   



Obviously this process must take a lot of time, effort and passion to be willing to do what is necessary to better understand a different cultural social view or lifestyle .  


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(Showing 1 to 4 of 4) 1
#2016-05-28 14:18:37 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

I really agree with you that to truly enjoy living in, or even just visiting, another country, you have to divorce your thinking of your own country (or culture) as having some kind of magical lock on the best way of doing, thinking, behaving, etc. We always think that the way we do things is the best way, when it is really simply the way we learned to do them. Of course it is nonsensical to assume that only we could possibly have discovered the best way of doing all things.

But at the same time it is that very thought process that prevents us from truly enjoying all the new things or ways or thoughts we encounter in the places we visit. This goes right to the heart of Peter's recent blog about eating, as well. We all think that our food is best and everyone else's food sucks. But how could that possibly be?

Good points, Jim. Thanks for sharing.

#2016-05-30 22:49:53 by WarmLifeGz7 @WarmLifeGz7

@JohnAbbot There are many other areas to consider as well ... ;)(sun)
Here are five more areas to consider when living together with another person; especially when these people are attempting to create a family environment.
Personal Development -- how will the inter-connected Cultural identities deal with the issue of raising children? Teaching children to become healthy well rounded individuals is certainly not an easy task even for a single sociological cultural mindset let alone a combination of two or more. This requires both of the parents to actually attempt to grow and develop themselves. How to compromise? Which educational model or paradigm to follow? Will either side be able to break out of typical stereotypical cultural habits? Will either side actually give up some of the typical addictive social behaviors that might already exist? Whether people agree or not -- smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages - constant business meetings (with those activities associated with them; especially the unhealthy aspects from either culture); gambling etc.
Leadership potential -- obviously to most educated people -- children naturally observe their parents as either good models or dysfunctional models of societal behavior. In today's endemic consumeristic pathos -- more and more parents become addicted to emulating and following the old 1950s (onwards) keeping up with the Jones and constantly purchasing whatever to satisfy the endless hunger of adding yet more "stuff" to each household ( my previous coworker years ago would go shopping at Costco and purchase 40,000NT each time thus filling their townhouse to the brim with "stuff") We surely live in a Post-modern Philip Dick type of society (Blade runner for example ) Where there is a lack of empathy for each other . Pre-modern and Modern Moralistic rules which were aggressively pushed onto many people did not really solve many societal ailments and problems . Most likely due to the proverbial -- Live by the Law and die by the Law (forced legalistic morality most often stifles and chokes any attempt at living with freedom to share empathy, kindness, appreciation, mercy, creating a community that seeks mutual benefits instead of selfish autonomous power to ensnare one another) Are Parents in these days able to learn, study and develop healthy psychological and sociological patterns for their children to emulate and imitate? Or will they simply throw more money towards other places to keep their kids while they are busy with their phones or whatever activities that seem more important to them.
Family Lifestyle -- Wow -- there are so many different styles ... Which ones will the Westerner/Chinese decide to follow? Will the typical pattern that I have observed for many years continue to be the "rut" in the road which ensnares people to drive along?
Family development or family responsibilities -- How will the new Parents build up a sense of teamwork? instead of the typical Hierarchical system .
A lot can be added ... food for thought...

#2016-05-31 21:10:55 by WarmLifeGz7 @WarmLifeGz7

@JohnAbbot There are many other areas to consider as well ... ;)(sun)
Here are five more areas to consider when living together with another person; especially when these people are attempting to create a family environment.
Personal Development -- how will the inter-connected Cultural identities deal with the issue of raising children? Teaching children to become healthy well rounded individuals is certainly not an easy task even for a single sociological cultural mindset let alone a combination of two or more. This requires both of the parents to actually attempt to grow and develop themselves. How to compromise? Which educational model or paradigm to follow? Will either side be able to break out of typical stereotypical cultural habits? Will either side actually give up some of the typical addictive social behaviors that might already exist? Whether people agree or not -- smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages - constant business meetings (with those activities associated with them; especially the unhealthy aspects from either culture); gambling etc.
Leadership potential -- obviously to most educated people -- children naturally observe their parents as either good models or dysfunctional models of societal behavior. In today's endemic consumeristic pathos -- more and more parents become addicted to emulating and following the old 1950s (onwards) keeping up with the Jones and constantly purchasing whatever to satisfy the endless hunger of adding yet more "stuff" to each household ( my previous coworker years ago would go shopping at Costco and purchase 40,000NT each time thus filling their townhouse to the brim with "stuff") We surely live in a Post-modern Philip Dick type of society (Blade runner for example ) Where there is a lack of empathy for each other . Pre-modern and Modern Moralistic rules which were aggressively pushed onto many people did not really solve many societal ailments and problems . Most likely due to the proverbial -- Live by the Law and die by the Law (forced legalistic morality most often stifles and chokes any attempt at living with freedom to share empathy, kindness, appreciation, mercy, creating a community that seeks mutual benefits instead of selfish autonomous power to ensnare one another) Are Parents in these days able to learn, study and develop healthy psychological and sociological patterns for their children to emulate and imitate? Or will they simply throw more money towards other places to keep their kids while they are busy with their phones or whatever activities that seem more important to them.
Family Lifestyle -- Wow -- there are so many different styles ... Which ones will the Westerner/Chinese decide to follow? Will the typical pattern that I have observed for many years continue to be the "rut" in the road which ensnares people to drive along?
Family development or family responsibilities -- How will the new Parents build up a sense of teamwork? instead of the typical Hierarchical system .
A lot can be added ... food for thought...

#2016-06-01 16:51:22 by WarmLifeGz7 @WarmLifeGz7

In all aspects of education, selecting the right approach to supplement and enrich the child’s learning process is critical. With numerous schools in the marketplace offering various methodologies and promoting a so called "fast track" to passing school exams, parents need to work out the real abilities of their children in order to address them and place their children on the right track.

Remember, the most important thing parents can do for their child is to actively encourage them. Regardless of the program they are enrolled in, children learn with more passion and energy when parents demonstrate an interest and spend time to go through their learning process with them.
I have tried for decades to help parents (Chinese parents -- and this includes both sides of the Straits (that body of water between the Mainland and that Island -- hehehe) Unfortunately, in my view there is a "system" that is stubbornly enforced by the mentality of too many parents -- some parents will simply put their kids into any school or language center so that these parents are then free to do whatever they wish to do -- kind of having someone to basically baby sit their kids -- (marketing skills here are prominent to influence these parents ) but not baby sitting from a Western style but mostly by hiring anyone to push these kids to finish their homework . I will not write much about my opinion concerning these places or what I observed -- doing that would simply be the "red color" a bull sees in a stadium for some viewers . In Wanda Plaza there are now shops that market so many toys and supposedly edutainment products eagerly attempting to continue to follow the same scenario back in usa for eons. Thus, a Western guy and a Chinese woman will also need to deal with this social challenge between them as well. I was constantly blocked for 22 years by Chinese females ( ex-wife, ex-sisters-in-law, several very close mothers). Then when kids (who were within my social influence) failed to meet these women's expectations I was the first to be blamed and strongly so . Talk is fine ... discussions are fascinating .. however the reality of daily living is prevalent and always in your face. (yes, I certainly recall 3-4 group sessions with long winded discussions which resulted in indecision and no conclusions whatsoever -- hahahahaha ) Would I prefer to change my past living experience for that so called "cleaner air" blue skies et al. instead of living intimately with Chinese people ? You have 3 guesses and the first two do not count --

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