Culture Rebels, Cultural Faux pas,and Culture Vultures
I'd be interested in hearing whether any Poddies have ever found themselves being Cultural Rebels.What I mean is,have there been times when you've understood what the cultural norm in Chinese society would dictate in a certain situation but for one reason or another you've decided not to conform? If so,what was the circumstance and what was the reason? Alternatively,have there been times when you've made a cultural faux pas only to realise later? How much later?
Are there any culture vultures out there? [more Chinese than the Chinese] or do you know of any? examples?
bodaweiApril 08, 2010, 11:54 AM
I don't think that you can be more Chinese than the Chinese - although the Taiwanese are sometimes accused of this.
It's a great post Barbs (you know how I love culture.) I think that I (like most Westerners) conform at a very superficial level but at the deeper level of cultural values it is harder - some would say impossible to 'conform' without a very good understanding of what you are conforming to. I believe that these deeper things are hard-wired into us up to the age of say 10 or 12 - most people live their lives without properly reflecting on their own values much less others.
To answer your question: I am still trying to understand Chinese values. Until I understand them better I guess I woudn't know if I conformed or otherwise! At a guess I would say that in most respects I am at the opposite end of the spectrum to most Chinese - like most Australians. My goal is to know the culture well enough to live with the other end of the spectrum. I haven't found anything important yet that I have to say I can't live with.
Lots of superficial things drive me crazy, but they drive lots of Chinese people crazy too.
This is a 'saying'; of course it is not something that can be objectively measured. I remember we used to say in Darwin that some of the Chinese are 'more Aussie than the Aussies' - this was I think a reference to their broad Australian accent and their enthusiastic adoption of the North Australian life style - the ute, the dog, the fishing boat etc. This kind of full assimilation is simply impossible in China. Hence my assertion..
The Taiwanese thing is more or less second hand - I have known a couple of Taiwanese guys working in China who expressed this view. They say that the old people believe themselves to be the custodians of true traditional values, and this is made possible because of isolation from the mainland. Hence, 'more Chinese than the Chinese'.
bababardwanApril 10, 2010, 08:20 AM
I don't think that you can be more Chinese than the Chinese
the Taiwanese are sometimes accused of this.