People often ask what the cultural differences around the world are. Western culture has had great influence all around the world. When I arrived in Tuvalu, one of the least populated countries the world – the first song I heard playing on the radio was “Wrecking ball” by Miley Cyrus. Small, isolated countries often need to rely on western culture for survival. China on the other hand is large enough it has been able to keep their own traditions and hasn’t been completely influenced by western culture. China has the most unique cultural differences than any other country I have been. If you just go to Beijing or Shanghai you may never notice any of these – luckily my ex girlfriend was Chinese and we did a road trip through china for a month.
- Adult Men Lift their Shirt when Eating
Go to a restaurant in a local city and watch the +40 year old men. If they are eating spicy food and they start to sweat to help them cool down and show their nice pot belly. My ex and her family were at a restaurant in Chengdu eating very spicy food. Her dad raised his shirt and my ex said, “my mom says you can raise your shirt too if you want”.
- No Diapers
Chinese babies don’t wear diapers. They wear open crotch pants. Yep…so you can see their private parts. This results in them peeing and pooping anywhere – subway, bus, restaurant and the streets
- Talk loud when in big groups
At a restaurant to show excitement Chinese will start speaking louder and louder and may even stand in excitement. This is a good thing – it shows that everyone is happy.
- Wear heels when climbing mountains
Planning to go climbing a super high mountain like the Huangshan Mountain and Chinese girls wore heels?!?! I was told this was so they could be pretty in their pictures. Did they forget they would have to walk up like 1000 steps?
- Talking openly about income and being fat
When I first moved to University of Florida, I went to the graduate school orientation to learn about the University. I did a campus tour – which the only other students on the tour were Chinese and they became my first friends at the University of Florida friends. About 18 months later when I was dating my Chinese girlfriend – I saw my old friends again. There were quick to tell me that I had gotten fat.
In the title of this section two topics are indicated that will be discussed but you only mentioned a story about being fat and nothing about income.
- Everyone is your friends
When I visited my girlfriend’s parents place in Xi’an, China – it seemed like a festival. Everyone knew each other and walking to dinner was an adventure due to being stopped by so many friends on the way. There were markets and shops right outside their apartment. They had a dog named “Bing Bing”. Anytime they had to have drop off mail, keys, or other items – they would tell the person – deliver it to Bing Bing’s family.
- Wear things to cover their skin on the road
Chinese want white skin and so they will have special long sleeves to wear when they are driving so they won’t. The only problem – UV rays don’t penetrate the car windows so there’s no point in the long sleeves.
- Don’t stand in straight line
Chinese don’t have straight lines. Just try going to buy a ticket or waiting in line at McDonalds. They will crowd those counters in a mass.
- Chinese can Make Food From Almost Anything
When shopping in China, one often has to bargain – especially if they are a foreigner.
- Traditional Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine is so popular in China. Several Medical insurances cover it.
- The biggest spit wads are from China
You haven’t seen real china until you see and hear a guy preparing to spit for 5 seconds and collecting all that mucus from the very bottom of his throat.
- One time zone
China has the 3rd largest land mass and only has one time zone. As comparison, the other top 4 largest land masses – Russia has 11, Canada has 6, & USA has 6 time zones. This actually makes things very nice when traveling.
- At the Clubs, People sit and don’t Dance
The most famous clubs in China have no dance floor or a very small dance floor. That is because the emphasis in China is to reserve a table with friends and sit there. If Chinese are going to dance (which is rare) they dance with their reserved group at that particular table.
- Adult women in park dancing
If you walk through a park in China, you will likely encounter Chinese city, you are bound to find some a group of woman standing moving their hands to music playing.
Chinese cook everywhere which results in smells everywhere
- Opposite Gender will Pat You Down
Do you see a cute security guard when going through the airport security line? Keep something “accidently” in your pocket, because even this security guard will give you a full pad down regardless of your gender
- Long Pinky fingernail
- Driving – just stopping and honking horn when going around corners
In China if you are driving on the highway and don’t know which exit to take – just stop the highway and pull out your maps. If you are driving around the hills and can’t see if a car is coming – no need to slow down;.just honk loudly and if no one honks back you can just maintain the speed
- New Painted Roads Worse than the Old Ones
In China when they paint and make new road lines, no matter what they do – people will still walk over it before it dries and now there are footprints all over the street.