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Showing posts from August, 2007

Why do many Chinese behave so badly?

Seventeen days in China, travelling with my family as a tourist, have shown a lot of 'Chinese culture', not only in the sense of beautiful Taoist and Buddhist temples, impressive buildings and statues from the imperial past and the subtle beauty if Chinese calligraphy, but also in the form of the behaviour of the Chinese in public places. This behaviour often shows us the less attractive side of Chinese culture, which to the Western eye seems to be based on a lack of respect for other people and a total neglect of rules of civilised conduct. It is difficult to understand, since it contrasts with the high degree of self-control, respect and subtle ritual that foreigners observe in their contacts with Chinese business people and public officials. Saving and giving face, making the other person feel comfortable, modesty and avoidance of confrontational behaviour and rude language seem to be the rule in this sort of situations. However, once you have met Chinese people in public p…