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Q: Are the locals amazed about how much you know about China?

Sometimes when I am out with some locals and we are drinking a bit. I start telling them about their own country (not really in a negative light) but about stuff they wouldn't expect a foreigner to know about... 

 

Like their salons that double as brothels. 

 

The cultural acceptance of xiao sans. 

 

The reasons why they always drink and smoke to do business. 

 

etc... etc... etc... 

 

Chinese think we are clueless about such things and look at us like children. Sort of like how we look at them with their manners and logic lol. 

 

So anyway, have you ever have Chinese actually surprised and shocked you knew some of the secrets of their inner-workings and what was it about? 

5 years 44 weeks ago in  Lifestyle - China

 
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Visiting a Temple i was talking to local friends about the meanings of the statues and symbols.

They were surprised when i could explain the difference between the male and female guardian lions. They didn't know.

"wow! you know so much about China! " 

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5 years 44 weeks ago
 
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15 years later and I always get the spiel, "In China..."

Then I explain that no, not all over China but here they do "x".

The collective mind-set applies to everything, food, places to visit, their history, etc.

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5 years 44 weeks ago
 
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I am constantly amazed by how little they know about their own country. I was recently tutoring a group of business English students using a newspaper article. The article listed a number of strategic business locations throughout China. I used it as a kind of quiz asking them to link the city with the province or region that they are in. I knew all of them because of traveling around China. The students didn't know at least five of them - and these are cities in their own country. 

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5 years 44 weeks ago
 
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I often hear, "You know more about China than me..."

 

That's because I have unrestricted internet access.

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5 years 44 weeks ago
 
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I was actually quite shocked when I asked about Chinese customs in class. Students don't know anything about Duanwu Jie, Dragon boat festival. Why do people make zhongzi, what significance does it hold in Chinese culture? None of my students know. No one knows why they have Mid Autumn Festival other than the giving of moon cakes as gifts. Nobody gives mooncakes overseas. Students just know that it's a holiday and they need not attend class. Sad. Maybe in another two generations no one will ever know. We, overseas Chinese know more about Chinese customs than locals. The Mao era killed everything, including culture, customs and beliefs.

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5 years 44 weeks ago
 
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Seems not. Because the things I know are all lies and I can just fork off home to my perfect little country. 

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5 years 44 weeks ago
 
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Chinese people get so happy though when you know something about their culture... 

 

I think it is so that they know you aren't a total alien and they can find something in common with you. Well sort of in common... 

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5 years 44 weeks ago
 
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Anything. About fashion items and where to get them cheap, my question was whether it was the real thing or the fake stuff. 'Ooo... do you even know that?' 'Everybody knows that.'

 

Air quality in Beijing. 'You know a lot about China.' 'Excuse me, the air quality in Beijing is famous all over the world.' 'Is it? Ooo... how embarassing...'

 

Chinese handwriting. '你写错了.' Then showing me how to do it right and doing exactly the same. 'That's exactly what I just did.' , 'O, o, yes, you're right.'

 

Geography, there's a separate thread about it. 'Ningxia is in Xinjiang.' I showed her the map of China.

 

History. 'The Ming dynasty ruled China over a thousand years ago.' 'According to this table, it was from 1368 to 1644.' 'I've forgotten so much since I finished highschool.' From a 24 years old.

 

And whenever you touch upon T, T or T, it is 'but you don't know the history of China.' Yeah, right.

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5 years 44 weeks ago
 
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I only know more about Chinese history than most Chinese. I studied it as a major in college, and I studied Chinese history in China as an exchange student many years ago.

 

Not so long ago I was a docent to two Chinese university students at the Nanjing museum- funny.

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5 years 44 weeks ago
 
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Something noteworthy today....a student asked me a question.

And it was..."What do people from other countries think about China?"  From a year 8 student.

I was so happy she asked a question and thanked her for it.  She was surprised I answered that people from other countries generally know nothing about China other than that China is a big country with many people, all of whom look the same and are short and eat rice.

She was then doubly surprised that I (now) knew enough to know that these generalisations were largely incorrect.

 

 

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5 years 44 weeks ago
 
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