The place to ask China-related questions!
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou Shenzhen Chengdu Xi'an Hangzhou Qingdao Dalian Suzhou Nanjing More Cities>>

Categories

Close
Welcome to eChinacities Answers! Please or register if you wish to join conversations or ask questions relating to life in China. For help, click here.
Posts: 18

General

1
2
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
1

Q: Can foreigners truly integrate into the Chinese society after living here for years?

I arrived in Beijing only a few months ago and really want to call this place my new home. However, in the past few months I discovered big differences between Eastern and Western thoughts and behavior, and I don't know if I can fully accept the norms and behave like a local person. Big cultural shock needless to say.

I want to ask those of you who's been here longer: was it difficult for you in the beginning as well? Do you think 'getting used to' is the same thing as true 'integration'?

 

 

5 years 10 weeks ago in  Culture - Beijing

 
Highest Voted
Posts: 458

Governor

17
20
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
3

I've come to have a tolerance for the local culture, but I have only lost more and more respect for it the longer that I have been here. When you've studied the cultural mindset of China, all you learn is that the benevolent excuses that you have been making for peoples' rotten behavior falls flat. When you learn the language, you understand what vacuous xenophobes are yapping about you AS YOU ARE STANDING RIGHT THERE. I've lived in three different countries at this point (Kenya, Peru, and now China)--China is the only country where I have had a bad reaction to the locals. I plan to leave next year, and never return.

I have met some wonderful and friendly people in China, but every country has wonderful and friendly people. What makes China an exceptional country is the shit.

Report Abuse
5 years 10 weeks ago
 
Answers (26 - 29 of 29)
Comments (23)
Posts: 544

Governor

1
2
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
1

Not as long as they're "foreigners". As long as Chinese culture, and the Chinese mindset, views people as "Them", they will always be on the outside.

 

Right now, the biggest problem is that China has a "blut und boden" ideology. Even Chinese citizens who are non-yellow (Uigur, or Russian minorities, for example) are still not considered Chinese, due to the belief among the majority that being Chinese is a function of genetics.

 

I'm not saying it will never change, but will take time. Look at Japan, for example, where immigration is still very limited, but happens. There has even been a white Japanese elected to House Of Councilors... granted, he was subsequently voted out, and was targeted by xenophobia (he's not really Japanese... look at him. Do you really want one of... those people in our government?), but it did happen.

 

As long as China considers genetics to be the deciding factor in being Chinese, only people who "look the part" can ever pass. You can learn a new language through work, and adopt local customs, but you can't change your skin color (aside from questionable surgery).

Report Abuse
4 years 6 weeks ago
 
Posts: 1140

Shifu

2
2
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
0

no

Report Abuse
4 years 6 weeks ago
 
0
0
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
0

A Mexican or Native American family could... as long as they didn't speak English.

Report Abuse
4 years 4 weeks ago
 
0
0
You must be a registered user to vote!
You must be a registered user to vote!
0

I've known some westerners who grew up and literally spent all of their lives in China. They knew Beijing like the back of their hand, spoke Mandarin better than some of the locals, and had a good knowledge of the Chinese culture.

 

But they were always just a laowai.

 

The only difference between me and them (when I had just arrived) was that they knew that trying to integrate was futile.

Report Abuse
4 years 4 weeks ago
 
Know the answer ?
Please or register to post answer.

Report Abuse

Security Code: * Enter the text diplayed in the box below
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <img> <br> <p> <u>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Textual smileys will be replaced with graphical ones.

More information about formatting options

Forward Question

Answer of the DayMORE >>
A: Going to HK would be the best bet I reckon, especially if you were loo
A:Going to HK would be the best bet I reckon, especially if you were looking for a church wedding. Chinese weddings are pretty grim IMO - you go to a barren govt dept with souless officials and navigate red tape so some guy can give you a red stamp and a marriage book. You get expensive pictures taken of you both posing in places you'd never go to in everyday life that is somehow supposed to represent your wedding, then a while later it's off to a restaurant where a game show host kind of guy makes sure it's as tacky as possible while the guests eat as fast as they can so they can leave as soon as they finish eating and gave you money. Hell, I'd go to Thailand or the Philippines and get married in Paradise.   -- Stiggs