Author: lasy2004

the difference between the chinese and american's attitude to their life [Copy link] 中文

Rank: 1

Post time 2004-3-12 16:57:51 |Display all floors

foundamental differences

I have read most of the articles in this forum page and feel that we share the same foundamental issues in our own society, whether Chinese or American, those big issues of Family, Education, Job Security, Social Security etc are constantly posting challenges to our livlihood in our society.

But as individual, we face the same "growing up" issues. when I look at the peoples livining in Shanghai, I recall how Singaporeans have gone through in the last 20 years.

In New York, it is just the different ways of life styles that make the difference between each person. There will always be the Middle Class and Upper class life styles; But not necessary it would draw a line between rich and poor. What I mean is that a poor person can have a rich life style in many ways. Some may like to show off but some may be not so impressive. Life style got to do with affordability. If a person choose to pay his debt slowly but wish to live in some kind of life style, it is acceptable in American society and I believe it happen in China too.

But I have a very strong personal feeling that may offend many Chinese in China, ie " credibility " is almost none in your society. Credibility is the foundamental support of the American life. "Cheating" is a word that I should avoid using in this forum before someone X my neck off.

But I may be wrong, this is just my experience in the past 2 years in Hangzhou.

I have to explain what I mean by "credibility" in society.

A creditable person respect the rule of Co-existence with another person in the society, respect the rights of others and look after the interest of others.

We all have different aims in life, but we all respect each other. Sadly, this respect can not be seen in my 2 years of experinces in Hangzhou and Shanghai.

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 4

Post time 2004-3-15 22:06:56 |Display all floors


I have heard from other Chinese exactly what you say about Americans.  I just cannot figure out where they get this idea.  It is true that our divorce rate is around 50%, but I don't know any single person who ever talked about getting divorced later on.  It's just that it's much easier for women to have a career and make good money here, which means they don't have to stay in a bad marriage just to have a place to live and food on the table.  Good or bad?  Not sure.  

And what's with this crazy notion about nursing homes?  My girlfriend said the same thing about us.  Where do these ideas come from?  My great grandmother died at the age of 100 when I was 16.  She died in a nursing home because she refused to move away from Brooklyn, New York.  We all lived in New Jersey, and so we'd go visit her.  She was very happy there and would have been miserable in NJ away from her friends.  My other great grandmother refused to come live with my parents until she was too sick to care for herself, when we forced her to move into our house.  Eventually she got too sick for us (non-doctors) to care for her and she went to hospice, where she died a few days later.  I've never heard of anyone committing their relatives to a nursing home against their will.  But I know of a lot of cases where the old person wants to go to a nursing home to be with others their own age with 24 hr. medical care available.  When my grandfather (also too sick for us to care for him at home) went to a nursing home, by chance, his roommate there was a childhood friend he hadn't seen in over 70 years.  My grandfather was too senile to know him.  But the roommate remebered my grandfather, took care of him and he died (perhaps not knowing if he was happy), but with someone he grew up with.  We we all there too.

Why in the world would my parents save money for me?  I'm young, well-educated, employed, healthy and make good money.  Why would I want to take their money?  I really don't understand this one.  My parents are rich and don't need anything from me.  I'm not at all poor and don't need anything from them.  We love each other dearly and have a great relationship, which has NOTHING at all to do with money.  What's wrong with that?

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2004-3-20 02:14:44 |Display all floors


i am also american.

the complaints about american culture coming from chinese have been coming from americans themselves for a lot longer.  i guess it started with the tv dinner, or whatever.  blame microwaves.  

actually, i think the divorce rate is much higher now ... like about 70 percent.  i could check online but am too lazy.  

anyway, i think we are learning to adjust with changing technology.  one effect of which is that you now have a chinese girlfriend!  (am i right?)  that would not have been possible 100 years ago.

so, some good, some bad, but everything changing.  china is changing too.


Use magic tools Report

Rank: 1

Post time 2004-4-9 21:58:35 |Display all floors

everybody want to be happy everyday

I do agree with tracyliang. It all depends on the difference of welfare system. In America, people don't need to worry about the life as an old man. The medical insurance is very good.  How about in China? If you don't save money for the life as a senior, it would be miserable if you get very ill. Of course, if we are lucky , we don't need to spend the money we save all our life when we are died. Then the money will leave to our children. That's the chinese tradition.

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 1

Post time 2004-4-12 10:41:51 |Display all floors

My opinion

I think most chinese people always sit down under the pressure of live,but american people like enjoy the challenge of fate.

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 4

Post time 2004-4-12 20:56:04 |Display all floors

welfare is an illusion

Xiaoalice, no young person in America seriously believes there will be any welfare to help them when they're old.  Our Social Security system is in very bad shape now and will probably be bankrupt in 2008 when the baby-boomer generation retires.  When Soc. Sec. began, the average American lifespan was 67 years.  Now it's 78 years, but the retirement age for Social Security has not been raised.  It's politically impossible to raise the age, cut the benefits or raise the taxes.  All of these things will need to be done for the system to survice the next 10 years.  Our Medicare system is already paying from its cash reserves.  My parents are 58 yrs. old and don't believe they'll get one dollar from Social Security or Medicare.  Luckily, they've known this their whole lives and have planned accordingly.  Anyone who relies on the government for support is stupid and poor or stupid and will be poor.  Social Security does not pay enough money to live above the poverty line.

Use magic tools Report

lotusgirl has been deleted
Post time 2004-4-25 22:08:04 |Display all floors

I think Chinese and American has different understand about "enjoy life"

Reminder: Author is prohibited or removed, and content is automatically blocked

Use magic tools Report

You can't reply post until you log in Log in | register

Contact us:Tel: (86)010-84883548, Email:
Blog announcement:| We reserve the right, and you authorize us, to use content, including words, photos and videos, which you provide to our blog
platform, for non-profit purposes on China Daily media, comprising newspaper, website, iPad and other social media accounts.