- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 1 Hour
- Reading permission
Finland and China are very friendly countries in every way. There are lots of Chinese people living, studying, working here in Helsinki all the time. I hear Chinese language every day while shopping etc. There are even Chinese supermarkets in Finland. For us, seeing and meeting a Chinese person is not a surprise - and never a negative thing. I think, our people get along nicely.|
When I travel to China, I normally also get good treatment. It is only when one gets to know people more closely that some surprises - and even problems - start. The traditions and customs are different in some critical ways. For example, the rules about how men and women behave in different situations are so different that it is extremely easy for a Finn to insult a Chinese person - big time - without intending to.
The main reason to that is kind of logical. In China (like in most Asian cultures) people don't often speak out their real minds and thoughts. One has to be very sensitive and understand when a smile doesn't mean what it mostly means in Western cultures - and when a "yes" really means "no".
Here in Scandinavia it's not like that at all. We say out loud whatever we think. And we mean it. Here, a "yes" always means yes... We don't and even mostly can't do "small talk". And almost never hide our true meanings behind words. Our northern culture is very simple and straight in that sense. People don't always speak alot. But they mean what they say, literally, word-by-word.
It is easy to guess that this kind of communication easily upsets many other cultures who expect hidden meanings (we don't know any) and polite rules (we don't use any). We only try to be honest and straight - that's all. ;)
But when dealing with the Chinese, this culture of ours can either be a disaster - or a gift from heaven...
To me, it seems to be a disaster if one wants, for example, to marry a lovely Chinese girl. In order to do that, one should know all the traditions, customs, everything... Things tricky even for a Chinese man sometimes! For a Scandinavian man: no chance. He shall be a "barbarian", not a viable choice in many cases. He just can't understand and satisfy the thousands of years old Chinese family status quo.
And then again, our Northern, ancient way of being straight and honest is good for business.
So, my current (!) feeling is that we "outsiders" are welcome to China in business, as tourists, and in many ways. But we are not necessarily welcome or acceptable as husbands or wives, because we are... too different. In that sense, there is a real, invisible barrier, I think. I feel I am welcome to China - but maybe never a part of China.