10 Reasons Why Chinese People Are Awesome
Here are the 10 reasons why Chinese people are awesome:
1. The Care
Chinese people are great friends! Say you are alone at home with a bad cold. You tell a friend and he/she shows up uninvited with fruit, ginger, coke and a selection of medicines, starts boiling water for you and insists on taking you to the hospital at your first convenience, let’s admit it: that friend is probably Chinese.
When I first came to China I was worried it would be impossible to maintain my friendships back in my country and make long-lasting friendships in my new home, especially because young people tend to move around a lot. But when I started making new friends I soon found out a common motto among them: they all maintained that friends in China are friends forever and no matter what happens they’ll always be there.
I came to understand the concept through the meeting of exceptional friends who showed me first-hand what that means. Chinese friends are maybe less present in each other’s life on a regular basis, (no assiduous texting and going out for drinks) but when they are needed they’ll be there, defending you, supporting you and taking care of you.
2. The Culture of Lifelong Health Preservation
If there is one thing we should all learn from the Chinese is taking care of our bodies. Yes, it is true that drinking culture and oily food are not exactly what the doctor recommends, but you just need to turn around and talk to any old nainai (grandma) and yeye (grandpa) or spend a day in a Chinese family and you will be given at least half a dozen useful healthcare tips.
Maybe thanks to the influence of Taoism and Confucianism, the concept of wellbeing and inner balance are still very much rooted in the minds of Chinese people. What strikes every foreign in China (or should) is the dedication and joy most elderly people express in their morning and evening exercises.
In my own country I don’t know of many people over 55 that still have that amount of daily exercise and socialization and the more the years go up the less the probabilities. After watching all the guangchangwu (square dancing), sword dances and taiqi (Thaichi) happening in the parks since 4 am, I’m sure that when I grow old I would want to be a Chinese nainai (grandma) dancing around the streets with all my buddies.
3. The Faith in Change
Another positive peculiarity of Chinese people is the belief that things are what they are in a specific moment, but could change drastically with time and circumstances. This is particularly true in intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships: while in western countries we tend to define ourselves and other people within standards and we maintain said definition until proven wrong.
Chinese people have a less rigid opinion of themselves and other people and tend to believe in one’s chances of personal change, be it for an intrinsic Buddhist influence or the better economical situation and technological tools of our era. As the Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard writes: “One of the tragedies of our time seems to be considerably underestimating the ability for transformation of the human mind, given that our character traits are perceived as relatively stable”.
I think Chinese people are still strong in their faith in change and they demonstrate it giving a chance to people and themselves , in relationships, in the place of work and in many other circumstances. This reflects on an economical plane where Chinese people are more likely to invest even in uncertain times, for example achieving to get through the world recession with a GDP growth of 9.8% and an incessant growth of investments. Perhaps it’s time for western countries to remind themselves of the Heraclitus’ concept of “Panta Rei” as well.
4. Family Support
Chinese families are a fortress and a society of themselves rich of complicated connections and strong ties. Once an accepted member of a Chinese family an individual is an important part of an organism and will be treated as such: the opportunities, care, problems and incalculable amounts of homemade food will be shared by all. Is this different from families of other countries? Maybe not and maybe some families do not conform to the ideal Chinese family standards, but I love the respect for the elders and traditions that are maintained in Chinese families and I cherish my Chinese family and their values as well as admire the sense of and attachment Chinese people have towards their own families.
5. Traditional Rituals and Good Manners
Let’s start with Chinese festivals: my friends abroad are sometimes surprised by the number of traditional festivals that are celebrated in China and although they do not belong to a westerner’s culture they are a way to enjoy the fruit of centuries of tradition and learn about Chinese culture, besides, what ‘s not to love in a party? Chinese people love a festival and are ready to queue for hours, squeeze themselves onto trains and travel ridiculously long distances to go home and spend a few days of festival together with their dear ones.
Another way Chinese people show their heritage of customs (often unconsciously) is in small gestures. When foreign friends come here to visit they are often in awe at the kindness of Chinese people, especially when eating: putting food on another person’s plate, inviting people to eat and pouring tea in the cup of the person in front first are all small gestures that impress the idea of an inherited sort of Galateo.
6. The Guanxi
Many who live in China will know what a guanxi is: a connection or relationship between people. The concept of guanxi is an inspiring way to see relationships and promote collaboration among people. Many may see it in a negative light as a kind of favoritism but it is really something in between friendship and family, it pushes someone to pursue the values of loyalty and dedication in order to build a strong feeling of trust and as with the other relationships, guanxi can be life-long connections that create a social support to the individual.
7. The Chabuduo Attitude
Another misunderstood quality is the cha bu duo (more or less).Why do I see it as a quality? Because the chabuduo is what the perfect antidote to perfectionism. I have been a perfectionist all my life and I do try to counteract it when possible, living in China has certainly helped me reach a less perfectionist and more optima-list attitude towards life. Chinese people are optima-lists: they do their best but they don’t beat themselves up if something is not 100% flawless and move on, keeping in consideration the possibility of failure and counteracting it with resilience, I could continue but well, I guess…chabuduo le.
8. The Disregard for fashion rules
When I first landed in China in 2004, I was absolutely thrilled at finding out that the ‘80s were back: the skirts, the jeans, even the daring hairdos were still visible on the streets, next to a cacophony of other styles and trends. Coming from a country where fashion has always been kind of a big deal and you may be labeled as “in” or “out” according to whether you are following the fashion trend or not, I was enthusiastic at the idea of everyone just wearing what they liked and not caring about the “rules”.
Obviously after a while I also found out the inner trends of Chinese fashion thanks to my inability of following any and I slowly became aware of the big names of Chinese fashion, but to date I still see on the streets that beautiful and chaotic variety of styles that first hit me when I arrived and even when I see a whole family shopping or eating at a restaurant in their matching furry winter pajamas I say, go for it!
9. The Business sense
It is undeniable Chinese people can see a business opportunity from miles away and can get a bargain even when others can’t get one if their lives depended on it. I often hear complaints from people in Europe about how the Chinese are buying entire malls and streets, how they open restaurants and businesses everywhere putting the local population on the defensive. What I think when I hear these complaints is simply: “Why are you not doing it?” Often when entire buildings are bought in one installment and businesses are open over night it is not because behind them there are huge corporations at work, but groups of families that chip in together to pursue a common goal and I find that awe inspiring.
If western cooperatives had the same level of kinship as these family unions, many workers in western countries would find themselves in better conditions to front the economical crisis. Anyway, if like me you love bargaining and finding investment opportunities, China is your place and Chinese people are your people!
10. Inner Freedom from Judgment
Chinese people don’t care what you think and that is maybe the thing I love most about the people around me in China. The level of trolling and judgment going on in western medias is staggering: where once was promised freedom of speech, has been sown freedom of insult and where once people dreamed of the democracy of knowledge brought by the advent of internet, we have harvested misinformation and instrumentalization of data. This wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t translate into real life as well with snarky comments, sarcasm, racism and discrimination to the point that people are afraid of sharing a less-than perfect picture or a less-then positive overall image of themselves.
We live in an era where the pirandellian concept of perpetually wearing a mask rings utterly true. In China you can look at someone sideways trying to convey your judgment on something “wrong” they are doing, but you’ll probably just receive a smile back, if anything.
There are many behaviors foreigners (and many Chinese themselves) have a hard time to come to grips with: the spitting, the public dangling of peeing of children over trash bins, the spare use of handkerchiefs when blowing a nose, the unashamed burping, you name it, but really, the fact they don’t care is great in its expression of inner freedom from judgment, young generations seem to be losing this freedom in the globalized trend of unified beauty standards, but most Chinese still retain it and I’m rooting for them. In the end, as Confucius said: “If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?”
About the author
This article is contributed By Eva Sara Molaro, an Italian woman who have been living in China for 10 years, She has worked in Education and Management mainly but has lots of other interests and activities, She just got married legally to her Hebei province husband who actually works in Africa with lots of other Chinese. You can reach her by email firstname.lastname@example.org.