My name is Siyu. I was born and raised in Beijing, and I've spent the last ten years traveling, studying, and working abroad in the US, UK, and France. Many people that I met were curious about Chinese culture, but their impressions of China would end up with words like 'communist,' 'pollution' and 'no Facebook.' While many facts are true, the contemporary, living, and multifaceted Chinese way of life is rarely heard of.

I started "tiny eyes" webcomics a year ago in the hope of sharing cultural differences through everyday life. To me, learning about western culture has always been a fun experience, and I want to pass this feeling to people who are curious about China. In lots of my cartoon drawings, I compare Chinese culture to other cultures. Through comparison, we realize how differently we act in front of the same situation and how we tend to think in a certain way instead of another. In the end, every culture is "weird" in its way, but it's also the weirdness that makes it interesting.

I post these funny comics regularly every week, and I share slices of my personal life and experience through Instagram. I hope you enjoy it!

More info: Instagram

#1

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

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Molly Tallmadge
Community Member
3 years ago

HAHA! Ya!

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#2

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

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earringnut
Community Member
3 years ago

americans get misspelled chinese tattoos. chinese get misspelled english tee shirts. all in all it's still better to have a weird shirt than a bad tattoo.

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#3

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

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Scrappy
Community Member
3 years ago

People only want what they don't have

Banana Chan
Community Member
3 years ago

True. I’m a curly hair person and I want straight hair. My bro has straight hair and he wants curly hair. I wonder about wavy hair tho...

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邱崔巍
Community Member
3 years ago

Just want to note that contrary to what a lot of westerns think, Asians' inclination towards pale skin is not because they want to emulate Caucasian skin tones. Pale skin has been a sought-after trait long before we even knew other races existed. The same thing goes for large eyes and small faces.

Master Markus
Community Member
3 years ago

I believe it's the same as how it used to be in the west in historic times: Being pale implied that you were wealthy enough to not have to work outside. White lead make-up was insanely popular for royalty in Europe, especially noticeable on women in the 18th century. (One thing I'm not sure of is where it originates in India, where skin lightening is frighteningly popular. It might be a similar idea but since people in that region often naturally have darker skin tones regardless of exposure I don't know exactly what the ideal is based on.)

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nanashi
Community Member
3 years ago

it's all in the beauty aesthetics to appear 'wealthy'. most Asian (esp. East side) prefers to appear fairer bc fair=you can afford not working under the sun.

Beth Arriaga
Community Member
3 years ago

This is true for many cultures. My Alabama grandmother used to scream at me for wanting a tan because when she picked cotton, they covered themselves from head to toe to stay pale. My husband's Mexican grandmother did the same thing picking grapes. Economic reasons

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Robyn Becker
Community Member
3 years ago

Damn I would be SEXY in China

Darrien Mae
Community Member
3 years ago

This is why Asians don't age, bc they don't go out and ruin their skin in the sun lmao

RaroaRaroa
Community Member
3 years ago

This could partly explain the difference in wrinkle-rate.

Sarah Figini
Community Member
3 years ago

In a supermarket in Shanghai, I was asked if i would like to try their whitening cream. Had me giggling for a while

Tom Ryugo
Community Member
2 years ago

Well, it turns out that staying out of the sun is a good idea!

Sharon Vaughn
Community Member
3 years ago

Ain't it the truth!

Edwin Lesperance
Community Member
3 years ago

Only one race, the human race. All idiots.

Aud Wey
Community Member
3 years ago

You can also find whitening products in Africa, and sometimes, it can make a lot of damages!! Better stay away from that kind of products.

Mick Gi
Community Member
3 years ago

Am I the only one that doesn't like sun tan, even on women ? I mean I find it real ugly

Fiona Messenger
Community Member
3 years ago

Little bit sad actually.

Kaelyn
Community Member
7 months ago

Melanin is never given the credit it deserves for all the health benefits. White skin burns easier and there is no benefit of it, all lies because a dark person and light person in the sun absorb the same amount of vitamin D. Albino people moved to northern climates in ancient times to be in cloudier climates and it spread across various places but people are ignorant of that mostly because it is supressed information. Wanting to be white so badly is an insecurity pushed on people by society because they are taught that dark is ugly. I see some Asians even saying they're all like white people when everybody knows that's not true. I guess you all think that nothing is more shameful than having even a bare minimun amount of healthy melanin so you are in denial. There is also proof of black people having lived in every society even up until just before WW2, they are mostly dead now.

Kevin Harding
Community Member
2 years ago

Stop guessing people. A little research and you'd know the whys and wherefores. As some have already said : Asians like whiter skin because royalty and the nobility used to always have cover (shade around the home or parasols when out) wherever and whenever they were outdoors, whereas the proletariate had to suffer the effects of working outdoors in the fields and so naturally had darker, tanned, skin. Therefore lighter skin was a sign of nobility or wealth. In 19th and early 20th century Europe (especially Northern Europe) only the well-to-do could afford to take holidays in the South (France, Italy, Spain) and so become tanned, therefore this look became popular as a sign of affluence.

Kalikiano Kalei
Community Member
3 years ago

So true, so true. Those people who are 'of color' constantly aspire to be more 'White Caucasian' in appearance, whilst those who are Caucasian can't get enough (harmful UV) sunlight in their efforts to look darker. One of the great ironies of life, all considered. My wife is Cantonese (I'm a gwáilóu) and I love the natural tawny color of her skin.

Haleema
Community Member
3 years ago

You always want what you haven't got

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#4

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

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Annika Hanson-Carlson
Community Member
3 years ago

Asians don’t raisin

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#5

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

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Vlad Horobet
Community Member
3 years ago

Why not all four?

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#6

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

I’ve experienced student dormitories in three countries: In the U.K. I have my own private room with shared public space; In the U.S. I shared my dorm with one roommate; In China, I used to live with 5 girls in the same room. This lack of privacy must be shocking for some of you, but in a country with 1.3 billion population, space is always a problem. While there are many inconvenience not having enough private space, on the bright side, sharing a room with someone also makes you learn quite a deal about communication, responsibilities and tolerance.

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earringnut
Community Member
3 years ago

good point

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#7

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

Maybe you have heard that Chinese eat cats. A few horrible people in some obscure places maybe, but the majority, NO!!

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Molly Tallmadge
Community Member
3 years ago

I have a chinese friend. She loves cats. She owns 5 cats. She has never even harmed one.

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#8

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

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Molly Tallmadge
Community Member
3 years ago

lol uneducated peeps

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#9

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

In China, people don't say anything after someone sneezes.

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slywlf
Community Member
3 years ago

This silly social custom - based on faulty understanding of the human body - is so ingrained that even knowing it is silly it is hard to stop responding to the sound of a sneeze LOL

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#10

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

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slywlf
Community Member
3 years ago

LOL - I never had to deal with this at home, but it was always my own response. Once I took a difficult test - got the best score in class, but immediately asked the teacher where I had gone wrong on the 2 out of 100 questions ;-)

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#11

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

It’s hard for Chinese to directly express their love to their families and friends. Instead of saying love, we show care to the health of people we love, ask them if everything goes well, and buy nice things to make their life more comfortable. In history, Confucius enforced social orders by putting people in different relations/obligations, but the expression of personal feelings was never encouraged. Emotions need to be under control.
How do you show people that you care about them?

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Mama Panda
Community Member
3 years ago

Personally, I like to make sure that the people I care about are taken care of in all aspects of life. I also will express my love/like for them verbally, emotionally and physically (within reason!). I make sure that I am a great listener as well.

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#12

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

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Kay Fey
Community Member
3 years ago

*Facepalm*

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#13

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

It takes me sometime to get used to making constant eye contact when talking to people. Traditionally, Chinese people tend to avoid direct eye contact when talking to each other, which is a way to show respect and obedience, but in lots of western cultures, especially in English-speaking countries, avoiding eye contact signifies hesitation and dishonesty. (Correct me if I’m wrong.)

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Mama Panda
Community Member
3 years ago

We also see it as being shy

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#14

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

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Mama Panda
Community Member
3 years ago

Yeah that freaked me out the first time it happened to me. I wasn't ready for that sort of behavior. Now I am all about the kissing on the cheek!

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#15

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

We also have spoons, people!

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Vlad Horobet
Community Member
3 years ago

In some youtube street food videos i often see people eating the solid food with chopsticks than drinking the soup from the bowl. Uneducated or common?

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#16

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

Beauty = Thin. “Gaining weight” brings absolute horror for many Chinese girls, even though most of them are already considered thin in other cultures. I’ve seen girls who eat only one apple a day and who drink special tea (which makes you go to toilet 20 times a day) in order to lose weight in a very short time. Movie stars and super models are pushing this aesthetic to its extreme through mass media. When will we be able to simple enjoy being who we are?

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Mama Panda
Community Member
3 years ago

Sooo where can one buy this special tea?

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#17

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

Chinese people love their food, they spend lots of time savouring and enjoying their meals. Food is not just “fuel” for the body, but a pleasure, an art, and a way of socialising. If you want to make friends, go eat. If you want to close a business deal, go eat. If you want to pursue a romantic relationship, go eat.
Since ancient times, food has been considered priority in Chinese culture. The government’s goal was to make sure that each person is taken care of and "has enough to eat”. From another angle, it also suggests the realistic character of Chinese: food goes before ideas, and this life is more important than after life.

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Anna Herrington
Community Member
3 years ago

So many Americans would never eat junk food !! or live to eat..... but that is certainly the stereotype and truth for far too many, here.

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#18

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

Chinese have trouble taking compliments from other people, because they are raised to be humble, to be self-reflective, and to not stand out from the crowd. So when someone notices you and makes a compliment, you tend to lose the inner balance and get nervous very quickly.

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Pamula Furness
Community Member
3 years ago

I did not know this, thank you

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#19

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

Can you name a classic Chinese design or a brand? Probably difficult. But have you bought anything “Made in China”? Very likely yes. Chinese products are often associated with the word “cheap” and not high quality, sadly. Many aspiring local designers have been trying to create original and valuable products, but problem such as the lack of copyright protection has complicated the process. Still a long way to go.

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Miguel Angel Irisson
Community Member
3 years ago

One day i hear in a movie that "The american dream is made in China"

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#20

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

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Bonnie Russell
Community Member
3 years ago

There's an old American saying in the style of a bad poem: Forget your acid indigestion/"How are you"'s a greeting, not a question.

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#21

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

In China, it’s not rare to see young people choosing to live with their parents after getting out of college. For one thing, it’s more economical than renting a house on your own. And for another, Chinese are very family oriented, so getting support from your family it’s expected in the social norm. In the the United States, however, people value independence so much that it’s embarrassing to have things given to you while you have the ability to live on your own.

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earringnut
Community Member
3 years ago

actually living with parents is becoming more and more normal in the states for much the same reasons.

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#22

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

eople have less trouble naming Chinese political figures than naming great Chinese artists and scientists, who have also played a great role in shaping Chinese culture. Why? They don't learn much about it in school; they don't see them in the media often; and in China we lack initiatives and channels to communicate to the outside word.

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Rafael Tiba
Community Member
3 years ago

Bruce Lee, Jet Lee, Jackie Chan. Nobody cares about Mao and Confucius.

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#23

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

There’s a Chinese saying “三思而后行”, which means to think twice before taking actions. In history, Chinese value highly reflection and past experience, but acting cautious and staying wise didn’t save the people from the arrival of the early western explorers who sailed into the unknown and took chances at the risk of their lives. China was forced to take actions in its modern history, often times too fast in exchange for development.

While too much reflection on the past slows down the process of change and innovation, too much action without thinking results in waste of resources and irreversible consequences. It’s time for thinkers and doers to meet and learn from each other in this increasingly connected world. It’s happening.

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moli.2
Community Member
3 years ago

Dva krát meraj a raz rež (Measure twice before you cut) is a Slovak saying.

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#24

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

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Bunny goddess
Community Member
3 years ago

That's true, I am Chinese myself and have been to a school like that. The uniforms were pretty much the same but in a darker blue color.

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#25

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

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Kerri Russ
Community Member
3 years ago

I'm an American only child (2nd generation with a 3rd generation only child) and I have gotten these same questions my entire life. My parents made the choice, not me. How can I miss having siblings if I've never had them? That question has always baffled me.

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#26

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

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Mama Panda
Community Member
3 years ago

The expectation is to open in front of the giver so that they will see your reaction, whether or not you liked it. Plus people are nosey lol

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#27

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

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Daria B
Community Member
3 years ago

Well, you know what they say... Men and women speak separate languages anyway, so it doesn't really matter. ^_-

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#28

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

In Chinese schools, smoking is strictly prohibited and any student who smoke is considered “bad”. It’s not just in the sense of “bad for health”, but also considered a symbol for moral degradation. In France, I notice that there are lots of teenagers who smoke, and it’s actually considered “cool” among their friends. There’s even peer pressure to learn how to smoke. Smoking is also a normal way of socializing so there isn’t any negative moral aspect associated with it.

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Tess
Community Member
3 years ago

I think this is a good mentality - I lived in Montreal for a bit and got excluded a lot because I didn't smoke. People their also always blew smoke in your face because they didn't see it as a bad thing. So odd!

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#29

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

In a Chinese family, a child usually takes the central position and gets all the love and attention from their parents, which could also lead to ignorance and lack of communication between the couple.

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Maria Ofar
Community Member
3 years ago

absolutely what has happened with my family. order of care now goes: Baby - totally incapable of taking care of self, too immature to understand matters Cats - partly incapable of taking care of selves, understand what they need to do (be patient, finish their dinner etc) Boyfriend - "you've got hands, don't you?"

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#30

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

"Beijing Bikini" is a term used by non-Chinese to describe grownup man who roll up their shirt and reveal their bellies in summer. (warning: what you see is usually bulging tummies instead of six-pack. ) Even though it's frowned upon by many people, these man are not ashamed of it at all. For them, it's just a practical way to get cooler when you don't have air conditioning, so what's the big deal?

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DarkLumiya
Community Member
3 years ago

i think the only people who freak out are those who have never lived in a hot country. Where i'm from, during the summer, most men are shirtless regardless of age or size

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#31

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

What really matters is not the format, but the content. In France, reading is a habit. There are bookshops everywhere, people take books with them on vacations and give each other as gifts. There’s a great variety of popular books: fiction, science-fiction, history, art, philosophy, comics…
In China, what people read mostly are news, practical books related to their professions, or “How to become the next Steve Jobs”. Of course there are also people who read extensively, but in general, reading hasn’t become a habit.

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Pamula Furness
Community Member
3 years ago

We still give books as gifts in my (English), house, I'm very proud to say......................

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#32

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

ne time a friend asked me, “Do you pass a lot of time writing your name? Chinese characters looks so complicated!” This made me giggle, but in a way it’s true because each Chinese character is a structure on its own and does not follow a linear movement as the alphabet.

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Maria Ofar
Community Member
3 years ago

my full name often wouldn't fit in the allocated space :'( and i'm australian

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#33

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

When asked this question, some of the Chinese moms tell their little kids that they were born from their armpits, or even worse, picked up from a trash can.

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Mama Panda
Community Member
3 years ago

Americans sometimes say the cabbage patch or the stork. My favorite that I used to tell my little sister (10 years apart) is that she was hatched lol

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#34

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

You don't want to drive in big cities like Beijing.

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moli.2
Community Member
3 years ago

Cat ^^

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#35

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

Chinese rely heavily on their network in the society(what we call "关系"). The first thing you do in a foreign place is to connect with your people so that you could “take care” of each other and get necessary help. Of course it also makes you feel more comfortable. On the other hand, the general lack of adventurous spirit (lack of individualism) results in an attitude that’s more reserved in a foreign environment. While some Chinese may not be comfortable enough to “mingle”, most of them are generally kind and tolerate towards foreign cultures.

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Beth
Community Member
3 years ago

Every culture does this. That's why there are whole enclaves of Kiwis and Australians in London!

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#36

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

Chinese tend to wait for their turn to speak, although in a foreign culture, that turn may never come because it requires taking initiatives. From an early age, we are told to be humble, to think about others first(our position in a relationship) and hide our own opinions. (It doesn’t mean that we don’t have opinions.) That’s one of the reasons we appear to be timid in a group discussion, and are generally not good at public speaking or debate. However, this situation has also changed gradually as society put less constrains on young generations and more chance for them to communicate with the world.

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Kerri Russ
Community Member
3 years ago

I love how the Chinese student has his materials all lined up and neat while the other desks are less organized, shall we say.

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