Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Hello everyone, this is one of a series of cultural entries I am writing to give everyone one a sense of what life is like here in china. This journal will be on face, which is huge here in China. Face is the concept of personal honor and dignity, and it is something other people have to be concerned about. Everything here is done to preserve face, and if face is lost then enemies are made. Recognizing and obeying Hierarchy is one of the major parts of this. You must be subservient and humble to those of higher status than you, which as a student is practically everyone. I find this hard to cope with as, atleast for me, people don't just get respect because of their position in a hierarchy, they earn it. So this has lead me into conflict with the chinese system multiple times as I have had not taken proper action to recognize hierarchy. For example, when I don't pour tea for my professor, it is rude.
This week our class went to deliver the money we raised to the Autistic Children's Center. This was one of the few things I could say made me smile more than anything else. Seeing these kids and how sweet they were made me realize the good we had done for them. The center obviously needed money, it was a little worn down, the staff looked exhausted, and the structure itself was in slight disrepair. I could see they were having trouble covering costs, so that money we gave them hopefully will be used to make the school a better place. All in all the kids and the parents there were the same as those back in the states, working hard to make the best out of life. From this experience I have reaffirmed my belief that people fundamentally are the same at heart, and that a common obstacle brings people together, no matter what there background or culture.