Cultural differences speechPresentation Transcript
Identity, behaviors, traditions, emotions, customs, social norms, and perspectives EAST meets WEST CULTURAL DIFFERENCES
Who am I?
My name is Sarah Elizabeth Sanderson
I am from Holland, Michigan in the U.S.A.
I am 29 years old
I am engaged to Sean Doyle (another foreign teacher here)
I got my B.A. in Spanish and my B.S. in biology at Hope College and my M.A. in Spanish linguistics at Ohio State University
This is my second year teaching English in Changzhou
In my free time I like traveling, reading, writing, watching movies, baking desserts, studying Chinese, chatting with friends and family from back home and playing sports
I am from the state of Michigan
I am from the city of Holland
A little bit about where I am from:
Has the longest freshwater coastline of any state or province in the world
There are 64,980 inland lakes and ponds
A person is never more than 10 km from a natural water source or 137 km from the shore of one of the Great Lakes
( Source : Wikipedia )
Home to Hope College, Western Theological Seminary and many churches
Many tourists visit for the beaches and the Tulip Time Festival (Dutch celebration) in May
The downtown is listed in the nation’s registry of historic places
Who lives in Michigan?
Ancestry of Population
Views of Holland
The seasons in Michigan
This is my family
This is my fiancé, Sean Doyle – I like him because he is very responsible
We are getting married this summer on August 11, in Holland, Michigan
What is culture?
There are a few different meanings of the word culture
The definition we will use today is the following:
culture |ˈkəl ch ər| - the customs, arts, social institutions, attitudes and behavior characteristic of a particular social group ( Webster's Dictionary )
C ulture is the way we learn to look at the world and how we function in it. Our culture is taught to us by our families, friends and communities. From these people, we learn what foods to eat, what kinds of houses to build, how to communicate, and how to behave. Cultures can be defined in many different ways: by region, nationality, religion, and race, to name just a few.
Why should we study other cultures?
Most teachers and students of English agree that knowing about Western cultures makes it easier for students to communicate effectively with Westerners . Some reasons for this are quite obvious. For one thing, knowing about Western culture helps students better understand English. For example, it can be hard to understand Americans if you don't know anything about baseball because you may not understand what expressions like "strike out" and "throw a curve ball" mean.
For another, understanding Western culture helps students avoid doing or saying things that would be offensive to a Westerner . For example, students are less likely to offend Westerners if they know that Westerners don't consider it polite to ask a woman's age or to ask people how much money they make. ( The Amity Foundation )
Words of caution before we start:
Talking about culture can be difficult as it is a very large and complex idea that can be hard to explain and define
When comparing cultures, it is important to maintain an attitude of openness, curiosity, appreciation and respect
I can only share with you what I know about a small part of American culture, which is different from other Western cultures
No culture is better or worse than another – just different
When we talk about culture, it is common to make generalizations. It is important to remember that not everyone follows cultural patterns or norms; there are many exceptions
When I attempt to explain Chinese culture, please forgive me if I accidentally offend you or make a mistake – correct me!
Warm-up – What do you think?
Last semester I taught “Western Culture” classes to many students of this university
On the first day, I asked them these questions:
In your opinion, what are the top three values in society for the United States and China?
*A value is an idea, principle, judgment or moral standard that is important
What is something you like about American culture? What is something you don’t like?
What is something you like about your own culture? What is something you don’t like?
What do you think their answers were?
Top values in society (according to my students)
The United States
Love for country
Success and wealth
Likes and Dislikes (according to my students)
The United States
Amount of people
Guns and violence
Perhaps it’s too simple to make broad generalizations about what’s most important to a country or culture
Let’s pretend you decided to study abroad in the United States and once you arrived, your new friends ask you to explain the differences between living in China and living in America. Could you do it? It might be harder than you think. . .
What would you say? Can you think of some particular ways in which our lifestyles differ?
Let’s look at some specific examples . . .
An artist portrays identity
The following graphics are done by the Chinese artist Yang Liu who grew up in Beijing and then moved to Germany
Much of her work focuses on social identity and cultural differences
Cultural Differences: East - West
The following pictures by Yang Liu show some major cultural and lifestyle differences between China and the “West” (Germany in particular) ( www.yangliudesign.com )
In the pictures, one side represents China (red) and the other side represents Western Countries (blue)
When you look at each picture, try to interpret the meaning. What difference(s) is Yang Liu trying to suggest or portray?
Do you agree or disagree?
Are some of these differences changing?
WAY OF LIFE
WAITING IN LINE
Getting on the bus – personal space
IN A RESTAURANT
HANDLING OF PROBLEMS
Sundays on the Street
Weekends out and about
Our views of each other
Elderly in day-to-day life
At a party
Having a party
Common work party in USA
Party in Changzhou, China
In the event of a stomach ache
What my mom gave me for a stomach ache
On our travels
The ideal of beauty
Tanning lotions and bronzer
Tanning in salons and on the beach
Three meals a day
Example cold breakfasts
Example cold lunches
Example hot dinners
Evolution of transportation
Commuting by bike
Commuting by bike and public transportation
Moods and the weather
Gourmet Baozi restaurant
Gourmet Chinese restaurants
Oh yeah . . . Why else do we study cultural differences?