Hello reader! My name is May and the next few posts will be following my trip through China, specifically Beijing and Shanghai. I am extremely excited for this opportunity to travel to a different country with classmates and professors! Aside from the tourist visits to see the many “Instagram worthy” locations, I’m eager to observe the culture, business practices, and economics of China.
I’m looking forward to observing the difference in culture and business practices in China. One of the highly emphasized topics we discussed in class is China’s drastically different culture that influences business practices. In my opinion, the most important aspect of the Chinese culture was the Guan Xi factor. Through our studies and discussions, it seems to me that the majority of decisions are made with the underlying concept of Guan Xi and not losing face. A funny story told by Professor Myhr perfectly alluded to this unique cultural aspect. Professor Myhr had to suffer through a dinner chewing on chicken feet bones because his colleague’s didn’t want to risk him losing face from correcting him. I am very excited to see how this Guan Xi is seen in business practices. Will the businessmen not correct fellow coworkers in fear of causing them to lose face? But What if that causes a disruption in ordinary business operations? I’m very interested to see the interworking of this characteristic.
Another topic discussed in class that I hope to see on out trip is the economy of China. The first thing most people think of when you say “China” is communism. However, I am eager to see the high economic growth China prides itself on today. How did the government’s push for growth affect the city life? Rural life? Is the growth more visible in farmlands or cities? Those are a few of the questions I have that I hope to experience and have answered by the end of the trip. China’s government plays a large part to their economic success, so it should be interesting seeing how their different governance influences their everyday lifestyle. I’m very fascinated to see how different the every day lives are impacted by the increased regulations by the Chinese government when compared to that of American government’s emphasis on freedom.
Finally, I will briefly mention some personal opinions I have for this trip. Hopefully while abroad I won’t offend any locals. I am very comfortable with the American society and culture, so my biggest challenge this trip will probably be to adapt to such a different society and culture. Another challenge of mine would be to understand the high context culture of China. Most meaning is derived from body language and contextual clues; as opposed to in the US what you say is what you mean.
I hope you enjoyed reading this and continue to follow my journey through China! I will keep you updated on these questions I have on the culture, business practices, and economics of China! Don’t worry, I will also include some postcard worthy photos of the locations we visit!
Here is a funny video I found relevant to this blog post 🙂
Here's to hoping the food in China is not as exotic as those shown in the video!