by Christian Jose Lucero
Going off my last blog post “The Power of Meeting People” – I am very interested in hearing what people think about America and American people. This is a common question I ask people I meet in Beijing and I am enlightened by the different responses I get from good to bad.
Personally, being a Latino student/minority, I feel a social pressure attending a predominantly white institution. This has lead to feeling that my actions represent my whole race when I am the only Hispanic student in the class. This is not a welcoming feeling.
This has shaped my perception about American culture and American people both good and bad. Today I said hello to Ning Zhao. She is an adult female born in Beijing, and it was interesting to hear what she had to say about American people/culture.
Notes Conversation with Ning Zhao:
American people are very prideful, when doing business they say we understand your situations, values, and beliefs but we think our way is the best.
Chinese people they are really big on relationships. They do their best to try to find something in common with you like having the same last name (Han/Gonzales), or part of the same province even if not same town still connect. Then they have more reason to help you. But if you are a stranger, no benefits to helping you, why should they. No incentives. This is why Wechat is popular because now people can connect a lot easier and make connections this brings tons of benefits, part of same wechat group.
U.S. people are very individualistic, don’t take in to consideration about a lot of things. For example, if we do business we just focus on business, not all the possible factors of what can happen because of our business. Chinese take in to consideration a lot of factors.
Ning Zhao, is very impressed with how American people treat each other (we treat each other good because we are human beings). She went to Walmart and her boss asked her to buy a baby filter as a favor, that he got one previously at the Walmart in San Fransciso, but she was in Pennsylvania. She went to customer service at Walmart and ask if they had the baby filter, the employee looked it up online to see if they had it and they didn’t but she called the corporation they say they didn’t either. Then she asked Ning Zhao where we heard they had the baby filter she said the Walmart from San Fransciso and the employee also called their Walmart department in SF. She said everyone in line behind her was patient no one was in a rush. She was amazed by the costumer service and people because if they were in China this type of caring and patience for the customer would never happen.
In conclusion, you have a responsibility to disprove stereotypes, and change people’s perspective on the meaning of being American, why is our culture important, and how can we change to make more foreigners feel welcome by us. Are we too prideful? Are we too individualistic?