Culture and Civilisation

Complains made by the UK Queen about Chinese delegation’s rudeness have been a viral subject in social medias. Some tried to explain the misunderstanding by culture difference while others high lighted the arrogance of the actual government of China.

For me, it’s not a culture diversity issue. We do have many cultural differences that can be interpreted as weird. for example, speaking loudly in restaurants or fighting to pay the bill. But things like spitting on the streets are more relevant to the level of civilization than to the origin of culture. In a big city like Shanghai, people do such things randomly while in the countryside, old people still keep this habit. One of my former colleagues said that English people spitted also a lot two hundreds years ago and they just forgot it. It’s true that before 19th century, the sanitary condition was bad for all countries. Bad actions which harm people’s health can be improved with the emphasis of education. In big cities, people are more civilized and understand easily the limit of their freedom. They will try to keep themselves healthy and make others healthy too, both physically and mentality. It’s advocated to be polite in public area, like subway stations or airports.

Civilization can be achieved by a nation’s efforts and attention, but cultures are not comparable. American people like cultural studies, but sometimes, they generalized too much. I began to hate the word Identity, which defines excessively one person. The stereotypes live with you wherever you go. Labeled as Chinese, I don’t share many common ideas about China or Chinese People. But every time, when there is a misunderstanding, I tried first to understand the culture stereotype. I also saw lots of criticism on Islamic culture but sometimes I wondered what could be the best way to communicate with them. Most of us never want to make efforts before making judgments.

Try to understand different cultures but try to be civilized everywhere.