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Culture Shock Article - CourtneDixon【三招克服中国文化冲突】

日期: 2017-05-31
浏览次数: 12
来源: 海龙教育集团

Conquering Chinese Culture Shock in Three Easy Steps

By: Courtne Dixon


Culture Shock Article - CourtneDixon【三招克服中国文化冲突】

Courtne in the daily grind of commuting on overcrowded Shenzhen transit, a reality of life in China


I'm alert in the packed line four train. A 4'11 woman stands with her forehead buried in my back, as a man's elbow stabs me in my side. Then I hear the telltale signs of impending, unpaid sick leave in the air…cough, cough. At first, the gravelly cough is so faint I hope I imagined it, but I see the culprit in a distant corner of the train. Sure enough, one by one people decide to unleash their tidal wave of influenza. I think fast and quickly hold my breath. 

In my mind, this is an impregnable barrier to the epidemic. In reality, I look like a silly foreigner whose cheeks are puckered and whose face is turning blue. I try to hold out for at least 10 more seconds while those raspy cough germs enter my vicinity and pass my face. When the coughs have settled, I gasp for air. I relish in my quiet victory of surviving the outbreak. But then ol’ girl, “Ms. 4'11”, uses my shirt as her on personal tissue while she sneezes repeatedly. Oh, the wonders of Shenzhen public transit. 

Although living in China is sometimes shocking at best and horrifying at worst, here are some tips you can use to make any cultural shocking situation totally doable and a little less crappy. 


Lesson One: Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right…Usually


I'm a naturally petty person, so this lesson was kind of a difficult pill to swallow at first. Yes, when Ms. 4'11” sprayed her pathogens all over my backside, I wanted to turn around and return my newly acquired maladies. Why didn't I, you ask? One, I saw a flash of future headlines: “Aggressive foreigner spits on local woman.” I saw myself as a gif circulating through various WeChat groups. Most importantly, I saw that one moment of anger could literally derail everything. Instead, I have learned it is best to avoid direct conflict at all costs. 

If you are really upset about a topic or issue, I recommend that you take a less direct route to express your frustrations. For me on the crowded subway the morning, I chose the 101 express route to the corner of Passive Aggressive Avenue and Petty Lane. I eventually noticed that Ms. 4’ 11” was using me to support her body weight instead of trying to support her own. Huge Mistake. I shift ever so slightly. Oops….did I do that? Admittedly, this is not the best way for everyone to handle conflict, but like I said, I thrive off of pettiness, and China has forced me to grow and cultivate my pettiness in a different form. Other ways to deal with conflict in China include accepting the conflict (probably the most acceptable option), talking around the issue, and just being direct. The last one probably will not get you many brownie points especially if you are always direct, however, I believe it's important to find a level of comfort in an uncomfortable place even if it means you will not be well liked.


Lesson Two: Having Western Friends is Important


When I first arrived to China, I naively believed that I needed to fully submerse and assimilate into culture to fully understand it and the language. That did not happen. I underestimated the stark contrasts in our cultures and overestimated my sense of adventure. It is okay to find some familiarity in a vastly unfamiliar experience. For me, my new assemblage of friends are nothing like the friends I've had before, and that's a good thing. They are my spoonful of sugar that sometimes helps the medicine of culture shock go down. This is not to say that you shouldn't have Chinese friends or learn the culture or language because you should absolutely do all of those things. Having western friends just allows you to be in a space where you can more readily do such.


Lesson Three: Find Comfort (and Food!)


For me, comfort is an Italian restaurant where you can get a full meal for under 30RMB. For you, it can be yoga or dancing, but essentially, you have to find an activity that can relieve stress because it's inevitable: *%$#* will hit the fan in China at one point. Like when ol’ girl and her pathogens declare war with your health. When you have a Zen place and or mindset, it can serve as an oasis from the worst of demonic kids or situations (I'm thinking of you, “Tom”). This Zen mindset is better achieved when you have friends to vent to and let you get out your frustrations (please refer to lesson two!). One of my friends and I have a ritual. If either one of us is having a particularly horrible “China Day”, we only need to send the SOS to one another: “McDonald’s?”. Nothing is as close to comfort as an American chicken sandwich with two large-sized french fries on the side. 

All in all, I believe that culture shock is unavoidable regardless of how many blogs you read or how much research you conduct. You will find your comfort being tested in some of the most unusual, confusing, and sometimes beautiful ways. To deal with this, you might find yourself coping in very unconventional ways. Embrace it. Grab the discomfort and awkwardness and hug onto it tightly. You didn't come to China to see home. You came to China to see and be in China, and once you are better acclimated to culture shock, the view only gets better.


三招克服中国文化冲突

译:夏远航


Culture Shock Article - CourtneDixon【三招克服中国文化冲突】

深圳地铁里,寇特妮每天上下班都得忍受如此拥挤的车厢,这在中国是一种常态


有人告诉过我(深圳地铁)4号线会很挤。有一次,一位差不多4呎11吋(约1米6)高的小姐把她的头顶到了我的背上,同时我边上有个人的手肘时不时的还捅到我。没多久我就听到一阵动静,仿佛无薪的病假正在空气中蔓延……咳、咳。一开始,我真希望那微弱的咳嗽声只是我的胡思乱想,但我很快就在列车远一点的小角落里找到了元凶。“没跑了,等会人们就得一个个咳嗽起来了。流感肯定得像潮水一样涌过来了。”一想到这,我立马憋住了气。

在我看来,憋气绝对是病毒无法侵入我身体的屏障。实际上,我看起来肯定是一个傻乎乎的老外在那皱着脸把自己憋得铁青。我想着至少坚持10秒钟,直到那些刺耳的咳嗽声带出来的细菌从我脸边上飘过。咳嗽声停下后,我立马在那不停大口大口地喘气。正在我默默欢庆在这场小小病毒爆发下幸存的胜利时。我后面的粉领“4呎11吋小姐”,又开始拿我的衬衫当成纸巾不停地打喷嚏。天呐,深圳的公交啊。

虽然在中国生活时不时会发现惊喜或受到惊吓,我这还是有一些小方法,可以帮你应对任何文化冲突,而且也不那么令人讨厌。


第一招:通常情况下……负负不会得正


我天生就是个比较小肚鸡肠的人,所以刚开始接受这一招的时候,就像吞一颗特别苦的药丸一样难受。没错,当“4呎11吋小姐”冲着我的背不停地“喷射”她的病原体的时候,我确实想直接转身冲着她,把我刚获得的病毒“如数奉还”。“那你干嘛不那么干?”你要问起的话。首先,我想到未来在哪可能会在头条写着:“怒气冲冲的外国人朝当地人吐痰”。我还看到我自己的gif图在微信的各个群里循环播放。最重要的是,有那么一刻,我发现发怒只会让一切脱轨。事实上,我学到这种事最好是避免不计代价的直接冲突。

假如你实在对某件事情或某个话题感到沮丧的话,我建议你最好以一种不太直接的方式来表达你的沮丧。比如我那天早上在拥挤的地铁上,我最终还是选择了一种比较折中的方式。最后我才明白“4呎11吋小姐”只是稳不住自己的身子才靠在我身上。天大的误会。我哪怕只是稍微改变一下方式。但是……我真的那么做了吗?确实,这种直接解决问题的方法对所有人来说,不一定是解决冲突的最好方式;但就像我说的,我天生离不开这种小家子气,只是在中国,我不得不以另一种方式培养我这种小家子气。其他在中国处理冲突的办法还包括选择接受冲突(有可能是最可接受的选择),可以先围绕这个话题谈,然后再着手处理它。最差的方式可能不会给你多少甜头,那就是无论面对什么问题,都选择“硬碰硬”去处理;不过我觉得,在一个不习惯的地方给自己找到可接受的舒适程度是很必要的,即便这可能意味着你会不招人喜欢。


第二招:有些西方朋友很重要


刚到中国那天,我曾天真地相信我只要完全浸入其中,就能完全理解这儿的文化和语言。可那完全没发生。我低估了东西方文化的巨大差异性并高估了我的冒险精神。从完全陌生的经历中找到熟悉的部分是一种可行的解决方式。对我而言,我新结交的一批朋友就和我之前交的朋友完全不同,这对我也有好处。有的时候,他们就像一勺蜜糖,帮我咽下这些文化冲突的“苦药”。这不是说你就没必要去结交中国朋友或学习他们的语言文化,你必须得去做这些。有些西方朋友只是允许你在一个能乐意做这些事的空间中。


第三招:找点乐子(和美食!)


我的乐子,就是找到一家意大利餐厅然后花差不多30元钱大快朵颐一顿。对你而言,它可以是瑜伽或舞蹈,不过基本上,你必须得有种活动帮你释放压力:某点上说,总骂脏话会打击“国际友人”的。就像那个粉领小姐和她的病毒向你的健康“宣战”一样。当你内心里有一处“禅房”或者一种心态的时候,它就像一处绿洲,帮你在最糟糕的处境或顽皮的孩子中生存下去(我想就像你这样的,“汤姆”?)。当你有朋友能让你发泄出来,帮你走出挫败感的时候(请参考第二招!),这种禅宗的心态会更方便达到。我和我一个朋友有一种仪式。我俩要是谁经历了一个特别悲剧的“中国日”,那个人只用发“SOS”给另一个人就行“去麦当劳?”。没啥能比一个麦辣鸡腿堡加上两份大薯条更令我舒服的了。

总而言之,我相信无论你读了多少博客还是做了多少研究,文化冲突无论如何都是无法避免的。在体验了那些最奇异、最困扰、甚至最美妙的经历后,你会逐渐习惯。为了这一点,你可能得以不寻常的方式寻求解决之道。接受它。紧握住那些不适的和尴尬的经历并紧紧拥抱它们。你来中国不是为了回家的。你来中国是为了观察、体验中国的,一旦你更能适应这些文化冲击,你的眼界只会更开阔。




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