Chinese Culture Essay Example
Chinese Culture Essay Example
Chinese Culture Essay: Introduction
China is home to the world’s oldest and interesting lifestyle. Although it has a long history, the lifestyle still contains very old traditions. It should also be noted that the country houses more than a billion people. Therefore, the lifestyle had to adapt to large populations. As a chain reaction, lifestyle affects tradition, tradition affects life choices, and life choices affect mental and physical health. In this paper, I will analyze the unique lifestyle and culture in China and discuss how these factors can affect one’s mental health and emotions.
Starting from the Chinese lifestyle, we see that the concept of the family sits at the core of life. It is the most important thing for a person, and this concept even influenced the belief of “four generations under one roof.” Four generations under one roof mean that all four generations of the family, including their spouses live under the same roof. Even this example alone is enough to explain the importance of family structure. The family reputation is still considered necessary.
Although the country has been under the western influence for a long time, it still has its distinct features in daily life. For instance, the country is full of apartment complexes such as the ones in low-income areas in the US, and it is rare to find separate housing in China. Separate houses either belong to poor farmers as they have built it from the mud and straws or belong to the super-rich part of the community. This huge income gap ha a bad impact on people’s lives. As one might know, China is a very crowded country, and through history, people have exploited the country to get what they want, and most of them ended up rich.
On the other hand, the common Chinese worker goes to his/her factory/workplace and works more than 12 hours every day to at least survive until the next day. Therefore, it is easy to conclude that a tired worker, on his way back home, being surrounded by things he will never be able to own, creates a sense of worthlessness. Moreover, this highly intense work life is present in each gender’s life. When it comes to working, there is no such thing as gender inequality in China. Women work the same amount as men do, and, thus, are affected the same amount as men do.
Expression of emotions is highly affected by one’s culture, and studies have shown that a Chinese man preferred less emotion and more calm moments compared to an average American. In a study made in 2012, it has been found that when shown the same emotional picture, Chinese men reported that they had felt relatively low levels of emotion while American men reported that they were feeling high levels of emotions (Davis, 2012). It can also be connected with the statistics of drug abuse in countries. Meanwhile, the most commonly abused drugs in Western World are stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine, the most commonly abused drug in China is heroin, a type of opiates. Even in their own personal time, Chinese people are more inclined to use drugs to make them feel calmer.
Also, one last resource I would like to use on emotion before explaining them in detail is that in a series of studies made by both Stanford University psychologists and Chinese University of Hong Kong researches has shown that when compared with Western cultures, Chinese people, or people from Chinese cultures in general, care much less about having positive feelings or not having negative feelings. This makes them more inclined to feel mixed emotions. These differences in feeling and not showing emotions come from the collective culture in China instead of an individualistic one. Because Chinese people are under the influence of harmony and collectivism, they tend to show their emotions under control (Chen, 2016). It is acknowledged under the culture that is showing too much emotion is not very healthy in the community.
This collective state of mind, however, went wrong over time and has adversely affected the bonds that keep the community together. It is even fair to go as far as to say that China is home to individualistic citizens living under a collectivist culture. When it comes to decision making, this culture puts the family priority on top, and the person first tries to do what is best for his/her family. Surprisingly, the own self comes after the family, and this is mainly because of the strict and respect-requesting upbringing of the person. Even now, one can find people who value their family more than themselves; because they have been taught to do so.
Moreover, if a person has mental problems and would like to overcome them, it is very hard to do that in China. The first reason is that the number of skilled psychologists in every district is simply not enough, and secondly, even if one managed to go and schedule a meeting with a psychologist, that action will not be tolerated in a good way in his community. The culture has forced people into molds, and having flaws or problems is simply not welcome. The working collectivist culture of China expects everyone to be perfect and not show any signs of weaknesses whatsoever.
This, actually, is one of the main reasons I have chosen to write about this topic. In the 21st century, with the new generation of people, we have acknowledged the importance of self-help and individuality in many countries. Yet, the Chinese culture, with its roots going down thousands of years back, stood strong against these new movements and did not change. People are still working too much, showing much fewer emotions, and are less likely to go and get mental help.
Chinese Culture Essay: Conclusion
In conclusion, the Chinese culture and tradition are one of the oldest that is still intact today. However, if something is old, then it means it will cause a problem sooner or later. And for China, that problem has been present for decades. The clash between individuality and collectivism created generations of people that are not able to live their lives, feel or show their emotions or get help from others. Yet, the times are still changing, and the new generation is always more likely to create a voice than the last one. I believe that the psychological state in which millions, even billions of Chinese people are living, will break out soon. In an age of technology, nobody deserves to work out their emotions.
Chen, J. (2016, April 11). Our Awesome Intercultural Community.
Davis, E. (2012, January). (PDF) Emotion experience and regulation in China and the United States: How do culture and gender shape emotion responding?
Do Chinese People Lead More Nuanced Emotional Lives? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://priceonomics.com/do-chinese-people-lead-more-nuanced-emotional/