- Gordon Dumoulin
𝗘𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗕𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 吃苦 (chī kǔ)
Dealing with the pandemic from a human perspective in different cultures. While media shows how local governments are managing the pandemic, especially on differences, how one does better than the other and how others are to blame, far less is shown about how ordinary people in different cultures deal with the pandemic.
‘Eating bitterness’ is a typical expression in China; roughly meaning enduring hardships, overcoming difficulties and forging ahead. Quite opposite to the meaning of ‘being bitter ‘in western cultures, ‘eating bitterness’ is not a depressing resignation to a horrible situation but a sharing hardship with active striving to make life better. Eating bitterness is an attitude and sign of strength through acceptance and dignity. Its true character shows often in class-blindness and sharing.
Sharing hardship is not always a sign of weakness but about handling emotions with empathy, either in confined circles of friendship often coated with self-mocking humor or for example publicly on social media. The solidarity in diversity makes resilience possible with adaptation to a new normal.
Chinese society in huge transformation.
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