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  • Gordon Dumoulin

"Except for the fact that everything changes, everything changes..."

"Except for the fact that everything changes, everything changes..."

One of or probably the most underexposed, neglected factors of cross-cultural frictions of which we witness a lot today are humanities. Whether in diplomacy, business or other relationship environments, misunderstandings of culture, people and society are plenty and far-reaching.

Western people might think that Chinese ways of thinking are traditional and ritual and Western ways rational and scientific, this is far from true. Though a grasp of the complexity of cross-cultural contrasts does not come with a simple what-to-do 10 hour course. Though complex and comprehensive, below distinction might be a first mere suggestion for developing better mutual understanding applicable to different circumstances.

While Western people generally think in terms of ‘being’, Chinese people usually think in terms of ‘change’. The concept of change is naturally embedded in Chinese society since ancient times through different philosophies. Prominently laid out in the ’Book of Changes’ (易經, Yì jīng), one of Chinese oldest classics.

The (sub)consciousness of being subject to and part of ‘constant change’ triggers different human behaviour compared to being conscious of your ‘constant being’ within a greater part. 'Change' might elicit senses such as adaptation and resilience while 'Being' might evoke senses as determination and stability.

While there are major and complex cross-cultural differences between people and societies, we can be certain though that there are more cross-cultural similarities !

Let’s not forget to focus more on the similarities instead of keep on highlighting the differences. Living along in wonderful diversity 😊

#china #crosscultural #chinesesociety #chineseculture #chinesephilosophy

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