- Gordon Dumoulin
Wearing masks | Cultural mirrors
Cultural mirrors | Wearing mouth masks tell a lot about cultural differences.
Even though the Beijing government announced some time ago that mouth masks are no longer necessary, we can still see half of the people with masks while another 30% having the mask lowered to the chin, loosely hanging on one ear or visibly bringing in the hand.
People still wear masks, for self-protection or protecting others. Masks on the chin or hanging on the ear are expressions of solidarity, ‘not letting other people worry, we are all in this’ ; and of caution, ‘the fight is not yet over and be prepared for any circumstance’.
In some Western societies, individuals wearing a mouth mask while authorities say all is safe, is rare and might be frowned upon by others.
A clear difference in social behaviour; ‘diversity in collectivism’ vs. conformity in individualism’.
As in China collectivism is strongly present, there is a natural tendency to respect people for their individual choices within collective responsibility. In some Western societies, individualism is thriving but this naturally initiates a tendency for conformity with others, feeling accepted and belonging. This might trigger emotions towards non-conformation.