language: Chinese and English

     Mandarin is the official language of China. 

    “Thanks Mom!” A sentenced uttered daily by children and teenagers in America, but seldom spoken by those of the same age in China. Simply saying please to one’s friends or family members among Chinese is also rare, and if uttered, you might be asked if you’ve gone insane.

     “Can I have a glass of water?” is a question asked by many Americans even if they’re at their friends house or visiting a family member, but a Chinese would simply say, “I want a glass of water.” It seems American’s have an unquenchable thirst for recognition and attention. If you ask that question about getting water, someone might say you forgot a word at the end, or reply, “say please,” as if the act of getting water is so significant in one’s life and is so difficult that it requires a please, and a thank you, but it first must actually be a question.

When in China, saying thank you to someone indicates you really appreciate what they did for you, and that your thank you is what you’re giving them in return. On the contrary, in America, if you do not say thank you it is considered rude and in order to show great appreciation one my repeat thank you or add a very much after word. Sometimes an invitation to dinner or an offer to buy a drink is extended.

I believe both of these can be explained by one simple phrase, “Americans talk too much.”  In China, we are told to be succinct and to only talk when we have something beneficial to say, or when something needs to be said. On the other hand, Americans tend to talk about anything and everything if someone is interested or at least pretending to be interested. 

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This is China

–Location and Population: People’s Republic of China, known as the huge oriental dragon, is located in the East Asian state. Covering 9.6 million square kilometers approximately, China is the second largest country in the world. China has the biggest population (1,336,718,015as of mid-2011)  in the world. China makes up 1/5 of the population in the world. China also has the highest population density, with 134 people on average per square kilometer. In such a densely populated country as China, subway trains and buses are always congested during rush hours.

–Capital:Beijing is the capital city of China. It is also China’s political, economic and cultural center. In 2008, Beijing held the 29th Olympics, which have won acclaim of the people of all countries.

–Political System: The People’s Republic of China is a state with a people’s democratic dictatorship.Different from most western countries, political party system in China has its own distinctive characteristics: one political party is ministerial party and many political parties take part in politics.

–Economics: Chinese economy is becoming an integral part of the world economy. Forecast says that China will have overtaken the USA to lead the list of the world’s top ten largest economies by GDP measured in PPP terms. What impressed me after coming to America was how common “made in China” is here. China’s public ownership is still the main forms of economics. But the mixed ownership is becoming more and more popular in China as well. Multinational companies spring up. Last spring, I was a volunteer for the 5th Multi-national Corporations Leaders Roundtable Conference. I was shocked by how many companies were involved and how important they were in China’s development.

My Worldview

     How do I view the world? I don’t think anyone can easily find the answer. We may be able to talk about the world, but be unable to give reasons why we view the world this way. Personally, I believe I am half secular and half spiritual. I believe in science and am always amazed by how science can explain so many unbelievable phenomena. I am also amazed at the contribution science has made to human beings and the world. Like Marcus Aurelius said, “Nothing has much power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under the observation in life.” However, there are things that cannot or have not yet been proven by scientific method. For example, ghost photos and haunted places.

   Beyond that, the comparison between spiritual worldview and religious world view draws my attention. In my opinion, when we talk about religion, we have a propensity to understand it in our own religious view or with views which we are most familiar. I am from China and Buddhism is the most popular religion. But when I came to America, I realized Christianity is the belief of the masses. So when we discussed our definition of spiritual worldview, what the other classmates considered as a “spiritual worldview”, in my opinion, they were speaking of a religious worldview. For example, they think that people, whom hold a spiritual worldview, think the afterlife is transcending; however, as far as I know, Buddhism believes so as well. Following death, according to Tibetan Buddhism, the dying individual remains fully aware, for as long as possible, because the thoughts one has influences his/her after-death experience. It also indicates that culture is involved in one’s worldview and it influences one’s worldview.