cultural differences.

i had quite the profound realization today

on the difference between chinese and western culture.

the mantra of chinese culture (thanks Christina) is harmony. family members are willing to sacrifice, to withstand for their families, for happiness, for love.
this has pretty much been the plot line for chinese operas, tv series since ancient times. the main character always makes the ultimate sacrifice for others. the obstacles, struggle-filled destiny tug on the heartstrings of the audience, making them sympathize for the character’s plight for suffering the consequence of those decisions.

same goes for my mom whose always been there sacrificing for the family.

on the other hand, the western culture is more about self.

the idea of democracy, liberty are all based on the idea that we are created equal. but in the eyes of chinese, we are not. we live in a hierarchy, limited by our age, position in society. we have never been liberated from our family or societal ties.

in western movies, characters still make sacrifices but the purpose is different. they are doing it for personal triumph, for overcoming struggle, for protecting those dear to them. the line is sometimes hard to define and can only be personally interpreted.

on a personal level, it has been difficult for me to choose which ideology to come to terms with. there are the americans who destroy families, stability, order for the pursuit of happiness. the single mothers, the divorced parents. but on the other hand, we have the chinese who are never happy because they’ve never been given a chance to live the life they want.

all whittles down to fortune of our lives.


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