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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Taiwan vs. America: Differences and Similarities (w/ Chinese Translation)

Cultural comparisons tend to put one in hot water because they often incur accusations of overgeneralizing and stereotyping. Nevertheless, patterns and differences in culture and people DO EXIST and are demonstratable. So in the name of truth, I do not fear offending others and will merely call it as I see it.


- Taiwanese are more group and family oriented (collectivist), while America is more individual oriented. For example, a person marrying someone that their parents disapprove of would not care in the US, but in Taiwan the parents’ feelings would be a strong factor. However, some say that this is changing in Taiwan.
- The Taiwanese are more subtle and indirect in their communication. They prefer dropping hints and cues rather than being upfront. On the other hand, Western communication is more assertive, articulate and direct.
- On the exterior, Taiwanese people are more reserved and cold toward strangers. They are less apt to smile or make eye contact. But once you get to know them, they become more hospitable and generous. Americans smile and chat politely with strangers easily, but do not invite you into their homes or personal lives easily.
- Taiwanese are taught to be modest, humble and obedient, rather than outspoken, aggressive or assertive. American culture teaches the opposite, that assertiveness is a valuable communication skill in one’s personal and professional life. Being quiet, submissive and obedient is seen in the US as a weakness that allows others to walk all over you. Bullies see such types as easy targets to bully. But in Asia, no one will make fun of such types.
- Confidence is not taught as a good attribute in Taiwan, nor is it encouraged (at least not the western version of confidence). Instead, Taiwanese think that it is better to live in fear and worry, and yield to others to avoid trouble. Compliance, respect and hard work are the attributes of their ideal citizen. But in America, confidence is seen as power, and the key ingredient behind image, hence the slogan “Image is everything”.
- Lighter skin is seen as more attractive in Asia, so that darker Asians prefer to whiten their skin. But in America, having a slight tan is seen as healthier and more attractive than being too pale.
- Girls in Taiwan are more shy and introverted than their western counterparts, but they are more feminine, tender and caring toward their family and partners as well.


- American and Taiwanese cultures are VERY workaholic. They share an inherent belief that humans were created to work. Thus they “live to work” and feel empty and purposeless without it. Most Taiwanese work 6 or 7 days a week. Having too much freedom or vacation time is seen as deviant to the corporate culture. Being a slave to your job is seen as a good thing. Most have little or no interests outside of their work. They have no identity outside of their work, organization or culture. People are conditioned this way to serve the interests of their corporatocracy.
- Both cultures are very materialistic in their values, and teach that wealth and assets are the keys to happiness. They are programmed to work and consume to fill their emptiness, rather than cultivating inner assets (spirituality, knowledge, intellectualism). There is a lot of misery and depression. Suicide rates are high in both cultures.
- In general, people are socially conservative and cliquish. Social interaction is usually confined within closed cliques established early on in life. People don’t talk to strangers in both countries unless it’s business related. There is a paranoia toward strangers, which is unjustified since both countries are relatively safe, and violence is greatly exaggerated by the media.
- People live in structured routines and life is a business, not a passion. Everything is highly compartmentalized.
- People in both countries are not generally educated or informed about the rest of the world. Instead, they harbor stereotypes about other countries that aren’t true, largely due to Hollywood movies, myths and propaganda.
- Citizens of both cultures do not tend to be good at critical thinking. Instead, they blindly believe whatever they are told by their government and media like zombies. They forget the fact that their governments have lied many times in the past and committed crimes. Instead, they live passively and assume that authority = truth.
- Their education system is rigged so that if you conform, you become a robot (rewarded with pay), but if you don’t you become a bum. Thus defying the system brings suffering and makes it difficult to live a good life. Essentially, they want you to be smart enough to perform in a job, but not to think too critically, deeply or “out of the box”.

Chinese Translation by Google Translator:




- 台灣人以上的團體和家庭導向的(集體),而美國更個人化。例如,一個人結婚的人,他們的父母不贊成不會理會美國,但在台灣的父母的感情會是一個強有力的因素。然而,有些人說這是改變台灣。
- 台灣更加微妙和間接的溝通。他們寧願下降暗示和線索,而不是前期。另一方面,西方的溝通更加自信,善於表達和直接。
- 從外表看,台灣人民更保留,冷對陌生人。他們不太容易微笑或眼神接觸。但是,一旦你了解他們,他們變得更加好客和慷慨。美國人的微笑,禮貌地與陌生人聊天很容易,但不邀請你到他們家中或個人生活很容易。
- 台灣被教導要謙虛,謙虛,聽話,而不是坦率,積極的還是自信。美國文化教導相反,這自信是一種寶貴的溝通技巧在自己的個人生活和職業生涯。安靜,順從,聽話,是出現在美國作為一個弱點,讓其他人都走了你。惡霸看到這種類型,很容易欺負的目標。但在亞洲,沒有人會取笑這種類型。
- 信心是沒有教導作為一個很好的屬性在台灣,也不是鼓勵(至少不是西方版本的信心)。相反,台灣人認為,最好是生活在恐懼和不安,對他人的產量,以避免麻煩。遵守,尊重和努力,是他們理想的公民屬性。但是在美國,被視為權力的信心和形象背後的關鍵因素,因此,口號是“形象就是一切”。
- 打火機皮膚被視為在亞洲的吸引力,使黑暗亞洲人喜歡美白自己的皮膚。但是在美國,有一個輕微的棕褐色,被視為健康,更具吸引力,過於蒼白。
- 在台灣的女生比較害羞,內向他們的西方同行相比,但他們更女性化,溫柔和關心對他們的家庭和合作夥伴以及。


- 美國和台灣的文化是非常工作狂。它們有一個共同的信仰,人類創造了工作。因此,他們“為工作而生活”,並感到空虛和目的沒有它。大多數台灣工作6或7天。有太多的自由或休假時間,被視為離經叛道的企業文化。作為一個奴隸對你的工作被看作是一件好事。大多數人很少或沒有興趣以外的工作。他們沒有身份以外的工作,組織或文化。人們對空調這樣的利益服務的corporatocracy。
- 兩種文化是很現實在他們的價值觀,並教導財富和資產的關鍵是幸福的。他們的工作程序和消費,以填補他們的空虛,而不是培養內部資產(靈性,知識,理智)。有很多的痛苦和抑鬱。自殺率都很高的文化。
- 在一般情況下,人是社會保守,自成一個小集團。社會互動,通常只局限在封閉集團成立初期就在生活中。人們不與陌生人交談,除非它在這兩個國家的業務關係。有一種妄想對陌生人,這是不合理的,因為兩國都比較安全,暴力是大大誇大了的媒體。
- 人民生活在結構化程序和生活是一種商業,而不是激情。一切都非常支離破碎的。
- 人民在這兩個國家一般沒有受過教育或通報了世界其他地區。相反,他們對其他國家的成見是不正確的,這主要是由於好萊塢電影,神話和宣傳。
- 公民的兩種文化不傾向於善於獨立思考。相反,他們盲目地相信,不管他們告訴他們的政府和媒體喜歡殭屍。他們忘記了一個事實,他們的政府已經多次說謊,並在過去犯下的罪行。相反,他們生活被動,並假定權威 =真理。
- 他們的教育體系是作弊,如果你符合這樣,你成為一個機器人(獎勵工資),但是如果你沒有你成為一個流浪漢。因此,無視系統帶來的痛苦和難以過上美好的生活。從本質上講,他們要你足夠聰明的演出工作,但不能想太多批判,深入或“開箱即用”。

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