10.19.2013

Social Norms

Today, I'm going to share with you 5 social norms in China. Trust me there are a gazillion more I could write about, but we'll start with 5 today.
**Also, as a side note, please forgive the random font that pops up in those post. I have tried for the life of me to fix it and I just can't. This post insists on being font rebellious! It's infuriating. :) But anyways...***
1. So much noise! It is completely, 100% normal here in China, for people to turn their cell phone/computer volume up on high while playing a game or watching a show. No matter where they are. Currently, I'm sitting in Starbucks, which is peaceful and quiet. It resembles an American Starbucks in every way. Except for the guy sitting in the chairs across from me who is playing some kind of coin, gambling game, with the volume up allllll the way up. I have my head phones in and I can still hear it. Public transportation is a good place to view this phenomenon. There is always, always someone shouting to their friend through their speaker phone, playing a game, or carrying their phone around like its a boom box with the volume on high, for all to enjoy. Im quite certain that if they did this in the States they would get the finger. There's no rules about disturbing the peace here. 

2. More noise! Which brings me to my second point. It is totally normal and maybe even encouraged to pop fireworks and hire a drum line to play in the middle of a sleeping apartment complex at 6:00 am. 

3. Napping anywhere and everywhere. Yesterday, to add to our list of places we've seen people napping (i.e. one leg on their motor bike, head on the curb, stretched across an entire sidewalk, and so on) Zachary saw a guy sleeping on a giant steel coil. That's comfortable. 

4. Pooping and peeing on the streets. This is probably one of the most erksome of social norms here. Pretty much on the daily I see some taxi driver turning around from a tree, mid zip up, walking back to his car that he just pulled over in order to pee. Children pee (and sometimes poop) every where. The awkward part is when they get up in the 8's and 9's and are still doing it, flashing their goods for all to see. And the even more awkward part is how the parents, grandparents, whomever, hold the kids in order for them to pee. It's really strange guys. They put the kids knees to their chest, and hold them up by holding their knees, so their in a weird hovering squat position, with their "birdsandbees"facing out instead of down. Idont know if that makes any sense. I would show you a picture, but well, I think that would be illegal, and my conscious really can't bear to take that pic. It's weird people. Real weird.

(please help! I have no idea why the above font is like that! And I can't change it!)

5. Burping and farting. These are just everyday, no big deal occurrences. Today, I was at a women's conference and the Chinese women next to me let out a huge belch, and nobody even flinched. This week one of my students let out a huge fart, 3 times in a row. And like the rumbling kind. Like thunder. And no one said anything .He didn't called fart monster or smelly pants or anything terrible that he'd be called in the States. No body even laughed. I chuckled, until I looked around and saw that no one else was, and realized that I was more immature than my entire class of 7 year olds.

2 comments :

Rachel said...

I was just wondering, is staring normal over there? In Malaysia, it's totally normal to stare at whoever/whatever you think is interesting. I grew up there, so I was always very used to it, but it made my husband a little uncomfortable when he visited.

Sybil@PeaceitallTogether said...

Based on these five alone, I'm certain I wouldn't last long living in China. It is so interesting to me how different cultural norms can be!