Culture Question:

I always see the Western people are more confident, energetic, enthusiastic….Why?

(posted: April 25, 2011)

The first thing that you should realize is that the Western people that you have seen are not representative of the average Western person. The Westerners you would have met are ones who are adventurous enough to leave their own country, often to study or work in another country. There are many Westerners who would be too settled in their own life or too afraid of change to come to China, just as there are many people in China who would not venture outside the borders of their familiar country.

People who like to travel tend to be curious about the world and have a certain amount of enthusiasm for living. This probably explains some of the energy you see in Westerners.

Western Culture, in general, also focuses more strongly on the development of the individual than Chinese culture does. It is not surprising then that you would see more overt displays of confidence in Westerners than in your countrymates -- self-confidence and indepedence are fostered in Westerners. Chinese culture focuses more on social harmony, with people being encouraged to be less direct and more self-effacing.

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Woman confidently jumping