from CCTV

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from CCTV

Post  Casprd on Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:00 pm

Was watching a new language show on CCTV-9 with Charlotte MacInniss. Towards the end she was talking about the use of Xie Xie in Chinese culture and as with many things turns out there is a huge culture gap between China and the US. She was saying that it is less common to say xie xie as the personal relationship becomes closer and among family or very close friends it is rarely used. She went on to say that using xie xie with a close friend can be interpreted as wanting to put some distance between you and the person.

Interesting cultural tidbit and completely counter intuitive to to the way most of us are raised. My laopo is pretty westernized so I tend to forget just how different our backgrounds are, but I'm sure with her family it will be quite a bit different. Razz

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Re: from CCTV

Post  Admin on Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:11 pm

As Achmed the dead terrorist would say, "Holy Crap"
And here it is I thought everyone around me was being rude. Geeezz, learned a lot of stuff today.

Thanks Sir
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Interesting...

Post  premington on Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:42 am

Wow... That's interesting. I was told a while ago by another Chinese person not to use "zhou shang hao" (good morning), "xia wu hao" (good afternoon), or "wan shang hao" (good evening) because "Chinese never use that" (as she said). "Use ni hao." I've noticed a number of situations where Chinese use "zhou shang hao," etc., although "ni hao" is what I hear used most between Chinese where I live.

I'll have to ask my wife and see what she thinks about the use of "xie xie". This might be one of those things that's loosely followed with some and not with others or perhaps its use changes subtly from region to region. My wife doesn't follow what the TV show mentioned... She says "xie xie" to everyone, when appropriate (close loved ones or strangers).

BTW: There's also another excellent language show we enjoy on CCTV-9 with this blonde American man with glasses... Young fellow (I forget his name). He analyzes a conversation in Chinese by showing actors talking in a specific scenerio, like at a park or restaurant. He breaks down the sentences and explains how the words are used and chosen and sometimes the explains the etymology behind the words. Most of it goes over my head, but it's a very educational watch!

-Paul
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Re: from CCTV

Post  Casprd on Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:54 am

Yeah I think that show is called "Travelling in Chinese" or something like that. during the Olympic year he did a language show on CCTV-5 that was centered around sports. Your right, he goes in to a lot of detail and covers a lot of material in the show so it's hard for me to keep up. Plus they talk so fast that I have a tough time understanding the words. Got it all on DVR so maybe one day when I'm older I will understand it all Razz

It may very well be a regional thing. Friends I chat with will say good morning and good evening but I don't really recall anyone saying that in China (other than my wife to me in the morning).

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Use of Xie Xie and other common words

Post  docmyster on Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:29 pm

Shu has told me many times, among family and close friends saying xie xie, zao shang hao, xiawu hao etc., are not used. She always corrects me and says, "It does not matter". She said the only time you would say xie xie to a family member or close friend, is when they did you a very big favor.

What Shu explained to me, when it is with family and friends, whatever they do for you is a part of the relationship and thanking one another is not necessary, since that is what good relationships are all about. To me, it means old teachings most of us have forgotten. "I scratch your back, you scratch mine." "Do unto others as they do unto you."

Even my customers correct me when I thank them. They tell me, "It is not necessary, we are friends, we are beyond formalities."

I remember an incident last year when I called my friend in Shenzhen to give me advice on some travel issues I had. I explained my situation and wanted her advice or recommendations. She said she would call me back in a couple of hours. She did call back and told me she had resolved my situation. I was surprised because I expected guidance. Instead my travel issues she got them resolved by making calls and re-arranging my travel where I was having difficulty getting any resolution. I thanked her tremendously. She replied, "Do not thank me, you are my friend and that is what friends do for each other."

What I got out of all this cultural difference, is we westeners are not humble enough and expect too much from little for nothing. Shu has taught me it is better to thank someone by returning the favor or giving a small gift of gratitude because that goes a long way, than simply saying, "Xie xie". Things like letting the person know you are on your way to do some grocery shopping and asking them if they need you to pick something up for them, or remembering a favorite food item and getting it for them, or a 2 for 1 deal and giving the extra item to the person that did you a favor. She said it is these little things that shows the person your appreciation for who they are and what they mean to you as a friend and/or family member.

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Re: from CCTV

Post  Danming on Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:47 pm

Their culture is miles ahead of ours.....and 4500 years older and wiser. Thanks for the info doc and posts such as yours usually are informative and cut to the heart of family living and understanding these women we call our wives.Thanks again....Danming
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Xie xie!

Post  docmyster on Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:17 am

Thanks Danming, and a very big thank you to you Kent!!

I try my best to understand because I love Shu very much, as well as the Chinese people, the country and its culture.

I can't wait until I finally move permanently, though only one more year to go.

Kent it would be nice if we could meet again on better terms and start back on the right track.

As Shu told me, us westerners are like little children who occassionally have to be reminded friendships are important and bickering amongst each other needs to be resolved, not dissolved.

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Re: from CCTV

Post  Admin on Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:09 am

Their culture is more advanced than ours? I'm not sure which measuring stick we are using. Is there culture older? Yes, by far. But more advanced? Not sure about that.

One must also try to define the American culture or the Canadian culture. Both are homogenized at best.

In the US, it is difficult to find buildings that are still functional at 100 years, but in England, I had dinner in a place that has been in existence for over 300 years.

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Re: from CCTV

Post  Danming on Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:52 am

I was overwhelmed at the level of family bonding and sharing in Nanning. Perhaps it was my glory of being a visitor and a guest but man the level of politeness there is much deeper than that here...Clif I don't think we are talking about buildings here. I think we are talking about the level of civility and kind nature of the people in general. One can always find exceptions to any finding of course.....Perhaps it is my naivety of the danger over there....But in general most live in peace and harmony in a tightly packed residential system....so there was somethig I felt over in Nanning and
China in general that makes it attractive to me...... and makes me more comfortable there than here in Canada where I don't even know my next door neighbor and we all want to keep to ourselves, mow our own lawns and become easily aggressive with each other....
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Re: from CCTV

Post  Casprd on Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:54 am

Yes Doc, that was very much the way she explained it. My laopo says however that is normal among her friends and family to say xie xie. I thought maybe it was a regional thing as some others have said, but seems the practice differes even in Nanning so maybe it is a generational thing and customs are starting to shift some.

Dan I think it is a bit of naivety as well as how obviously different we are. While pick pockets are a problem for us, the sense I always had is that the police/government comes down very hard on any violent crimes against foreigners. Even in cities where there is a lot of corruption and criminal gang activity like Chongqing, it is still a safe place for foreign tourists.

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Re: from CCTV

Post  Admin on Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:14 am

OK, Culture... one of the many definitions I found.
n.

1.
1. The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought.
2. These patterns, traits, and products considered as the expression of a particular period, class, community, or population: Edwardian culture; Japanese culture; the culture of poverty.
3. These patterns, traits, and products considered with respect to a particular category, such as a field, subject, or mode of expression: religious culture in the Middle Ages; musical culture; oral culture.
4. The predominating attitudes and behavior that characterize the functioning of a group or organization.
2. Intellectual and artistic activity and the works produced by it.
3.
1. Development of the intellect through training or education.
2. Enlightenment resulting from such training or education.
4. A high degree of taste and refinement formed by aesthetic and intellectual training.
5. Special training and development: voice culture for singers and actors.
6. The cultivation of soil; tillage.
7. The breeding of animals or growing of plants, especially to produce improved stock.
8. Biology.
1. The growing of microorganisms, tissue cells, or other living matter in a specially prepared nutrient medium.
2. Such a growth or colony, as of bacteria.

I think my reply was to "a better culture" or the implication thereof.

Do they have an older culture, yes! We in the US have only had a history of 600 years if we go back to the nebulous date of 1492. We know that is up to much debate but just as a starting mark for "western" influence.

Then we have to define "better" as opposed to "older" We only have to look at the Mayans to see a huge civilization that was a culture unto it's self. A very brutal culture that included killing for sport and religion. Is it a better?

I think the entire debate is untenable because it is subjective. My point is only that some locations have a much older culture, not a better one.

In China, we can even look at different dynasties and see a separate culture existing for each one throughout their long and storied history.

Isn't conversation fun.
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Re: from CCTV

Post  Danming on Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:35 am

I agree with you....I think though for me it is a comfort thing rather than better or difference in culture.....I did feel comfortable with the level of security in china and especially in our compound and in the city in general.....I felt comfortable by the way I was treated.....So perhaps it is more of a personal thing than a general thing......Does comfort equate to betterment? I guess it does in my thinking......I have asked myself many times why I feel more comfortable there than here in Canada. I think it all relates to my personal experience which has not always been the best.....combined with lower expectations and a naivety of China altogether......perhaps it is the economic comfort I feel there that my earned money goes farther....but it all equates to comfort......and for me yes that is better regardless of the culture I am in. I am much more comfortable with my Chinese wife than I have ever been.....I guess for my efforts that is better....yes much better......Danming
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Re: from CCTV

Post  Admin on Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:38 am

WE agree...

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Re: from CCTV

Post  danny on Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:49 am

Something just odd happened. I just posted to this topic. It seemed to have taken it. But now I can't find it.
Please note I rewrote my original post a day later.

This is an interesting subject. Are traditions and culture the same or are they different? I think that China 's tradtions and culture is changing. They are being affect by the west. Perhaps some of the change is good but some is also bad.

What we learn in language books and what is use in China sometimes seem to be different. I wonder if this is a regional thing or if the books are written from a western point of view. I use the words Ni Hao and Xie Xie a lot. Strangers wil always give me a friendly smile when I use them and they often repeat the words. I heard that "Ni Chi Le Ma" is a common saying. I was also told that Xie Xie Xie Xie can be used when you are really try to show your appreciation to someone who has done something nice for you.

Interesting subject.

Well if it does not reappear I will try to rewrite it later. Oh Well.

Danny


Last edited by danny on Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:04 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : To clarify some of my posting.)

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Re: from CCTV

Post  Admin on Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:01 pm

Keep me posted on that Danny. I will look into it.
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Re: from CCTV

Post  docmyster on Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:44 am

Better to be, or better not to be? Lol!

I think Danming's meaning of better comes from his comfort level in China compared to being in Canada. So for him it is better based on what he has experienced in China. I understand that.

For me, what I find to be better in China is that things do move at a slower pace than what we are accustomed to in the western world. I'm tired of the fast-paced world we live in. We are use to high-tech, fast-paced. Gee, we like giving ourselves heart attacks and creating our own stress.

I noticed each time I arrive in China, all my stress seems to disappear, as though it stayed behind on the airplane.

Shu has taught me the true meaning of patience being a virtue. Getting upset, being inpatient gets me nowhere and serves me no good. Things get done, when they get done. All things happen in their due time. I learned from her to accept the way things are in China, for that is the way it is in China. So she says.

I learned to be more humble and understanding, and appreciate how the Chinese have accepted their way of life and adapt easily in order to survive and do it without complaining.

I now feel better about myself and find it better for me to live in China because my life and health feel better....to me!!

Yeah, China is better from a different perspective, not as in a better country than the USA, Canada or wherever. It is a better place for those us who feel and see it that way. For me, it is better because I have peace of mind. For others, it is better for wahtever it does for them that makes it better for them.

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Re: from CCTV

Post  Danming on Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:08 am

Well said Snyder.....and less stress for me is a better thing too. We walked everywhere and my weight was down about 40 pounds when I went there the second time. Lost 30 pounds on the first trip and another 10 on the second trip...My blood pressure was down, blood sugar was in check and man I felt good and healthy for the first time in years.....so yes for me it was better....for so many reasons.....Thanks....Danming
Here my life is isolated and impersonal....Over there it is broad and full, and most of all peaceful....
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Re: from CCTV

Post  premington on Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:00 am

Yeah, I think a lot of it has to do with how you view your current situation in whatever surroundings you're currently in. If you have a great support system around you, loved ones, a strong physical and mental constitution, these are the primary ingredients that make a quality life. This can be attained pretty much anywhere... Finding these things is the trick!

Dan, it sounds like you found this in China, and I think that's fantastic! I'd highly impress you to gravitate towards that as much as possible. Go towards what promotes and fosters a healthy disposition and fulfilled heart.

I haven't spent enough time in China to be able to determine how it would be for me. I do have concerns with being a fish out of water, unable to read or talk or understand anybody or anything, and being part of a Communist country. If anything ever happened in regards to a war between the East and West, OMG! I'm pretty much the enemy living in everyone's backyard, kinda' like how I hear through my father the Japanese-Americans were seen during WWII.

Even with all these issues, I'm very open minded towards the possibility of retiring in China one day. I'm a bit young for this at this point in my life, but I'm not opposed to the idea. I love the people and the culture. I just wish I were more proficient with the language so I wouldn't be so isolated when I’m there.

But I enjoy reading how comfortable Dan and Clif are towards life in China. For me, Guilin looks like a great place to eventually settle, if we did move back. Although I think my lao po might elect to go back to Nanning or Chong Qing (her home city). She's a city girl at heart. Wink

-Paul
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Re: from CCTV

Post  Danming on Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:23 am

Well Paul before I make that decision, which could be made on the spur of the moment because I am already retired so to speak....I can understand fully why those who are not yet retired have to stay where the work and stability is for now.....For me, I want to finish my studies and give it a go in the business.......Yuping's dream of course is to live six months in each country during the year and having two residences....For now it is only a dream so I will continue my studies and try and make it a reality....We have a son who would be a shoe in to take over when I am ready to fully retire....Take care.....Danming
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Fearing the unknown

Post  docmyster on Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:42 am

Paul,

It's obvious you have some fears of living in China, though you labeled it a communist country. Granted it is a communist country, yet transparent, hardly noticeable. Compared to Cuba, North Korea, those places are more communist than China.

I highly recommend you overcome your fear of China, since it is obvious you are attracted to it. You should do what you can to make more frequent trips and in-trench yourself in learring about the culture, the peolpe and the country, and most of all.....its language.

You expressed concern and fear of not knowing the language. Then take the time to learn it. If you don't, then you will always have this fear of not able to communicate because you lack knowing the language. The only one to blame for this fear, is yourself. Your best and most readily available teacher is your wife. Seek her knowledge and teachings.

I've been lucky enough to go every 4 weeks to China, thanks to the growth of my consulting work and increase of customers in China. It has allowed me to take advantage of learning as much of the culture and language that I can at a much quicker pace than I had expected. And I am enjoying it very much.

Next year is when I move permanently, then semi-retirement at 60. I only have 4 years more to go.

Snyder
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Re: from CCTV

Post  steve3643 on Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:21 am

Well gentlemen,i must agree with all you have said,trouble is my Wife say's it is better here in the UK but i disagree,with my pension i can just get by here but in Nanning i could live very well,the people are very friendly and as for the language i think that i could cope,after all if you are hearing it all day long you should pick it up,but the written word...mmm...my Wife has been here since 2003 and she is just starting to understand English,because we use the same words for different things,but the chinese use just one word for a meaning ??? if you know what i mean,here for transport i use a car/bus but in Nanning then i walk,the pounds just drop off.One problem that i have not yet investigated is medical,here in the UK it is free but in China you pay,i do understand that you can take out medical insurance but at my age it is the cost.As for living there perminately then i could,i have tried to talk about it but at the moment it has it a brick wall.Hope to go over in the autumn(fall) for a month on my own,as my Wife has had her holidays for the year,i know my sister-in-law will look after me if i get into trouble and she can speak a little english,all my Wifes friends are amazed that i would do such a thing,but like i say i would have back-up in of trouble.
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Re: from CCTV

Post  Admin on Thu Aug 12, 2010 7:41 am

I can attest to the fact that medical assistance is readily available in Nanning. HA. For about the past 2 years I have had gall bladder issues. The options were to leave it alone and watch my diet or take it out and watch my diet. So, either way, I have to watch my diet. I do that. My bro in law wanted to buy lunch for me and took me to a really nice steak house called "The Steak House". It's about 2 blocks from 5 Elephant Square, past the McDonnalds on the other side of the street.

Needless to say, I was in serious pain within hours.
By the time the next sunrise happened, I wanted to die. We made a trip to the hospital and although it wasn't, how shall I say it, not what I was used to, I was able to see a doctor and spent then next 5 hours getting about 7 bottles of IV. I came back the next day and got another 4 bags. I think the total bill was about 500rmb.

It was really different, but it worked.

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Re: from CCTV

Post  Danming on Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:00 am

Clif have you tried the teaspoon of olive oil with a teaspoon of lemon juice twice a day trick? You will pass your stones in a few days....Also have yourself tested for Chrone's disease because the symptoms are very similar.....however Chrones is a genetic thing so if your family doesnt have it the you wont..........In China they have other methods of dealing with our geriatric type of disorders here that Western Medicine doesn't treat. I developed a lung infection over there and the Chinese traditional medicine worked for me pronto while the western medicine did not work at all......Plus while the Chinese tea they made up for me there was only available at a traditional drug outlet, we did not need to obtain another prescription to refill it.......just keep the old paper orders and they filled it out and gave us as many as we needed.....I did keep taking it about every three or four days to keep the lung infection at bay......Cost for the tea was about 35 yuan for a week supply......Like Buckley's syrup....it tasted horrible but it worked well.


Like so many other Chinese who come to Canada,,,the reason? ....to allow their children to have a better less competitive life.....I have a friend who was a top computer programmer in Taiwan come and live here as a grocery worker just so his children could get into university.....They think it will be easier for their children to attend university here.....some spend millions of yuan for their children.....While my wife says she doesn't care where we live, she is also cognizant of the free health care here....Actually it is not free because we pay so much for health care and also extended health care that would cost about 1/7th what it is here in China. In Canada geriatrics is a huge business.....Here in Canada there is a three month waiting list to see any sort of specialist....in an emergency people usually jump into the front of the line...however for some that is too late....In China you cans see a specialist at the Guangxi hospital in a few days and if yo need any sort of operation they book you in right away.......So we have a level of service problem in Canada.....
Right now we are paying about 150- 299 each month for health care insurance. Plus our taxation rates would be much lower in China and we could still benefit from a lot of government benefits overseas that get eaten up by daily living here.....
A typical porcelain crown in Canada is about 1200....and a three unit dental bridge is about 2500....The same things in China are about 1/10th the price.....
Steve I am in the same boat as you with the pension. We are scraping by in Canada and would be upper income in China.......However as our economies move closer together I am not certain that would hold out for too long. We could not live were the economies like Beijing or Shanghai or Hong Kong. But in Nanning it is still a livable concept for us even on my limited salary...after I turn 60 it jumps to 30K a year.......which would be basically tax free after a year plus we would get all the child care tax benefits living in China offered by our country here....take care....it would be far easier for us to live in Nanning rather than live here in Canada...and further, to me it is not the longevity of life that is important but the quality of life that is important...........Danming
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Re: from CCTV

Post  premington on Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:27 am

Well, I wouldn't say I'm afraid of China or have fear in regards to visiting or living there, just legitimate concern. It's a bigger step for me to go over there to live than it is for my wife to come here. She has family here and started learning English in her youth. I have no family (blood) over there and didn't start learning Chinese until I was 44.

I do study Chinese, BTW, but it's not as easy for me. As I'm sure you can all understand, you don't pick up that language overnight. It's something you study over time and it can take many, many years to become fluent in it even with full-time study. Hu Yue's an excellent source to learn from, but I'm immersed in an English-speaking country and the only chance I have to practice is at home with my wife at night after work.

My time in Nanning was wonderful! The people were so respectful and I was treated like some kind of rock star, always stared at with people eager to come to me, even though we couldn't communicate. One person was an English student at a local college and nervously came over to talk to me for her class... It was a requirement that she find someone who speaks English and she had to have a conversation with them. Wow... I felt so important and appreciated! While there I definitely felt I could live there. Life looks real nice in Nanning.

While the people are wonderful, I do have concerns about the government. It's an interesting culture... Kinda' like a hybrid structure where they've wrapped the best aspects of Western Capitalism around a Communist base. Right now things are relatively peaceful and life is good. The government has ultimate control within their society and I don't suspect the government is as influenced through compassionate groundswell of support by the people towards immigrants like in America. In the US there are opposing forces driven by the tides of politics that do have some pull over the powers that be, mostly based on votes and elections. In America, even illegals are somewhat protected and some political entities would like to give them healthcare and driver's licenses. I don't suspect this is true in China especially if our peaceful relationship with China begins to deteriorate.

As I said if any East/West war did break out, I have no idea how government would deal with people like me living in their country. Hopefully they'd still accept me the same way the people do, but I wouldn't put my money on it. This concern only applies towards me living there long term. Visiting, I have no fear or concern... It's a wonderful place with wonderful people and I look forward to returning as much as finances allow.

-Paul
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Re: from CCTV

Post  Admin on Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:37 am

Dan, they did an ultra sound on my gal bladder and strongly suggested I not try to pass the stone. It must be huge or something. When the whole thing happened, I was puking blood and they weren't sure if it was from the aspirin I was taking or something else. I was here in the states at the time and spent 24 hours in the ER and a room. (7000usd) But now, with diet, it stays at bay. I also have some enzimes I take if there is something in question going on.

My diet is 95% Chinese and only sometimes do I need a US food fix.

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Re: from CCTV

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