During my time in China, I always heard my friends telling me that I was “so chinese“, because of the things I said or did. It’s funny though, because some of those things I have already been doing before I even came to China. They were the outcomes of how my parents educated me, my background of the turkish culture, and my physical circumstances.
But there are also some thoughts and actions that I adapted into my life after my time in China.
Here are 8 signs that I’m turning chinese:
Whipping eggs with chopsticks
I definitely adapted to this behaviour after having lived in China. Before, I only saw my vietnamese friend doing this, but I never gave it a thought. When living in China, I always had eggs for breakfast, basically every day. We also didn’t have a whip, so I used the chopsticks just as my friends were doing it. And I have to say, it is way more effective.
Not drinking ice cold drinks
I already tried to avoid ice cold drinks even before I came to China, because I am a person who can get easily sick from ice cold drinks. Every time I complained about ice cold drinks in China, my western friends would look at me with big eyes and say: “Merve, you are so chinese.” :’D When I was in China, I realized how much they are afraid of cold things such as drinks and ice cream. Drinking hot water in summer is a very common thing there, and I actually like it and think that chinese people really know how to take care of their health.
Missing Squat Toilets
Now, you might think I am crazy to be misssing squat toilets, the nightmare of many laowais travelling and living in China and other Asian countries. But let me say one thing guys: Some of them might look and smell disgusting, but they are soooo much better for your health. It is so unhealthy to press your “number 2” out of your body by sitting upright, than for it just to come out naturally through squatting. It sounds funny to talk about these kind of things, but it’s important to be aware of your poo and the way it is pressed out :’D
Please tell me in the comments about what you think about this. I’d be interested. #pootalk
Being afraid of loosing face
First of all, you have to know what it means in chinese culture. It is not just being embarrassed, but also trying to avoid the embarrasment of other people (colleagues, friends, family). So it is not only important to save your own face, but also the face of the other person. So if you have done a mistake at work, your boss would never dare telling you the mistakes in your face. That would be an embarrassment for you, as well as an uncomfortable situation for himself. Because of this losing face philosophy, there is a lot of misunderstanding in the working environment. Still, I like this concept, and I have always behaved like this actually. I always felt uncomfortable criticizing other people. I came to understand that I might be unable to fully criticize someone in a negative way. Also at work, when I see a colleague having a hard time with another colleague, I would always have the urge to help them or make them feel comfortable again. I am also someone who could never say directly what I don’t like about the other person (except when I am hungry :’D), not because I am afraid of that person fighting with me back or insulting me, no, but simply just because I would be ashamed of myself to embarass another person just like that, in this case, to make them loose face.
This also is something that I haven’t just learned in China. This has a lot to do with my upbringing. It actually might not be a typical way of turkish upbringing, since many turkish people can be very direct and aggressive, but just the combined characterstics of my parents contributed to this behaviour of mine. Maybe my parents are secretly chinese (with my mom’s looks, it would even be possible :’D)
Tell me what you think about this theory of losing face, and how you behave in cases like these.
Taking photos of everything
This has also been one of my most favourite past times even before living in China. I actually felt like fitting in when I saw all the other chinese people around me taking pictures of their food and stuff :’D I truly felt like I belonged.
Again, I have always been a very loud person when it came to speaking and laughing, and just making noises in general. So when I started living in China, I didn’t stand out anymore :’D Everyone else was just as loud as me.
Thank you, please
I might appear as rude when I don’t always say ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ to everyone. My friends noticed that all the time at the dining table for example and pointed it out. I told them that I didn’t realize I kept on forgetting it. When I explained that in turkish culture, you don’t really use these phrases when talking to your close family and friends, our chinese friend agreed and told us that it’s similar in chinese cuture as well. They sound too formal to use with your friends and family. Still, I am always reminding myself at least to say thank you more often to my colleagues.
Slurping hot drinks
Chinese people make a lot of noises when eating and drinking. I know a lot of people who get annoyed by that. I am luckily not bothered so much, since I have to commit to doing one of these noises as well, which is slurping hot drinks or soup. For me, this had nothing to do with a cultural background. It’s just that my mouth is very sensitive to any temperature, so when I am drinking something hot, I have to slurp it to prevent my tongue from getting burned. I guess chinese people do it for the same reason. Or maybe for the reason that japanese people slurp their ramen: because they say it tastes better :D
That’s it! I’m on the right way to become chinese. I think if I should return to live in China again one day, I will probably even adapt more manners.
What about you guys, is there anything mentioned above that can be applied to your behaviour as well? Let me know below!
Stay tuned and thanks for reading!