Tips on China’s Culture

One quarter of the population on this earth are Chinese. Just in China alone, there are 1.3 billion people. As I am writing, how many more are born? It is impossible to generalize the tactics to deal with different Chinese people. Here I am sharing with you some of my experience from working in the area and being a Chinese myself! Remember: this is my personal experience only. You need to spend time, show respect and open your mind in order to understand anybody, as it is true in all human relationships.

There are so many different aspects involved in understanding Chinese. You can take the approach of ideology, business, philosophy, religion, economy and of course the most trendy “the art of war“.

What is the religion in China?

What is the religion in China? Or what are the religions in China? Tradionally, do the Chinese believe in God? I need to be careful. This is a theological question, but with political sensitivity. Everybody knows that one of the Communist’s ideologies during Chairman Mao period was “religion is poison”.

The basic philosophies which formed more or less the traditional Chinese moral system are Ru (Confucius), Fo (Buddhism) and Dao (Daoism, also called Taoism).

These are philosophies, not religion, because they do not point us to worship any specific deity. But the values between parents and children, between husbands and wives, between emperors and citizens, between different hierachies are laid-out. It is the norm that seniority deserves respect. This belief of giving respect to your seniors is very much deep-rooted in the value sytem of the Chinese. That may explain some of the behaviours of the Chinese government.

Fate is another subject that derived from the 3 major streams of philisophies, especially from Taoism. Fate is something mysterious, beyond our control. Our life is somehow guided by fate. The way to deal with it is to come to terms with fate. Another major concept, which comes from the Buddhism, is Yuan Fen (an ordained tie that brings people together, especially couples). This Yuan Fen is a lubricant in all sorts of relationships, be it business or personal. There are so many manufacturers, why do I feel particularly drawn to you? Apart from you have a better offer, Chinese believe, it is Yuan Fen that brought us together.

So, go back to the question. Traditionally, do the Chinese believe in God? My own personal view is yes. Chinese believe in “a” God. We have sayings from the ancient books like “3 feet above there is a God”, “the heaven’s net is tight, you can’t run away with it” (meaning if you have committed a crime, no where you can hide), “you will be punished by what you did, if not today, the time will come”. This concept in heaven forms the conscience in our heart which guards our behaviour.

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