Stereotypes & Prejudice

Stereotypes & Prejudice

If we like it or not, most of us have different stereotypes about different nations!

And it feels like there are at least a million prejudices about Chinese people, especially in Western countries. I am pretty sure that other Asian countries also have their typical Chinese stereotypes, but they might differ from the ones we have. A lot of people ask us questions about life in China and want to know if their stereotypes are true.

So, in order to make it a little less fearsome for you to come to China, I want to write something about the most common and well known stereotypes we have in German speaking countries. Here we go….

1) Spitting
Prejudice: Chinese are always, everywhere spitting. When they are walking on the street. When they are sitting on the bus. When they are sitting in restaurants.
True or false?
Half-true. It’s not like every Chinese person is spitting everywhere, but you will definitely encounter some people spitting on the streets. Anyways, in public transport, on the train or airplane people are not allowed to place their phlegm wherever they want. And most young people think it’s disgusting, too. So spitting becomes less and less popular in China, especially in the bigger cities.

2) Chinese people all look the same
Prejudice: All Chinese people look the same. They have all dark eyes, black hair and are small.
True or false?
False. They do not all look the same! Ok, it’s true that their natural hair colour is black and eyes are mostly dark as well, but Chinese people are also able to dye their hair, as well as they are able to cut it (meaning: there are people having long hair, short hair, layers, fringe/bangs…). There are tall Chinese (yes, even China has a basketball team) and small Chinese. It might be a little confusing for you in the beginning, but don’t worry you’ll learn to distinguish between different people. By the way, for Chinese it is the same with Westerners: for them WE all look the same.

3) Chinese can’t line up
Prejudice: Chinese people don’t know how to queue up. They don’t even know what a queue is.
True or false?
Half-true. It’s not really common in China to queue up. Especially while you are waiting for a bus, metro or elevator. It’s normally get in/on or wait for the next one. You will need to get used to this phenomenon. In some cities like Beijing or Shanghai, you might find people who are waiting for something in a queue, but still this behaviour hasn’t spread in China yet. See it as a new challenge: You will learn how to get what you want, even if it’s only getting on a bus.

Would you like to do an Internship in China and see if your stereotypes are true or false? Apply now via email or through our website!