Stereotypes come from a some real stuff, but not all of them. For the one who want to know more about China, here are five top Chinese stereotypes on the list. Enjoy!!(づ｡◕‿‿◕｡)づ
Stereotype №1:All Chinese are good at Math.
When I first came to USA, both of my roommates are born and raise Americans. As soon as they know I come from China, what they said is: “I won’t be worried about my math class anymore.” There is no denying that a large group of Chinese students are excellent at math but not all Chinese are math geniuses. Personally, I’m not that good at math. At least I usually didn’t get a good grade when I was in China. However, I do admit that the basic Math education in China is better than America. In China, the Math problems are usually more focus on certain topic, so the questions will be pretty difficult. In America, Math are much wider, the questions will contain lots of topics, but not as deep as it in China. So when Chinese students and American students are taking the same class, maybe Chinese students will find that it’s easier to solve the problem.
However, it depends on what class are you in right now. If you are in First year calculus class, you can ask Chinese students. If you are in your Math major Master degree class…… Try to find the best student in your class and ask him about the question you don’t know.
Stereotype №2: Every Chinese knows Kung fu or other Chinese martial arts.
Kung fu is a fighting style which has developed over the centuries in China. The genesis of the form of martial art is attributed to the need for self-defense, hunting techniques and military training in ancient China. However, in modern China, few people are fluent in Kung fu. In general, people do not learn Kung fu. If right now you would like to learn self-defense, there are a lot of place where you can learn Karate or Taekwondo. There might not be a lot of place to learn traditional Kung fu. Some monks do learn Kung fu to keep this part of Chinese traditional culture alive. There’s still one kind of Kung fu you might find popular among the elderly people called Tai Chi. Compare to military type Kung fu, they are much slowly. Lots of elderly people still learn it to keep them healthy. My grandparents are very good at them. They already 85 years old and still insist to practice Tai Chi, so right now they can still go out by themselves and walk pretty fast. Don’t be surprised to see a bunch of elderly people practicing Tai Chi in a park every morning.
Stereotype №3: Chinese is one of the most difficult languages to learn in the world.
In fact, the grammar system of Chinese is quite simple when compared to other languages. There are 50.000 characters in Chinese, however, learning 1500 to 3000 characters is sufficient for one to read newspapers and books. But I personally believe that Chinese is one of the most difficult language for western people to learn. In Chinese language, there’s no such thing called alphabet. It’s not a combination of 26 letters. The character itself was very difficult for the western people to write. My roommate is learning Chinese recently, she told me that it’s very difficult for her to memorize how to draw every word. The most difficult part to learn Chinese is the meaning of it. Sometimes a word has several meanings depends on the context. Also sometimes you just need to add a single word, it will have totally different meaning. The character itself might be very tricky to, if you add a dot or even just write one stroke longer, it a different character. If you learn it when you are very young, it’s actually not a very difficult thing to learn. However, if you are used to the language system in the west, it might be pretty difficult thing to learn.
Stereotype №4: Chinese women are subordinate to men.
This stereotype originated from movies about ancient China. Even thought in western countries, women were also treated as a subordinate to man. In modern China, women embrace their freedom and are taking more and more important roles in society. Chinese women are more independent today than ever before. Don’t be surprised that in China most number 1 in class are all girls. Most class leaders are girls. If you find out that on a wedding most brides will ask their grooms to sign a “Common-law in new house” list, don’t be surprised. These lists usually contains: You are the one who wash the dishes, clean the house, hand in XX% of your salary every month, never find “girl friend”, etc. And don’t be surprised that these grooms will actually follow the rules on the list. Also, if you find out that the girls in the school actually pull a boy into a little corner and ask him to do something, don’t be surprised.
Stereotype №5: Chinese have “fake markets” in every town.
The first time I ever talked to a foreign children at my age was in my Seventh Grade. I was participated in an exchange program with our sister school in Netherland. My partner is one year older than me called Karlijn. It’s actually pretty interesting experience. She lived in my house for two weeks and I lived in her house for two weeks. The second day she came to my house, I asked her where did she want to visit? She said: “Do you guys have a fake market in Shanghai? Kind like selling fake LV bags?” I actually shocked when I heard about this. It’s true that Chinese are good at forging things. If you go online to Taobao (A website kind like Amazon in China), you may find some of the famous logos are very cheap. There are also someone who bought a limited edition LV bag and make duplications of the bag. Then sell it online, and post the news of it before. Tell the buyers that she only make 1000 duplications and sell it started from a certain time. If you can get it as quick as possible, you can get a similar limited edition LV bag with a very low price. However, I’m pretty sure that there are no legal market called “Fake Market” in China.
Stereotype do come from somewhere, but there’s never always be the truth. It might change quickly time after time. You are the one who give stereotypes power. You can decide whether to control them or being controlled by them.