What can Chinese learn from foreigners?

15:46, January 08, 2010      

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Learn to be considerate from Canadians

Aaron Low, Healthcare Counselor of Canadian Consulate: coal mine disasters, the school dormitory collapse, and the recent school stampede revealed some ingrained social problems in today's China.

I think the reason is that Chinese are not considerate. Usually, Chinese people tend to be good at maintaining interpersonal relations. However, when strangers need help, they always show an indifferent and uncaring attitude.

It is not rare that pedestrians and cyclists come close to being hit by cars, that old people are elbowed aside by youngsters trying to catch a bus, and that people waiting long for a taxi in the rain could only watch other people grab the coming taxi. Although such cases do occur in other countries occasionally, they are far less serious. In India, for example, people take a curious look at foreigners, but they are friendly and shy in the essence. In Japan, if you lose your wallet, the person who picks it up would chase you a few blocks to return it to you. Likewise, you never see cases of queue jumping, taxi grabbing, or squeezing on a lift before others get off in Britain.

The reason is that there are unwritten rules in these countries that bind people together. "Treat people the way you want to be treated." This philosophy may contain a religious nature, yet it is also a teaching educational instruction, which teaches people to always be considerate of others and not to push or shove at any time.

China should establish a courtly atmosphere with similar or even stronger binding power, in which employers consider the safety of employees more and building contractors care more about surroundings and especially make it a point to create a safe and happy environment for students.

Learn to protect traditional culture from Dominicans

Quincy Angol, a Dominican student currently studying engineering in Beijing: since Dominica was ruled by Britain before independence, our political culture inherited British origin. Meanwhile, the first settlers in Dominica were French. Now we are strongly impacted by American TV shows. In this sense, I am proud of my country for it has maintained its democratic tradition. I think Chinese people should strengthen their right to speak and choose in elections.

In addition, I think the main point is that China should promote its own culture more widely, particularly in big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. When I first arrived in China, I was shocked, because I rarely got in touch with really Chinese culture in the first few years until I went to the countryside in the south. There we can find local traditions and rituals. In contrast, big cities are actively trying to integrate with the world without paying attention to the maintenance of traditional culture.

In Dominica, our unique culture can be seen in every part of our life. For instance, no one wears normal clothes in holidays. Instead, every one goes to church in special costumes. Religions and traditions can be found everywhere in our daily life.

People come to China to see "Chinese-style things". Westernized international metropolises are indeed beautiful, but if added to with some local elements, they will become better.

Learn from Bangladesh's new mechanism of poverty reduction

K M Rehan Salahuddin, a Bangladeshi student currently studying for PhD at Wuhan University: Over the past three decades, China has maintained an average growth rate of 10 percent and made remarkable achievements in poverty reduction. However, China still has a long way to go in its poverty reduction campaign.

In the 1970s, Grameen Bank and Dr.Muhammad Yunus successfully conducted a microfinance poverty alleviation program, which is now widely adopted by over 100 countries.

China began to accept the concept of microfinance in the 1990s. At present, the microfinance program is operated by many non-government organizations. Its popularity and effectiveness, therefore, still need to be further verified. As is said by Bai Chengyu, secretary of China Association for Microfinance, at the China Microfinance Summit Forum 2009, microfinance organizations need to establish a social performance management and evaluation system to help investors and supervising bodies come up with better decisions and regulations.

Only by implementing relevant policies, regulations, and rules can it can it possible for China to establish more scientific and reasonable operation systems and better apply the concept of microfinance. Only in this way can Chinese people reduce poverty substantially and continue to support the government in its endeavors to promote economic growth and development.
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