Five cultural differences between China and the US

Foreign tourists pose for photos on the Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, September 24, 2009. [Photo/IC]

( Updated: 2015-04-01 08:16

Editor’s note: Living in a culture that is different from your own can be both an exciting and challenging experience. You have to learn different cultural practices and try to adapt to them. Our bloggers share the top six cultural differences between China and the US to help promote mutual understanding. You’re welcome to leave your comments.

  1. Privacy

Chinese people do not have the same concept of privacy as Americans do. They talk about topics such as ages, income or marital status, which Americans think is annoying and intrusive.

  1. Family

In China, elders are traditionally treated with enormous respect and dignity while the young are cherished and nurtured. In America, the goal of the family is to encourage independence, particularly that of the children. Unlike the Chinese, older Americans seldom live with their children.

Washing feet is a traditional way of displaying filial piety as students from the Korean ethnic group showed in Tumen, Jilin province, on the eve of the Chongyang Festival. The event celebrates the elderly and offers an opportunity to pay them respect. [Photo/Xinhua]

  1. Friends

Chinese people have different meanings to define friends. Just hanging out together time to time is not friendship. Friendship means lifelong friends who feel deeply obligated to give each other whatever help might seem required. Americans always call people they meet friends, so the definition of friends is general and different. There are work friends, playing friends, school friends and drinking friends.

Some students at Jiangsu University in Zhenjiang planted trees with their foreign friends to celebrate the Tree Planting Day on March 12.[Photo/

  1. Money

As is well known, the Chinese like to save. They are always conservative when they are planning to spend money. It is different in the USA, where far fewer families are saving money for emergencies and education than their Chinese counterparts.

A clerk counts yuan bills at a bank in Huaibei, East China’s Anhui province. [Photo/IC]

  1. Education

Chinese people value education and career more than Americans, who in turn put more emphasis on good character and faith.

Students work on their assignments earlier this month during class at Changjiang Primary School in Badong, a county in Hubei province, where no homework is assigned to the students.[Liang Bin / for China Daily]




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