More on a new resource about contextualization, honor, and shame from Jackson Wu.
A new resource on contextualization, honor, and shame from Jackson Wu.
A conversation between two friends, one an overseas Chinese woman and the other from mainland China who has studied overseas, centers around the cultural gap between believers in China and those who come from overseas to help them. Mistaken perceptions, communication issues, and the importance of relationships are discussed.
For new cross-cultural workers, Tabor Laughlin’s Becoming Native to Win the Natives is a must read. His book has the rare combination of being practical, relevant, and readable.
Celebrating Thanksgiving with a food tale from Chengdu!
Earlier this week we posted a ChinaSource Conversations podcast in which I talked with Jackson Wu, author of Saving God’s Face and Sam Chan, author of Preaching as the Word of God about the issue of contextualization in gospel presentations. In the course of the conversation I asked them ten questions.
In this podcast ChinaSource Senior Vice President Joann Pittman interviews Jackson Wu and Sam Chan. Their discussion examines the process of interpreting, communicating and applying the Bible in a particular cultural context. Effective contextualization communicates the gospel message in a way that is faithful to how God has revealed it through scripture but also in a way that hearers can understand in their own cultural setting.
Education is a major issue for cross-cultural workers who serve overseas with their families. Most families choose to put their kids in an international school, a local school, or to homeschool full-time at home. All of these have their pros and cons.
There are numerous models of cultural differences out there. The good folks at Global Mapping International (GMI) have put together a helpful infographic highlighting three primarily cultural orientations as depicted by the three primary colors.
I love living in China and have immersed myself in Chinese culture. I’ve seen a lot of people come and go since I arrived here in 1991—many who approach China with negative attitudes and misconceptions.
I’d like to share my thoughts about how to enjoy this culture that God loves. Specifically, I want to note some wrong approaches to China that I hope will instruct us in a better way.
Gift giving is tricky in any culture—even our own.
In many ways our worldview can be thought of as our operating system—the way in which we process and organize information and make sense of the world. For westerners, our worldview is built on legal frameworks such as guilt and innocence; however, most non-western cultures process the world based on honor and shame.
On Thursday night my landlady called and asked if she could come over to see me because she had some translation questions for me. Anyone who's been in China for a while knows the fear and dread that well up inside at the sound of someone asking for help with translation work. "Just read it over. It won't take long." Those words always precede hours of painful and laborious mental gymnastics trying to translate phrases, like the one in the title of this post, from what we call "Chinglish" to English.
“Fresh off the boat,” an old phrase referring to new arrivals, described me well in 1983 as I began my new life as an overseas worker in Hong Kong. Being quite naïve about Chinese culture, I was excited to hear from my colleagues that I would receive a beautiful silk jacket from our Chinese co-workers as they had in years past. And during Chinese festivals I would receive other special gifts and be invited to delicious banquets—it all sounded wonderful to me!
A long-time worker in China shares what it is like to return "home."
A new blog connecting you to the cities of Changchun and Siping.
Three cookbooks everyone who is interested in China—cooks and non-cooks alike—should know about.
If you ever move to a major city in Southwest China to study an obscure language at a Chinese university, perhaps the following insights from our first thirteen days will aid your transition.
When we encounter cross-cultural differences like the indirect communication style featured in my recent post on the rule of three we have a choice. You either complain about the difference and become frustrated or seek to understand it better and adapt.
Effective communication requires engagement from both ends of the communication cycle—both the ability to send a message and receive feedback from your audience. Using this cycle to reach a common understanding is more of an art than a science—even when we communicate with others from our home culture. However, it is even more challenging when communicating cross-culturally in China.
Learning about culture, history, and ourselves through a food adventure in China.
The fourth cultural element that Huo Shui highlights in his article “Living Wisely in China” is zhong yong, or “being moderate, which helps us understand what’s going on in situations where things are not seen in black-and-white terms but more in shades of grey.
The third element that Huo Shui highlights for us in “Living Wisely in China” is the Chinese notion of “face.” This one is arguably the most important and the most difficult for westerners to grasp. He gives us a glimpse into how “face” plays out in everyday life in China.
The second essential element of Chinese culture that Huo Shui writes about in “Living Wisely in China” is the importance of eating and drinking, particularly as it relates to forging and establishing relationships.
In 2000, a Chinese writer named Huo Shui wrote an article for the ChinaSource Quarterly titled “Living Wisely in China.” In it he takes a look at four essential elements of Chinese culture that westerners must grapple with (and hopefully get) in order to be effective in China.
The first one is taiji (tai-chi), the slow-motion martial art that is popular among people of all ages in China. Taiji requires inner strength and patience, both of which are required in order to accomplish things in China.
Awhile back I was going through some old files on my computer and ran across something that a Chinese friend gave me years and years ago. It is a list of 12 so-called "golden rules" of doing any kind of business in China.
Years ago, I was having a conversation with my Malaysian friend, and we started talking about how Malaysia has a lot of British influence. “We drive on the right like they do,” my friend explained.
“Wait, what?” I thought I had heard her wrong, or that she had misspoken. “You mean you drive on the left like they do.”
Crossing a cultural boundary inevitably leads to cultural clashes. Sometimes the clashes occur at the point of behaviors and customs, such as eating, drinking, or even how to cross a street. More often, however, the clashes occur at the deeper level of cultural values — beliefs about what is right and wrong or how how the world ought to be ordered.
Encountering the Chinese: A Guide for Americans by Hu Wenzhong and Cornelius L. Grove.
Reviewed by Sarah Doyle and G. Wright Doyle
An Introduction to the Mainland Chinese Soul, LEAD Consulting.
Reviewed by Kay Danielson
One World: Two Minds, Eastern and Western Outlooks in a Changing World by Denis Lane,
Reviewed by Wright Doyle