I've been informed that the aforementioned ex-colleague who is moving up in the world is no longer in his teens and is now a ripe old age of twenty. Still younger than I am.
An interesting column in the G2 of the Guardian yesterday by a Chinese woman Xinran. She talks about the Chinese always trying to save face instead of putting their own interests first. It's always what other people think, how they will see us. I totally agree with that, it's not just the older generation in China, it's seemingly engrained into Chinese culture everywhere. My parents are the same, they are full of contradictions that only sons and daughters that grow up in such a family will understand. What goes on outside on the face of it seems okay but inside there is s sense of unease about 'putting on a show'. Growing up life was always seen as a competition between relatives. Why not be comfortable with who we are and accept we don't have eveything and nobody's perfect? I know that ithis sort of upbringing has affected my general outlook on life but I'm hopefully slowly shaking that off.
Xinran's column is excellent because it gives everyone else a chance to understand the Chinese culture - she is not afraid to open up the mysterious box and perhaps change a few things.
Open Up - Xinran - The Chinese are still obsessed with saving face - isn't it time we moved on and loosened up?