Can you adopt to a foreign tradition easily?
January 24, 2012 10:25am CST
It was a surprise announcement by my sister that she will be having an open house to celebrate chinese new year like many chinese in my country. Being a non chinese and adopting the chinese culture and celebrating it in grandeur does raise one's eyebrows. It is a foreign culture and in all these years she has never mark her calender for CNY as an important date and out of the blues she came up with this novel idea of celebrating a festival that is so foreign. She gave away red packets to children and unmarried guests which to me was a waste of money! The unicorn dance was the highlight of the event much to the joy of young children and other guests present. I can only guess that her close association with the chinese tradition goes back to her early years of being educated in chinese school and took up chinese language studies in Taiwan university and now a senior Mandarin lecturer in a local university has made her more chinese than a true breed chinese. She has a total adoption of a foreign culture in her lifestyle. She read chinese novels, cook chinese foods and think like the chinese. I wonder how many of us can easily assimilate ourselves with culture that isn't part of our own tradition?
3 people like this
• United States
24 Jan 12
I don't think it's that hard... People change & adopt to different situations everyday... And I believe that's all it is, tradition is just another situation, foreign or not... When people are forced into a situation, it's faily easy to change... I remember when I came to United States when I was 14 years old... I didn't speak any English at all... I was put into a school where there were virtually no one that spoke my language... I had figure out at an age of 14 how to get by in school everyday... I know it's easier when people are younger... As people refer to older generation how they are "set in their ways...". Relatively in short time, my parents learned to live in different culture... Now I'm 41 & have spent more time in states than I have in my own country, I guess you can say I'm more "Americanized...". I would feel more comfortable in U.S than I would in my own country... Don't get me wrong, I'm proud to have come from where I came from... I just looking at the situation more realistically... I spent 14 years in Korea, from the time I was born to when I was 14... I've been in U.S. for 27 years now & majority of the time when a normal person would spend developing social skills, I spent in U.S... Socially, I relate closer to western way than I do with eastern way... If I were to move to another country right now, I think it would take me few month to get to know their ways & may be a year or two to learn enough of their language to get myself around... With that, I don't believe I'd have too much problem with adjusting my ways to survive in other country...
24 Jan 12
Adopting a foreign tradition is not that easy. I think it will takes a lot of time in order for me to accept their tradition. Here in the Philippines, We Filipinos are influenced with the Chinese tradition especially when it comes to luck, that's why when we heard anything about Luck or Money then we would really apply that kind of tradition.
• United States
24 Jan 12
I think thats great! And as you state in the latter part of your discussion, she was in a chinese school. That makes sense. Its a bit different maybe if one just gets up one day and decides, "hey Im going to celebrate Ramadan", for example. I do however see it as a wonderful way to bridge the gap of understanding on the values and cultures of those around us. Now all of the people that came to her celebration will have more of an understanding of the chinese culture. Now as for me, since i have always been here. Just changing suddenly to a different culture would just not feel right. But Im sure I could adapt eventually.
25 Jan 12
I think that your sister was influenced by Chinese tradition because of her experiences. I don't see nothing wrong about that. Maybe she grew up with other chinese people, had friends with chinese people, maybe that's why she's in to that tradition. I think it's cool, as long as she's not forgetting her own tradition or completely eliminating it from her life.
• Guangzhou, China
24 Jan 12
It is a nice story to hear about your sister. I can imagine that she is no more different than a real Chinese:) I think she follows the Chinese New Year tradition well:) As to me, I think here more and more people are effected by the foreign tradition, too. Such as we also celebrate the Christmas and it seems it has become to be a popular festival here. And we also celebrate other foreign festivals such as April Fool's Day:) The world is shrinking. I love China
24 Jan 12
yes you are right on your part that it is not an easy task to adopt a different culture altogether. here you have said that your sister have reasons to adopt the Chinese culture and she have been so much involved in that culture that now she is thinking and acting like a chinese. well this kind of difficulty of adopting a different culture altogether takes place when you have to start a business in a foreign nation, you have been transferred to another country for work purpose etc. then without willing also you are bound to assimilate with the culture. but yes given an option it will be really a difficult job for me. you know one thing in our country we are slowly adopting the western culture,the young people and their believe have driven the ways and lifestyle of the western culture in our country.and it is expected that within few years it will be a tough job to retain our own country's culture.