Comparison of the American and Chinese Cultures
Cultural differences are apparent from one group of people to another. Culture is based on many things that are passed on from one generation to the next. Most of the time people take for granted their language, beliefs, and values. When it comes the cultural differences of people there is no right or wrong. People should be aware of others culture and respect the differences that are between them. The United States and China are two very large countries that have cultures that are well known through out the world. There are many differences between the United States and China, but there are many contributing factors that shape the cultures of these two countries.
Language is universal, but there are different meanings and sounds, which vary from one culture to another. In China citizens speak many languages, but about 94% speak the Chinese language. The difference in dialects was overcome by the written word and eventually a version of Mandrin became the “official speech” (The Cambridge Illustrated History of China, 1996,p.304). In America there are many ethnic groups with many varieties of language. The U.S. was created through many people from different countries migrating to the new states. In the U.S. there is an “official speech” which is the English language. The language of both these countries are not only different in meaning and sound, but also reflect the way in which the people in these societies live, believe, and function.
Religion usually plays a big part in the cultures of the world and is the basis for their beliefs and values. In many countries religion is very important, so important that some cultures use it in every aspect of their lives. China like some other countries is a multi-religious country. Islam, Taoism, Buddhism are the three main religions of China (National Day Special, 1999). Buddhism is the worshiping of the “enlightened one” and teaches to overcome one’s desires is to overcome pain. Islam teachings are written in a book called the Koran and was founded by Muhammad. He claimed to have a vision from God. There are two different types of Islam that are practiced: one believes the religious leader is inspired to interpret the Koran and the other believes that Modernism threatens religion (Chinatown-online- Chinese beliefs). In the United States there are hundreds of denominations and sects of religion. About 69 % of Americans belong to a church or synagogue. In the U.S. people are usually drawn to a certain religion because of social class, race and age. The most obvious classification of religion in the U.S. is race (Sociology A Down-to-Earth Approach, 1999, pg. 511). African Americas and the White population tend to separate themselves into their own churches. With so many congregations and denominations throughout the U.S. there is no dominate religion. Over the years moderilization in the U.S. has put less importance on religion. The Chinese...