Chinese culture is very different from French culture. Today, I will explain several differences I found during my study in France.
Warm water VS cold water
Chinese people like eat or drink something warm,regarding the suggest of herbalist doctor. We think the cold food can hurt our stomach. When I worked in a Chinese restaurant in Paris, all French people drink the water in the fridge. But all Chinese people ask the warm water, especially in winter, the warm water will make our body warmer.
White skin VS Tan skin
Under the influence of Korean culture, Chinese people think the white skin can cover up ugly. So you can find out that there are a lot of women take the umbrella in the sunny day to protect them from the sunshine.
But in France, people love to enjoy the sunshine. They go to the beach every vacation, in Paris they even have the “fake beach”! As Chinese people use the sunblock cream, French people use the tan cream which can help them to tan their skin, they think tan means healthy.
High power distance VS low power distance
When we were children, our parents and teachers taught us that we need to respect everyone who has the higher position than us. Based on the 5000 years Culture, we regard the teacher as our parents sometimes. So we never say “no” to our teacher or parents.
In France, if you have a different opinion with teacher, you can argue with your teacher, maybe the teacher will accept it. For French people, they think students and teachers are equal, they have more freedom, they can declare themselves as they want.
Work on the weekend VS Strike on the weekday
Chinese think “more work, more money”. The high cost compare with low salary, it’s difficult to enjoy their life without enough money. So Chinese people prefer extra work, they always work on the weekend.
As I know, strike more likes a kind of “tradition” for French people. French love enjoying life, they always strike due to the low salary but too much work, they like to protect their right.
Indirect VS direct
Chinese really care about the relationship, we want to use a soft way to solve the problem. We avoid fight with others directly, we don’t show our emotions to others. We used to talk about something else at the first, and then give the others an suggest to improve, if they don’t agree, we change to another way of communication. So, sometimes, we can’t get the real opinion and waste a lot of time on the foreplay.
French people don’t hide their emotions, if they don’t like something, they will say it immediately. They can’t understand why Chinese people make themselves feel wronged. They like solve the problem directly, they care about the relationship too. But they don’t think the direct way can break their relations.
The small me VS I am the king
In China, we always be told that our profit is nothing, we need help the team to achieve success, we can sacrifice our single value to social value. That’s why most Chinese people are unassuming and don’t have confidence.
The French people pay attention on the personality, the teacher encourage the student to show their differences and teach students help others without loss.
Big family VS privacy
The family is the biggest issue for Chinese, and filial piety is very important. Most people choose the workplace based on the location of their parents’ home. Before Chinese people get married, we live with our parents. If we move out, someone will say the bad words because they think we don’t take care of our parents and we didn’t take our responsibility.
Most French live alone since they were 18 years old, they care about their privacy, they don’t let others break in on their own life. A lot of seniors prefer live alone or with their cats and dogs, they don’t have the mind that live with their children can be easier for everything. They really enjoy their own time.
Place to chat VS place to eat
“Restaurant” for Chinese, is a place to communicate with friends, chat with each other, enjoy the relax time. So you can find out that the restaurant in China is really noisy, we love this kind of noisy, it shows our passion to others. More noisy in the restaurant, we said better business they have.
France is famous at cooking, and they pay attention on the details, so they design the dishes as the work of art. They also care about the atmosphere, that’s why every French restaurant has candles, flowers, printings. French people enjoy their plate and keep their voice down to avoid break this romantic atmosphere.
Actually, there are a lot of differences between China and France, we can’t explain them just by the words. You need to come to France, to feel the difference. I am sure you will learn not only their language but also their culture.