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Cross-Cultural Communication at NC State University Diane Armstrong Office of International Services

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Presentation on theme: "Cross-Cultural Communication at NC State University Diane Armstrong Office of International Services"— Presentation transcript:

1 Cross-Cultural Communication at NC State University Diane Armstrong Office of International Services

2 Collectivism & Individualism Collectivist – group loyalty, decision-making oriented to group welfare Individualistic – importance placed on goals and autonomy of individual Time Orientation (developed by Chinese scholars from Confucian principles) Long term – value thrift and persistence Short term – value tradition, upholding social obligations and quick results Power Distance Low – social equality, reduction of hierarchy (tend to be individualistic) High – recognized authorities should not be challenged (tend to be collectivist) Cultural Orientation Source:

3 Etiquette and Non-Verbal Communication Etiquette Saying ‘No’: refusal of a request or saying ‘no’ can disrupt social harmony or “face” Instead of saying ‘no’ Chinese may respond with “I will consider it” or “that would be inconvenient” Gesturing Some American gestures, such as shrugging shoulders or winking, are not common in Chinese culture and may be misunderstood. Spatial Relationships Touching (i.e. patting someone’s back or putting an arm around someone) is uncommon in Chinese culture and will likely make a Chinese person uncomfortable. Social distance, or the acceptable distance between two people, differs significantly in each culture. Americans may find that Chinese culture is oriented to a closer social distance. Source: http://www.cultural

4 Presented by Dr. Xiaoying Wang Visiting Professor (Nanjing Normal University) Deputy Director of Confucius Institute at NCSU

5 A vast territory of about 9,600,000 sq.Km. Ranked number 4 in the world!

6 China is divided into 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 municipalities directly under the Central Government and 2 special administrative regions

7 Chinese People A huge population of more than 1300 million people of 56 ethnic nationalities!

8 Chinese culture embodies the philosophy of holism. Ancient Chinese philosophers believed that all things are interrelated, and that Heaven, Earth, and Humanity form a unified whole. Chinese Culture

9 China‘s Stone Age lasted for at least one million years. The Chinese ancestors started to make pottery during the late Neolithic Period, around 5000 BC. This period is represented by Yangshao Culture, on the middle reaches of the Yellow River. Painted pottery vessel with human faces and fish, Yangshao Culture (c. 5000-3000 BC) Early Civilization The Origins of Chinese Civilization

10 The late Neolithic Age saw the advent of China's unique "jade culture." Jade cong with carved animal face, Liangzhu Culture (c. 3300-2200 BC) Jade Culture The Origins of Chinese Civilization

11 During the 6th century BC, the Confucian school of philosophy held that ritual jade objects were symbolic of human nature. Their soft luster represented serenity, while their flawless clarity represented refinement of character. As Confucianism developed, ritual jade objects were appropriated by the nobility as emblems of rank and status. Even more importantly, they came to be seen as symbols of evolved character and moral perfection. Jade dragon, Hongshan Culture (c. 3500 BC)

12 China's Bronze Culture reached its peak in the 16th century BC and flourished for 1000 years. Bronze was used primarily to craft ritual objects and musical instruments, rather than the agricultural tools and weapons characteristic of other Bronze Age cultures. Many cast bronze objects bearing accounts of sacrificial rites and historical incidents were made during this time, providing important records of the period. Bronze Culture The Origins of Chinese Civilization

13 Chinese characters are China's principal form of writing. The history of Chinese characters spans over 3000 years, making them one of the world's oldest forms of written communication. Qin Shihuang, China's first emperor, standardized Chinese characters in 221 BC. China's ethnic minorities also have a number of unique writing systems. Writing and Language

14 Chinese characters are written within a square framework, so they are sometimes referred to in Chinese as "square writing." Evolution of the character " 日 " ( ri, sun) Evolution of the characters “ 鱼 ” ( yu, fish) and“ 马 ” ( ma, horse) Chinese Characters Writing and Language

15 Fragments of oracle bone script, Shang Dynasty (c. 1600-1046 BC) Bronze tallies of Lord Qi of E, Warring States Period (475-221 BC) The evolution of Chinese characters and calligraphy provides insight into the development of human society.

16 The art of ancient Egypt, India, and Babylon has receded into the mists of the past. That of China, on the other hand, has developed without interruption for thousands of years. Chinese art is richly diverse and highly comprehensive, encompassing many forms and styles. Chinese Art

17 In China, a person who can produce beautiful calligraphy is considered to be highly cultured. Traditional Chinese calligraphy uses brushes made from animal hair to apply ink to paper, producing uniquely graceful brushstrokes. Chinese Art Calligraphy


19 Traditional Chinese painting uses brushes to apply ink and pigment to thin silk or paper, which is then mounted on scrolls. Great importance is placed on fluidity and expressiveness of line. Chinese painting holds that revealing essence is more important than representing form. Chinese Art Painting

20 Traditional Chinese painting actually is an integration of painting, poetry, calligraphy and seal carving.

21 "Sculpture is the forerunner of all art." This saying truly describes the Chinese sculptural arts. Jade carvings of people, pottery figurines of young women, and sculptures and carvings of animals appeared in China as early as the Neolithic Age (c. 12,000-2000 BC). As Chinese civilization flourished, so did Chinese sculpture. Chinese Art Sculpture

22 Terracotta warriors of Qin Shihuang, Pit 2, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC)

23 Buddhist Statue, Longmen Grottoes (post-5th century AD)

24 Traditional Chinese architecture emphasizes harmony between structure and surroundings. Whether palace, temple, garden, or residence, traditional Chinese buildings blend with the surrounding landscape into an integrated whole. Even inside a building, human beings and nature are not separate, but rather form a unified whole. Chinese Art Architecture

25 Forbidden City, Beijing

26 Jichang Garden, Wuxi, Jiangsu Province

27 Traditional Chinese philosophy puts great importance on personal ethics and morality, holding that only a person of superior character can achieve domestic harmony and national progress. The 6th through 3rd centuries BC saw the flourishing of traditional Chinese philosophy. Numerous schools of thought advanced their ideas during this time. Among them, Confucianism and Daoism had the greatest influence on the development of Chinese culture. Chinese Philosophy

28 Confucianism emerged between the 6th through 5th century BC. Its founder, Confucius, expanded upon ancient Chinese concepts of humanism. He emphasized the value of the individual, the cultivation of personal ethics, and the importance of moral character. The concepts of benevolence ( 仁 ren ) and propriety ( 礼 li ) were the central tenants of Confucianism, and became the foundation of mainstream Chinese culture. Chinese Philosophy Confucianism

29 Portrait of Confucius (551-479 BC) 仁 rén 义 yì 礼 lǐ 智 zhì 信 xìn Benevolence, to be humanity, mercy and kindness; Justness, to be righteousness ; Rituals, custom and law, to be polite; Wisdom, to be knowledgeable and well educated; royalty, faithful , reliable , accountable, responsible, creditable.

30 Daoist philosophy teaches that although all things exist in a state of transformation, they also possess an underlying order. This constantly changing, self-balancing order is known as the Dao, or the Way. Daoism Chinese Philosophy

31 Stone carving of Laozi, Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough Be tranquility, calm, indifferent, loneliness, do-nothing How to get into a realm of absolutely individual freedom or liberty? No accomplishment (success) No reputation (fame, prestige) No self-conscious (ego)

32 ing Basic values in Chinese culture and Chinese way of thinking Integration of Heaven and Men Heaven and Men are in a unity Collectivism The interests of a family, a group or a country are more important than those of an individual Rule of virtue; rule of morals; “kingly way” vs. “hegemonical way”

33 The Value Priority in Traditional Chinese Culture The value of morality prior to that of utility; The value of moral merit prior to that of intelligent; The value of group prior to that of individuals; The value of peace and safety prior to that of freedom and liberty; The value of harmony prior to that of conflict.

34 和 Hé : means “peace” and “harmony” Chinese culture emphasizes harmony. It respects the differences between cultures and civilizations, in accordance with the traditional Chinese philosophy of "seeking unity in diversity." Chinese culture provides a unique foundation from which to learn from other cultures, maximize creativity, and pursue self-improvement.

35 Thank you very much.

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