Matthew Dolman</a>, Lived and worked in China since 2007.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span>


We moved to China when my eldest daughter was five months old, and have been here ever since.  Apart from visits back to the UK almost all of her life has been spent in China.  She attended a Chinese kindergarten and speaks Chinese confidently.</div>

From a Chinese perspective</b> she will never be considered Chinese, even if we were able  and willing to change her nationality.</div>

The concept of being Chinese in the mind of a Chinese person is strongly associated with genetics and cultural heritage, she is white, has curly blonde hair and blue eyes, and as such she just isn't Chinese.  Ironically a third or fourth generation person of Chinese origin, that has never been to China, doesn't like Chinese food and has no intention of learning the language would be considered Chinese in the minds of many people living in China.</div>

From our perspective </b>she is also not Chinese, but culturally not British.  She is probably halfway in-between or known as a "third culture kid".</strong></div>

How does living in China change your world-view?</b></div>

As someone who speaks advanced Chinese and have spent a significant amount of time with Chinese people in my time here I would say that there are certainly parts of my world-view that have changed.</div>

I feel that one of the best things about how western civilisation developed is the willingness to learn from other cultures and allow them to influence the development of our own culture.</div>

This being the case there are some positive</b> aspects of Chinese culture that I believe that I have personally taken on board such as</div>

  • the Chinese style of community</strong></li>
  • the willingness to negotiate in any situation (this could also be seen by some as a major negative as it facilitates corruption, but it can be very nice).</li>
  • Chinese people laugh and joke a lot more than westerners do when they are together, I certainly find this is the case when I am with Chinese friends.</li>

    There are some neutral</b> aspects (neither strongly positive or strongly negative) of Chinese culture that I also believe I have acquired, such as</div>

    • a more laid back approach to time-keeping</li>
    • being generally less organised in life (which means less gets done but people aren't as stressed)</li>
    • being less worried about meaningless things.  When I go home I see people getting angry about the smallest things that don't go their way.  Inevitably this anger leads to improvement, but comes with the cost of peace.  China doesn't have this level of anger, but also doesn't have the quality of service.</strong></li>

      There are many negative</b> aspects to Chinese culture that I consciously fully reject, and hope that over time China will also reject.  Examples:</div>

      • never question someone who is in a higher place than you</strong></li>
      • the face system, in which people will make decisions based on how they predict they will appear to others rather than on rationality, logic or their own personal desires.</strong></li>
      • the willingness to lie to someone to avoid embarrassment</li>
      • a working attitude that says "as long as the boss is happy I don't need to try harder"</li>
      • the list goes on.</li>

        I hope they reject these parts of culture not because I want them to become western, but rather because I want them to have a better quality of life.</div>

        As some of these negative values are completely incompatible with my world-view, I will never see myself as Chinese.  However my adoption of some of the positive and neutral aspects makes me feel like a Chinese person when I go to my home country.</div>