WEST AND EAST ARE LIKE YING AND YANG
19 June 2013 by CRTV
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Lulu Wang gave a lecture about the comparison between the Netherlands and China. But are there comparisons between a Western country like the Netherlands and an Eastern country like China?
When two things are compared, the focus mostly lies on the differences. Lulu found it a challenge to look at the comparisons, but she found some interesting, current examples. When she went to China with her mother, her mother didn’t want to eat outdoors. She said that if you cook by yourself you know what you are eating. Later on she heard that in China rat meat was sold as pork meat and this situation is similar to the horse meat which was sold as beef in the Netherlands. Other comparison are that both countries suffer from the bank crisis and like getting free of cheap stuff. Commerce is regarded as a god. If you compare the milk scandal and the stuffing of chicken, you know this is a big matter in both countries.
The comparisons are sometimes very small. As an example Lulu talked about doing business. A Chinese has difficulties with doing business with a Dutch person and vice versa. This is caused by their different ways of thinking. Lulu indicates that the comparisons lies in the fact that they are both careful, however in a different way. Dutch people want to put everything in a contract, while Chinese people prefer to build up trust first.
Lulu also wants to emphasize that East and West are complementary. They are made in such a way that the weaknesses of the East are found in the strong points of the West and the other way around. Time is often the difference between them. For example, China does not see the effect of smog yet, this view was shared by London in the late eighteenth century. Also, three thousand years ago, two minority groups in China were fighting and killing each other. It reminds Lulu of the problems with the multicultural society in the Netherlands, like Wilders has raise. She knows that this will eventually go well again, because the situation in China was much worse and has been solved now.
Recently, Lulu also writes columns for a Chinese newspaper which is published every two weeks and has a circulation of 670,000 copies. This is a challenge for her, since this is the first time she writes a column in Chinese. Lulu also doesn’t know which subjects will intrigue the Chinese people the most. She decided to write about the Dutch culture, because the Chinese are curious about how Dutch people do things. She has written about Ruud Lubbers who used to be a Dutch politician. He made the news because he squeezed the buttocks of one of his female colleagues at the UN. The Chinese think it is amazing that something like this can be put in the news. It indicates that the leader and citizens are closer to each other in the Netherlands than in China.
It was an interesting lecture where both similarities and differences between the Netherlands and China were raised. The audience had lots of questions and was really interested in understanding the Chinese culture. Even though the time was limited, the audience also got the opportunity to discuss about different topics, like ‘What can the Chinese learn from us and the other way around?’ and ‘Is there a connection between differences in culture and differences in philosophies?’. I missed more information about the similarities in thinking between Chinese and Dutch, but also in comparison with the Chinese Dutch like Lulu herself. How does the Chinese community living in the Netherlands think about both countries? This might be a interested topic for another lecture.
This lecture was organized by Venera de Oro. It’s their first lecture and they want to organize lectures to show the comparison between different religions and philosophies, with the purpose of letting people understand each other better.
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