Cerina was by far one of our best female students with a sharp sense of humor. Her presentation gave us a peek inside Chinese culture known mostly to the natives. You see and learn a lot about a culture living within it for a good stretch of time. But there is a unique native perspective and that always surprises visitors, especially in China.
The term :Chinese style: became popular about eight years ago thanks to a television series called Chinese Style Divorce which depicted how couples were entangled in three kinds of betrayals: mental betrayal, physical betrayal or mental/physical betrayal.
Chinese-style Road Crossing: Whether the light is red or green, al long as a handful of people are gathered together, they'll cross the road as a "flock." One can only count on being safe crossing at a Chinese intersection if one is walking in the flock.
Chinese-style school pick-up: God to any primary or even secondary school when school breaks and witness the chaos created by the quantity of parents waiting at the gate. Listen to the noise generated by the crowd as well as the variety of bicycles, motorbikes, and tricycles used by the parents. Even the busiest bazaar an't beat it. Note: Parents carry one or two children on their bicycles or motorbikes in the most precarious, hazardous fashion, which would be illegal in any western country and probably deserving of jail time.
Chinese-style tricks for curbing traffic jams: Limiting the time period and the areas in which one is allowed to travel by car. Limiting the amount of cars sold. Limiting car use depending on whether one's license plate is odd or even. Auctioning license plate numbers.
Chinese-style blind dates: The girls show up with their mothers. THe mother's job is to make detailed inquiries into whether or not the candidate for marriage has some real savings in his bank account, a car, a house.
Chinese-style gift-giving: A peculiar "collective movement" one week before the Chinese New Year or during major events such as the Moon Festival or the Boat Festival. People are so busy delivering present to their relative, and of course also to government officials, that the roads are chock-a-block. Note: Chinese gifts are among the most elaborately packaged gifts on the planet. Yards of satin, bows, shiny paper and layers of boxes within boxes. Not being tea-drinkers or moon cake fans, we re-gifted a lot, much to the delight of our landlady, the cafeteria cooks and whoever else we could find.
Chinese-style food safety: Melamine-enriched infant milk. Poisonous rice. Clenbuterol-fed pork. Dyed buns. Recycle cooking oil that come from the gutter… This is all to blame on the economy, of course.
Chinese-style politico: The "three-must-haves" for any public official: a mistress, a secret bank account, and a getaway mansion. The more of each of these items, the better.
Chinese-style suicide: A prominent feature of the 'Chinese-style suicide' is the most of Chinese suicide victims did not kill themselves because they were mentally ill. Instead, they committed suicide mainly because of their families' economic problems and the traditional Chinese outlook on life: laying down one's life for justice.
China's government is determined to tackle these problems. If you come to China in ten years or so you ma find totally different Chinese-styles.