Top 10 Life Lessons From East-Asian Culture
Living in an Asian country such as China, Japan or South Korea can be a life-changing experience. From the clean streets, to the trains and busses running on time, to the politeness of the people, it’s hard for a foreigner to not be impressed by their way of life. Here are the Top 10 Life Lessons From East-Asian Culture that we can all incorporate into our lives.
1. There’s More To Politeness Than “Please” & “Thank You”
Politeness, respectfulness and selflessness are all things we can pick up from East-Asian Culture. In fact, in the Korean language, “Please” is incorporated into every single verb as part of an honorific system in which one shows respect for others. However, it doesn’t stop there. Every time you walk into a shop or a restaurant, the owners or workers will always take the time to welcome you. Also, if you ever need help or directions, many people will drop what they’re doing just to help a total stranger.
2. Putting Others Before Yourself
The nicest way to show others how important they are to you is to show them that you think of them. Do this by giving your friend the bigger half of the cookie, your mother the better seat in the restaurant, or your guest the centre position in the photo. Why not make people feel special? Did you just buy some cakes or sweets at the bakery? Bring an extra one back for your neighbour or friend to show them kindness. There are many ways of celebrating relationships.
3. Gentleness Is A Good Thing
East-Asian Society is very gentle. People wait in long lines without complaint. There is no road rage. There are no raised voices, no sighs, no dirty looks or rolls of the eyes. They are resilient and seem to live and breathe this calm, cool manner.
4. Including Everybody
East-Asian Culture can show us that including everybody in the group is a great way to accept all people and promote tolerance for those who are different from us. In Japan, you always invite everyone concerned, even if you don’t like some of them. There’s no sharing your beers just among your own friends, or inviting only some of your co-workers out. There will be no awkward moments as some stay behind because they realise they haven’t been invited to the second party. All people present are included in photos too, without concern for whether someone is actually a relative, friend or even a part of the scene.
5. The Importance Of Giving Thanks
Many Asian people will go out of their way just to thank you. Failing that, they will keep it in mind for the next time they see you. It may seem a bit over-the-top in practice, but it sure is nice knowing that you’re appreciated by others.
6. Respect For Others’ Property
Just because something isn’t chained down doesn’t mean you can take it. The phrase “finder’s keepers, losers weepers” doesn’t exist in Asia, and nor should it. In South Korea, if it’s not yours, you don’t take it, it’s that simple.
7. Accepting & Returning Favours
You quickly learn that you don’t just accept favours, you return them too. Almost everything you do for someone will be followed by a kind gesture, with no words necessarily exchanged, as if it’s expected.
8. Learn To Clean Up After Yourself
At one of the World Cup Football matches in Brazil in 2014, the Japanese fans famously cleaned up their section of the stadium. If you’ve been to Japan, or any other East-Asian Country, this won’t surprise you. They always clean up after themselves. If you have a house party, you can expect everyone to help you clean up – and even do the dishes – before they leave. They also clean up after others without being asked to, even if it’s not really their responsibility to do so.
9. Drunkenness Is No Excuse For Violence
Contrary to popular belief, East-Asian people can drink… A lot! However, unlike Western countries, they have an astounding ability to remain respectful and tolerable of others whilst heavily under the influence. Bar fights are extremely rare and most people just drink and be merry.
10. Avoid Arguments – Become A Better Listener
East-Asian people are soft-spoken. They’re often humble, modest and sometimes shy. They tend to let others speak first before jumping into the conversation. They’re very good listeners! Giving others the chance to express their opinions without someone immediately challenging them is important because it allows others to open up and share their ideas. We become less judgmental when we try to understand other people’s views, so try to have less debates and more discussions.
TOP Science & Tech: