Chinese Immigrants and difference with the American Culture
The migrations of the Chinese population into the United States were motivated by the same motivations that all other immigrants have while doing so. In this sense therefore, it is thought that some of them were motivated quite out of place dirty economic situation back in their home country and the not so stupid thought that life was better at the Gold Mountain in the United States for instance, while others ejected themselves from Chinese state as refugees and reasons circumnavigating around laborers on contract (Ling-chi Wang).
The never ending, yet somehow controllable poor life of the Chinese accelerated the presence of the Chinese immigrants so early enough, in San Francisco; this dating back to 1838. However, a huge number of the then somewhat primitive foreign Chinese population began trickling into America only in the 1850s, specifically in San Francisco, for the reasons same as the ones that most of the Americans were using to flock into California; hunger issues for example in China. This rush, that was happening in 1849 was otherwise then referred to as the Gold Rush. These Chinese immigrants, whose means of putting food to mouth relied on their peasant farming activities had reasons for leaving their homes revolving around the economic as well as illicit political troubles that this group was facing in the China state. Their intentions in their newly attained American land was hard work, in spite of some them lazing around in the blazing towns of America, to make some amount of money, good enough to raise their low class life status to a higher one back in the poor China state, that they call home (“The Chinese Experience In 19Th Century America”).
The eruption of Opium War that took place between 1839 and 1842 led to a massive crazy Chinese addiction to opium. The explosion of population resulted into a surplus in hungry labor and inadequacy in the production of food for the heavily hungry population panting for food. Worse still were the several famines, so disastrous that followed this and could sweep away the heavily height crippled tiny people of China. The Chine government which was at the time, if not until today, highly corrupt imposed high taxes on the poor low income peasant farmers, leading to unrests among these tiny people, as well as rebellions all through the 1800s. The immigration history of the Chinese therefore commenced following civil wars that engulfed China due to the 14-year Taiping Rebellion in the South East of China, a war that led to thousands of workers of China losing their somewhat not so important lives that their government had neglected (“Chinese Immigration To America: History For Kids ***”).
It should now be clear that the Chinese migrated into America in a bid to escape from the highly rampant poverty, high state of unemployment in China, political instabilities, and the illicit oppression that was eminent in China, the wars as well as natural disasters and on a fortune seeking mission together with a new life in the American land (“Chinese Immigration To America: History For Kids ***”). But most importantly, it should be clear that the migrants were running away from their neglectful government that only cared about satisfying their stomachs through the rampant corruption in the land.
The View of Chinese Immigrants in the 19th Century in terms of culture
During this period, the period of which most of the Chinese migrated into America, the European Americans relied more on natural as well social sciences, instead of using the Christian biblical interpretation to explain and justify their racial inferiority as well as superiority notions. Around the end of the 19th century, the Social Darwinism theory was widely and hugely used to hold strong European American’s appeal, since in it was a scientific explanation for various people group and individual successes and failures. There was also the notion of the noblesse oblige which came about during the time when European Americans were planning to bring other races that were sort of less fortunate, a group that were somewhat advantageous to the European civilization, without having “polluted” their own pool gene of pools (“The Chinese Experience In 19Th Century America”). However, who at the time wouldn’t see that the Chinese were obviously the weaker group and least fortunate after Africans in an American world so full of racist individuals and groups?
Cultural Differences in the American culture
By the 80s, the immigrants from China were other than just being viewed as undesirable and inferior, they were as well viewed as a threat to the culture of the Americans, the American government, and even in the race of the Caucasians. This view doesn’t mean that the Chinese weren’t any of the aforementioned. In fact, at the time, they were and it was quite difficult for Europeans and people whose background lay with the Europeans to understand how the Chinese could manage to live in places crowded, and poor conditioned as well as to work so hard, just to earn themselves such quite very low wages. The Chinese, just like other least fortunate immigrants, were not meant to get anything, let alone own them. In this regard, they thought the Chinese possessed some kind of super powers, which perhaps was an explanation for their not normal religion, their uniquely strange as well isolated culture, or opium-smoking induced by which they appreciated their situation, and thus continued to put more effort to their work (“The Chinese Experience In 19Th Century America”). But with these capabilities, some like the art of meditating until they float in air, I would really blame Americans for thinking they were witches. Anybody would think so.
Stories of the Chinese were even written by Novelists, where in the stories, the Chinese characters were depicted as being submissive and superficially quiet, but inwardly, they were cunning and sinister, traits the Chinese show until today. In some of the novels, it was predicted that the Chinese immigrants included part of a secret arrangement that was meant bring invasion and taking over of the United States governments, the aim being to replace the culture of the Americans with the Chinese culture (“The Chinese Experience In 19Th Century America”). However, there exists literature that energetic new diaspora from the Chinese republic are somewhat a different kind and will sometime come to outstrip the Anglophone Chinese in America since they will grow in voice and behavior with the powerful political as well as military growth of their home country (Li), if this is anything to go by. Fingers crossed though.
Difference in Culture of between Chinese Immigrants and American culture
While the Chinese were immigrating into America, including certain parts and states of the United States of America, they carried along with them the blemish culture that they had back in China. Also, during this time, the Americans had their own unique cultures that the Chinese found. As a result, when Chinese set foot in the American land, there got exhibited differences and clashing of cultures between these two societies, one new (Chinese) and one native (Americans), but definitely whom would u expect to carry the day? The Chinese culture was obviously the weaker one and their entry together with their descendants into America therefore greatly impacted the culture of the United States of America for instance, in all directions (Library of Congress). Or some as some people would think “could they have used their alleged superpowers to create the impact?” Nevertheless, the difference in cultures are as discussed herein;
The Chinese have social structure that is formal and hierarchical in form. In this form of structure, people know where they fit, and rules are abided to. Inter area crossings are forbidden. This form of culture, therefore, are what the Chinese immigrants into America came with. However, as they set foot in American, to their shock, they found the American culture to be quite informal and loose as compared to the Chinese Culture. In this structure of culture, people of different social classes are hard to be found relating or socializing as the Chinese were used to. Lines prohibited to be crossed socially are quite very few as compared to what the culture of the Chinese immigrants had back home, and hence what they brought forth with it. This wasn’t China anymore, and if the unknowing Chinese immigrants, even in the smallest attempt tried to cross social lines in America, serious issues may culminate and they could perhaps even deport themselves back home (Graf).
Confrontation and/or conflict;
While in America, one can directly approach issues relating to interest in carrying out business activities. Here, no Chinese immigrant whether black or whatever, could use the direct approach the Americans use in America such as direct clash or conflict as well as confronting issues directly is greatly scowled upon. The accord for individual respect in China supersedes the fact that truth is something that should be spoken. It therefore doesn’t matter in China. Proving and showing oneself in the truth side of matters even on matters business is regarded an act of shame, highly discouraged and disregarded in the Chinese culture (Graf). It is a shame though, that here in America, truth was powerful and must be spoken at all times. However, the arrival of the Chinese immigrants in America reveals a dawn of some freedom in relation to the strict situation depicted in China, revealing the good side of culture in America, an advantage to the Chinese immigrants into America. But was it really freedom? Freedom is when you can do anything wrong and not get arrested. Still, here, unfortunately they’d still be under the law of the land, only this time, the American law.
Usually, there can be a lot of frustrations emanating from culture crossing in business specifically and especially when there are interferences with getting jobs done. Americans are mostly sensitive when it comes to time, especially with regards to meetings and meeting deadlines for jobs. There is the belief that when meetings are supposed to start at specific times, then the parties to the meeting need to be present at that specific time. However, the Chinese culture does not take the issue of time to be that inherent with the culture. The issue of time is not as sensitive as it would be to the American people. Whether meetings start late or early, it is not really an issue of concern to the Chinese and hence the Chinese immigrants. The pressure of deadlines is not really an issue that the Chinese would go down well with, drawing evidence from their culture (Graf). Therefore, the immigrants in America needed to adopt to the highly time-sensitive culture of the Americans, prompting them to scrap away their time-insensitive culture that they came with from China. The irony is that, the Chinese are not sensitive to time, yet they even have companies that manufacture watches. How do they know what time is? Whether they like it or not, in America, they had to keep track or time, if not, then let them be deported back instead of lazing their bodies around and all over America.
According to the Chinese Culture, conducting business calls for one to prepare for a lot of socializing. To this end, usually, business ends up being a secondary activity at the end of the day since the parties involved in the business get to a familiarization activity first amongst themselves. Therefore, in the Chinese culture, even if this process of familiarization leads to contract delays, the issue does not escalate to a problem as long as the social time allotted for socialization between the parties is correct. The culture in America is totally different as the associates of business are always highly aloof. Time might be set aside for socialization but the point of business remains prioritized. Therefore, business cannot be sacrificed for socialization in the American culture. However, the American culture seems to have some shift towards socialization and the art networking for business purposes has become recognized in their culture, and hence becoming more and more pronounced (Graf). But really, what kind of a culture is that, that would rather lose contracts, and instead make strong relationship bonds? The Chinese culture on this is quite low-class and with lack of business seriousness. The aim of any business is to make profit and what importance is it if it just makes relationships and not profits? This one beats logic, and the American culture on this beats them pants down.
In this paper, it can thus be seen that the immigration of the Chinese into America is a process that began a long time ago, and has been happening even until today. In these instances, different cultures keep being exchanged while new ones are developed as more people interact. However, what surfaces up in this is how bogus the Chinese culture is bogus on matters of importance such as time and one wonders, how exactly these people live, if for instance issues like time are not any important to them. Life for the Chinese is seen to lack some of level of seriousness if the two cultures are compared. When the Chinese immigrants move into America, definitely their culture somewhat changes to match that of America, since “once in Rome, you do what the Romans do”. Nevertheless, they are in America now, and together, they have shaped and impacted the overall culture of America today.
Ling-chi Wang, L. “Chinese Americans”. Countries and their Cultures n. pag. Web. 20 June 2017.
“Chinese Immigration To America: History For Kids ***”. Emmigration.info. N.p., 2017. Web. 20 June 2017.
“The Chinese Experience In 19Th Century America”. Teachingresources.atlas.illinois.edu. N.p., 2017. Web. 20 June 2017.
Library of Congress. “Chinese – A New Community – Immigration…- Classroom Presentation | Teacher Resources – Library Of Congress”. Loc.gov. Web. 20 June 2017.
Li, Rupert. “New Chinese Immigrants Are Different From Chinese Americans And Proud Of It”. The World Post (2017): n. pag. Web. 20 June 2017.
Graf, rebecca. “10 Major Cultural Differences Between China And The United States”. Owlcation (2010): n. pag. Web. 20 June 2017.