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American and Chinese Cultures

            Have you ever wondered why most Americans keep a distance with people when they talk? Have you ever been surprised that Chinese people address senior citizens as "old lady" or "old man". Such incidents are a result of differences in culture norms. Americans value the personal space, while standing at a close distance in Chinese culture is a sign of friendship. Chinese people, out of respect, tend to use the word "old", whereas, Americans don't like to be called old. While today, different cultures gradually blending, there are still many differences between the U.S. and China, especially in that Americans are more individualistic and more informal than the Chinese.
             One significant difference between Chinese culture and American culture is that Americans value individualism more than the Chinese. For example, in China, parents raise their children when they are young, but once the children grow up and become adults, they in turn support their parents. Parents and children are mutually responsible to one another, and have very close relationships between them normally. In some families, parents who give everything they could to help their children succeed expect too much of their children. In the U.S., even though parents bring up children, and children take care of parents, they generally tend to take responsibility for their own lives. They don't live for others, but work out their own destinies. Moreover, the ability of Americans to be independent is stronger, and they reach independence earlier than Chinese. Most young adults live apart from their parents in the U.S. Some of them pay their parents rent to stay at home. Almost all of Americans work a job during college and they want to be economically independent of their parents. Unlike Americans, those conditions rarely happen in China. Most of Chinese live with their parents until college graduation, unless they go to different cities or countries for college.

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