Wednesday, April 1

Different Cultures

I often get a bit of a barrage from friends who know that I love China and have visited and lived there.  Today I was involved in a conversation with a friend who is very much into animal cruelty issues, pollution and so on.  I do believe that generally they are all issues that I am concerned about, but I don't get angry about the situations in other countries on these issues.  They are not issues that can be solved quickly, and they have many years of culture doing what they do without the interference of the outside world.  They have a totally DIFFERENT culture, and no one from outside China will going to change it!!!  They will change in their own time.

I do hate the pollution in China - and feel so sorry for the folk who have to live there in the midst of this awful thick air.  We used to get excited if we saw the sky.  When a former student stayed with me a few months ago - he was so impressed to see blue sky every day.  It is what the Chinese want, but sadly as much of the world's manufacturing is done, it is where the factories are working day and night and churning out pollution at rates that the rest of the world cannot even comprehend.

There is a city called Shangyu where there are over 1000 umbrella factories - really hard to comprehend the scale of these sort of industries.  It doesn't matter what city one visits the size of the manufacturing industries is gobsmacking.  We don't see factories as big as one sees in China.

I have no doubt that the government is endeavouring to reduce the pollution - but so hard to do and keep their millions still working productively!!   The air is so full of pollution that not only is it difficult to see the sky, but taking photos has challenges as the air is filled with tiny particles that bounce the light off when one tries to take a clear photo.  Examples below.






Today with my friend one of the big issues was animal cruelty.  I too do not like the way that animals are harvested for fur or food - but again it is their culture.  Dogs usually are bred for the meat industry - not unlike our chicken, beef, sheep, pork industries, but they do not have the wide open spaces for their animals as we do.  

The Chinese have endured unimaginable poverty, and starvation over the years - and their attitudes are cultivated by years of totally different experiences and governments.  How could one expect them to be like us in the west after all they endured?????

I try not to get angry about expectations that people in China should have the same experiences, attitudes etc as we do in the west.  How can they?  And why should they be just like us?

Grrrrrr.


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