History And Culture Of China Cultural Studies Essay

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China is the greatest country from east Asia, and also the one with the biggest population; approximately a fifth part of the global population. It's a socialist republic governed by Chinas Communist Party. In global terms, China is number one exporting; step by step this country has become in world power in the last 20 years. China counts with 14 frontiers with different countries like: Afganistan, Butan, Bimania, India, Kazajistan, Laos, Mongolia, Nepal, Corea del Norte, Pakistan, Rusia, Tayikistan y Vietnam.

HISTORY

Mao Zedong was the communist leader who claimed the Popular Republic of China. After his death in 1976, the country was brifly ruled by Hua Guofeng. In 1978, Deng Xiaoping took the power as the higher authority of the country. He traced strong cultural reforms which lead to the start of a huge economic growth which has lasted to actual days. This country has gone over a long history of primitive society, slavery society, feudal society and semi-feudal semi-colonial society and the present socialist society. The most spoken language is mandarin, which is one of the five working languages at the United Nations. Most of the 55 minority nationalities have their own languages. Cantonese is one of the local dialects of southern China. As a written language, Chinese has been used for 6,000 years.

POLITICS

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Power structure relies in three different aspects: the Party, the army and the state. The elected people for these charges are: the president of the Popular Republic of China, the general secretary and the president of the Central Military Commission. Today these three charges are occupied by the same man: Hu Jintao.

ECONOMY

There have been different economic policies to foment foreign investment, special economic zones where created in the coast areas, where industrial development made emphasis, public services, and creating shelters for workers. This was how this country got to be one of the greatest world powers, especially in household-electrics and textiles due to the cheap hand labor. In industrial regions salary rounds the 70 Euros a month. As an approach the 25% of manufactures are produced in China. An important factor is that thanks the commercial treaties between China and United States, China has had favored treatment because manufactures can move freely as if they where North American. Its main commercial partner is the European Union.

MONEY

Chinese Money is called Renminbi (RMB). The official exchange rate between U.S. Dollar and Renminbi currently is about 1 : 8.3. Chinese currency is issued in the following denominations: one, two, five, ten, fifty and a hundred Renminbi

CLIMATE

China has a continental and seasonal climate. Most parts are in the temperate zone but southern areas are in the tropical or subtropical zone while northern areas are in the Frigid Zone. Climates in different areas are complicated. For instance, northern Heilongjiang Province has a winter climate the year round without summer, while Hainan Island has a summer climate the year round without winter. The following is a reference table for tourists to prepare clothing on their trips. 

 

Spring: 10-22°C, Western suits, jackets, sports coats, woolen jackets, long sleeve shirts and travel shoes.

Summer: 22°C and above, T-shirts, short sleeve shirts, skirts, sandals, caps, rain wear.

Autumn: 10-22°C, Western suits, jackets, sports coats, light woolen sweaters, rain wear and travel shoes.

Winter: 10°C or lower, overcoat, cotton clothes, lined coats. In very cold areas a cap, gloves and cotton-padded shoes are required.

CULTURE

The great territorial extension of this country has as consequence a huge cultural diversity. After the foundation of the republic in 1949, there was an official acknowledgement for cultural minorities. This is based in the existence of 56 ethnic groups in China.

This cultural diversion shows in a special way how in the region of Uigur of Xinjiang big part of the population practices the Islam and speak Turk languages. To the south part of this region we can find the region of the Tibet, where the Tibet language is spoken and where they practice Buddhism.

The principal ethnic and cultural group is the HAN designated as the Chinese. They represent more than the 95% of the actual population and they occupy the central zone of the territory.

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For Chinese people is really important to have a good reputation and preventing shame in the family. This culture belief in many superstitions, especially for New Year they have things like not cleaning because its supposed to take all your luck away. Paying debts is important because if you don't you will finish the year the same way. The red color means good luck in all its expressions, also letting in fresh air through your windows. Eating candies is said to bring a sweet year, but for example sharp objects are said to chop off your good luck, as also cutting your hair.

The Chinese observe a wide variety of traditional and modern holidays, based both on the lunar and solar calendars.

RELIGION

The dominant religions of China are the Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and the traditional religion of China. This one relies in a type of polytheistic form, where they worship ancestors, gods, the sun and the moon. There are also men and women who practice craft. These are some examples of the gods:

Guan Yu (é-œç¾½), dios de la verdad y la lealtad.

Baosheng Dadi (保生大帝), Gran Emperador de la vida.

Cai Shen (財神) dios de la salud y el bienestar.

Los Ocho Inmortales (ba xian, å…«ä»™).

Hu Ye (虎爺 "Señor Tigre"), un espíritu guardián.

Jiu Wang Ye (九皇爺 "Dios Emperador") Los nueve espíritus de emperadores fallecidos.

Mazu (媽ç¥-), la diosa patrona de los marineros.

Qiye (七爺 "Séptimo Señor") y Baye (八爺 "Octavo Señor"), dos poderosos generales.

Shangdi Shangdi (上帝) (lit. Emperador Supremo)

Cheng Huang (城隍), deidades protectoras

Sun Wukong (孫悟空,齊天大è-)ï¼› "El Rey Mono"

Tu Di Gong (土地公, tÇ” dì gōng), dios de la tierra.

Wenchangdi (æ-‡æ˜Œå¸ "Emperador de la cultura"), dios del estudio.

Xi Wangmu (西王母), "Reina Madre del Oeste"

Yuexia Laoren (月下老人 "Anciano en la Luna")

Zao Shen (灶君|灶神), dios de la cocina

Zhusheng Niangniang (註生娘娘 "Diosa del Nacimiento"). Diosa de la fertilidad.

Dress: Kimono

This is the traditional dress which travels through history, now days it's the same for men, women and children. They have classic colors, but for women these dresses have stronger colors. But in the actuality this kimono is mostly used by women.

Feeding

Chinese people love to eat and China boasts one of the world's greatest cuisines. During the long development of Chinese eating culture, many practices have evolved that foreign visitors may find quite different from what they are used to and even consider weird.

Fish

In Chinese, Fish sounds like "save more". Chinese People always like save more money at the end of year because they think if they save more, they can make more in the next year.

Spring Roll

People like Spring Roll because they are nutritious and delicious. Spring Rolls contain pork and vegetable. They can be easily taken on picnics. They get their name because they are traditionally eaten during Chinese New Year Celebration.

 

Nian Gao (Glutinous Rice Cake)

In Chinese, Nian Gao sounds like "getting higher year by year". In Chinese people's mind, the higher you are, the more prosperous your business is. Main ingredients of Nian Gao are sticky rice, sugar, Chestnuts, Chinese date and lotus leaves.

The popular beliefs hold ceremonies and special events, like in the day of the Chinese moon in New Year, a fish is served on the table but it's not eaten to enjoy of a full year of fortune. These are some important rules you should always remember:

You should never call someone or a cab with your fingers open to the top, this is rude. You should do it moving your fingers inside, towards you.

When you use a tooth stick always cover your mouth with your hand.

If someone offers a gist to you, don't open it in front of that person.

If you are given a presentation card don't keep it in the back part of your pant, neither in your wallet and keep it in the back part of your pant. Because this means you want to seat on top of them, but if you keep it in the front part of your pant there is no problem.

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When writing a letter never use red ink because it is only used for proposals and to correct tests.

Even though sometimes streets can be blocked, don't pass trough because it can be due to a ceremony, a funeral or a marriage.

If it's raining don't ever share your umbrella because this means you won't ever see each other again. Umbrella: san = split. This is especially important for dating, because if you really like the person you are seeing you should accompany him or her to the bus or house.

Don't give a watch as a gift because it means going to a funeral.

Giving tissues is also bad luck because it means tears and suffering but if it happens don't worry if the person gives you a coin in exchange because automatically it would represent a deal and not a gift.

MANAGEMENT IN CHINA

The Chinese always want to know what your company can do that they cannot do for themselves. Communication is both formal and indirect. Since China is an extremely homogeneous country, there is much that can be said without using words.

Successful cross cultural management in China is more likely if you bear in mind that each person has a very distinct role within the organization, and maintaining that role helps to keep order. In general, the manager may function autocratically and dictate to his subordinates, to communicate bad news to their employees, they might use an intermediary.

China has traditionally had a medium tolerance for change and risk its intercultural adaptability is rapidly improving due to the increasing demands of the global marketplace.

China is a moderate time culture and typically there may be some flexibility to strict adherence to schedules and deadlines. Expectations of global and intercultural expansion have caused the Chinese to adopt relatively strict standards of adhering to schedules.

Actual power is generally held in the hands of a few key people at the top of the organization. Departments tend to work quite independently of each other and only share selected information. Rivalries often exist within the same company. Teamwork and cooperation are being introduced in management style.

Cross cultural success is more likely if you are aware of some of the negotiating tactics that are often deployed. These can include using silence to put pressure on you to concede points and delaying everything until the last minute so that you feel pressured to push things through quickly. It is worth maintaining your composure at these times. Under no circumstances should you lose your temper or you will lose face and irrevocably damage your relationship.

Avoid cross cultural miscommunication by ensuring written material is available in both English and Chinese, using simplified characters and try to phrase your questions so that they require more than a yes or no response. This will allow you to make certain you were understood.

It is imperative in writing contracts to have independent legal advice from someone intimately familiar with the business environment in China. Spell out everything.

Do not overlook national laws and be extremely cautious about those you are choosing to do business with. It is worth checking the financial status of all related companies.

BANGLADESH

Is a country in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma (Myanmar) to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south. Together with the Indian state of West Bengal, it makes up the ethno-linguistic region of Bengal. The name Bangladesh means "Country of Bengal" in the official Bengali language.

The borders of present-day Bangladesh were established with the partition of Bengal and India in 1947, when the region became the eastern wing of the newly formed Pakistan. However, it was separated from the western wing by 1,600 km (994 mi) of Indian territory. Political and linguistic discrimination as well as economic neglect led to popular agitations against West Pakistan, which led to the war for independence in 1971 and the establishment of Bangladesh. After independence the new state endured famines, natural disasters and widespread poverty, as well as political turmoil and military coups. The restoration of democracy in 1991 has been followed by relative calm and economic progress.

Bangladesh is the seventh most populous country and is among the most densely populated countries in the world with a high poverty rate. However, per-capita (inflation-adjusted) GDP has more than doubled since 1975, and the poverty rate has fallen by 20% since the early 1990s. The country is listed among the "Next Eleven" economies. Dhaka, the capital, and other urban centers have been the driving force behind this growth.

Geographically, the country straddles the fertile Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta and is subject to annual monsoon floods and cyclones. Bangladesh has the longest unbroken sea beach in the world in the Cox's Bazaar. The government is a parliamentary democracy. Bangladesh is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the OIC, SAARC, BIMSTEC, and the D-8. As the World Bank notes in its July 2005 Country Brief, the country has made significant progress in human development in the areas of literacy, gender parity in schooling and reduction of population growth. However, Bangladesh continues to face a number of major challenges, including widespread political and bureaucratic corruption, economic competition relative to the world, serious overpopulation, widespread poverty, and an increasing danger of hydrologic shocks brought on by ecological vulnerability to climate change.

Bangladesh's most important and complex foreign relationships are with India. These relationships are informed by historical and cultural ties and form an important part of the domestic political discourse.

ECONOMY.

Despite continuous domestic and international efforts to improve economic and demographic prospects, Bangladesh remains a developing nation. Its per capita income in 2008 was US$520 compared to the world average of $10,200.

Jute was once the economic engine of the country. Its share of the world export market peaked in the Second World War and the late 1940s at 80% and even in the early 1970s accounted for 70% of its export earnings. However, polypropylene products began to substitute for jute products worldwide and the jute industry started to decline. Bangladesh grows very significant quantities of rice (chaul), tea (Cha) and mustard.

Although two-thirds of Bangladeshis are farmers, more than three quarters of Bangladesh's export earnings come from the garment industry, which began attracting foreign investors in the 1980s due to cheap labour and low conversion cost. In 2002, the industry exported US$5 billion worth of products. The industry now employs more than 3 million workers, 90% of whom are women. A large part of foreign currency earnings also comes from the remittances sent by expatriates living in other countries.

Despite these hurdles, the country has achieved an average annual growth rate of 5% since 1990, according to the World Bank. A number of multinational corporations and local big business houses such as Beximco, Square, Akij Group, Ispahani, Navana Group, Transcom Group, Habib Group, KDS Group and multinationals such as Unocal Corporation and Chevron, have made major investments, with the natural gas sector being a priority.

In order to enhance economic growth, the government set up several export processing zones to attract foreign investment. These are managed by the Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority.

CULTURE.

Reflecting the long history of the region, Bangladesh has a culture that encompasses elements both old and new. The Bengali language boasts a rich literary heritage, which Bangladesh shares with the Indian state of West Bengal. Medieval Bengali literature was often either religious (e.g. Chandidas), or adapted from other languages (e.g. Alaol).

Bangladesh produces about 80 films a year. Mainstream Hindi films are also quite popular. Around 200 daily newspapers are published in Bangladesh, along with more than 1800 periodicals. However, regular readership is low at just under 15% of the population. Bangladeshis listen to a variety of local and national radio programmes from Bangladesh Betar, as well as four Private FM radio channels (Radio Foorti, ABC Radio, Radio Today, Radio Amar) popularity to the younger generation is growing rapidly at the important cities. Also, there is Bangla services of Radio from the BBC and Voice of America. The dominant television channel is the state-controlled Bangladesh Television, but in the last few years, privately owned channels have developed considerably.

The culinary tradition of Bangladesh has close relations to Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine as well as having its own unique traits.

Another important aspect of the culture of Bangladesh is clothing. Bangladeshi woman usually wear Saris, made of the world famous and expensive, finely embroidered quilted patchwork cloth produced by the village woman. Woman will traditionally wear their hair in a twisted bun, which is called the "Beni style". Hindus will traditionally wear Dhuty for religious purposes. These days most men of Bangladesh wear shirts and pants.

RELIGION.

Islam is the official religion in Bangladesh and is practiced by some 88 percent of the country's inhabitants. Other religions that are active in Bangladesh include Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, animism and tribal belief systems.

The majority of the populations who follow Islam pursue the Sunni branch of the Muslim religion whilst small groups are Shia.

MANAGEMENT IN BANGLADESH.

The business set up in Bangladesh is extremely conservative and successful cross cultural management will understand the importance of maintaining a degree of formality. Older people and those in senior positions, especially government officials, should be deferred to and treated with dignity and respect.

Bangladeshis prefer to deal with those they know. Therefore, they devote a great deal of time to becoming familiar with you as an individual. Never do anything to make a business colleague appear less in the eyes of others.

Cross cultural management will be more effective when working in Bangladesh with an understanding of the individual roles and existing hierarchy. Employees do not question the decisions that have been reached. Managers or those in a position to do so will make decisions, while in general their subordinates will wait to be told what to do.

In Bangladesh, as in other hierarchical societies, managers may take a somewhat paternalistic attitude to their employees. They may demonstrate a concern for employees that goes beyond the workplace and strictly professional concerns.

In order for change to take hold, the idea needs to be perceived as good for the group and be accepted by the group. Intercultural sensitivity is important with Bangladesh's attitude toward risk dramatically impacted by the negative ramifications of failure on both the individual and the group.

Cross cultural understanding is important when reviewing the approach to timelines. There is often a laxity about meeting deadlines with Bangladeshi managers not wanting to upset others in order to force adherence to a deadline.

Bangladeshi managers tend to have a rather autocratic style. Decisions are made at the top of the country and handed down to managers to implement. Although the decision maker may consult with technical experts before reaching a decision, he is not seeking consensus, simply sufficient information to make an intelligent decision.

Subordinates do not generally question what a manager says, as this would be considered inappropriate behavior.

If you are working in Bangladesh, cross cultural sensitivity is needed and it is important to remember that honor and reputation play an important role. If you would like to encourage participation it is important first to clearly establish a non-threatening work environment and communicate fully that team-member participation is desired.

It is important to qualify ideas that are raised in a gentle manner, protecting the reputation of those bringing up ideas, so no one is shamed. If someone is exposed and embarrassed, they may likely not participate again, and it will stem the flow of ideas and the participation of the entire group.

Praise should be given to the entire group, and not to individuals.

The only proper way to approach someone you do not know is with a formal introduction. The ideal person to handle this is a high-status person or company known to both parties. This third-party introduction bridges the relationship gap between you and the person with whom you wish to meet.

Negotiations often take a long time due to the lengthy process of building trust and developing a personal relationship and are conducted formally .Do not remove your suit jacket without permission. Even then, unless the most senior ranking Bangladeshi person does, it is a good idea to keep your jacket on despite the heat and humidity.

Intercultural knowledge and sensitivity is essential to successful management. Bangladeshis will seldom say "no" overtly, so you must watch their non-verbal cues.

In general, Bangladeshis expect concessions in both price and terms. It is acceptable to demand similar concessions for each one you grant.

FOREING INVESTMENT: CHINA OR BANGLADESH?

For these who think that China is the cheapest labor force in earth, the can find that there are some others countries more attractive for lower cost on production.

The decision to make a foreign investment in China its not only about the money; the cultural behavior and the organizational culture help the big companies to decide quickly.

China has been pass for a tremendous change in its own economy and has to modify and adapted all kind of management stile. Whit this context we can conclude that China people are easier to work with compares with the Bangladesh people.

The Bengali people are more hierarchy and have no initiative to learn from other company, in its way of management the employees'. They are extremely conservative and has low initiative for changes. Another issue that can be problematic for the big companies is the labor groups that are creating in Bangladesh; these groups can deteriorate the relationship between labor class and employers, what makes more difficult the action of manager in this country.

With all this analysis of the cultural issue of the two countries we can conclude that not only the economic issue is the key factor for make a decision of foreign investment in another country, in fact the cultural behavior and the cultural organization in the specific country has a big portion of the impotence for the decision to invest.

In this particular case if you are extremely close to Bangladesh, like India or England or even some countries of Europe you might decide to invest in Bangladesh, for its low cost, its cultural similarly, and its easy way to communicate.

But for occidental countries, especially in Americas and another Asian countries, China is the best option, that is because we are less formal we like to improve our self and let people bring new ideas for our benefits, and the early of the country.