Lost in Shenzhen
Before delivering my speech, I want to ask you a simple question. How do you pronounce this word (I’ll show “深圳” on my ppt.)? Is anyone here could give me an answer? Come on. Don’t be shy. It’s a Chinese name, not an English word… So it’s not difficult at all, right?
Alright, don’t make a fool of you, or the president may yell at me later… Let’s ask some old members… Xxx, what do you think?… So you think it’s “深ㄗㄨㄣˋ”?
Okay, let’s see if there is another answer… Mnn…xxx, what’s your answer? … “深zhen”, are you sure?
Alright, some said “深ㄗㄨㄣˋ”, and others said “深zhen”. But what’s the correct answer? Before I tell you the answer, let’s turn back to our topic. Today I want to talk about culture interaction, but why this question is so important to me? This summer, I attended an activity which aimed to improve the understanding between Chinese students and Taiwanese students. And the activity was held in this city this year. To avoid making a joke, before I left Taiwan for China, I looked it up in a dictionary, and it said we should pronounce this word as 深“ㄗㄨㄣˋ”. However, after we arrived there, I suddenly found local people call it “Shenzhen”!! Is the dictionary wrong? Now you can know how confused I was at that time.
So today I’m here to introduce the strategy I used to cope with a culture shock I encountered in Shenzhen.
I call it the “LOST strategy”.
Let’s begin with the “L” – Just laugh!
It’s easy to understand, right? We’ve heard it so many times that smile is the language shared around the world. To achieve the goal of culture exchange, you need to release your goodwill first. And maybe it’s the most important part for those who want to have a romance with foreign people, I think.
And “O” – Be open-minded!!
To decrease the misunderstanding with others, you should be willing to consider and accept other’s ideas or opinions. Take one of my Chinese friends for example, he comes from 四川, but he loves Taiwan to an extreme that gave us a big shock. You know people in China use simplified Chinese, but he use traditional Chinese in his notebook. Furthermore, can you imagine making a certificate with President Ma’s name on it to yourself? In fact, that’s what my Chinese friend did. He’s crazy about Taiwan. I think I’ll not be shocked if I see him in an election parade in Taiwan one day… So, open-minded, remember it. It helps you a lot to know other cultures more.
And now let’s switch to the “S” part – Don’t be silent!!!
I think Taiwan students seldom express their views. We often lack confidence to speak in front of a crowd. However, I saw that Chinese students often grabbed a microphone tightly and kept talking. If you want others to notice you, or you want to be popular, you should be more active! Of course, you can mimic me to wear a mask, I bet everyone will have a deep impression in you. Just kidding, I got a cold at that time, but the fact was that many people remembered me because of my mask. (= =)
But it’s still not a good strategy to just wear a mask if you really want others to notice you. Silence won’t be a good choice for you if you really want others to understand what you think. Next time if you have a chance to express your feelings, raise your hand and speak it out loudly!
Okay, the final one, “T” – Turn back. Think deeply.
After 7 days in Shenzhen, I know more about Chinese people… However, I also found I’m not quite familiar with Taiwan. Take a look at these aboriginal tribes. (I’ll show them on my ppt.) Is anyone here who can speak in a pride, saying, “I know them very much”? Many people can share their experiences in other countries very well. But how will you introduce your own country to others? When I was asked about questions like this in Shenzhen, I felt a little embarrassed. I found I couldn’t answer it very well. It made me think deeply after turning back to Taiwan. I still remembered how eager I was to travel abroad… But now I know that understanding ourselves is also important. That’s what I learned in the journey to Shenzhen.
And now it’s your turn! Next time if you feel lost during the period of culture exchange, think about this “LOST strategy”. I hope that it really helps for you.
Jill’s impromptu speech after C3 speech