Tonight, I came across an article in a magazine talking about how to make friends across cultures. But mainly, it talks about how to make friends with westerners. (It is an English Teaching Magazine and of course, the main purpose of it is helping people to understand English both on the language and the culture) I thought it would be a good material to talk about in class and the reason why I choose the topic is that for Taiwanese, we always have this "Myth" and are fascinated by westeners somehow, some ways. Perhaps it is due to the distance and the gap between cultures or perhaps it has something to do with this imprint characteristic for once been colonized people like us who long for the authority from sovereign. Taiwan, though is independent and has its politics working in democractic system, somehow we never able to get away from colonized trait. Unlike Japan who is a very powerful country with immigrants all over the world. Japanese share the same stutus as other western countries, it is needless to mention about China.
But Taiwan.....we are somehow, always struggling between being indepedent and sometimes clinging onto western countries for protection. (Our fascination toward western foreigners may come from our struggling)
Taiwanese people are very friendly to western foreigners, but our conception and ideas for foreigners are sometimes quite limited. For people always assume foreigners are people either from America, Canada or England.
Working in an adult English Learning Center with more than 50% of foreign coworkers has gaveme more knowledge and experience regarding the ecology of foreigners in Taiwan.
To talk about it in details would definately be an epic. To cut it in short is:
1. Whatever their reasons in Taiwan, there are nice foreigners and bad foreigners.
2. There are indeed culture differences regarding living habits, values and men/ women relationship.
3. I only have a few foreign friends, though my clients think that I have plenty of experience.
4. Sometimes I feel hurt and irritated by Taiwanese cowokers or clients. Because of their different attitutes and treatments.
5. Overall, I still have an open mind to make friend with foreigners, but my option are left to those with reciprocal respects to people cultures and to those who care what you think and really listen to you without the colors of the skin