I found a series of very interesting pictures describing the difference between Chinese and German culture. The pictures are from hellishhumor.com . Here I take some examples to share with you.

note: the blue side is German, red side Chinese.

1. Opinions (Meinung / 意见)


So, Germans are direct when expressing their opinions while Chinese tend to take rounds to give their opinions. Is it true? Maybe. In Chinese culture, if a person is too direct without tactics, s/he is viewed not mature enough, or simply too rude. “Giving face” to others is indeed part of Chinese culture.

2. Way of Life (Lenbensstill /生活方式)

chinesse-german-culture-way of life

Germans are more individualized while Chinese are used to live with many people. Maybe that is why the depression rate in China is very low since few people have the chance to shut interaction with other people easily.

3. Punctuality (准时)


Well, Germans are always punctual, this is a well-known fact. Chinese are more flexible with time, this is also true.

4. Contacts (人脉)


In German culture, Germans have 1-1 contact, but in Chinese culture, it is a quite complicated network.

5. View of myself (自我看法)

chinesse-german-culture-self view

In German culture, people view themselves quite big, but Chinese view individual much smaller. This is also true. As we talked earlier, Chinese culture is a culture of groups, family. Individual is not the center compared to the organization or society.

6. Sunday on city street (星期天城市街道)
chinesse-german-culture-streets on Sundays

This is very true. Streets in Germany on Sundays are empty. I used to wonder where people are. On contrary, streets in China are always full of people, esp. on Sundays, since it is a major shopping day.

7. Stomach ache (胃痛)

chinesse-german-culture-stomach ache

Germans use Coca cola to treat stomach ache. Chinese drink tea.

8. Definition of Beauty (美的定义)

chinesse-german-culture-definition of beauty

Germans view tanned people beautiful while in China people think people with white skin are pretty. That is why Chinese ladies carry an umbrella on sunny days.

9.Handling problems (处理问题)
chinesse-german-culture-handling problem

This is an observation, but not necessarily true. Germans like talk about the problem and handle them directly. Chinese handle problems, but with some cautions. They handle problems, perhaps not directly, but at least try to solve them without hurting other people involved or other elements connected with the problem. It is always a way of finding a solution of balance. Of course, sometimes it is a procrastination compared to the direct way of handling problems.

10.Life of Elderly Life (老年人的生活)

chinesse-german-culture-Life of Elderly Life

German elder people live away from their children and grandchildren. Chinese elder people live with their families. Taking care of grandchildren is a duty and enjoyment for most Chinese elder people.

11.Shower Habit (淋浴时间)
chinesse-german-culture-Shower Habit

Germans take showers when they get up. Chinese take showers before they go to bed. Germans want to smell good and keep fresh at the beginning of a day. Chinese want to relax and have a nice sleep.

12. Perception of each other’s culture (对对方文化的想当然)

chinesse-german-culture-Perception of each other's culture

This is very interesting. Both are somewhat correct, neither is totally right.

I don’t want to make too much comment. It is up to you to feel the difference. Just a thought: cultural similarity and difference can be very subtle. We need to have more understanding in order to generalize them without falling in the misleading trap.


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