AN ASIAN VIEW OF CULTURAL DIFFERENCES
Dr. Mai Van Trang
We live in time. You live in space.
We are always at rest. You are always on the move.
We are passive. You are aggressive.
We like to contemplate. You like to act.
We accept the world as it is. You try to change it according to your blueprint.
We live in peace with nature. You try to impose your will on her.
Religion is our first love. Technology is your passion.
We delight to think about the meaning of life. You delight in physics.
We believe in freedom of silence. You believe in freedom of speech.
We lapse into meditation. You strive for articulation.
We marry first, then love. You love first, then marry.
Our marriage is the beginning of romance. Your marriage is the happy ending of a love affair.
It is an indissoluble bond. It is a contract.
Our love is mute. Your love is vocal.
We try to conceal it from the world. You delight in showing it to others.
Self-denial is a secret to our survival. Self-assertiveness is the key to your success.
We are taught from the cradle to want less and less. You are urged everyday to want more and more.
We glorify austerity and renunciation. You emphasize gracious living and enjoyment.
Poverty is to us a badge of spiritual elevation. It is to you a sign of degradation.
In the sunset years of life, we renounce the world and prepare for the hereafter.
You retire to enjoy the fruits of your labour.