Teaching Kids to Embrace Cultural Diversity

As a couple who have become parents in an exclusively foreign environment, this has been a wonderful chance for us to introduce our child to racial and cultural diversity. We are blessed to be able to raise our son abroad, but since we are from different countries, no matter where we live, at least one of us will always be a foreigner. In our community, and while out and about traveling the world, we come across so many ethnicities. This gives our son plenty of wonderful opportunities to learn and appreciate how different cultures live. Understanding that people are not all the same will enable your children to embrace and value the things that make each person or group of people different. Children really do notice differences, so take the time to teach what is important to each culture and help strengthen acceptance and understanding. Even though we are currently

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Battery Sizes in China

…and how to ask for Vodka, too The other day I went to the hardware store to get some batteries. I knew some of the battery names, but one that I didn’t know was how to say “9-volt battery”. So, I went in hoping that I would be able to communicate with the shop owners what kind of battery I was looking for. After a few attempts back and forth he finally brought out the one I was looking for and said, “jiǔ fútè” (九伏特), teaching me how to say the word “nine volt”. Immediately, I heard the similarity of the Chinese word for volt to the English equivalent, and I said, “vole-tuh”, trying to emphasize the sound to make it sound like the Chinese word. The shop owner said, “bu bu bu, fútè“. I laughed and tried to explain that the word must’ve come as an English transliteration. But

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Tips to Attain Medical Care in China when you Don’t Speak Chinese

Living or traveling to a foreign country can be quite scary especially when you need medical aid and the people around don’t speak English. If you are traveling to China or planning on living in China, here are some helpful hints that will make navigate the Chinese health care system: Tip 1: Where to go in case of an emergency In case of a medical emergency, the main concern most people have is where is the closest hospital. In China, you can’t just ask where is the closest hospital to treat my emergency. Hospitals function slightly differently in China. Not all hospitals will accept all types of patients. Many times patients arrive at the hospital only to be diverted to another hospital. Hospitals have specialties and mostly, only children hospitals will accept children. So, it is a good idea to find out which hospital will treat your problem before setting

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Facing Culture Shock in China

China’s growth as an economic superpower has opened up opportunities for several multinationals to set up operations here and bring their countrymen to run these branches. It is not surprising for local residents to now have expatriates working as colleagues in these multinationals instead of seeing them as just tourists. The centuries old culture of China that has remained unaffected continues to shock and intrigue expats as they try to assimilate themselves into the surroundings.   Greeting and acknowledging people in China – The usual practice of greeting people in China is putting a smile to those lips and bowing your head down in acknowledgement along with verbal greeting of “hi hao” and “nin hao”. Though shaking hands is not a common greeting among Chinese culture, they have started to practice it with their Western counterparts. To increase familiarity with each other, expats may get invited to their Chinese colleagues’

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Cost of Living as an Expat in China

Moving to China may seem like a daunting task if you have lived in Western nations but lucrative pay package and a luxurious lifestyle lures many to its shores. Though culturally and language wise there may be many challenges, there are several expats from all across the world living in these large cities and have assimilated themselves to local life. Before moving to China for a job assignment, expats should research cost of living in the country and make sure whether it suits there standards or not. Though the cost of living China is low when compared to Western nations, it is increasing rapidly in large and developing cities . For an expat, the salary can be low or high depending on the kind of life they try to lead in China and their attempts to recreate similar lifestyle practices that they are used to. Basic expenses in China –

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Helping Your Child Deal with Culture Shock in China

China is very rich in culture partially because, geographically, it is a very large nation. Its population of 1.35 billion people constitutes around 50 ethnic groups with customs and traditions varying accordingly. Such diversity can be unsettling for a foreigner and can be quite difficult to adapt to, especially when you’re raising children in China. An unfamiliar environment can cause culture shock in young children. Cause of shock Children adapt to changes more rapidly than adults do, but they face their own set of unique problems. For raising children in China, you have to deal with these problems to minimize culture shock. One of the major causes for culture shock is improper communication between parents and children. If you are moving to China and aren’t going to be returning to your home country any time soon, then be sure to convey that message to your child. Children often think they

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Importance of Language Acquisition for Expatriate Parents in China

Expatriates in China can manage to navigate their daily life without knowing a single word of Mandarin or Cantonese or any other Chinese dialect. This is mainly because many in China now also speak fluent – or at least functional – English, so language issues don’t always arise for many expats. This is especially true for people living in urban areas. But for those that are raising children in China, then there are a few more things to consider regarding language. So, if this is the scenario you face, then adding, “learn Chinese” to your agenda will serve you well. Here are a couple of reasons why:   Because your children will learn the new language. Yours might be a ‘single language household’, but if you are raising children in China, the fact remains that your children will grow up learning the language of the people around them. Expats kids

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What to Expect When You’re Expecting to Move to China: 6 Tips for Raising Kids in The Middle Kingdom

The following article is presented by HBIC contributor Jerry Jones. Jerry has vast experience in China and writes a popular blog at www.thecultureblend.com. Check out his site to read more awesomeness. Hey good news.  No matter what you’re feeling right now . . . you’re normal. If you are among the thousands of families who are in (or recently went through) the process of  packing up your lives and relocating to China then I’m happy to tell you that whatever is going on inside that confused little head and heart of yours is absolutely, undeniably . . . normal. It’s normal to be excited.  It’s normal to be scared. It’s even normal to be massive amounts of both at the same time and not know which one you are at any given moment. Don’t feel guilty if you catch yourself looking at your kids and thinking to yourself, “what in the

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