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大连理工大学武文钊:Cultural Clashes vs. Coexistence between China and the West: My Personal Perspective
来源:21世纪英文网  时间:2012-04-20 11:02

武文钊:大连理工大学选手,第17届21世纪杯全国英语演讲比赛一等奖获得者

选手简介:

武文钊

大连理工大学化学工程与工艺专业

座右铭:“自信就是相信平等。”

经历与奖励:21世纪英语演讲比赛辽宁赛区冠军;2010赴纽约世界模拟联合国大会代表;国际数学建模竞赛一等奖;辽宁省“高教杯”非英语专业大学生英语口语大赛第一名;发表学术论文若干篇。

演讲稿:

Emblems of “China” are widely spreading in the world such as Confucius, “Made in China” and of course Chinese people. Simultaneously, western culture has also flooded into China, for example Christmas, Mc Donald and Lady Gaga. Frankly speaking, the convergence of Chinese and western culture is an irrefutable fact, and these 2 cultures are pulling and pushing each other at the same time. The problem is what should we encourage: should we seek a way toward integration though there may be clashes in the melting pot, or, should we affirm cultural diversity and let them coexist, which is what we often call a mosaic situation?

On the one hand, we should say yes to cultural integration for the sake of long-term harmony. Globalization requires more international cooperation than ever before and so a universal standard concerning formal dresses, etiquettes and even languages is necessary. For example, a man doing foreign businesses would usually wear a western-style clothe, a tie and black leather shoes. He would shake hands and give you a business card saying “nice to meet you”, instead of kissing on the face or kneeling down before you. I bet you would feel comfortable with such a social pattern, which means you are benefiting from cultural integration. Actually, China has already been part of this process, not only on international occasions but also in everyday situations: we rarely greet people with the fist mode now; instead, we wave our hands and say hi or bye-bye. Additionally, many Chinese people have special likings for western movies and plays, for example my roomates are crazy about The Big Bang Theory these days and they like the leading role Sheldon so much that they gave him a homophonic Chinese name Xia Houdun, which was a famous character in the Chinese Three Kingdoms period. What a funny enjoyable thing to see! Most importantly, being integrated in another culture, we start to understand what seemed so mysterious and incomprehensible in the past, which is a crucial factor in maintaining long-term harmony.

On the other hand, we must affirm the significance of cultural diversity for the sake of dynamism. I often hear people compare a tough problem to a giant wall and we must push hard at one direction to break it down. However, I disagree with this metaphor—because the shape of a wall is too regular and that “one direction” could be the wrong one. The problems we are faced with today are more like a huge rock, irregularly shaped, asymmetrically proportioned and stuck deep in the ground, therefore we must make an effort from all directions to get it out and let it roll. The complexity of today’s problems requires us to encourage diversity. Let’s consider the research findings of Woodrow Clark, Nobel Peace Prize Winner in 2007, who focused on sustainable development. He suggested the deficiency of Western market economy which was almost entirely dependent on the law of supply and demand. A sole dependence on this law could be detrimental due to its excessive freedom when resources in the market have a limit. The US government noticed this potential danger and hence decided to intervene, especially in the oil market. Woodrow Clark indicated in a lecture that this idea of governmental intervention originated from China’s “5-year-plan”. Maybe it’s true that when apples don’t work, the oranges will do.    

Undoubtedly, China and the west will keep an intimate relationship at least in the foreseeable future. Therefore, we need to seek a feasible balance between the possible clashes and coexistence of cultures.