C-Dawg, that’s how I call my boyfriend, and yes, he is an expat from Seattle, America. How can they make this work? You must wonder. Me, a typical 20-year-old Chinese girl. And him, a 63 feet tall American football fanatic. Their life must be full of arguments and disagreements. Unfortunately, you are right. And to be honest, we just had a fight not so long ago. This 23-year-old grown man is actually still a baby, he puts peanut butter on almost everything. I mean, literally. Bread, fruits, salad, sometimes he just loves to lick his fingers with peanut butter on it. I’ve been putting up with it for a long time. It’s inevitable, I thought, cultural differences exist everywhere, and sometimes all we need is to be more tolerant. However, one day, he put the last straw on my back, he put peanut butter on the sweet and sour pork I cooked him. Sounds disgusting, doesn’t it? I totally lashed out and told him as a Chinese, I really couldn’t stand him ruining the original flavor of food! I barely remember the detail of the fight, but at the end of it, I went back to the kitchen, looking at the dish, I just couldn’t stop my curiosity. Yes I tried it. And guess what, that dish was disgustingly delicious. I bought him a bag of Reese peanut butter cups as a sorry gesture and decided to respect and embrace his little habits.
See? Me and C-Dawg is the perfect embodiment of cultural clashes and coexistence. And those fights and arguments actually brought us closer. We learned to understand each other more from every fight.
However, obviously not all cultural clashes can be avoided by a kiss or a bag of chocolate. Cultural clashes cause us millions of dollars on business ventures, thousands of broken marriages and conflicts worldwide.
So shall we live the life of a recluse and avoid all contact from other people who are different from us? Hell, no. A world when I wake up 3 Am in the morning without Barcelona VS Real Madrid to watch, a world that a Chinese cinema runs no blockbuster from Hollywood. I wouldn’t take this world as an option.
Yes, culture clash is a trouble maker, but it also offers us more possibilities and options. It helps us to build a dynamic multi-culture world full of diversity. It lets a thousand different flowers blossom in the garden of our culture land. All we need to do is to stop worrying about the trivial side effects and embrace the differences. The sparkles created by those clashes may contribute to the flowering of human endeavor, more cooperation, more understanding, more respect and more love. For starters, you can stop putting your judgments on speed dial and calling every girl with an alien aside a gold digger.
There is a super popular book a couple of years ago called Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. So even me a Chinese Venus girl and C-Dawg an American Martian can make it work. What else can’t be done?