February 25th was a peculiar joyful day for many Chinese netizens, a lot of Chinese internet users found they somehow regained their access to Google’s social network site on that very day. This was followed by the message inundation on US president Obama’s page. ‘Every current topic on Mr. Obama’s Google+ page attracted hundreds of Chinese comment’ BBC reported, ‘they talked about occupying the furniture and bringing snacks and soft drinks’. Of course we know those furniture were misunderstanding of Chinese internet jargons, referring to the first several posts in response to the original poster, but it did get on the nerves of almost every foreign reader. Lacking of the mutual-understanding towards each other’s culture, this awkward translation has become the laughingstock among us after tea and dinner.
Yet explanations can be found given the history. Traditional Chinese culture attached importance to Feudal Culture and Agriculture. While the western one is practically capitalized and industrialized. Consequently we've encountered the cultural clashes. As Yan Fu said ‘Chinese follows form while westerner pursues freedom; Chinese survives among conventional restraints while westerner values the conspicuous result .
The word ‘sofa’ was originated from the expression ‘so fast’ that the westerner used to describe how swift, free they are able to post on the internet. However, some Chinese netizen took that for ‘sofa’ merely from the pronunciation rather than the western cultural background. Following the form of the feudal morality for thousands of years, we are embedded with the concept that those who came first and at the top of the social ladders should be given prior seats, i.e. sofa in this case. So if we further develop the coexistence of different cultures, there will be less misunderstanding being caused .
A friend of my father has benefited greatly from the mixture of two cultures. He’s been with cancer over years, according to conventional restrains of traditional Chinese medical science, he would not have done physical surgeries because that will ruin the completeness of one’s body. But the modern western medical Science values the maximized effects regardless of those Chinese taboos. Fortunately, he was cured by the mixture of the amazingly effective gamma knife and the interventional therapy of Chinese herbs, he now leads a happy and healthy life after having been diagnosed cancer for 10 years. See? If we further develop the coexistence of different cultures, there will be more lives being cured.
Well, Modernization and globalization resulted in the existence of cultural clashes. And the above-mentioned facts shows that clashes exist for a reason. To survive among those cultural clashes, we should cultivate an open mind to receive different cultures and rejuvenate them as an integrated one to help coexist perfectly.
The city I am living in is a good case in point. Receiving from different cultural elements, authentic Chinese heritage and modern western highlights, visitors to my city were impressed by the perfect harmony that the bell tower, city wall and the terra cotta warriors lived with the surrounded Starbucks Macdnalds and KFCs .
Ladies and gentlemen, We survived the vicissitudes of the history, and we will strive for the cultural coexistent victory!