Hello, everyone! Welcome back to MaoMi Chinese!
When it comes to stereotypes, what comes to mind? For example, that Chinese people practice kung fu, Japanese work overtime every day, Brits love drinking, Finns are introverted, the French are romantic, and so on. In fact, in different parts of China, there are various stereotypes as well. Some of these stereotypes are not only untrue but also impolite. What should you pay attention to when discussing stereotypes with Chinese friends? Today, let's chat about it together!
Firstly, let's talk about the capital of China, Beijing. When we think of Beijing, we often think of the erhuayin (儿化音) of Beijing people. Beijing people really love erhuayin. For example, today is not today but today becomes "jinr" and tomorrow becomes "mingr." A waiter is not a waiter but a "fuwuyuanr." Many people say that Beijing people speak Beijing dialect relatively quickly, often with some elisions. For example, "bor guan" is actually a museum; "te chi" is actually delicious, meaning very tasty; "tian qi bao" is actually weather forecast. Regarding stereotypes about Beijing, there is also the perception that Beijing has severe smog. This is partly true and partly false. Beijing used to be one of the most polluted cities, but the government has made a lot of efforts, and now the air quality has improved a lot. Some people also say that Beijing people are unwelcoming, but I think this stereotype is also not entirely accurate. In any place, there are both friendly and unfriendly people. Labeling all Beijing people as unwelcoming is not correct.
Next, let's talk about Shanghai. When it comes to Shanghai, people often think of wealth. The average salary of Shanghai people is indeed relatively high, but the cost of living in Shanghai is also high, meaning that buying things and eating out in Shanghai can be quite expensive. Some also say that Shanghai people are shrewd. Describing someone as shrewd means that this person is clever, won't let themselves be taken advantage of, and may be a bit selfish. In my opinion, being shrewd is not necessarily a bad thing. Regarding stereotypes about Shanghai, there is also the perception that Shanghai people are very eager to emulate foreign cultures. This perception is not entirely accurate either because Shanghai is a coastal city with many connections to foreign countries. Shanghai people are relatively open-minded, and this is normal.
There are many stereotypes about different places. For example, when people talk about Cantonese, they often say, "Cantonese people eat everything." For example, they eat snakes, rats, and so on. People have these stereotypes because a long time ago, Canton had limited food resources, especially meat, so people had to resort to eating wild animals. Nowadays, with convenient transportation, people can buy pork, beef, lamb, chicken, etc., and Cantonese people rarely eat wild animals.
Another example is Hunan. When people mention Hunan, they immediately think of spice. This is true; people from Hunan really love spicy food. In Hunan, a person can consume ten kilograms of chili peppers per year. If you love spicy food, you must visit Hunan to try Hunan cuisine. Another example is Chengdu. When people talk about Chengdu, they think of giant pandas. Chengdu has a giant panda base, and it's true that many tourists visit Chengdu every year to see the adorable giant pandas. Some also say that the pace of life in Chengdu is slow, often seeing people exercising in parks, drinking tea in teahouses, playing mahjong, and so on. This stereotype is partly true and partly false because these people with a slow-paced lifestyle are usually elderly, and the lives of young people are busy every day.
Alright, that's it for today's discussion of stereotypes from various regions in China. What stereotypes do people have in your country? Feel free to leave a comment and share with us!