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Why do Americans put their parents in the nursing room after their parents retired? Why do Chinese parents come to the university dorm to visit their children every weekend? Why do Chinese and Americans treat their parents and children varied? Family values are the core of cultural values, and it has decisive influence on the behavior of the members in the family. The values of family members have direct effect on people’s behavior and thinking.
Because of the different histories and geographical environments, religions and beliefs, family value is the most prominent culture difference between Chinese and American.The values of the society rely on people’s family values in a large degree. Chinese would seem to have made families even more central in the society than Americans. Chinese make a substantial bequest to their families, while Americans pledge their wealth to charity.
Chinese ancestors prefer to save their heritage to their offspring. Since 2,000 years ago, on the emperor’s death, the title passed to his sons. Today, the Chinese parents passed on the family’s wealth to their children as well. In their minds, they are more than happy to help the next generation to get ahead in life.However, the Americans are more likely to donate their heritage to the whole society.
For example, Bill Gates, who founded Microsoft, announced that after his death that he would donate most of his property under the name of charity. He also asked hundreds of billionaire Americans to make a moral commitment to give away their wealth to charity. Family in China means not only mom, dad and kids. It also includes all manner of extended family: grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and in-laws. Most of the family members will live closed by.During Chinese festival, family members will gather together and do some activities. In Chinese university, it is very easy to see a group of relatives come to dorm and help their kids clean their room, do their laundry, cook their food.
It is barely to see parents in American dorms. It does not mean that American parents are irresponsible for their kids. They want their children to be independent. Americans over 18, who still live with their families, are considered losers. Also, family in American includes mother, father and the kids only.Family members are hardly seeing each other; some of them do not even know the name.
However, Chinese children are not as spoiled as people see; they are expected to assume a great attitude on education. Chinese kids need to spend time of studying the subjects they take in school. Chinese parents insist on nothing short of academic excellence in the hope of securing a good future for their children.
As a result, they find every way to help their kids to approach an academic success. Unlike American cultures that value youth, the Chinese revere their elders and respect them.Chinese families typically take care of their aging family members, rather than leaving them to fend for themselves or putting them into a nursing home. Chinese call anybody that older than them uncle or aunts. However, Americans call their names.
Chinese respect the knowledge of the elders that gained with age and experiences by putting uncle or aunt in front of the person’s name. For example, after married, Chinese need to call their parents in-law as mom and dad as well. Chinese treat the parents in-law same as their natural parents, while American call their parents in-law’s names.American emphasize on their individual value. Children can disagree even argue with their parents.
Chinese also respect their ancestor by creating an altar in the home with candles and a photo. The Chinese believe that the spirits of the past family members will continue to watch over the off spring and influence the lives of those they are left behind. The Ching Ming festival in spring and Chung Yeung festival on the ninth day of the ninth moon are occasions for visiting ancestral graves by putting favorite foods and money in the altar.
In an American home, only the photo of ancestor will be decorate in the living room.In the increasingly intensified globalization, the Chinese and American traditional family values have remarkable differences. The Chinese traditions are over thousands of years; and the value of family is outweighs the value of individuals. Parents endeavor to fulfill their responsibility; family members attach to mutual support; and children try to respect the elders.
While in America, young people are bound to leave their parents and establish their own homes; therefore, their filial responsibility is relatively weak. American parents respect children’s willingness, and children learn to strive for individualism and independence.