Chinese keep an eye on everyone else.
In traditional Chinese culture, there was no such a word as “Privacy” before it was imported in China from western culture. Collectivism gives us a moral responsibility to keep an eye on others, to look out for the neighborhood, and to help them out when needed. So Chinese all naturally have a sense of sharing and caring, to make sure no one is left behind or forgotten. I remember when I was on my first day of internship, I sat in a corner of the whole finance office. Nobody could see me from unless they intentionally made a U turn and came to where I was positioned. But surprisingly, our head manager of this whole department came to my desk just before lunch break and int roduced me to a colleague, with whom I could have lunch with.
But a drawback in this genetic monitoring system is that Chinese sometime pay too much attention on others but less on themselves. If one has too much attention like this, s/he must be living in other’s expectations instead of his/her own. This explains why most of the teenagers want to go to colleague without having a slightest interest in their majors. And, of course, an extra amount of unwanted attention. Last week when I managed to make a progress at my last piece of WatchingTheChinese writing on my laptop during lunch break, two guys sitting by my side all put on their glasses and tried very hard to figure out what I was doing. And they didn’t even bother to keep it secret, because later on one of them just asked me in a very LOUD voice: “Can you tell me what is the writing about? I can’t quite see it from here.” If stare leav es a burning mark, the back of my sweater must be in ashes.
Hey, is that Chinese behind you peeking at this blog now?