Monday, September 30, 2013

Differences Between East and West

The differences between cultures go far beyond how one lives, eats or dresses. Most of the differences are rooted in a very different way of thinking.

I enjoyed this graphic depiction presented between "western" and "eastern" cultures, presented by a Chinese woman, Yang Lui, an artist and visual designer, who was born in China, but has lived in Germany.

As I looked at her comparison, presented in contrasting red and blue graphics, I couldn't help but smile - a knowing smile. Uganda is definitely an "eastern" culture. And I as a "westerner" struggle almost daily with interpreting and understanding what is said and done around me, as well as trying to figure out how to respond from my different cultural mindset.

As someone commented on Lui's work, the differences can be "amusing." :)


  1. That is very interesting! I've never thought of Uganda as an eastern culture, or compared it to China, but a lot of the things on her graphic lined up with details you have shared. I had to smile at ways of recording memories--perhaps Americans are more Chinese than German in that respect. ;-) I didn't understand the animal graphic. And I was especially surprised by the problem-solving, the party, and the restaurant noise level. Always love learning more about other cultures, so thanks for sharing!

  2. Mikaela, thanks for the comment! Some of the differences depicted didn't really occur to me until after I recently read "From Foreign to Familiar" a great book on the differences between "hot climate" (eastern) and "cold climate" (western) cultures. I didn't quite get the animal one either until I read someone's comment that said the "eastern" side showed the birds as food, while the "western" saw them as nice to look at. Fellow African missionaries have described how birds are rare in their area since they are frequently hunted, especially by young boys. I think I want to do a follow-up post and explain and expound on this some more. :)

  3. AND, what I was thinking of, is that East or West, North or South of Uganda is tremendously different. Haven't been around and about enough, but did run into some of the situations. I always have to just shake my head. It's about the size of Oregon or Nebraska. OREGON has PILES of people; Nebraska is "K'pla" in the East, but everything else is West and much less population. And not a big difference, except for Omaha's big mix of nations and focus on the Lord. AND since the Northern section came originally [hundreds of years ago] from the Ethiopian culture and the majority of the South CAME from the Southern language and background, they are much different.. At any rate, lots of differences can make a big need of knowing how to break into hearts, souls, and spirits. [OH, and Oregon ha a lot more people in the NW section than anywhere else, too. But, overall, OR has a lot more people than NE does. LOTS more.]

    And, as I often say, around and about, "God is BIGGER!" That's Who we can rely upon. Period.