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Survey: Foreigners know too little about China

It turns out most of foreigners failed Chinese culture test

06·08·2015

Survey: Foreigners know too little about China

It turns out most of foreigners failed Chinese culture test

06·08·2015

With China being more and more popular for foreigners as a studying destination, and with courses such as Chinese language and Chinese culture, it is only natural to think that foreigners know a lot about China. They always talk about ways that China could improve to become a better place for foreigners. But it turns out that more than 70 percent of foreigners do not know much about Chinese culture, according to a survey, reports Global Times.

A survey conducted by Beijing Normal University (北京师范大学) showed that 74 percent of foreigners failed tests about Chinese culture. While they do recognize basic cultural icons like “green tea” and “pandas”, they fail to show any deeper knowledge on topics such as Chinese philosophy or arts. More than 2000 participants took part in the survey that concluded during the end of last year. Respondents were from six different countries: US, UK, France, South Korea, Japan, and Australia, from ages 18 to 65.

The respondents were asked what they know about Chinese culture in terms of Chinese historical icons, philosophies, arts, natural resources, lifestyle, and humanistic resources, and surprisingly the answers depended on where the participants were from. For example, the US showed that they are the most familiar with Chinese culture, followed by Japan and South Korea. Sadly Australians and French came in last. While South Koreans had a positive interest in Chinese culture, Japanese respondents showed more negative tones, perhaps due to political conflicts.

John Ross, a senior fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, explained that the Japanese and South Koreans are more familiar with Chinese culture because they share certain cultural traditions, while Americans study China because they think China will be the next great power.