Monday, 9 March 2009

Sounds like the West to me...

I have had the links to this story floating around in tabs for about the last three weeks, meaning to talk about it. What can I say? I am a terrible blogger.

China recently had it's university entrance exams and so there was a wave of education and job focused blogs tumbling into my Google reader, which I of course lapped up with eager Chinese-based-geekiness.

One particular story caught my eye, and was in fact repeated more than once. It caught my eye not because of the fact it was different or difficult for my western mind set to understand (part of the reason why China fascinates me, it's alien quality) but the fact that it was a scarily similar scenario that I read about regularly in the British media.

The article talks about graduates from Chinese universities setting their expectations of the work they are going to post-graduation too high, and that the Chinese youth of today are too 'choosey', specifically vis-a-vis salesman jobs.
The standard response from the Chinese jobs sector seems to be something along the lines of, "grow up, pull your sleeves up, get to grafting."
The problem is there don't seem to be enough 'top class' jobs to go around, and so some graduates seem to be scraping the barrell when it comes to employment.

Not enough jobs to go around, graduates setting their standards too high; sounds like the west to me.
I showed this to my friend Seamus at the time and he said to me, probably in jest, "Oh wow, China seems normal after all." (NB not a direct quote)

This is my point, China IS normal!

There are people there that go to university, struggle to find a job they think is worth their qualification and feel hard done by by their perspective employers and the government. We are all in the same boat, they just happen to be in a different time zone.

I am going to China for the first time on the 28th of this month (SO EXCITED!). I am very concious of the fact that I, as a westerner saturated by western media, will have some stereotypes and misconceptions. Some fair and some unfair.
I am very conciously going to try and go there with no pre-determined opinions about the country.

I will go there, I will see, I will form my opinions of the people and the culture from what I see.

If being on the internet has taught me anything it is that people are so much more than how the media covers them or their country's political ideology.

I hope this blog makes sense. It's kinda train-of-thoughty.

Red Nose Day on Friday!


Milly said...

I makes perfect sense, and that is why I hate stereotypes.

Nicholas said...

Stereotypes save us the trouble of getting to know people before we judge them, so yay for efficiency... *sarcasm off*
Honestly, people are people no matter where you go. They might seem different on the surface due to culture and education, but once you get to know them, you realize that the things that really matter and that really define a person are the same for everyone and different for everyone (and by being different for everyone, it's also the same with everyone).
Am I making any sense whatsoever?