Do you think Chinese people are friendly enough?
Pete Marchetto, Writing about China from first-hand experience and study
Speaking as a white man, absolutely - perhaps a little too much so.
China is unused to seeing foreigners across the vast majority of the country, and I think it will be far more healthy when they become more commonplace. For the moment, we attract a great deal of attention and, sometimes, it can be a little difficult walking down the street and feeling so prominent.
Responses are a mixed bag. The vast majority are friendly and positive, but so much so that a few can be quite racist, (probably resentful for the positive attention we attract), and I've had a few instances where I felt threatened precisely because I am white.
Sometimes I feel it would be nice not to be so 'different'. Stall holders tend to push up prices on me given all foreigners are rich, (I most assuredly am not as a freelancer), but that seems to ease off when people get used to seeing you around. It's difficult to walk down the street without hearing people whispering loudly 'Waiguoren!' or 'Laowai!' ('Foreigner!') or even 'Meiguoren!' a lot of the time, (a bit galling given I'm not 'American!') When small children say 'Hello!' it can be delightful. Say 'Hello' back, and they're very excited and pleased you've done so. On the other hand, some young adult guys in particular have a habit of yelling 'Hello!' over and over again in the voice usually used to try and encourage a parrot to speak, especially if they're with their friends and showing off. The best way I've found to discourage that is to smile, walk up to them, sit down if there's a seat available, and say 'Hello. Nice to meet you. What shall we talk about then?' while looking very pointedly at the person yelling it. He'll start blushing and muttering 'Ting bu dong', ('I don't understand'), while his friends laugh at his discomfort, and then I can leave reasonably assured he won't be doing that again.
There's so much I could write about this, all anecdotal, but in summary. For me, specifically as a white guy, yes. Very friendly. However, it's a mild version of the kind of friendliness people might give to someone famous - a little nervous, a little impersonal, and it can have negative repercussions. The Chinese, in the end, are much the same as anyone else. Imagine yourself, if you are not Chinese and live in a multicultural country, seeing someone you've seen on various TV shows from time to time though you don't remember his name and aren't even too sure what TV shows you've seen him in, walking down your street. The various responses that person would get are similar to the responses I get here.
Alice Gatto, Trying to learn more about China because I live here
Yes, my students in particular are polite and charming, or certainly the vast majority are. As an anti social big city London type, I don't expect strangers to be friendly. I'm naturally quite reserved and find lots of attention uncomfortable. Interestingly, I have the same experience here as in America. People just don't understand when I talk in my low quiet voice, so I have to speak louder! Then they seem to understand even my crappy tones.
I have a couple of friends who just speak English even when people don't understand, I find it very uncomfortable, I wonder if some Chinese posters can tell me whether you care about that?
I think you should try to learn the language of the country you're living in, even if it's very difficult. My Chinese friends have been super helpful, they are always correcting my posts on WeChat, I appreciate it a lot.
Another thing that amuses me is that people that come from regions with spicy cuisine are often amazed that I can take hot food. I find the fact most people are as obsessed about food as me very refreshing.
I like it here in Shanghai, considering how many people there are here there ought to be more annoying ones, going by the law of averages. But that still doesn't prevent the odd day on which I want to don massive sunglasses and a pollution mask to hide my alien face ha ha. (I have dark hair and am not particularly large, so I get asked for directions in Chinese from behind sometimes, it's quite funny).
Abhishek Pajnoo, Been using it long enough in real world to teach others
Well yes they are friendly especially people living in Tier 1,2 cities , who have seen cities being developed and frequented by foreigners. Some Chinese NOT all are super friendly to white ( god knows why ), but most of them are friendly to any person who is good with them , anyone who respect they culture , anyone who doesn’t brag about how good western countries are & lastly anyone who didn’t belittle their country .
2) i have made some great Chinese friends who made me do gambe , thanks to them now I can gulp a bottle of alcohol without getting sloshed on street .
Chinese are good people , if you’re good with them . Chinese ain’t no alien , they are also human , the way you want respect and to be loved , they want the same . Media sucks for showing them in bad light as a matter of fact they are the finest and pure friend you can ever make .
Édit : Chinese living in rural areas might not be that friendly because they haven’t seen much foreigners, only time they have seen foreigners are during their visit to Tier 1 cities . China has mass influx of Chinese from other regions , if you ever had bad experience you can assume that person if from rural areas or close minded , mostly Chinese are open minded with foreigners
Richard Bourne, I lived and worked in China for over 4 years for a variety of multinationals and local companies. I speak flu…
I think this question is really vague. There are 1.3 billion Chinese people in the PRC and more outside China who are ethnically or culturally Chinese. So varied and numerous it is difficult to generalize on anything, particularly something as broad and open to interpretation as 'friendly'.
Having lived in China, there are certainly a lot of people who are openly very hospitable, going out of their way to say hello. It only goes so deep though, I made a lot of friends in my time in China but a lot of people were very cold after that initial amazement at a white guy who can speak Mandarin.
Having spent a lot of time in the US at universities and in the professional world I have found that Chinese students and 1st generation immigrants keep to themselves a lot, not making friendships outside their circle.