Monday, November 17, 2008

Qing Ji: Different Attitudes to Using Pencils

In Different Attitudes to Using Pencils the writer, Qing Ji, explains different cultural ideas between Americans and the Chinese. Qing Ji is a foreign exchange student from China that comes over and attends an American High School in Indiana. Qing is amazed to find the difference in writing utensils. In China Qing was always forced to write in pen for all formal writings and was only ever allowed to use a pencil when filling out multiple question answer sheets. In America however, students were allowed to write with pretty much anything they wanted. Almost all students seemed to write in pencil. This was shocking to Qing Ji and took him much getting used to. Upon returning to China he seemed to realize the huge cultural differences between his own country and America. He seemed to keep the underlying question within the back of his mind as to what was a better country to live in. In America he could be surrounded by an unending amount of individualism or China’s emphasize on the importance of rules. Qing Ji seemed to come to the conclusion that China and America should not worry about each other’s weaknesses, yet should focus on each other’s strengths to rid their own countries of their own weaknesses.

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