Chinese family customs



POSTED BY rob_378 (7 yrs ago)

My wife who is HK Chinese is being unfairly treated by her family. I would appreciate some opinions and any suggestions.

She is the youngest daughter, however she is the one who has and still is providing for her family. For many years she was the one to provide a family allowance (not a small amount), even though she has an elder sister living at home. The elder sister always pretends to be poor, however her husband runs a succesful business o/s. Why she is still living at home with her parents is a mystery to all.

The worst part is that my wife is not appreciated, and the eldest daughter is always spoilt and loved more. My wife is a very loving and caring person, and even though she is hurt when she notices that she is being taken advantage of she feels guilty if she does not provide for her family.

I dont want to go into all the specifics here, but to give an example: if we go out to dinner with her sister and parents, we are always expected to pay and we are the ones who drive (pick them up/take them home etc). Yet, her sister always insists on choosing the restaurant and never feels that she should be the one to pay.. her excuse is "she is so poor".

Its a difficult position as i dont want to interfere in family matters, however i do want to put an end to my wife being used and not appreciated.

It is my understanding that in Chinese customs it is actually the eldest who should be the one to provide for the family?


Milty (7 yrs ago)
I have a local friend who is one of the youngest out of 9 kids. She provides for their family. I just wonder whether there's an underlying rule that the most "well off" child provides for the family?

If your wife has an issue with this, she should bring it up. Coming from a western family myself, this would never happen but I do believe that in the Chinese culture, things are done a little differently.

In the end, your wife will have to step up and speak up if she wants it to change.

She really should, or else her family will keep taking advantage of her. From the post, it seems the sister is an adult - why she would even want to live with her parents is beyond me! Again, maybe a cultural thing.

Milty (7 yrs ago)
Sorry, I did forget to add. Normally, I would say next time you go to a restaurant don't pick up the tab automatically. Just wait for it. This will, unfortunately, create an awkaward environment and your wife's family will seem to 'lose face' in public. blah blah blah (we all know that's what it's all about with the Chinese culture) but I do think this one should be left to your wife to discuss and sort out with her family first. If nothing changes, then you have every right to get involved directly.

Miss Havisham (7 yrs ago)
Life is unfair. I don’t think that there is anything that can be done to make your wife’s family situation ‘more fair’ towards your wife. The only thing that you can do is to try and alleviate the ‘hurt’.

My brother, being the eldest and the son of the family, is the favoured one – his was spoiled and selfish as a child. As with your sister-in-law, he has lived the whole of his life in his parents’ home, whereas I faced a different situation - after I gained my degree, I was sent to Hong Kong to find my own way in life. My brother, in having lived a sheltered life in his parents’ home, I feel that he does not really know about the realities of life – the burden of paying rent or paying off a mortgage for example. He has a well-paid job, but he says that he does not invest his money – his comfortable life gives him no impetus to do so. He made a trip to Hong Kong recently, shopping was his main agenda - he has disposable income and he always buys expensive electronic toys. Spoiled children grow up to be unbalanced adults, and I can see that in my brother.

Your sister-in-law in telling the lie that “she is so poor” shows that she is either oblivious to the transparency of her lie, or that she has the arrogance to use a lie to take advantage of other people. In either case, she shows that she is not in touch with reality – she cannot see or refuses to see that people can see through her lie. Living with her parents means that she does not really know how to be independent. Yes, your wife has been treated unfairly, but your wife can take consolation in the fact that she is the more independent person, and that she is the more balanced person, more in touch with reality. The result of being treated unfairly is that you can see imbalance in others, and although you may not be able to change other people, if you can overcome adversity, then you can mature into an emotionally stronger person. Her sister is still an emotionally immature person.

Your wife has been an obedient and dutiful daughter to her mother. She can take solace in the fact that she has done the right thing in providing financial support for her parents (according to Chinese custom). No one can fault her for that. If no appreciation is forthcoming, then she should try not to care so much about it. She does not have the ability to change her mother - she cannot make her mother love give her more love. Give financial support to the mother, but make it an emotionless transaction. Your wife should withdraw emotionally from both her mother and her sister, and in that way, she would not fell so hurt about the situation. Your wife should concentrate her emotional energies into building a life and family which is separate from her mother and her sister.

MJ1 (7 yrs ago)
Just got to accept the fact and turn a blind eye, the $ your wife is forking out is probably insignificant compared to the potential problems that could eventuate if she speaks out (she'll be treated like the red-headed step child) . It's part of life, nice people get screwed over.

tigerbay (7 yrs ago)
I have seen this before.

The only way to change the situation is to change the family dynamic. The usual Chinese way to do this is to have a baby. It sounds extreme I know, but every penny she gives to them after that, will be taking away from her baby.

Not only does this provide motivation, but also justification in the family.

To western mores this sounds chauvinistic, sexist and extreme. But the same 'theft' of resources was happening in my wife's family. Until a baby arrived, and it all stopped.

lagrue (7 yrs ago)
I agree with the posters that you won't change anything and stewing in your own juices just creates unhappiness for yourself. Personally I have noticed in many local families a huge sense of entitlement, so the money gifts ect received are not received with a grateful heart but as oar for the course. I agree with miss haversham.......give the $$$$$$ up, it won't be worth the trouble not to but make it an emotionless transaction and don't expect anything in return and try not to let the amount escalate ....even to be pegged to inflation!

Amparo Kia (7 yrs ago)
rob, all of the advise above are sound and good, don't look at it as your wife are being taken advantage of, look at it as she is the lucky one - being the provider and not the dependent one, that she is capable and from your post, i can see she is a good daughter, which is an important trait in a Chinese society, we respect people who take care of their elders.. as to the sister who still live with the parents, don't look at it as if she is sucking her parents, her parents are old and need somebody to take care of them in their daily life, she may not be able to provide financially (she is poor in her own word), what she lacks in financially, she contributes physically, and for her and probably for the parents, she is also a good daughter.

Somehow it is hard for Westerners to understand Chinese norms and culture which is understandable. Don’t look at it the western way, view the situation from a different angle.

I have been in kind of the same role as your wife now, I used to always try to provide for my parents, they live with my brother, and it makes me happy knowing I am able to help my family, after all, there will be no me if not for my parents. Now looking back, I have no regret and I am happy that I have done my duty and provided for my parents. The advantage of one sibling living with elderly parents are the rest do not have to worry about the parents living alone, that there is someone there to help them in their daily life.

lucas.ogara (7 yrs ago)
My wife is HK Chinese as well, she remits a portion of her own earnings to her family, and I have at times been dumbfounded and aggravated by their apparent ingratitude, so I can relate to what you're going through.

May I ask roughly how long you guys have been married? It's relevant.

Moving along:

> Its a difficult position as i dont want to interfere in family matters,

> however i do want to put an end to my wife being used and not appreciated.

Those two goals (stopping your wife being used without being appreciated and not interfering in family matters) are mutually contradictory and irreconcilable.

Relationships between Chinese parents and children are basically parasitical and are focused on transfers of money. The parents raise the children like ants practicing aphid husbandry. When an aphid is mature, the ants stroke it with their antennae and the aphids release their honeydew. Here, the adult kids set up an autopay arrangement to have money deducted from their bank accounts each month and transferred to their parents' accounts. Actually, all relationships here are dominated by money (e.g. the role played by red packets in most holidays), as you've probably noticed, but that's outside the scope of this thread.

If the amount that she remits to them decreased significantly or she cut them off entirely, to them, it would be the end of their world and they would likely lose their minds. Even getting your in-laws to show some gratitude towards your wife for the cash that she is funneling to them would require, probably, a massive fight with your wife personally doing battle with her parents and sister. They would strum every emotional string that they could, fling guilt at her like it was going out of style, and basically be horrible. They would also almost certainly blame you for putting ideas into her head.

I would say that your best bet is to ignore their attitudes and, as someone else has said, to convince your wife not to increase the remittance and to make sure that she discusses each request for munificence with you. Also, if you are on good terms with your family, you might spending more time with them and including your wife in those interactions.

Here's how things have played out over the nearly ten years of my marriage... Unbeknownst to me until later, there were intense negototiations between my wife and her parents before our marriage about the size of the remittance (it increased significantly) and she felt pressured to give assurances, which she gave, that it would continue forever.

After a while (a couple of years, IIRC), her parents began hinting (stuff like showing her their own household bills and complaining about prices of things increasing) that they would like a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to be made to my wife's remittance. My wife and I discussed this and decided to hold the line, so she ignored their hints. There was no fight. She just pretended not to notice, became less easy to contact during periods when they really pressed, and they eventually gave up.

When they saw that they weren't going to get a COLA out of her, they began trying to shunt any and all extra/luxe expenditures onto us. For example, at one point, they decided that they both wanted new phones, preferably iPhones. Another time, they hinted that they wanted us to replace one of their air conditioners. Another time it was a clothes washing machine. For a while, they wanted a maid. There have been so many of these episodes that I've lost track of the things that they've asked for.

We have bought them a television, given them our old (but shiny-new-looking) washing machine, and bought them things like MP3 players (for those, my father-in-law literally phoned my wife half a dozen times). That's on top of events like birthdays, where we're always the ones bringing the cake and nicest gifts, and holidays like Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc.

We have avoided taking on any new recurring expenses on their behalf. We didn't get them a maid (we don't have one ourselves), they now pay their own mobile phone bills, etc.

Gradually, my wife has come to question, more and more, the way that parent-child relationships function here. That's because she has noticed that my parents and family (they're not wealthy and we're doing considerably better than they are) solve their own problems and rarely ask anything of us at all, other than to spend time with them. When we do see them, there is very little talk of money and certainly no wheedling for handouts or expectations that we will take my family appliance shopping. Spending time with my family also doesn't always involve endless dining at mediocre restaurants, which is pretty much the standard HK family interaction. We do stuff together that, most of the time, doesn't involve eating or shopping.

Now that she has another model for comparison, she can see how strange many aspects of her own parent-child relationship are.

cookie09 (7 yrs ago)
some good advice there from lucas and others. my personal advice is that there are indeed probably only two ways to end this:

a) tell them that you want a baby but cannot afford it as you need to support their family. then have one and reduce the payments

b) move abroad

apart from that, i would consider it as a standard tax on your earnings and forget about it. at best try to be tricky yourself and occasionally forget the bring the wallet to the restaurant, etc.

bbrave (7 yrs ago)
Lucas what a great post! I can feel your pain.

Your advice to re-train and gradually diminish their expectations rather than enable greedy, ungrateful behavior is spot on.

I've seen this kind of family dynamic as well and think it is a “all the sacrifices I made for you as a parent” payment scheme via guilt and manipulation parading as 'Chinese family-centric value' where the responsibility seem to be only put on the females in the family while the males get off scotch free.

rob_378 (7 yrs ago)
Thank you to all for your replies. I wasnt expecting so many replies and with so much great advice.

Lucas, you really summed it up perfectly with your reply, especially your point about the ingratitude. For the record, we are relatively newly weds. For us the issue is not really the money. We would be more than happy to help them out financially if only it was somehow acknowledged and appreciated. But when my wife is made to feel like a mobile ATM machine, i too share your dumbfoundedness and aggravation!

I am not questioning or challenging thousands of years of Chinese culture, ie i accept that it is normal in Chinese culture to support the family, and i admire many Chinese customs. But going back to the point, the issue that is troubling is whether it is normal for such ungratefulness, and for the burden to be placed on only one of the children.

Perhaps i will have to follow the advice here and accpet that life is not fair and nice people get screwed over, detach emotionally, take it as a tax (pegged to inflation), have a baby, take the most positive aspects of our respective parent-child relationships, and admire my wife even more for the great person that she is!

A Mum (7 yrs ago)
Hi Rob

Sorry to hear about your frustration. If you are looking for acknowledgement and gratitude I don't think you will get it. If you push this issue with your wife or your in-laws, it will just upset them and your sis-in-law can turn your in-laws against your wife and you, which can be nasty and not what you want.

Maybe your in-laws like to have your sis-in-law live with them to keep them company .. it's not unusual for Chinese parents to want their children to live with them or very near them even though they are married and grown up. So instead of helping them financially, she's providing companionship to her parents eg. going with them to see the doctor, helping them shop for grocery etc.. ?

Even though your sis-in-law is married to a rich guy, it doesn't necessarily mean he's sharing his money with her to share with her family.

Sadly most disputes between family members are usually about money. Rise above it, be happy that your wife is in a position to be able to give back to her family. Instead of having the sis-in-law pick expensive places for a family meal, why not ask them over to your place for a home cooked meal?

I hope it all goes well ...

Justin Credible (Part Deux) (7 yrs ago)
If I was given a choice between financially supporting my folks or living with them in the same house, I have to say the former sounds like a lot more beneficial to my mental health! But thats just me.

lagrue (7 yrs ago)
Agree with Justin Credible. I'd prefer to pay than live with my in-laws from a mental health perspective. My observation, conversations with the older Chinese generation is fairly one sided, they talk, pick the topics, call the shots and you listen. There is not the normal to and fro rhythm of western conversations. Even if you have something to offer.

Guess it's thousands years of custom, not adapted to modern day life.........

Justin Credible (Part Deux) (7 yrs ago)
Wow, madtown, that is the best advice and clear cut chunk of reality I have read in a while! Good observations of HK life too. :)

The whole insane need to look good and wealthy has gotten many people I know into a lot of trouble.

lagrue (7 yrs ago)
Madtown, I'm not sure about your observations, it seems to me that it is the west that lives on credit more than the Chinese. Sure the Chinese seem to be more targeted in how they spend their wealth i.e. it is more visible but my understanding is that the levels of savings here is pretty phenomenal c.f Australia, where I'm from, and probably the ?US, so that is one thing I hope to teach my little ones whilst I am here.

tigerbay (7 yrs ago)
Whilst the older generation in China did save (average of over 30% of household income), generation Z is living on credit. Perhaps because they are so used to being given. However, it will soon be time to give back, and many won't.

The Children of the 80s will be China's next big challenge.

josephine2005 (7 yrs ago)
My mom quit her job to come help me when I needed her the most: new baby, three jobs to make ends meet, and more than one thesis to be finished at about the same time (for my Master's degree and my husband's PhD). She always put her children's need before her own and sacrificed a lot for me and my brother. Guess what, when I received my first paycheck, I sent the entire check to my mom. And as years go along and as my paycheck gets bigger, what I sent to her gets proportionally bigger. She did not ask for it, but that's what she deserves. Twenty some years later, when my daughter was about to choose to attend an average but affordable college vs an ivy league that's cost forbidden for us, my mom magically pulled out a large check for my daughter (which I later found out that she had been saving all the money that I sent to her). She insisted that my daughter attend the best school as she does not want her grand children to miss any opportunity.

With all due respect, I disagree with some of the posts saying Chinese culture seem to measure everything in Money and that Chinese parents treat their daughters as an ATM. Although there may be incidences of greedy parents who munch off their kids, the majority of normal Chinese parents that I know of are the ones who are quite the opposite. To me, this is exactly the side of Chinese culture that I value the most: unconditional love and gratitude, manifested by the unselfish sacrafice from my mom's part and my gratitude in the form of not only words/cards but also money. I'm also grateful for my brother for his years of living with my mom which gives me peace of mind that my dear mother is well taken care of and surrounded by her family.

I know the above does not necessarily provide advice to OP, but hopefully it explains some Chinese psyche when it comes to mother dauther monetary relationship that seems too alien for non-Chinese to decipher.

And to answer OP's question "It is my understanding that in Chinese customs it is actually the eldest who should be the one to provide for the family?", the answer is "Your understanding is wrong".

josephine2005 (7 yrs ago)
It is my understanding that it is inscripted in the Chinese Civil Law that grown up children bear legal responsibility to support their ailing parents in whatever form is needed, being financial support or providing care, if and it's a big IF that the parent has no ability to be self-sufficient.

Not supporting the ailing and financially unable parent is not only viewed as immoral, but one can be sued as well.

Laws may or may not have changed nowadays in China, but this is what I knew from many years ago.

lucas.ogara (7 yrs ago)
> With all due respect, I disagree with some of the posts saying Chinese culture seem

> to measure everything in Money and that Chinese parents treat their daughters as an

> ATM.

Josephine, with all due respect, if Chinese culture doesn't revolve around money, then why do red packets play such a huge part in the culture? Why are there such precise rules for whom is supposed to gift whom with cash (and how much one is supposed to give)? Why are there jewelry/gold/watch shops every five meters or so along every street in HK? Why do locals tend to constantly inquire about the price of everything (clothes, furniture, etc.)? Why is there such overt, shameless curiosity about people's salary, address, etc.? Why does nearly everyone remit money to their parents when this is not the norm elsewhere?

It's great that your mother helped your daughter out with her college expenses, but wouldn't you have been more easily able to meet that need if you hadn't been remitting money to your mother? Also, mightn't your mother be investing in your daughter in the hopes that your daughter will look kindly on her later in life?

I've been alive long enough to notice that most acts of generosity come with strings attached, more so here than elsewhere.

I don't know you or your mother or your family personally, so maybe you're a tribe of complete altruists who are just doing the same stuff that everyone else is doing but for completely selfless reasons. If so, I applaud you.

Amparo Kia (7 yrs ago)
jesus, reading all these posts, one can see the vast difference of mentality between the Chinese and the West, a westerner can't fully understand a Chinese culture no matter how long he lives in a Chinese city or thought they knew Chinese well. There is definitely no right or wrong, while one is telling the world how great they are, please do not trample others, we just have to respect other people's culture.

One can always choose to share his wealth with the people he loves, those who he considered has been good to him, that he is grateful and now it is his turn to look after them just as when they had looked after him or one can choose to ignore and hide his wealth secretly, even to his own wife (what a marriage!!) well, this is just one of the differences of how people manage their wealth, it has nothing to do with culture.. .

As to Chinese culture revolves around money, Lucas, I beg to disagree, I would say, nowadays, 85% of relationships revolves around money, be it in Asia or in the west or any part of the world, look at Tiger wood’s marriage and divorce, Anna Nicole Smith’s marriage and death and custody battle of her daughter… and etc and etc. Please do not finger Chinese as the ONLY money driven race in this planet. We all are…

Some people flaunting their wealth, I am not sure it is a cultural thing but rather an individual character, sometime ago there was a report on Rihanna and Jay-Z partying and spent US20,000 a night on wine only, yeah, is that so modest or are they not showing how rich and cool they are by being able to spend that kind of money. Are there really no humble people in Hong Kong? how about Mr. Li Ka Shing is wearing only an inexpensive Seiko watch…

Quote : “ The difference with Hong Kong locals is that most of them are new to any sort of wealth....where in the west, wealth has been around for a long time and people know how to handle it better (some people anyway). “. Uumm, simply comparing at the US government and Hong Kong/Chinese Government, who has to keep selling bonds and who is buying bonds, who has to keep printing money and who has a lot of money save up that it can afford to give away HKD6000 to all its permanent residents…using your opinion, aren’t the West supposed to have mastered the art of handling wealth better than Hong Kong because they have years ahead of us. The truth is - Quote by Jim Rogers : United States is now the largest debtor nation in the history of the world. Your statement is kind of arrogant and makes me wonder it must be really hard to live among us the lowly poor ones … poor you.

To the OP, I assume your wife has a job and earns her own money, in that case, isn’t she allow to decide how she wants to spend her money. If she is so hurt by her family, she can always choose to stop any ties with them, she is a grown up and she sure can make her own decision.

lucas.ogara (7 yrs ago)
Amparo Kia, in your last post you segued from a shaky critique of my post to some sort of meta indictment of the United States as a debtor nation.

Here's the deal: you're entitled to your own opinion but not to your own facts.

You can make a case that Western cultures are as money-obsessed as Chinese culture generally is when you can produce evidence of Westerners burning (or otherwise transmitting to the nether realm) gigantic wads of paper cash (to bribe the guards in Hell, naturally), paper houses, paper servants, etc.

As for the American govt being in debt and China/HK/Macau sitting on top of large financial reserves, a couple of points have occurred to me that you might like to consider.

(1.) Chinese people in general have more faith in the future stability and prosperity of the United States than they do of China. Why else would non-English-speaking pregnant ladies from China and the ROC be paying top dollar to human traffickers to help them secure American citizenship for their children by arranging to give birth in the USA?

(2.) The more educated a Mainland person is, the more likely they are to want to emigrate to the United States:

(3.) If cash handouts to the public are in some way a measure of how "good" a place is (the vibe that I'm getting from your post), then Alaska (a US state) is even better than HK and Macau put together! In 2010, for instance, the Alaska Permanent Fund paid each Alaskan a dividend of $USD 1281: Are you packing your bags for Alaska now?

(4.) Doesn't it strike you as curious that, in a thread where you refute the notion that Chinese culture is money-obsessed, you've brought up "hush money" payments made by HK and Macau governments to their residents? Those payments are being made to quell dissent and anger at political and social ills ... which wouldn't really work in your average Western country. It does work fairly well here, though, which goes to prove that much greater importance is attached to money here than elsewhere.

CaptDave (7 yrs ago)
I agree it's a new money / old money thing. Bling and measuring everything via money is a sign of newfound wealth. Plenty of both in the USA & China.

These people often seem crass, but this is what keep the economy going. The alternative, countries where there is no upward mobility, you get other, much worse problems. Look at most former Spanish colonies - stuck in economic malaise.

A lot of wealthy HK Chinese are not like that... but for the same reason, you NEVER see or hear about them, so one gets the impression all are like that.

Amparo Kia (7 yrs ago)
Lucas, please note my word: Please do not finger Chinese as the ONLY money driven race in this planet. We all are…

That is precisely my point, the word ONLY, so your point 3 stated that a US state is handling out cash as well to its residents, and your point 4 indicate that because in HK or Macau, government handling out cash is a proof that much greater importance is attached to money here than elsewhere. So why is the act of handling out cash in Alaska more noble than handling out cash in HK or in Macau?

What I am trying to say here is the money greed mentality is not ONLY a Chinese culture but a general phenomenon, as I have indicated, we all are...

Point 4 to answer why I raised the subject of government handling out money is simply to prove that who among us is overspending, mismanaging their wealth and who is saving up and now is able to help those who had overspent. As it should be the other way around since a poster has mentioned that wealth in west has been around a long time and their people knew how to handle their wealth better..

and No, i am not trying to say HK is a better city than any other cities, I am in no position to give such judgment, what I am trying to say is that HK people has its own good and humble people as well as showy and flaunting wealth people as much as any people on any part of the world. that it is not a culture thing, that it is just the character of that individual person. And again no, I am not going to pack my bags just because Alaska is a wealthy place. An ideal living environment for me is a good economy society, a safe place where crime rate is low and where i am close to my family. I can understand your love of your own but again it is not like the whole world has to kawtow to the American dream. Probably you have a bit of mixed up with people in HK and Mainland, yes, you are right, mainlanders will jump at any chance of migrating to any western countries (again it used to be) but I doubt the same can be said of in HK. Especially now that if you compare the economy of these two places.

CaptDave, that is a fair post. It is not appropriate to stereotype a race or culture just because some people don't really understand that culture, there are a lot of humble rich people in HK, a lot... and I am sure, as in New York, in Taipei, in anywhere in the world....

lucas.ogara (7 yrs ago)
One of these is not like the others:

The Alaskan handout is a dividend flowing from the harvesting of a natural resource (oil) and was not, AFAIK, begun to try to calm angry Alaskans down.

The Macau handout began as a way of trying to calm down angry Macanese people after a police officer discharged his weapon during a protest and killed someone.

The HK handout began when HKers' anger about the ever-widening gap between rich and poor threatened to cause political instability here -- shortly after someone stormed a stage and rushed Donald Tsang.

> Lucas, please note my word: Please do not finger Chinese as the ONLY money

> driven race in this planet. We all are…

I'm sure that somewhere, at some point in history, possibly even now, there was or is a culture more obsessed with money than is the case, generally, with contemporary Chinese culture. Ancient Egyptians, after all, built pyramids and filled them with treasure and servants and pets. We weren't comparing current China to any and all civilizations that may have arisen throughout the entire history of the Universe, though -- it was Chinese culture vs. Western culture. Chinese culture is definitely more money crazy than, taken as a whole, Western culture. Of that there is zero doubt.

Also, just to clarify, we're comparing cultures rather than races. The attitudes of second- and third-generation ethnic Chinese born in the United States, for example, bear little resemblance to those of Mainlanders and HKers, especially w/regards to money and wealth.

Amparo Kia (7 yrs ago)
Madtown, I have seen western women in HK who botox themselves twice or thrice a week, manicure and pedicure every week, spa in Bangkok over the weekend, facial massage of HKD1500 every week, wearing haute couture of value more than HKD20,000 for a night for the Christmas dinner when they accompany their husband to the company function, buying designer clothes and shoes and bags, diamond necklace, earrings.. .. there are a lot of other examples, how about Nancy Kissell (the wife who murdered her Merrill Lynch banker husband), she confessed that she spent 5,000 on a haircut. wine that costs HKD10,000 a bottle.. and etc and etc.

In summary not only some Chinese people flaunt their wealth, westerners do it too, only in a different way and in a different form.

Amparo Kia (7 yrs ago)
Lucas, see it is not the reason for the handout that matters, it is the fact that MONEY was use as the tool, when the Alaskan government realised that they have made extra money from the harvesting of a natural resource (oil), they hand out MONEY, not any other mean but money, and here you are insisting that western culture is not money driven, What can i say except you are entitle to your opinion.

May I ask why you are working in HK then, I assume your job here pays u more else you won't be here. The difference of pay is MONEY, so simply the act of deciding to work in a higher paying job is driven by money, isn't it? So what makes you conclude that in who is more money obsessed issue, you are more superior than a HK local.

Your quote : Chinese culture is definitely more money crazy than, taken as a whole, Western culture. Of that there is zero doubt." my, my .. look at all those wall street guys and tell me again who is more money crazy..

sicn (7 yrs ago)
The difference of the two culture regarding children and parents relationship can be found from the beginning. When a child is born, western parents consider it the gift (from God) given to them while Chinese parents think they have given the child gift of life. So it is understandable why more western parents can give their children more space and respect that children have the lives of their own and Chinese parents think they entitle the "give-back" from their children later on in life.

Amparo Kia (7 yrs ago)
Madtown, "" They wouldn't go to Thailand for a spa treatment, because no one would see that" then how come I knew it, it is because the wives of the expats in my company will boast to us that "'oh, i just came back from a spa weekend in Bangkok and u know it is so fun and etc etc... and keep the monologue going" the truth is, I found these women very boring and shallow.. so why does these women keep bragging about their luxurious lifestyle if they are not out to impress .

""Locals here seem to spend a disproportionate amount of money on things that try to show people they have money". yes, some people do flaunt their wealth, why did I have the feeling that you are using a double standard of thinking that westerners can flaunt their wealth because they are high earners than HK locals (which is not true)... and that HK locals can't earn enough money to indulge in any luxuries...there are a lot of ways one can make money in HK, reports have it that 75-80% of HK population invest in one or several kinds of investments.

Again, a loud and arrogant personality has nothing to do with you being a HK local or a westerner, it is an individual character issue..

Amparo Kia (7 yrs ago)
Lucas : " I'm sure that somewhere, at some point in history, possibly even now, there was or is a culture more obsessed with money than is the case, generally, with contemporary Chinese culture. Ancient Egyptians, after all, built pyramids and filled them with treasure and servants and pets"

Now we are on History, Ok we talk history, come tell me, how come the Elgin Marbles (which was taken by Britain from Greece between 1801 and 1812) ends up in the British Museum and not in its rightful place the Parthenon. How about all those Chinese artifacts that was stolen by British during the Second Opium War , which is now still on display in the British Museum despite numerous polite request from China that they should be return to its rightful owner. How about the Egyptian government finally fed up of being polite and decided to sue two museums in England and in Belgium for the return of the two pharaonic relief - or tomb carvings.

So, you tell me, who is money grabbing from whom.. who is the ultimate money crazy one.

lucas.ogara (7 yrs ago)
Amparo Kia, now you're dredging up two-hundred-year-old military conflicts in a thread about contemporary Chinese culture.

I'll play along with you this once, but this is my last reply to you in any post ever. Enjoy.

Why is is that so many Mainlanders and, unfortunately, more and more HKers (as Mainland brainwashing takes root), are constantly in a state of furor over things that the British and other Western great powers did in the early 19th century? You fret and gnash your teeth over artifacts taken by Westerners but not the enormously larger number of artifacts and sites defaced and completely destroyed by Chinese people themselves -- especially, for example, during the Cultural Revolution and the campaign against the "Four Olds". Doesn't that strike you as odd?

Many or all of the items that were plundered from China by Western powers or removed by the Nationalist government would have been destroyed or damaged if they had remained in China.

For that matter, why (in the psyches of fenqing types) do the military defeats inflicted on China by other nations dwarf the incredibly larger number of Chinese deaths caused by Chinese? It is especially ridiculous given that the latter are much more recent than the former.

Mao killed 78 million Chinese people, more than any other dictator in the history of the world:


As an American, for example, I can tell you that Americans aren't spasmodically clenching their fists in anger over the Burning of Washington (the US capital) by British forces in 1814 -- even though the buildings housing the US Congress were burned, as was the Library of Congress (including all of the books), a building housing a newspaper criticizing the commanding British general was torn down brick by brick, the White House was burned, etc. It was 200 years ago.

Amparo Kia (7 yrs ago)
“Amparo Kia, now you're dredging up two-hundred-year-old military conflicts in a thread about contemporary Chinese culture.”

Lucas, perhaps you need to refresh your memory (3 days ago), you are the one who brought up the subject of History. I am merely answering your reply . What? so you got to do all the talk, u can talk history while I am not allow?? God, you are full of contradiction (sigh!!)

your latest reply is "WOW", … Someone stole some antique goods from your home because your son is gonna break it anyway, not only that you should not complain; instead you should be grateful… gee, How’s that for “I am always right” .. anyway … forget about it.

Finally, we do agree on one thing – this conversation has to end.

tigerbay (7 yrs ago)

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