We all want to learn frommasters,who are superior to ourselves, so we can learn efficiently their experience, approaches and expertise.For example we would like to learn swimming from Sun Yang, and learn tennis from Federer.But, have you everthought about learning from someone who is inferior to you, namely, who is not as good as you are. Think about my question for 5 seconds.


90% of the population can get no access to electricity.So some people say most Malawians have to sleep veryearly and sleep a lot, so they produce children much more than other countries and their population is increasing very fast.

I enjoy some Chinese people as I do friends from other countries, but some I would not get along with either。

The first distinction is dress code. The urban Malawians are usually well-groomed,namely, well-dressed. Most of them cannot afford branded, fashionable and expensive clothes, but they always dress themselves in proper and tidy way. Whenever I went to their government agencies, each male officer dressed themselves in suit and tie, some even put a handkerchief in the upper pocket, and each female put on whole set of working dress. You can easily tell most of the suits were not made from fine materials and the ties were cheap, but they always dressed themselves professionally. I attended several Malawian weddings, and everybody dressed very formally and beautifully, bowties, tuxedos, and ceremonial dresses.


The second difference is daily greetings. Malawi iscalled as the Warm Heart of Africa, and the people are always ready to greet others with“Mulibuwaji” throughout the day, which means in English:” How are you?” . They will greet you with smiles and white teethno matter whether you are a friend or a total stranger.


Malawi is far lagging behind China. As some Malawians told me,China is a new paradise, and Malawi is always a hell.

I am at present living in Auckland, New Zealand with my Chinese wife。

I work with the Ministry of Commerce, which is a central government organ. But in summermy Ministry colleagues simply put on short-sleeve shirts, T-shirts,andin winterI can see nothing but a sea of woolen sweaters. You know what? I am the only one who dressesin suit and tie every day in my ministry, maybe, since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. In terms of dress code, we are totally not as professionalas Malawians.


In contrast, now the urban Chinese put on pokerfaces toward strangers, and seldom greet each other, people would rather either keep strangers at arm’s length or remain vigilant towards them. For severaltimes when I step into the lift of the building where I live now, I, habitually,say ”Ni Hao” to the person who is already inside, he, esp. she, gets shocked and dumbfounded how to respond to my greetings. I think that is a crisis of mutual trust we are facing now.

My dad has a very negative view of China and Chinese。

Let’s make a comparison between two countries. As Chinese nationals, we all know China so well. China is a long-lasting civilization, and used to be leading in the world most of the recordable centuries. Thanks to the opening-up and reform policy launchedin late 1970’s,China has re-boosted her economy, and has become the second largest economy in the world. And we are also one of the leaders of technologies, we can shoot astronauts to outer space and dive submarine craft to 7000 meters below the sea surface.


Don’t look down upon the people, who, generally, you believe inferior to you.You have your edges, but at the same time you have your own weakness. Learning others’ merits and averting their mistakes, you will become stronger and more inclusive.

To my father, they are the people manufacturing cheap products found in many a 100-yen shop。

But you must have already adventured into many public toilets in China.The public toilets, except those in fancy places,are usually smelly and pungent, nose-irritating. And very often some facilities are neither regularly-maintained nor timely-repaired. Sometimes you have to tiptoe into the toilets, finding out that the door latches are broken, hooksfor bags are missing, there is no toilet paper, water taps are out of order,and hand dryers are not functioning.

As for me, having studied and worked in the US for 9 years, I was brought into contact with several people of Chinese ancestry from both mainland China and Chinese Americans。

Let me give you another specific example. I had a gardener, who took care of the trees, flowers, and grass in my office complex. I paid him 600 RMB Yuan a month, and that was nearly 3 times as much as the market price. You know what? He had to raise 4 kids.And he was the only one who brought back home bread and bacon.

As regards the Chinese people, there are more than 1.3 billions Chinese in mainland China and millions more in the US。

There are also some other distinctions.Malawi,in general, is far behind China.They should learn from China in many aspects. The Chinese are hard-working and intelligent.But, at the same time,there are still many things we can learn from them, including the distinctions I listed above.In terms of dress code, we are not professional enough, or even we don’t have proper consciousness of professionalism. In terms of greetings, it isstill difficult to get rid of our excessive negative attitude towards strangers and build the capacity to trust and to love. In terms of public toilet, we knowwe put in great efforts into building hardware but we care so little on software.


Let’s look at another country, Malawi, which I left one month ago, a country where I worked for more than two years. According to the World Bank, Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world,and their GDP per capita is less than 300 USD, around 1/30 of China, 1/400 of Luxembourg. It means one Chinese production equals that of 30 Malawians, and the production of one man from Luxembourg equals that of 400 Malawians.


The third but not the least distinction is publictoilets. Public toilets in urban Malawi are mostly simply-designed and roughly-built. Nevertheless, they are always clean, odorless, and well-maintained.I will invite you to have a tour of Malawian public toilets someday. 


However,some distinctions between China and Malawi make me think that there are a lot of things we can learn from Malawians.

来自英国人 @Michael Cole 的回答:

The experience of interacting with these people and of studying history created in my mind a balanced perception of China and the Chinese people。


My nationality is British, I have lived in many different countries from an early age (including China), am an architect, environmentalist and traditionalacupuncturist。



But just like other races, the Chinese people run the gamut from the most polite, well-mannered to the rudest。

They have taken the world by surprise by their resolve to become the emerging superpower and god willing soon they will become one。

来自巴基斯坦人 @Akbar Imran 的回答:



To me they are friendly people。



I know a lot of Chinese people who attend elite universities in the US and that is a reflection of their perseverance in learning which I find to be very admirable。



来自日本人 @Naoya Yamaguchi 的回答:

My observation is that on the average, Chinese Americans tend to be much more well-mannered than Chinese from mainland China。




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