The world we live in is made out of a vast differing quality of distinctive societies. One of the main contrasts within this diversity of cultures is the differences between the East and the West. Eastern and Western cultures differ with one another in a wide range of point of view. In this essay, I will discuss how the distinction between the two varies and how it influences the behaviors and practices of individuals.
First and foremost, I would like to point out that there are obvious evidences on how the East and the West cultures are not the same, based from what we can see and hear. Like for example, the languages spoken at each end of the world are totally different in characters, tone, articulations and pronunciations. What are visible to us from the outside such as clothing and behavior are all distinctions in which everyone can identify. Obviously, when we see farther than the picture, there are various societies and cultures comprising in both the East and the West which vary in different ways. Each culture has their own way of portraying something through communication, religion, customs, lifestyles, and so on.
Following the differences in expressing cultures, let’s let Asia represent the East. Asians focus much on respect and personal distance. They are known on always being very formal and polite even when talking to their own relatives. When having a conversation with somebody, you will realize that they only expose a bit of their expressions. They tend to avoid showing their emotions so that they won’t give any false assumptions to whom they are talking to. Regarding the personal distance, they avoid any contact with the other person and keep space. For example, in Asian cultures, people would bow or tilt their heads as a sign of “hello”, “thank you” or “good bye”, whereas in Western culture, a handshake or even a hug is considered to be normal.
Asian culture strongly values the hierarchy system in which they very much respect their superiors and anyone above them. Rank or status is evident especially in the business culture in Asian countries. The attitude of an employee to their employer shows much respect, loyalty and politeness. Same goes inside the family, the eldest son will not be permitted to talk to his parents or grandparents the same way he talks to his younger siblings. This social hierarchy is also apparent in Asian schools where people in younger year levels act very polite to their upperclassmen and of course same as well to their teachers.
Next, I would like to discuss the Western culture in contrast to the Eastern or Asian culture. The quality of life is strongly valued in Western culture where families should be prioritized before work. Western cultures such as the US are much more easygoing compared to Eastern cultures regarding human interactions. They are not as held and stand together when having conversations. In Western cultures, they consider life as a form of service, whether it is about business, family, belief, et cetera. In Eastern cultures, life is viewed as an endless journey. They tend to have a more spiritual approach to their goals where they encourage each individual to lead a virtuous life while striving towards their success, while the Western culture is more materialistic which refers to the actual elements that you have in your life such as money.
There are many aspects such as communication, religion, behavior, lifestyles and so on which can be contrasted with between the Eastern and the Western cultures. The major difference is derived from the different values, beliefs, and teachings in each of the cultures makes the two apart. It is an interesting fact that a completely different culture and people exist directly on the other side of the world. Each culture has its own unique, significant, and valuable elements which are important to acknowledge when understanding both cultures to avoid conflict.