I think it’s just non-communication

Not sure I agree with this NYTimes piece, The Cultural Truth at the Heart of the Lies in ‘The Farewell’ - The New York Times. I can’t claim to be an expert, I’m not sure I understand my own culture, let alone that of another country I’ve only experienced for a few years. But after living here, I do feel that ideas many in “the West” have about Asian collectivism and groups being valued over individuals, etcetera, are overblown. There’s definitely indirect communication but there’s also a lot of non-communication. Is it pursuing harmony or just avoiding discomfort? How much of it is power dynamics? Especially in a workplace, this non-communication, if it negatively impacts anyone, is usually most strongly felt by employees, not management.

I also wonder how much these instances of silence come from growing up in a place where extreme control is exerted on you from a young age. I feel like young people here often don’t really begin living for themselves or deciding things for themselves until they get to college, if then.

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