Leather-Clad Germans and Confucius
Quick: name something that unites the German and the Chinese people. Nicole Nierrad-Schalke, writing in the Shanghai Daily, has one unconventional idea: stereotypes. Comparing how Germans are perceived around the world to how they're perceived in China, she decides the two cultures may share certain values:
Four main images of the German character exist all over the world: the militarist, the (Bavarian) beer drinker in leather trousers, the accurate engineer and the corpulent, wealthy German.
These stereotypes can be found in China too. But Chinese people tend to regard Germans more as a role model of efficiency, effort, self-confidence, seriousness, sense of duty, and politeness.
One reason, she hypothesizes, could be "that these special German characteristics are very similar to Confucian virtues and are important for Chinese society even today." Convinced?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.