Siyu, born and raised in Beijing, China, have spent the last 10 years travelling, studying and working in various countries such as the US, UK, and France. She met a lot of people and commonly their impression about China would end up with words like “pollution,” “communist,” and “no Facebook.” Unfortunately, the contemporary, living and multifaceted Chinese life is rarely heard of.
So she started writing comics called “tiny eyes” a year ago to be able to share the Chinese culture through everyday life. Most of her comic strips are comparison between Chinese and western culture. And through this, we can see how different people react to the same situation and how every culture is interesting in its own way.
Chinese people love their food, they spend lots of time savouring and enjoying their meals. Food is not just “fuel” for the body, but a pleasure, an art, and a way of socialising. If you want to make friends, go eat. If you want to close a business deal, go eat. If you want to pursue a romantic relationship, go eat. Since ancient times, food has been considered priority in Chinese culture. The government’s goal was to make sure that each person is taken care of and "has enough to eat”. From another angle, it also suggests the realistic character of Chinese: food goes before ideas, and this life is more important than after life. (Bravo you've read all this!) #food #culture #chineseculture #eat #work #priorities #relationship #民以食为天 #sliceoflife #comics #webcomic #tinyeyescomics
What really matters is not the format, but the content. In France, reading is a habit. There are bookshops everywhere, people take books with them on vacations and give each other as gifts. There’s a great variety of popular books: fiction, science-fiction, history, art, philosophy, comics… In China, what people read mostly are news, practical books related to their professions, or “How to become the next Steve Jobs”. Of course there are also people who read extensively, but in general, reading hasn’t become a habit. (little sad face) #reading #habit #paris #beijing #france #china #books #popular #bookstore #culture #sliceoflife #comics #webcomic #tinyeyescomics
Chinese rely heavily on their network in the society(what we call "关系"). The first thing you do in a foreign place is to connect with your people so that you could “take care” of each other and get necessary help. Of course it also makes you feel more comfortable. On the other hand, the general lack of adventurous spirit (lack of individualism) results in an attitude that’s more reserved in a foreign environment. While some Chinese may not be comfortable enough to “mingle”, most of them are generally kind and tolerate towards foreign cultures 🙂 #chinese #culture #society #relationship #foreign #attitude #sliceoflife #webcomic #comics #tinyeyescomics
"Beijing Bikini" is a term used by non-Chinese to describe grownup man who roll up their shirt and reveal their bellies in summer. (warning: what you see is usually bulging tummies instead of six-pack. ) Even though it's frowned upon by many people, these men are not ashamed of it at all. For them, it's just a practical way to get cooler when you don't have air conditioning, so what's the big deal? #beijing #bikini #beijingbikini #chineselife #beijinger #summer #airconditioning #habit #fashion #trends #comics #webcomic #sliceoflife #tinyeyescomics
Chinese tend to wait for their turn to speak, although in a foreign culture, that turn may never come because it requires taking initiatives. From an early age, we are told to be humble, to think about others first(our position in a relationship) and hide our own opinions. (It doesn’t mean that we don’t have opinions.) That’s one of the reasons we appear to be timid in a group discussion, and are generally not good at public speaking or debate. However, this situation has also changed gradually as society put less constrains on young generations and more chance for them to communicate with the world. #chinese #culture #opinions #publicspace #sliceoflife #comics #webcomic #tinyeyescomics
If there’s a great opportunity to study abroad, but it takes 5 years to get there, and you may get lost on the way, or even die, do you still want to go? I don’t know, but I admire our ancestors who are curious and courageous enough to learn from foreign lands beyond their imagination. Now, we could travel to a different country within hours, talk with friends in a foreign language, and fall in love with a person on the opposite side of the world. It’s the best time to learn, to express, to connect with other human beings, and to expand the width of our lives. #explore #world #travel #connection #culture #history #modernlife #webcomic #comics #sliceoflife #tinyeyescomics
In Chinese schools, smoking is strictly prohibited and any student who smoke is considered “bad”. It’s not just in the sense of “bad for health”, but also considered a symbol for moral degradation. In France, I notice that there are lots of teenagers who smoke, and it’s actually considered “cool” among their friends. There’s even peer pressure to learn how to smoke. Smoking is also a normal way of socializing so there isn’t any negative moral aspect associated with it. #smoking #judgements #culture #chineseculture #frenchculture #society #sliceoflife #comics #webcomic #tinyeyescomics
In China, it’s not rare to see young people choosing to live with their parents after getting out of college. For one thing, it’s more economical than renting a house on your own. And for another, Chinese are very family oriented, so getting support from your parents it’s expected in the social norm. In the the United States, however, people value independence so much that it’s embarrassing to have things given to you while you have the ability to live on your own. #chinese #culture #family #parents #independent #value #society #collegelife #sliceoflife #webtoon #webcomic #comics #tinyeyescomics
Beauty = Thin. “Gaining weight” brings absolute horror for many Chinese girls, even though most of them are already considered thin in other cultures. I’ve seen girls who eat only one apple a day and who drink special tea (which makes you go to toilet 20 times a day) in order to lose weight in a very short time. Movie stars and super models are pushing this aesthetic to its extreme through mass media. When will we be able to simple enjoy being who we are? #aesthetic #culture #chinese #fitness #gainingweight #looseweight #diet #beauty #comics #webtoon #webcomic #tinyeyescomics
The first time I saw a French garden I was really amazed by how everything is so “perfect”. Shrubs are neatly cut into geometric shapes and the layout is architectural. It’s an eloquent speech of human intelligence. Chinese garden, on the other hand, is more like a poem, which is intuitive and free for interpretation. The principle is to follow nature’s rhythm while adding human interest and charm. The best result is to make people feel as if the garden is “made by nature”. #chinese #garden #frenchgarden #human #nature #culturaldifferences #eastmeetswest #hairstyles #sliceoflife #webtoon #comics #webcomic #tinyeyescomics
I’ve experienced student dormitories in three countries: In the U.K. I have my own private room with shared public space; In the U.S. I shared my dorm room with one roommate; In China, I used to live with 5 girls in the same room. This lack of privacy must be shocking for some of you, but in a country with 1.3 billion population, space is always a problem. While there are many inconvenience not having enough private space, on the bright side, sharing a room with someone also makes you learn quite a deal about communication, responsibilities and tolerance. #studentlife #usa #uk #chinese #dormroom #space #privacy #sliceoflife #comics #webtoon #webcomic #tinyeyescomics
There’s a Chinese saying “三思而后行”, which means to think twice before taking actions. In history, Chinese value highly reflection and past experience, but acting cautiously and staying wise didn’t save the people from the arrival of the early western explorers who sailed into the unknown and took chances at the risk of their lives. China was forced to take actions in its modern history, often times too fast in exchange for development. While too much reflection on the past slows down the process of change and innovation, too much action without thinking results in waste of resources and irreversible consequences. It’s time for thinkers and doers to meet and learn from each other in this increasingly connected world. It’s happening. #thinking #doing #thinktwice #justdoit #past #future #chinese #western #culture #history #eastmeetwest #webtoon #webcomic #comics #tinyeyescomics
Problem of long tables : if you sit at the end of the table, you are going to miss all the conversation at the other end. In China when there’s lots of people eating together, we usually have a round table with all the dishes in the middle. The round table encourage the share of food as well as the share of conversation. #eating #habit #longtable #roundtable #sharefood #chineseculture #dinner #christmas #getogether #webtoon #webcomic #comics #tinyeyescomics