Came across these cool infographic cultural comparisons from Chinese-born German designer Yang Liu. Depicted are some typical East versus West cultural differences, some possibly a little stereotypical, but nevertheless very true!

Here’s a small selection (pictures from the actual exhibition here):

Chinese vs German Culture
Weekend Street Scene

Chinese vs German Culture
Shower Time

Chinese vs German Culture
Queuing

In many ways German and Chinese culture are about as far apart as you could probably get and for me that’s a large part of the attraction of Asia from a Western perspective. It’s about as close as you can get to visiting an alien planet but sad to say that these differences are diminishing by the day. Pseudo-American culture is engulfing all corners of the globe via the upwardly mobile youth – ask any young person in Asia what their favourite TV show is and a large proportion will probably reply with an American drama or sitcom.

Funnily enough the respective governments have noticed this phenomenon and in some countries have gone out of their way to cleanse the TV networks of American exports but this has done little to diminish peoples appetites who have simply gone elsewhere to consume – via the internet and pirate DVD’s.

The homogenisation of the world through globalisation seems to be somewhat inevitable but I can’t help but wondering that when we look back in 50 years time at the desertified wastelands of the 21st century we’ll be known as both environmental and cultural vandals by our children…

Update (29 Sept 2009): I used some of these illustrations in a presentation about understanding cultural differences which you can find here.

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