Stanford & Chinese University of Hong Kong Video Conference: The Cross-Cultural Emotion of Ads

We are very excited today for our first connection with the Chinese University of Hong Kong.  Today Stanford’s Sophomore College Psych 12C class (The Cultural Shaping of Emotion) is connecting with students from Chinese University for a discussion of how emotion operates in advertising.

Participants, we hope you all enjoyed meeting each other during our workshop today!

Please respond to the following questions about today’s exchange:

  • What have you learned so far about the relationship between culture and emotion?
  • What kinds of preconceived notions or expectations did you have about Hong Kong Chinese or American culture going into the exchange today? Were those expectations confirmed or contradicted?
  • What preconceived notions or expectations do you think the students in the other culture probably had about you or your own culture before the exchange? Discuss common misconceptions about your culture.
  • Feel free to bring up any other questions or comments that came up during the exchange.

Please sign your name, school, and team name (e.g., “Team A”) at the end of your post.

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99 Responses to Stanford & Chinese University of Hong Kong Video Conference: The Cross-Cultural Emotion of Ads

  1. Yeung On KI says:

    I got some ideas about the relationship between culture and emotion after the exchange. But first of all, I’d like to define what culture & emotion are via my pervious knowledge. I think that culture is something like criteria for our thoughts, values, beliefs and we’ll use them to evaluate things and conduct the appropriate behaviors when interacting with others. Emotion, I guess it is a feeling which links motivations to thought and action. To some extent, culture directs our emotion. For instance, in Chinese culture filial piety is significant and people need to be warm, caring to their parents. That’s why in one of the HK ads in today’s exchange section showing a man hugged an old lady giving Hong Kongers a strong feeling of warmth & love. Conveying a message that it’s the time to showing your love to your parents & celebrating Mid-autumn festival. After receiving that message, we’ll probably urge ourselves to buy the moon-cake for our parents in celebrating the festival. In this case, I grasp the concept of behaviors are sometimes affected by our emotions which is directed by our cultures. That’s why our behaviors are usually culturally appropriated. Besides, I discovered that people from different cultures can translate emotion differently. Like the ads of learning center (US), the Sanford parties think that the family picture is giving them successful emotion whereas for me I just interpret it is a emotion of love.
    Previously, I thought that American culture is more open and wild & it is not restricted by any frames. Therefore, I expected that the ads in US would be in an unrestrained and vigorous style differing than that of the HK’s. Like, it should use something unrelated to the context of the product in the ads to create more humor and fun. Unexpectedly, among the three Ads (US) showed, they looks normal and not that wild & unimaginable. For example, the beer ads conveying message of authority, sex & wealth. Some of the wine ads in HK will also use the similar figures in promoting their products.
    I’m not quite sure whether my observation is correct or not. I found that some concepts of US people toward Chinese culture are a little bit negative such as old fashioned and it showed in their comments of moon-cake ads. Sometimes it’s true to find most of the Chinese values or beliefs stick to the old ways without any changes via many years. But once you understand the rationales behind you’ll discover that they are not conservatives, in fact, they are full of “human touch” or friendliness. Because Chinese people are collectivism, we interact with others much more than that of the individualistic US people. Therefore, we care people’s feeling & thoughts and don’t want to have any changes coz we afraid of taking any risks which may hurt others.
    I have a Qs finally, it’s “To what extent are the influences of emotions and culture on our actions, beliefs, and thinking exerted through mechanisms of which we are, or can become, aware?”

    Name: Yeung On Ki
    SID: 1008620751
    Team: C

  2. Chuan Yu says:

    I find myself in a rather interesting position with respect to the exchange in particular, and more broadly, in this “Cultural Shaping of Emotion” seminar as well. Being an international student from Singapore studying in the US, I don’t really identify with the American culture, and have a relatively limited understanding of it. Hence, I find myself slightly at a loss when asked to discuss “our” culture (“American culture”), for I don’t really feel qualified to comment on the culture as an outsider. Having to participate in this exchange gave me a flavour of the feeling of being “between cultures” that Ahn described in class – I felt that even though I was an outsider in the Stanford group because I wasn’t really part of the American culture, the CUHK students would still automatically group me together with everyone else in the Stanford group as “Americans”.

    Based on my experience in Singapore, which as an “Asian culture” should be closer to “Hong Kong Chinese culture” than “American culture”, my observation that the CUHK students seemed slightly hesistant to participate compared to the Stanford students was not too surprising to me. Of course, as other students have pointed out, this could be due to a difference in the class sizes, among other things. Interestingly, I felt that the CUHK students were more spontaneous in their participation that I expected – I had expected that the instructors would have needed to call on students to voice their opinions, and while this was true initially, student participation seemed to become more voluntary as the class progressed.

    In a similar vein to Yeung On’s comment, I thought that Chinese culture was more conservative, and hence expected the students to react negatively to the more “open and wild” Dior advertisement featuring the woman who was baring quite a bit of skin in perhaps a provocative manner. Instead, (some of) the CUHK students seemed fine with that, and there were some comments on how they were used to these kinds of displays with Western models. Even more interestingly, Professor Tsai’s follow-up question revealed that while the CUHK students were fine with Western models in provocative advertisements, a similar advertisement featuring a Chinese model would be received more negatively, with one student commenting that her reaction would be on the lines of “who do you think you are? French?”. This seemed to suggest that the students held Chinese and Western advertisements to different standards, and perhaps that they understood (to some extent) the different cultural values underlying the advertisements from each of the cultures. One question that this raises is whether this understanding of Western advertisements translates to greater receptivity to these advertisements compared to say Chinese students who are less familiar with such advertisements.

    Another comment that struck me was one CUHK student’s comment that he felt that the smile of the Subway guy seemed fake, while the smiles of the mother and son in the mooncake advertisement seemed genuine. I’m not sure what the other Stanford students thought of both smiles, but I personally also found the smiles in the mooncake ad the most emotionally compelling and heartwarming, compared to the smiles featured in the Subway ad or the American tuition ad. I thought that this observation tied in nicely with Professor Tsai’s research suggesting that East Asians are socialised into seeing demure smiles as happier, whereas European Americans find wide smiles happier, demonstrating the effect that culture has on our interpretation of others’ emotions.

    To end off with a question – I noticed that both the Stanford and the CUHK students picked up some elements of the advertisements in common, such as power, sex, and authority. However, given the research suggesting that East Asians and European Americans have different associations with power (for instance, responsibility and restraint in the exercise of power vs control and active displays of power), I’m wondering if the concepts referred to might be different despite both groups using the same word.

  3. Halle says:

    So far, I have learned that the relationship between emotion and culture is complicated. To begin to understand this relationship, we learned to understand culture as a series of patterns that change over time. These patterns can be affected by individual members of the culture. Given this, we see how people can affect a culture. Since culture is more malleable that previously assumed by some anthropologists and psychologists, it is easy to see how culture can affect how people perceive and feel emotion, and how different cultural values affect how people value different emotional states.
    Before going into the exchange, I expected American culture to be represented as valuing individuality and notions of self-improvement, while I expected Hong Kong culture to value family and interdependence. Those expectations were largely confirmed through our discussion and the ads each class chose. The American ads, especially the Subway and Dos Equis ads, focused on individuals who were notable for their achievements (like Jared the Subway guy) or their personality (the “Most Interesting Man in the World”). In contrast, the ads from Hong Kong had strong roots in Chinese culture and history, from the autumn festival in the bakery ad to Confucius in the alcohol ad. However, there were some complicating factors. One American ad for Sylvan Learning Center featured a smiling family, and the ad’s tagline “Less Stress More Success” seemed to be aimed at families hoping to reduce stress caused by an underperforming child. Interestingly, the Hong Kong Learning ad featured a group of students who had been tutored by one Mr. Lui, an enthusiastic figure who promised success. These two ads seemed to defy the norm: the American ad focused on family while the Chinese ad focused on individual success.
    I expect the Hong Kong students had many preconceived notions about American culture, a love for independence prominent among them. Judging from some of their responses, they were familiar with America’s obesity problem yet were skeptical with ways we cope with it (like low-fat Subway sandwiches). They might have overestimated our reliance on celebrity figures, especially considering some of their ads featured famous figures. Or perhaps both our cultures value authority figures – from celebrities to philosophers – somewhat equally. I think it’s possible other cultures underestimate how much many Americans value family and their personal social networks, rather than individuality and success. Since America’s outward image is independence and power, the reality of many close-knit families and neighborhoods does not seem to translate as frequently.
    To end with a question – many of the Hong Kong students expressed approval for the Dior ad, despite its somewhat graphic nature, since they recognized the company and knew that it had a consistent international marketing campaign. I wonder which types of companies get this treatment in Hong Kong, considering another globalized company, Subway, got a less positive reception.

  4. Jane says:

    Throughout the exchange I found myself trying to find a way to define culture and emotion so that I could begin to conceptualize the relationship between the two. While the differences in the CUHK and Stanford students’ analyses of the advertisements seemed to be attributable in large part to the differences between individualist and collectivist cultures, I noticed other types of cultural distinctions present as well such as place, gender, and language. In terms of emotion, there seems to be significant cultural influences on which types of emotions are desirable (and thus should be targeted by advertisements), how emotions feel and how they are expressed.

    My preconceived notions that Hong Kong Chinese cultural values would lead to advertisements stressing familial loyalty and tradition were for the most part confirmed by the mooncake and liquor advertisements. However in the tutoring ad the confident group of young men and women taking responsibility for their “More than A” education seemed closer to the individualist values I had associated with “American” culture. The American advertisement for tutoring featuring a close knit family was closer to what I had expected to see presented as an example of Hong Kong Chinese culture.

    As a general comment, I was struck when looking at the “information rich” ads from Hong Kong, by the importance of understanding the language used in the ad in appreciating its context. Without a solid understanding of background (which likely cannot be fully captured by a translation), preferences for certain ads depended on analyzing their aesthetic qualities rather than the deeper content. This perhaps explains the Stanford students’ comments about the ads being too somber in color. Thus at first I wondered whether the differences in preferences for the ads might be attributable to the Stanford students not knowing the language used in the Hong Kong Chinese ads. However even smiling, while it has been called a universal language, seemed to be viewed in different ways depending on the cultural context as Chuan Yu insightfully noted above.

    Again to conclude with a question… The themes present in both the Hong Kong Chinese ads and the American ads – authority, sex, beauty, family, personal narrative, success, celebrities etc. – all have a clear emotional components. Considering the empirical data on ideal versus actual affect, I’m curious whether the feelings that the viewers of the advertisements are ideally meant to feel in response to these themes are the same as those that the viewers actually feel. Is the degree of the difference between ideal and actual affect when viewing advertisements culturally influenced?

    Jane
    Stanford University
    Team B

  5. Eden Mesfin says:

    First off, I would like to mention this exchange was a wonderful idea and appreciate those who helped set this up. We have been discussing the relationship between culture and emotion. Emotion and reactions to events vary greatly in people from the same culture to avoid homogeneity. This is important to consider because otherwise the same reaction is expected of all who come from similar cultural backgrounds. I was happy to see the vast amount of responses from the students from the Chinese University of Hong Kong to the ads. Although there were similarities in their cultural background, each person from the University had their own individual reaction to the ads.
    The very last comment made by a Chinese student on the Sylvan tutoring ad intriguing. She said less stress was not sold in Hong Kong. Although Chinese students are very stressed, a service to lessen stress would most likely not receive business, regardless of the ad’s promises. Many American parents encourage a small amount of stress in life, whereas in other cultures stress indicates how successful you are. It seems as if stress was more of an individual problem to Chinese students whereas in the U.S., as the ad shows, stress in school can easily become an issue that affects the whole family.
    I expected the Hong Kong students to be much more conservative in their opinions on the ads. The conservative mindset was reaffirmed by some ads, for example in the ad for Mooncake where the movie star was hugging his mother. The alcohol ad was somewhat old-fashioned ad with its Confucian significance and a deeper meaning behind the message. It surprised me that many people liked the Dior ad and approved of it. One girl actually said it was geared for the younger generation. I found very interesting that a younger crowd approved of the risqué message in the ad. I also expected the Chinese ads to provide a lot of information and meaning, and although I don’t understand Chinese, I know the text provided an explanation with the message of each ad.
    Our ads were not as impressive to the students as they probably would have liked. For example, what I found in the Dos Equis ad that was hilarious and witty didn’t come across the same way to others. I think the fact we were such a diverse group from such different ethnic backgrounds really brought many perspectives to the conversation. We Stanford students were very loud and forward and did not allow for silence on our end. I was excited to see how eager everyone was to participate in the phone call and look forward to the next one we have!

    Best,

    Eden Mesfin
    Stanford University
    Team A

  6. Amanda Rost says:

    One of the most striking things I have come to realize about the relationship between culture and emotion is that individual emotion is to a very small extent dictated by culture. Furthermore, I think the individual chooses how much their emotional experience in life is dictated by their culture and how much they expose themselves to differing philosophies and ways of life.

    Prior to this experience, I had a more static concept of culture that has been criticized by many anthropologists and psychologists, and I almost unconsciously assumed that there was a strong correlation between one’s culture and one’s emotional experience in any given situation. However, what I gather from this exchange is that the students at CUHK and Stanford have a lot more in common than we may have thought. I agree with Chuan Yu that once the CUHK students “warmed up” to the activity, they were just as active participating. I also think the group mentality of 50 students is inherently different than that of 12 students, and that our group at Stanford felt more pressure to give individual contribution as a result.

    The blog posts above highlight the caveat in assuming members of a culture automatically embody the general patterns of that culture as a whole. Just as Yeung On felt that we may have negatively perceived Chinese culture as “too traditional,” I would also say that Chinese individuals do not necessarily interact with others more often than Americans. Ultimately, although Chinese culture tends towards collectivism and American culture towards individualism, emotionally-speaking, human beings require a certain amount of both community and individuality. Therefore, while advertisements meant to appeal to an entire nation of individuals have no choice but to work off of generalizations and patterns, when culture is broken down to the micro-level—its members—these generalizations become more and more difficult to discern.

    Halle & Jane made the point that Mr. Lui’s ad seemed to be contradictory to Chinese collectivist culture because of its individualistic nature, but I think it is also possible that because academic performance is assumed as the norm more frequently in Chinese culture than American culture, there is less need to advertise family harmony in an educational ad. As Yeung On pointed out, Chinese culture generally associates family harmony with love, not success. On the other hand, American families are perhaps more likely to suffer as a unit from their child’s performance in school and thus are more attracted to the fantasy of eliminating such stress. Perhaps these ads demonstrate an example of ideal versus actual affect, where American families are striving for more harmony (and are thus attracted to the Sylvan ad) and Chinese students are striving for individual recognition (as portrayed in Mr. Lui’s ad).

    In reference to the discrepancy in information given in Chinese and American ads, I think it may also be a factor that Chinese characters can convey a message in a lot less space than written English sentences. I recall that for the Chinese ads, there would not appear to be an overwhelming amount of text on the page, but the English translation constituted an entire paragraph. Perhaps this is an example of how linguistic differences have far-reaching effects in culture. Are American advertisers forced to develop catchy one-liners as an aesthetic function of how much space the English language takes up on a page?

    Amanda Rost
    Stanford University
    Team C

  7. Althea says:

    1) From what I have learned so far, I honestly believe that most humans experience very similar emotions. The extent of similarity is limited, naturally, by how greatly individual personalities differ. However, for the most part emotions are physiologically similar. Yet, what seems to vary most cross-culturally, is in what ways and to what extent individuals express their emotions. For instance, some cultures are more reserved in their expressions of sadness and grief, in an attempt to appear stronger and honorable. Whereas some cultures value the idea of “letting your sadness out” and “talking about it” so as to not “bottle up your feelings.” These are two very different strategies used in the grieving process. Similarly, this same phenomenon seems to occur with regard to positive emotions such as excitement over success. Whereas some cultures value modesty and humility, others believe that sharing excitement can spread positivity, and even so much as inspire others to succeed.

    2) I anticipated that Hong Kong culture would value family lineage and tradition, which seemed to be true, particularly in the mooncake and the liquor advertisements. However, my expectations for the Hong Kong reaction to the semi-scandalous Dior advertisement were somewhat contradicted. I expected a more negative reaction to the woman’s clothing and the sexual vibe present in the ad than seemed to come from the Hong Kong students. Furthermore, I was also interested to hear that the Hong Kong students believed that this type of advertisement could possibly work in America, but most definitely would not be successful in Hong Kong.

    3) One preconception I noticed was that the Hong Kong students seemed to be under the impression that Americans do not value family, and really only support individual success. While I do think this is true to some extent, I think that much of American culture is also a drive to find love and happiness, and to raise a nice family. Although this is not the goal of all Americans, I do believe “family values” are still a part of American culture. Nevertheless, it appeared from our analysis of the Hong Kong advertisements that Hong Kong family values are quite different from those in America, placing more emphasis on pleasing and honoring one’s parents and upholding the family lineage with honor and tradition. This may lead to the misconception that Americans don’t value family, when they in fact do, just in a slightly different way.

    4) I found the comments from the Hong Kong students on the Subway ad to be very interesting. Specifically, one student commented that she did not care about if the sandwich was going to help her lose lots of weight, she only cared about the quality of the sandwich, and other information such as the price. I notice great emphasis in American culture, particularly advertisement, on weight loss, and I just wondered how much dieting was marketed in Hong Kong? Is nutrition advertised in the same ways it is in America? Finally, how does this advertising (the amount of emphasis placed on the ‘weight loss’ or nutritional factor) affect the actual health of the consumers?

  8. Katelyn Gutierrez says:

    Over the past few days and during the video exchange, I’ve found that culture and emotion are these two, very dynamic and often ambiguously defined concepts. In class, we’ve discussed the lack of a universally agreeable definition of culture, and the debatable origins and expression of emotion. From our class sessions, I’ve realized that culture brings a community together with common traditions, habits, reactions, etc. Culture and emotion are subjectively experienced, and thus elude universal understanding. It is as if every culture of the world is equipped with its very own set of keys to certain emotions, if you will. The keys are specialized for emotion locks in that very culture, but may not exactly fit the keyholes of another culture. In comparison with other cultures, one in particular could clash with another in terms of religion or beliefs, and vice versa, and certain things that could stir our emotions in America could do the exact opposite somewhere else.

    This brings me to the video discussion. When I envisioned a typical Hong Kong Chinese ad, I expected more LAP (low arousal positive) images, including calm smiles, muted colors, etc. I also thought of the Chinese culture as I know it, derived from reading studies about Chinese versus American versions of happiness and the fundamental differences that separate us (collectivistic China versus individualistic America). These all seemed like generalizations, but appeared in subtle ways through the ads. In Chinese University of Hong Kong Group A’s ad, I was first surprised by the brightness and business of the ad, but not surprised by the featured group of students. This reminded me of the support of peers, and the comfort of the collective. In CUHK Group B’s ad, the famous actor had a calm smile and overall expression on his face; the ad also featured muted colors, which may allude to the festival that the ad is intended for, but are nonetheless darker than those an American ad would feature. In Group C’s ad, the colors are, again, darker, and muted. There is a girl faintly featured in the background, her face calm. I was not surprised by the elements in these ads that further supported my preconceived notions. However, an interesting thought came to mind when I envisioned beauty products. Perhaps we could discuss health and beauty ads next time to further test my preconceived notions.

    And so, I wonder what the CUHK students thought about me—the girl who, regardless of the cultural and historical context of the Kongfu liquor. I would assume that overall, the CUHK saw as the HAP (high arousal positive) smile Americans that we are during introductions. We are excited and enthusiastic. Then I thought about how my smile, although still HAP, was genuine; I am sure this goes for everyone else in my seminar. There are some easily preconceived notions about American culture that demonstrated themselves during the video exchange, either through the ads or through our own faces. Some of these notions were definitely presented in Stanford Group A’s ad, featuring the happy American family and one of Sylvan Learning Center’s slogans. This goes against the grain of Chinese ads and right up the alley of American ads in that there is a lack of information presented on the ad and HAP smiles all around. For American purposes, this is deliberate; advertisements in America tend to attract the eye and inspire intrigue or curiosity, so that the potential customer/client will take the time to look further into whatever the ad is selling. Stanford Group B’s ad presents Jared the Subway spokesman, and again, lacks information about the product. There is, however, evidence of “un-American” themes in Stanford Group C’s ad. This ad features an older man, contrary to America’s fear of aging. He also has somewhat of a LAP smile on, and the colors around him are dim and muted. There are traces of American humor in the ad, but the other details previously listed provide misconceptions about certain bits of American ideals and values.

    I also found it interesting that, similar to American ads, the Dior ad featured very little information about what product the ad was even selling. One girl from the CUHK had expressed annoyance with the Subway ad presented by Group B because it lacked information about the sandwich (the price, the taste, etc.). Yet, the Dior ad, is held to a different standard and is automatically given special consideration, even if it lacks informative details about the product and that the product itself is not front and center. So, I would like to conclude with a question: Do you agree that “sex sells,” and that it has had the tendency to sell universally? Is sex and sensuality a core trait that we all share as global citizens, and reason why both the CUHK and Stanford agreed that it was an interesting ad?

  9. Yeung On Ki says:

    Part 1
    Halloween is coming soon and I guess most of the HK teenagers will celebrate it, right? Now, I’m going to introduce the Halloween celebration in HK to you all.
    Here’s the link:
    http://www.halloweenbash.com.hk/tc/

    Haunted Halloween in Ocean Park

    This website is made by the Hong Kong’s biggest theme park-Ocean Park. It also hosts to one of the biggest Halloween celebrations in town.
    I like the pictures in the website and so as the Halloween celebration in Ocean Park.
    In fact, Halloween in Hong Kong doesn’t really have much of a tradition, like, you can’t find much of “tricks or treats” during this periods except the host of this event.
    As you know that, Chinese is a superstitious nation. Most of our older generations are afraid of ghosts and never talk about them let alone celebrate them. But this situation changes in the younger generations. We still afraid of the ghosts but we don‘t treat them as taboo.
    This website sends me a message of horror which makes me feel excited. It involves not only the western style ghosts but also merges with some Chinese features. For youngsters, we want to try something excited and challenge the old-fashioned stuffs showing that we are much braver than our parents or even our peers. That’s why I like this website coz it’s so attractive to the teenagers creating the horrible & dreadful atmosphere after seeing it and arousing our emotion to fight.

    Name: Yeung On Ki
    SID: 1008620751
    Team: C

  10. Laura Drohan says:

    While there may be some universal similarities in the study of emotions across cultures, there are fundamental differences in crucial aspects of these emotions. Expressing emotions is vastly different for people influenced by different cultures and social norms. Even within cultures and during different time periods, psychologists cannot generalize about what emotional reactions will look like.

    When we began our video conference yesterday, I was expecting to notice strong group-centered values in the Hong Kong advertisements and overwhelming individualism present in the American ones. Although these themes were apparent in the ads, particularly in the liquor ads, there was another distinction that I was not expecting to find between the Hong Kong and American ads. The amount of written information given in the Hong Kong ads far surpassed the American ads, which focused on bright, simple photos or graphics. I found it fascinating that the Hong Kong ads were much more focused on disclosing all the crucial information about their product or service. For example, the “Make it A” advertisement enumerated the specific tasks and attributes instilled in their students while the Sylvan ad targeted parents (and children) affected by stress due to their child’s academic struggles. Sylvan’s ad was very vague, relying on attention grabbers to catch the reader’s eye. Perhaps due to cultural values in full disclosure, this might be interpreted by some as deceptive behavior and lead customers to question Sylvan’s service.

    It seemed to me that some of the students at Chinese University of Hong Kong might have been under the impression that Americans value new ideas and products more than those that have historical meaning. As Professor Tsai mentioned, because America is a relatively new country and lacks a singular cultural history, we tend to focus on current norms and more recent national experiences that are common to most people in the US. One point which I believe other countries, and even some Americans, often underestimate is the multiculturalism omnipresent in our country. Many do not realize how American culture can vary depending on what part of the United States someone is from or their family’s unique heritage. Advertisements in the Western US, for example, focus on different ideals than those in the Southeastern region.

    Because I am constantly confronted with American multiculturalism, I am much more familiar with the extent of its influence on media and advertisements in the US. I wonder what role multiculturalism plays in advertising products and services in Hong Kong?

    Laura Drohan
    Stanford University
    Group C

  11. Evan Ames says:

    I’m an American currently studying abroad at CUHK for the semester, so my opinion embodies American culture rather than Chinese. To me, confidence is definitely one of the most valued emotions in American culture, and a commercial from the Super Bowl from a year ago came to mind:

    The Super Bowl is the final game of the American Football season every year, and because it is so popular the commercial time is very valuable. As a result, most companies show brand new commercials during the game, and it has become common for many of them to be very funny (at least to Americans). In this ad, the boy/man is shown to have exemplary confidence throughout his life do to great knowledge, and as a result he is very successful. In the commercial you see him help put out a fire for his mother as a baby, learn to ride a bike without his father’s help, help give birth to a Bengal tiger, and rescue a cheer-leading squad from a tornado. The point of the commercial is at the end where the company is saying that you should use them to find a good car, but the message of having confidence resonated deeply with me. In America, those with confidence usually end up better off in life (to an extent), so I think this represents my culture well.

    Name: Evan Ames
    SID: 1155014661
    Team: None yet

  12. Anh says:

    The perception of emotions, the emotions themselves, and how they are expressed vastly differ between cultures. Even within culture, notable differences between the cultural landscape for emotion of each person or group of people exist depending on many factors such as the individual family culture, the time period during which those people grew up, the geographic location within the country (or beyond), and more.
    Before going into the cultural exchange, I expected the Hong Kong Chinese students to present ads with a collective, family centered focus and for those students to like the American ads that had a similar focus. Thus, I was surprised when very few of them liked the Sylvan Center ad, despite its focus on the family. They expected more role models and didn’t see how the family was relevant. This really highlighted to me how certain aspects of a culture, no matter how strong they may seem to be from the outside, aren’t over encompassing to all topics. Furthermore, I expected the Chinese students to be more conservative with their opinions towards the ads that used sex as a means of promotion. However, contrary to my expectations, the most popular American ad within the Chinese students was the Dos Aquis ad and the most popular non-Chinese ad was overwhelmingly the Dior ad. However, it should be noted that the Chinese students held Dior to a different standard and commented that this amount of sex appeal wouldn’t be okay coming from a Chinese company. Converging to my expectations of a culture greatly bound in family and tradition were the mooncake and Kong Fu liquor ads.
    I believe that the Hong Kong Chinese students may have had the preconceived notions that American culture is very focused on individualism and not as deeply rooted in tradition or family. I would like to qualify the notion that American culture is not rooted in tradition — I think many Americans do greatly value tradition, it just so happens that those traditions between families are different. Because America is such a melting pot of cultures from all over the globe, it is hard to find one (or any other arbitrary number) unifying tradition. I believe that what tradition one chooses to follow derives from where one’s family came and during what time period. I also believe that the Chinese students may have been surprised at the diversity of the students in our class.

    Anh Truong
    Group A

  13. Lauren says:

    What has struck me the most in this class over the course of our conversations is how difficult it is to pin down a specific meaning for a word like “culture” or “emotion”. The definition that came closest to the truth, in my opinion, is the one in the article we read by Hazel Rose Markus and Glenn Adams. They emphasize that culture is an entity that both shapes and is shaped by individuals. This definition nicely expresses my own ideas on the roles of individuals in cultures. Oftentimes, I think we as Americans believe that the culture totally shapes the individual, especially when we think about stereotypical individuals, or we think the total opposite, that somebody completely influences culture and isn’t shaped by it at all. The reality, I think, is probably closer to something in the middle for most people, as Markus and Adams claim.

    I found the video conference extremely fascinating. For the most part, I really keep an open mind when dealing with other cultures, but obviously some preconceived ideas about a group or culture persist anyways. After the conference, I realized that some of my ideas were actually confirmed: I had thought that Chinese culture has a more group-oriented dynamic whereas American culture often focuses on an individual. After looking at the messages being given by the ads, this seemed to be true most of the time. I also found the strong sense of shared cultural history to match up between my preconceived notions of Chinese culture and the videoconference. Stereotyping is often portrayed as a horrible exercise. However, if used in the right situations, preconceived notions can often be quite helpful in navigating a new society, as long as we remember that they are just notions and are willing to change them as we acquire new information.

    I was especially curious as to how the students in Hong Kong perceived me and my fellow American students. They probably noticed the dynamics of our small group right away: extremely diverse and predominantly female. In addition, they may have found the our class’ participation rate to be very high–but it had to be that way because of the discrepancy between group sizes. I thought it was really interesting when one of the students mentioned that Americans have a “weight problem”. This made me think about the differences between notions about a group and individuals themselves. America does have a weight problem. However, I am typically a very healthy person, and many of my communities here in the US, such as at my high school and here at Stanford, have very few overweight people and a generally healthy mindset. So it is very important to keep the preconceived notions separate from perceptions of individual people– the Chinese students (as well as the American students) definitely did that, but I wonder if they were surprised to see us as such a healthy-looking group. I think both groups did a great job at this during the conference and we worked extremely well together given the technical and language barriers in our way.

    One of the most interesting aspects of the videoconference is the fact that I get to watch a group of people from another culture interact with each other. In my past experiences, I have interacted, for the most part, with only individuals students from other cultures, not entire groups of them, and I really enjoyed watching the group interactions. Actually, it didn’t seem like their group dynamics were much different from the dynamics in a comparably sized American lecture-type class.

    I really enjoyed the videoconference, and I am excited to see everyone again in the next one!

    Lauren
    Stanford
    Team B

  14. Nancy Pham says:

    So far, what I have learned about the relationship between culture and emotion parallels the lifestyle I’ve lived as both a Vietnamese and an American. I believed that the culture of a group really influences the portrayal of an emotion. There are certain emotions that would be perceived as impolite when directed at Vietnamese elders that are seen as “normal” when conversing with Americans. At the same time, there are people who define the “cultural norm” and act outside expectations in terms of emotional portrayals. This class has taught me that emotions don’t necessarily have to connected to culture, for a group of people from different backgrounds can all end up with portraying the same emotions.

    I believed that the Hong Kong Chinese would focus more on culture, loyalty and family, which is evident in the selection of their ads. The thing that struck me as different from my expectations was the first tutoring ad. Like Jane, I was surprised at the reversal in expected cultural values in the tutoring ads from Hong Kong and the United States. The Hong Kong student ad exuded an individualistic need to excel in school, yet at the same time still showed the collectiveness of students working together, whereas the United States’ ad showed succeeding in school as a family issue. I wonder if the influence of Western culture in Hong Kong affected their comments about the Dior ad. It’s interesting to note that the ad appeals to younger generations, yet an Asian version of the ad would be frowned on heavily.

    I would like to respond to Yeung On Ki’s statement: “I found that some concepts of US people toward Chinese culture are a little bit negative such as old fashioned and it showed in their comments of moon-cake ads.” I can’t speak for our whole group, but I am hesitant to agree that our view of Chinese culture is negative, according to our comments to the mooncake ad. For me, it was more due to a lack of understanding how a famous celebrity and his mom could sell mooncakes than the fact that it was “old-fashioned”. In the United States, adult celebrities and their moms or dads are rarely seen together in ads, much less together to sell a product. Thus, the use of a celebrity and his mom in the Hong Kong Chinese mooncake ad to signify a family reunion through the Mid-Autumn Festival was a bit baffling.

    I think emotion is a mutually understood unspoken language across different cultures and nationalities. Regardless of what language one speaks, communication is possible through emotions.

    Nancy Pham
    Stanford University
    Team B

  15. Leung Ka Man says:

    I think it’s an interesting experience to have a cross-cultural discussion between the Stanford and CUHK students as we can really share with each other in different aspects and get a deeper understanding in others’ culture.

    For me, culture, to a certain extent, comes from civilization and is formed by people. The culture can be manifested by many things, like people’s language, lifestyle, clothing,etc. Among so many things, one of them is emotion, which is people’s expression of feeling. Emotion can serve as a universal language, but it can be shaped by culture as well. Like the smiles in the second ads in our discussion, different styles of smiles can give people different feelings and impression. I just wonder would it because seeing a familiar smile (in your culture) can bring you empathy more easily than an unfamiliar smile (that’s out of your culture)?

    Before the exchange, I always thought of individualism and liberty when talking about US as this is what I frequently heard from the news and books. Through yesterday’s exchange, I thought such preconceived notions were somehow true as the professor mentioned Americans emphasize more on the present and individual success due to its own history. However, I was a bit surprised by the Stanford’s first ad which related academic success to happiness of the whole family. But after knowing that the reason behind was to relieve parents’ stress, I realized more difference in the relationship between academic success and happiness of the family in two cultures. It seemed that happiness can be brought by less stress in US culture while happiness due to academic success is brought by the bright future, high salary and the fame in Chinese culture.

    Before the exchange, I thought westerners usually thought the Chinese being traditional, conservative and relationship-oriented. And from the comments above, it seems that such notions exist. However, Chinese culture is changing in a rapid pace nowadays due to urban development. and i has a feeling that people become more open-minded and individualistic.

    In response to multiculturalism, Hong Kong is a multicultural city that mixes with Chinese and western culture. Therefore, you can notice many ads with different culture background. Though we got some ads (the moon cake and alcohol) with Chinese traditional culture in our discussion, we have a lot of ads in ‘western culture’ in fact, such as the beer ad, the chewing gum ad…

    After the exchange and discussion, i got a great interest in knowing how the linkage between culture and emotion is built. As culture is malleable and can easily be influenced by a lot of factors, will all the emotions be shaped too or just some emotions that are with more social value, like smile?

    Name: Leung Ka Man
    SID: 1155003540
    Team A, CUHK

    • Katelyn Gutierrez says:

      I agree with your conception of culture and how it has the power to shape emotion. When defining emotion, we tend to have our emotions revolve around our ideal affect (i.e. western culture avoids negative emotions and prefers positive emotions). And, in all honesty, I was surprised about the choice of ad Stanford Group A presented. I feel that the ad doesn’t measure up to the standard, individual-focused advertisements of America. However, it did portray the typical “happy American family.”

      It seems that my own preconceived notions about Chinese advertisements were validated. I envisioned the advertisements to be much more subtle, subdued, and generally calmer than American ads. This held true for the alcohol ad comparison. The American ad was, admittedly, darker than some other ads, but it still had the playful atmosphere commonly portrayed in western alcohol ads. Also, the historical context and the girl in traditional dress would be an uncommon feature and much too subdued in comparison to other alcohol ads in America.

      In response to your question, I think that perceptions of the ideal affect in a culture can potentially change over time, so, not necessarily just social emotions. However, I do agree that social emotions are most susceptible to quicker change/evolution than other less social emotions. It seems that it takes time and exposure to other cultures of the world for culture to evolve, change, and adapt. All in all, with change in culture over time, a possible change in affective valuation may also occur.

  16. Odilia says:

    First of all, I would like to say this experience is very interesting indeed as I haven’t had to chance to do this before. Having people under different culture to discuss on the same ads is inspiring, because it makes me understand that people under different culture perceive the same thing differently. For example, a smile, which supposed to be universal,is perceived differently under the same context.

    To me, culture is something rooted in a society where people born that would continuously affect the ways of thinking. Culture is a mixture of values, traditions, common beliefs and actions to be expected. While what people are doing and feeling in a particular culture is highly influenced by its culture as no body would like to be an outcast of that culture. Culture affects the way people act because it affects people’s emotion towards every stimuli.

    Before the exchange, Americans, to me, focused on personal success, individuality, etc, as mentioned in most of the above comments. I was expected to see most of the ads with one successful figure or with message conveying authority embedded. Yet, surprisingly, from the educational ad from US, I realized that the concept of family-as-a-whole is becoming more popular. With the focus of bringing less stress and happiness to a family, the American ad seems to share some similarities between the two cultures. Even though American focus on the harmony they bring to family while Chinese focus on the academic achievements that brings honor to their family, their ultimate concern lies on FAMILY. Therefore, I believe the differences I expected between individualism and collectivism is not as big as I original anticipated.

    Throughout the exchange,my past belief is confirmed that westerners may think Chinese people are very conservative and traditional. Westerners may find the wine ad boring and not appealing, may find the mooncake ad meaningless to them. Yet, I believe compared to the past, things has changed much in our culture. Those traditional values appears in those important festivals, e.g Chinese New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival, most of the time. While in other time, Chinese are more diversified than many people think. People are more open-minded and adapted to different incoming new values. People are flexible in deciding when to focus on traditions and new styles.

    Apart from the differences I found in American and Chinese culture, I realized there is a different value hold between student from HK and mainland as well. I believe even the ads between China and HK will pose a difference as great as that between Chinese and US as well.

    NAME: Kan Hei Tung
    SID: 1155002910
    GROUP A

  17. Lam Ho Yi says:

    Part 1
    As I cannot find any English version’s video about ‘wife cake’, I put the wife cake link of wikipedia here.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweetheart_cake
    This is a Hong Kong traditional food called ‘wife cake’. There is a touching story behind this wife cake. The tale is that there were a couple who lived in a village. On day, the father of the man was sick severely but they had no money to find a doctor. Then, the wife went to work as a maid in order to earn some money. The man was very appreciated what his wife did and decided to make the wife cake for his wife. He also sold the cake on the street to earn money. The wife cake was delicious and became popular very soon. Until now, the wife cake is still very famous and I think everyone in Hong Kong has tried this ‘wife cake’.

    Part 2
    To me, it is a new experience to have an online video conference with other Uni students. In the exchange, I noticed some cultural differences between the American students and Hong Kong students. By seeing some advertisements from two cultures, I think they emphasized on different aspects in terms of emotion. The American culture tended to focused on authority while the Chinese culture tended to focus on family warmth and relationships with other people. Therefore, in my opinion, our emotions and our ways of thinking are sometimes bounded by our culture. The culture in which we grow up will affect our later behaviour and our perception of an event.

    Before the exchange, my stereotypes toward American culture included that people have humor, American people have more creative idea than Chinese, more open and is individualistic. Therefore, I expected the American advertisements would be funnier, more creative and maybe the slogan involves some slang in it. However, the American ads wasn’t as funny as I thought, it could be because the topic was not funny though. Also, the ads tended to focus on one person rather than a whole group of people, this confirms the individualistic culture. The American students have more ideas and would be ready to respond every questions and it turned out to be true. For the Hong Kong culture, I expected that the ads are more conservative to express and their slogan is mostly rhyme. As expected, the ads are more implicit in the way they expressed. Also most of them involved a group of people rather a person alone. This confirms the collective culture of Chinese people.

    I believed that American might think Hong Kong students are more traditional and collective. In fact, Hong Kong culture has been affected by the western gradually and I think the Chinese and Western cultures have been mixed. Hong Kong people are traditional when there are festivals. For example, family will gather together to celebrate the festival or maybe having dinner together. In terms of collectivism, the American students might think we would like to do everything together. Actually, to some extent it is true, for example, we like to eat together, play together. But when doing something private, we would also like to be alone. I think the American would have the same situation in terms of this.

    To end with a question, I would like to know, if an advertisement is presented to you, do we know the ad is from a Hong Kong culture or an American culture? I think it’s interesting to know the answer.

    Name: Lam Ho Yi
    SID: 1009606013
    CUHK
    Group A

  18. alison says:

    The one aspect of the relationship between emotion and culture that stood out to me during the exchange was that cultural values have a definite influence on emotional states. One good example of it would be the moon cake advertisement that CUHK’s team B introduced. As Chinese culture values filial piety, familial ties and tradition, the HK students reflected opinions of being touched, moved even, by the advertisement. In contrast, the US students did not seem to share the same emotional response, even after the explanation of the Mid-Autumn festival. This could be due to different familial values. One of the Stanford students mentioned that in the US, the idea of family is centered on a nuclear family as opposed to that of an extended family like in HK. Also, due to the multi-cultural aspect of American society, Professor Tsai mentioned that there is the American value of separation from tradition as one culture’s tradition might not be another’s.

    Also, one of the group mates on my team brought up a very interesting point about how the smiles seen on the US ad for tutoring services seemed too large and fake as opposed to the HK smiles on the moon cake advertisements which appeared genuine. I was thinking that one explanation for it could be the theory of cultural variation in intensity of emotional experiences.

    Before going into the exchange today, I was expecting that the American students will be a lot more interactive and willing to talk as compared to the HK students. Also, I expected the advertisements to reflect the difference between the individualistic American culture and the collectivistic HK culture. My first assumption was only true in the beginning. I surprised to find out that the HK students were very interactive and eager to participate despite the class size after a little bit of warming up. The advertisements from the US team B and C focused very much on the individual like Jared the Subway guy and the suave older man in advert C. Whereas the advertisements from the HK team A and B were more collective like advert A featured a group of students striving together and advert B presented a son and mother combo. Also, I was pleasantly taken aback by the use of the average Joe phenomenon in the American advertisements as opposed to the usage of well-known public figures in the HK ones. I felt that it seemed to confirm my expectation of the ‘American Dream’ mentality almost, the idea that anyone can become anything with a bit of luck and hard work whereas in HK, public figures are seen to have authority, they are put on a pedestal almost and their status seen as almost unattainable.

    The American students probably shared my preconceived notions about HK culture being more collectivistic, and that the HK students would be less vocal. Also, they seemed to have the idea that HK culture is very traditional and conservative. I gleaned this from their shock at the acceptance shown by the HK students when faced with the Dior advertisement. I think that a common misconception of HK culture is that it is inherently Chinese in make up. HK’s history of being a British colony and its economic success, which lead to its city becoming very cosmopolitan, has equipped its residents with two cultural schemas, one Chinese and another western. Bicultural people tend to switch between two cultural selves in a process called ‘frame-switching’ to deal with their experiences in a multi-cultural world and most HK people are bicultural. Therefore although HK culture embraces tradition and conservatism on one hand, it also has a different more radical and westernized side.

    In conclusion, it was a really great experience getting to participate in this exchange and I hope to learn more in the next one!

    Name: Lee Jiaying Alison (CUHK)
    SID: 1155001758
    Team: B

  19. Koala Yu says:


    Wait ’til you’re older

    This is my favorite movie which is about a kid growing up as a elderly and dying in a few days. When he was a kid, he hated his stepmother and father because he thought they caused the suicide of his mother. When he grew up as a adult and a friend of his father, he knew that his father really loved his mother and the mistress who break the family relationship was his mother instead of his stepmother who is the original wife of his father.
    The movie is really heart-touching owing to the change in the family relationship and the death of the kid.
    It is said that, owing to culture, Chinese movies, advertisements, articles usually emphasize the family relationship like the moon cake advertisement we had talked about. On the other hand, mentioned by the professor of Stanford University, western advertisements seldom emphasize such relationship. For example, in an advertisement selling a travelling plan, they tend to use couples or celebrities instead of common parents and sons.

    Nevertheless, I am very curious about this point. I heard that some parents in western countries let their eighteen years old children leave the family and survive by themselves. It seems that the relationship between western children and parents is not as strong as the relationship between Chinese parents and their children. That may be the reason why western people seldom use parents and children in advertisement – it is hard to arouse the emotion of audience.

    However, on the other hand, there are still some movie and song use that as theme. In the movie “the day after tomorrow” , the father puts himself at risk and tries hard to save his son. And the song “you raise me up” is about parenting. I wonder that if students of Stanford University feel heart-touching watching the film or hearing the song or just focus on other things like global warming causing the disaster in the film.

    Is the love of Chinese toward their parents more than that of westerners toward their parents? Or the truth is that both Chinese and Westerners love their parents. The phenomenon just is caused different expression due to culture difference.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bxc9hbwkkw&ob=av3n you raise me up
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnvqsWVluCE The day after tomorrow

    Name: Yu Chin Shan(cuhk)
    SID:1155003469
    Team:B

  20. HU Yifan says:

    Emotion has often been interpreted as interruptive states arising from situations that are relevant to our goals. Therefore, culture may exert certain influence on emotional feelings and reactions of social individuals via cultural definition of goals, cultural selection of social occasions, and cultural preference of interpersonal exchange models. Terms like ‘analytic vs. holistic’ are very familiar to psychology students and we know that people from different cultures even have different mindsets. Scholars have argued that in independent cultures, e.g. American culture, the main goal of individuals in social interactions tends to be ‘influencing’ others; while in dependent cultures, e.g. Chinese culture, the main goal tends to be ‘adjusting’ oneself to meet the demand of others. This notion, confirmed by solid research results, further explains the research findings that in independent cultures, people ideally prefer high arousal positive emotions; whereas in dependent cultures, people ideally prefer low arousal positive emotions, though the actual emotional experience may not differ much between the two cultures.

    The above assumptions are what I expected before the exchange activity. However, the selected materials and the discussions seem to mark the change or deviation of the attitude and life philosophy of modern HK youngsters from that of the traditional Chinese. For example, in the ‘super star tutor’ ad, we saw a very ambitious and potent portrait of a single tutor with the fierce competition in education as the background information. This did not conform to the preconception that low arousal emotions ideally comforts East Asians most. In contrast, the U. S. ad, which most American students liked, tended to show more low arousal emotions (a happy family with smiles delivers the message of relaxation), instead of high arousal ones, as I expected. Maybe Hong Kong is such a busy place with so much tense that people starts to channel their attention back to themselves, vis-a-vis ‘adjusting’ to the environments. This idea later got reinforced when HK students expressed little interest in the subway ad featuring a touching story of ‘average Jerry’ and his sandwich, and said they cared the price more (it seems that people with influencing goals turned out to be more caring). Besides, some ads, such as the Dior watch and the XX beer, indeed demonstrated the merging of values and aesthetic standard, which may be due to the globalization process. On the other hand, some other ads, such as the moon cake ad and Kongfu liquor ad, manifested the ineliminable cultural difference that Chinese pay a great deal of attention to history, tradition and virtues, whereas in the U. S., the focus is still personal achievement.

    Foreigners with average knowledge about world history may probably have wondered whether HK people are more British or Chinese. HK seems a rather cosmopolitan place, one of the front cities in the globalization processes, and its people are speaking both languages. But are they essentially Chinese? Do they also like to be in groups and seldom represent themselves? Do they hold the same respect to Chinese traditions and virtues? I think the exchange actually gives the U. S. students a direct impression on these questions. They viewed ads that were abstruse and meaningless to them (Kongfu wine and moon cake) but appealing to HK students, and they at the same time witnessed how easily HK students can connect to the Dior and XX beer ads, without hesitation of shyness or reservations. I think they would get more idea of HK as an international city with a fair legacy of Chinese traditions.

    As discussed earlier in this piece of comment, it is interesting to observe new behavior/thinking patterns of Hong Kong youngsters, which escaped the capture of previous research. If it is induced by the changing social environment in HK, then how would the change effect HK people’s emotional preference, social reactions and mindsets? Hope we have more recent research following globalization and the culture and emotional status of present HK people.

    Name: HU Yifan (CUHK)
    SID: 1009611732
    Team: A

  21. Huang Lillian Ting says:

    A comment about Jane’s (Standford University Team B) last concern about the cultural difference between Ideal and actual affection of advertisement. However, I doubt that even the advertiser himself have no concrete idea about the message the advertisement trying to bring. As an advertisement is often not selling a product but rather selling a feeling or affection, the aspects an advertisement can express is more than three-diminutional.
    Concerning the affection of an advertisement, there is no doubt that direct implication of sexual or other instincts appeals to all humans. However, I do believe that there are some comparable differences between Chinese and Americans due to our difference in history and culture. For instance, At least to my observation, Chinese are more affected by the nature of family reunion, And the conception of finding your “root”; while Westerners emphasis more on the happiness of a family and wellbeing of others. I suspect that it is due to the diversity of American families.
    I believe that these differences are the underlying cause of the different degree of the difference between ideal and actual affect of advertisements.
    Lillian
    Chinese University of Hong Kong
    SID:1155003503

  22. Claire Wu says:

    CUHK/ s1009636951/ Wu Yu, Claire/ Team C

    The core emotion I selected from all the typical Chinese feelings is care. My picture is more specific to the maternal love type of care. A typical Chinese mother care could be easily found on the boxed lunch she prepares for her children. No matter how much difficultly the family is facing, a mother would always serve the best boxed-lunch she can offer. And for most Chinese, they remember the taste of their mother’s home cook and have deep connection between that taste and care.
    (P.s.: Since we are not allowed to use Internet photos, I had to make then film this. I understand this may not appear as delicious as some filled-with-motherly-love boxed lunch, but this is the best I can offer.)


    My selected question from the list above about today’s exchange:
    • What have you learned so far about the relationship between culture and emotion?

    As my fellow peers had discussed above, the people release emotions naturally when they can understand or related to the context provided. The relationship between culture and emotion strongly rely on how well the participants connect with their personal background.

    Take the moon cake advertisement as an example, the Chinese University participants significantly liked and related to it. And personally, I was so strongly affected by the commercial. I instantly wanted to see my family and share moon cakes with them. The black background allowed me to put full focus on how precious family reunion is, and it made me homesick. (I am from Taiwan, which makes me some level of outsider in Hong Kong in big family reunion holidays like this.)

    However, most of the Stanford University participants seem confused or less linked to the advertisement than the Cantonese Chinese participants. I noticed that American participants reasoned on how they don’t quite understand the autumn moon festival. The lack of context understanding blocked the emotion from releasing. In general, this affected the emotional linkage provoked among the American participants the most. I assume that this effect could happen again if the Chinese participants were asked to rate some traditional Thanksgiving commercial. The American participants maybe intensely affected by a photo of big-fat-juicy turkey and family member surrounding it, while the Chinese participants might fail to connect. Although both Thanksgiving and autumn moon festivals celebrate the reunion of family members, the lack of understanding in other culture’s holidays turned people to feel differently towards fundamentally the same event.

    • Claire Wu says:

      I am having difficulty to paste the photo. Please see CUforum for it.

      • Celia says:

        Yes, there is a technical limitation that we cannot post any picture on the comment. The solution we have now, is either (1) find the picture of cultural product on the web and post the link on the comment, or (2) take photo of th cultural product and upload it to a photo sharing website, such as photobucket (http://photobucket.com/) flickr (http://www.flickr.com/) or tinypic (http://tinypic.com/), and then post the link on the comment. I know this is a bit clumsy, hope you can understand out difficulty.

  23. WONG, Wing Kiu says:

    CUHK/1008603611/WONG, Wing Kiu/Team C

    Part 1

    SO, to my understanding, culture are some kind of integrated patterns of values, beliefs, knowledge etc that exist within a society while emotion is the state of mind of an individual at certain point of time, which can be joy, sorrow, fear etc. I suggest the emotional states that we experience day to day, as may have already been stated in some researches, are pretty universal. But while we experience similar emotional states, people in different societies who live under different cultural context, may differ in their way in how they express their emotions (behaviors) and how their emotions can be triggered by external factors. Under different cultural context, for example, happiness may be attributed to different social context. Loosely speaking, what situations in which we may feel happy may be different in different cultures.

    For me, America culture is more individualistic and Chinese culture is collective in nature. Americans seem to focus more on individual feelings like what we discussed about the beer advertisement shown in the lesson while the Chinese give family gatherings higher priority. Further, the priority of relationship differs in the way that lovers and friends seem to be given higher priority in the American culture. I was in an exchange program last semester to Canada (North America). Despite the discriminations I experienced in some cities due to my lack of knowledge in French, I was surprised that part-time students are so common in North America. The dependence on family, either financially or mentally, is much less than that of my home country. These ideas, through observations, are all can somehow be confirmed in the exchange either directly and indirectly in the ads and discussion.

    It’s actually hard to stand on the perspectives of other cultures to see if they have any misconceptions on me. Intuitively, people from other cultures may have the idea that the Chinese still over-emphasize the role of tradition in the development of the society, supported by the idea that there were a lot of superstitions and false beliefs in the past. But due to the rapid modernization of China in these few decades, I believe that these misconceptions will eventually fade out.

    To end with a comment, insufficient knowledge about certain cultural products and values was the biggest obstacle to our discussion. It seems that we are not able to understand thoroughly the meaning behind the ads shown in the lesson. And CUHK students are not as active as Standford students. It may be, again, a difference in the way students learn and study between the two cultures.

    Part 2

    Heroic Duo

    The movie named Heroic Duo, shown in 2003, talks about a police fighting against the thieves while one of them is a hypnotizer.

    This is the movie trailer from Youtube.

    Heroism is a concept which is overwhelmed in movies, advertisements, music etc in my culture. Regardless its negative impact like aggressiveness, you can see in this movie a very typical plot of Hong Kong movie that a tough cop was being treated unjustly and he found his way to had the criminal to be dealt with according to law (though the criminal died at last in this movie).

  24. WONG, Wing Kiu says:

    WONG, Wing Kiu/s1008603611/CUHK/Team C

    Part 1

    SO, to my understanding, culture are some kind of integrated patterns of values, beliefs, knowledge etc that exist within a society while emotion is the state of mind of an individual at certain point of time, which can be joy, sorrow, fear etc. I suggest the emotional states that we experience day to day, as may have already been stated in some researches, are pretty universal. But while we experience similar emotional states, people in different societies who live under different cultural context, may differ in their way in how they express their emotions (behaviors) and how their emotions can be triggered by external factors. Under different cultural context, for example, happiness may be attributed to different social context. Loosely speaking, what situations in which we may feel happy may be different in different cultures.

    For me, America culture is more individualistic and Chinese culture is collective in nature. Americans seem to focus more on individual feelings like what we discussed about the beer advertisement shown in the lesson while the Chinese give family gatherings higher priority. Further, the priority of relationship differs in the way that lovers and friends seem to be given higher priority in the American culture. I was in an exchange program last semester to Canada (North America). Despite the discriminations I experienced in some cities due to my lack of knowledge in French, I was surprised that part-time students are so common in North America. The dependence on family, either financially or mentally, is much less than that of my home country. These ideas, through observations, are all can somehow be confirmed in the exchange either directly and indirectly in the ads and discussion.

    It’s actually hard to stand on the perspectives of other cultures to see if they have any misconceptions on me. Intuitively, people from other cultures may have the idea that the Chinese still over-emphasize the role of tradition in the development of the society, supported by the idea that there were a lot of superstitions and false beliefs in the past. But due to the rapid modernization of China in these few decades, I believe that these misconceptions will eventually fade out.

    To end with a comment, insufficient knowledge about certain cultural products and values was the biggest obstacle to our discussion. It seems that we are not able to understand thoroughly the meaning behind the ads shown in the lesson. And CUHK students are not as active as Standford students. It may be, again, a difference in the way students learn and study between the two cultures.

    Part 2

    Heroic Duo

    The movie named Heroic Duo, shown in 2003, talks about a police fighting against the thieves while one of them is a hypnotizer.

    This is the movie trailer from Youtube.

    Heroism is a concept which is overwhelmed in movies, advertisements, music etc in my culture. Regardless its negative impact like aggressiveness, you can see in this movie a very typical plot of Hong Kong movie that a tough cop was being treated unjustly and he found his way and had the criminal to be dealt with according to law (though the criminal died at last in this movie).

  25. WONG, Wing Kiu says:

    WONG, Wing Kiu/s1008603611/CUHK/Team C

    Part 1

    To my understanding, culture are some kind of integrated patterns of values, beliefs, knowledge etc that exist within a society while emotion is the state of mind of an individual at certain point of time, which can be joy, sorrow, fear etc. I suggest the emotional states that we experience day to day, as may have already been stated in some researches, are pretty universal. But while we experience similar emotional states, people in different societies who live under different cultural context, may differ in their way in how they express their emotions (behaviors) and how their emotions can be triggered by external factors. Under different cultural context, for example, happiness may be attributed to different social context. Loosely speaking, what situations in which we may feel happy may be different in different cultures.

    For me, America culture is more individualistic and Chinese culture is
    collective in nature. Americans seem to focus more on individual feelings like what we discussed about the beer advertisement shown in the lesson while the Chinese give family gatherings higher priority. Further, the priority of relationship differs in the way that lovers and friends seem to be given higher priority in the American culture. I was in an exchange program last semester to Canada (North America). Despite the discriminations I experienced in some cities due to my lack of knowledge in French, I was surprised that part-time students are so common in North America. The dependence on family, either
    financially or mentally, is much less than that of my home country. These
    ideas, through observations, are all can somehow be confirmed in the exchange either directly and indirectly in the ads and discussion.

    It’s actually hard to stand on the perspectives of other cultures to see if
    they have any misconceptions on me. Intuitively, people from other cultures may have the idea that the Chinese still over-emphasize the role of tradition in the development of the society, supported by the idea that there were a lot of superstitions and false beliefs in the past. But due to the rapid modernization of China in these few decades, I believe that these misconceptions will eventually fade out.

    To end with a comment, insufficient knowledge about certain cultural products and values was the biggest obstacle to our discussion. It seems that we are not able to understand thoroughly the meaning behind the ads shown in the lesson. And CUHK students are not as active as Standford students. It may be, again, a difference in the way students learn and study between the two cultures.

    Part 2

    Heroic Duo

    The movie named Heroic Duo, shown in 2003, talks about a police fighting against the thieves while one of them is a hypnotizer.

    This is the movie trailer from Youtube.

    Heroism is a concept which is overwhelmed in movies, advertisements, music etc in my culture. Regardless its negative impact like aggressiveness, you can see in this movie a very typical plot of Hong Kong movie that a tough cop was being treated unjustly and he found his way and had the criminal to be dealt with according to law (though the criminal died at last in this movie).

  26. Claire says:

    S1009636951/ CUHK/ Wu Yu/ Team C
    TA had instructed us to post picture through this website, therefore I am sending it again (Please find my writing above)

  27. Alison says:

    I Not Stupid Too – A Singaporean film produced in 2006 as a sequel to the original I Not Stupid. It is a satirical comedy about the rigid Singaporean education system and the social problems of Singaporeans with an emphasis on parent-child communication. The plot is centered around the lives of three Singaporean boys and their relationships with their parents.

    Link to above video: http://youtu.be/VbH-ZjXAB8c

    Familial love is very much valued in Chinese culture and I think the above clip encapsulates it perfectly.

    Name: Lee Jiaying Alison (CUHK)
    SID: 1155001758
    Team: B

  28. Yiu Tsui Ming says:

    Sharing of the Cultural Product

    I have chosen new articles which can show the deeply ingrained cultural value in Chinese society.

    http://www.eeo.com.cn/zt/olympiad/recentpost/2008/08/18/110827.html
    Name of the Article: “Liu Xiang: Bearer of 1356”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/beijing-via-auckland/news/article.cfm?c_id=1502726&objectid=10528049
    Name of the Article: “Liu Xiang makes our hearts ache”

    Liu Xiang was the gold medalist in the hurdle event at Athens Olympic Games. He brought great national glory and pride to all Chinese people. The whole country was deeply overjoyed by his success. In 2008 Olympic Games, he withdrew from the Games due to the injury of his legs. After this news was announced, news headlines such as “The hearts of 1.3 billion people have broken” and “Liu Xiang makes our hearts ache”. His athlete code 1356 was interpreted as the representative and hope of 1.3 billion people and the 56 ethnic races.

    The news articles have shown that the identity of groups was emphasized in Chinese society rather than the individuals. The success and failures of a person belongs to the whole group of people, like Liu Xiang’s achievement and withdrawal were the whole country’s matters rather than his own individual business. The identity of groups is very significant in Chinese society.

    Compared with Chinese society, western countries value individuals as a unique entity rather than members of a harmonious and collective society. Personal development is emphasized rather than striving for national glory and pride. The success of an athlete will not elicit such an overwhelming joyfulness in western countries. Individuals are emphasized more than as a group.

    Form Liu’s case, we can see that there is such a difference on identification between Asian countries and western countries. In Chinese society, personal glory not only belongs to the individual, but also the family, race and even the country. For example, we may need to worship our ancestors for bringing us successes. All people from the family and the country are connected and not separate. However, it is totally different for the western people when it comes to identification.
    As a result, it is interesting to look at the cultural differences between different the Chinese and Western societies.

    Part 1
    Name: Yiu Tsui Ming (CUHK)
    SID: 1155002749

  29. Sean Li says:

    Name: Sean Li SID: 1008612384
    Group C from the CUHK

    Part I
    Hi all of you. I am going to present a very Hong-Kong-style product that illustrate a part of values in Hong Kong well. This is the Hong Kong Style Restaurant, or called as “Ta Cha Tien” by direct translation.

    Nowadays, this type of restaurant has progressed along with the advancement of the society and become far more diversified than as before. However, it is still characterized by the large range of foods served, short dining time, as well as the very reasonable prices. This type of restaurant is a kind of collective memory rooted in many genuine Hong Kong people who are locally born and bred, and therefore it reflects our own culture, or so called it values.

    In my mind, Hong Kong people are well-known for their high efficiency and agile and open minds in problem solving. The style of “Ta Cha Tien” illustrates these characteristics perfectly. In the restaurant, you are guaranteed that the food would be served quickly after your order, mostly within five minutes. The efficiency of the staff is high, They are smart and capable to deal with any sudden changes, yet the quality of both the service and foods are still kept in a satisfactory level.

    Secondly, this type of restaurant do provide a wide range of food for the customers to choose, ranging from Japanese instant noodles to set menu of steak served with nice dressings. It suits the personality of Hong Kong people who always pursue for convenience and diversity. This transformation of “Ta Cha Tien”, from a small shop that only provides bread and drinks to an all-round restaurants which serve a large kind of food, is definitely a good illustration that how Hong Kong people adapt the changing environment swiftly and be open to any innovative ideas.

    Lastly, I would like to share a link here. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNanFYr7bF4&feature=related) Certainly, the video is telling out some values of “Ta Cha Tien” that is out of the scope of my answer, the reason I include it here is just want to let the overseas student understand how does such kind of restaurants look like better.

  30. Sean Li says:

    Name: Sean Li SID:1008612384

    Well, I would also like to write some words on those questions posted. For me, culture is something that rooted deeply in a society where people living in the society can hardly get rid of it, while emotion is the abrupt change in personal feeling towards stimuli. I think they are uni-directionally linked in a way that culture would exert some effects on how we feel and think towards a particular stimulus .Culture difference between two individuals may make them have a quite large discrepancy in the feeling towards a same issue. Take the feelings towards “One night stand” as an example, most westerns would think that it is a normal way to pursue happiness and comfort from sexual interactions, most traditional Chinese people would regard it as evil and unethical. Therefore, our culture affects our feelings to different issues, as well as our emotions when exposed to different circumstance.

    I think American students is energetic, innovative, able to think out-of-the box and form diversified perspectives. Their performance in the exchange was really nice where I appreciated much They further confirm my belief towards students from America.

    I know that most Westerns feel that Chinese people are rigid and conservative, and we are really boring that would spend time on study but not partying. Some points of them are right. We are more conservative especially towards sex and marriage. We regards they are important and would treasure it much to save it for the right persons, but seldom treats them irresponsibly as a way of pursuing happiness. Moreover, some points of them are even unfair to us. We are not boring and we do not really like studying, most of us are just enjoying the process of getting more knowledge of the fields that ones are interested in. We also have so many fun activities to spend our energies on, and therefore we have too many ways of enjoying life but not just partying and drinking without cease. All in all, people have their own cultures and their ways of living, what we should keep on mind is to respect others’ own cultures.

    • Yiu Tsui Ming says:

      Sharing of the Cultural Product

      I have chosen new articles which can show the deeply ingrained cultural value in Chinese society.

      http://www.eeo.com.cn/zt/olympiad/recentpost/2008/08/18/110827.html
      Name of the Article: “Liu Xiang: Bearer of 1356”

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/beijing-via-auckland/news/article.cfm?c_id=1502726&objectid=10528049
      Name of the Article: “Liu Xiang makes our hearts ache”

      Liu Xiang was the gold medalist in the hurdle event at Athens Olympic Games. He brought great national glory and pride to all Chinese people. The whole country was deeply overjoyed by his success. In 2008 Olympic Games, he withdrew from the Games due to the injury of his legs. After this news was announced, news headlines such as “The hearts of 1.3 billion people have broken” and “Liu Xiang makes our hearts ache”. His athlete code 1356 was interpreted as the representative and hope of 1.3 billion people and the 56 ethnic races.

      The news articles have shown that the identity of groups was emphasized in Chinese society rather than the individuals. The success and failures of a person belongs to the whole group of people, like Liu Xiang’s achievement and withdrawal were the whole country’s matters rather than his own individual business. The identity of groups is very significant in Chinese society.

      Compared with Chinese society, western countries value individuals as a unique entity rather than members of a harmonious and collective society. Personal development is emphasized rather than striving for national glory and pride. The success of an athlete will not elicit such an overwhelming joyfulness in western countries. Individuals are emphasized more than as a group.

      Form Liu’s case, we can see that there is such a difference on identification between Asian countries and western countries. In Chinese society, personal glory not only belongs to the individual, but also the family, race and even the country. For example, we may need to worship our ancestors for bringing us successes. All people from the family and the country are connected and not separate. However, it is totally different for the western people when it comes to identification.
      As a result, it is interesting to look at the cultural differences between
      different the Chinese and Western societies.

      Part 1
      Name: Yiu Tsui Ming (CUHK)
      SID: 1155002749

  31. Gloria says:

    Part 1:

    I am glad to have the opportunity to participate in the video conferencing with students from the Stanford University on how culture shapes the emotion of advertisements we perceived. It was the first time I had the taste of participating in a video conferencing, which was indeed a quite rare opportunity. It was exciting to exchange many brilliant ideas with friends cross-culturally from other countries, and I did enjoy it much. The exchange provided us a real-life experience of cross-culture effects on the same thing — emotion. I regard this much more meaningful than just memorizing the theories on culture and emotion at the outset. Through participation in the exchange, we got some inspiring ideas from each other, and started probing into some particular topics we were interested in. It was such a fruitful learning experience.

    To me, I would say emotion is universal to a certain extent. People from all parts of the world would experience relatively the same kinds of emotion per se, such as happiness, sadness, disappointment, pride, anger, etc. It is quite universal. Culture serves to shape our perception of the events, peoples or other things that evoke particular emotion in us. As a result, culture ultimately affects, or modifies, how we perceive and express emotion differently, like the feeling rules and display rules. For instance, when we look up the sky and see a full moon at the Mid-Autumn festival, it may probably evoke the feeling of warmth and happiness of reunion with family members. This is because “full moon” generally symbolizes “reunion” in Chinese culture. However, that full moon may not evoke any special emotion in Western people; or it may evoke other emotion. The emotion evoked by the same object can be perceived by people differently due to cultural effects.

    Before the exchange, I thought that HK students would be a bit passive and shy to take the initiative in discussion and voicing out their viewpoints; while US students would be more active and willing to take the initiative in starting the discussion. I expected that this is a reflection of the reserved and implicit nature of interpersonal communication in the Chinese culture. In another respect, I supposed that American culture is more individualistic, emphasizing the concept of “self” and “independence” while Chinese culture stresses collectivism which emphasizes the harmonious and interdependent relationship of “self” with other people especially those in close proximity, i.e. family, relatives and friends. For instance, in Chinese culture, family members generally tend to live near each other or even together. The last respect is that I expected that the learning atmosphere in US would be less stressful than that in HK.

    The aforementioned preconceived expectations were partially confirmed. Throughout the conference, I observed that US students were more active in initiating and leading the discussion. For instance, they usually raised more follow-up questions after expressing their own viewpoints of the previous discussion question. However, after we have familiarized ourselves with what was going on at the conference, I observed that HK students were also quite active in expressing their ideas. From this observation I would say that Chinese people would probably behave more implicitly in unfamiliar situations. In another respect, as reflected in the discussion on the “mooncake advertisement”, although it was obvious that Chinese culture highly valued the concept of “family” and “reunion” as a whole, I observed that American culture in fact also valued such concept to certain extent. Finally, the preconceived expectation that the learning atmosphere is less stressful in American culture was confirmed. I was surprised to see the slogan “Less Stress, More Success” with a family showing smiles in the advertisement shared by US students. In Hong Kong, most of the slogans we see are usually like “Get straight As in the exam!” with students showing their academic report cards. The styles are totally different.

    Take the “Dior advertisement” as an example. Students in the other culture may expect that HK people would be less open, and generally not accept the image of the sexy lady and man. However, it seemed that most of us found the advertisement acceptable. I believe that our traditional Chinese culture is not so open to sexy image on advertisements, especially sexy lady. Nevertheless, the traditional Chinese culture in Hong Kong has already been affected, or assimilated, by the Western culture. It is because Hong Kong is an international city where the East meets the West.

    I enjoyed the video conferencing a lot, and it was really a great experience to have a cultural exchange with students from the Stanford University!

    Part 2:
    The cultural product I have chosen is “red packet”. In Chinese society, red packet is usually presented by senior family members at the Lunar New Year, or some special celebratory occasions such as birthday and wedding ceremony. Chinese people believe that the act of giving red packets symbolizes “sending blessings to the others”, while receiving red packets means receiving blessings. The red colour of the envelopes symbolizes fortune. The Chinese words printed on the packets are some words of blessings. The amount of money contained in the red packet should be in an amount of even-number like 20 and 88, and never in odd-number. It is because even-numbers like 88 is lucky number in Chinese culture.

    Name: Ma Yuet Kwan
    SID: 1155002268
    CUHK, Team B

  32. Cheung says:

    1009606081/ Sally Cheung Suet Ying/ CUHK
    Part 1
    The video below is the cultural product I have chosen. In my opinion, it is a good representative for an emotion that is valued in Hong Kong culture- feeling of superiority. This recent advertisement below promotes the sales of a private residential apartment in Hong Kong, it is interesting to pay attention to the advertising approach that is employed.

    The main idea projected by the advertisement is a luxurious lifestyle and social status, through which it construct the feeling of superiority. Our culture’s emphasis on superiority may be related to the cultural concept of “face” in collectivist society. Face can be referred as dignity/prestige, it is the respectability and/or deference which a person can claim for himself from others, by virtue of the relative position he occupies in his social network and the degree to which he is judged to have functioned adequately in that position (Ho, 1976). In other words, our concern for face has driven us to maintain the feeling of superiority. Through the advertisement, you may also see how our pursuit of superiority interrelates with our ideal lifestyle, consumerism and social behavior in Hong Kong.

    Reference
    Ho, David Yau-Fai (1976), “On the Concept of Face,” American Journal of
    Sociology, 81 (4), 867–84

  33. CHEUNG, Ying Kit says:

    Name: CHEUNG, Ying Kit
    SID: 1155010183
    CUHK, Team B

    Our emotion is inevitably shaped by our culture since the culture tells us our values, habits, and history. It provides us guidelines of how we should think and act. It gives us an environment or a reference to grow up. Of course, we may have individual variance in our emotion because within the same culture, we may have different opinions and understanding. Sometimes we may even suffer from our culture and this suffering may shape us having certain emotions. For example, Chinese culture is rather patriarchal. Out common value is that a father should be the one who holds positions of power and prestige. He should be the breadwinner. Therefore, I think a father who is unemployed may have different emotions compared with a father who has a job. And if the case is a mother, it may have another story.
    I noticed that actually there was a mixture of students from two cultures in the class from CUHK. They were the local students and the students from international schools or overseas. For the local students, they were less likely to express their opinions during the discussion. There may have two reasons: Hong Kong Chinese are rather shy to tell their thought in the crowd. Another reason may be because of the language hindrance. After all, English was not their first language. For students from international schools or overseas, they were closer to the students from Stanford. They would share their opinions freely and actively.
    I thought students with the American culture were very active. They were full of self-confidence and wanted to express themselves always. I guess such impression was affected by the stereotyping effect on the individualism in American culture. But during the discussion, I observed that some students from Stanford were rather shy though they were still willing to tell their thoughts. On the other hand, I also observed that some local Hong Kong Chinese students were rather open to express themselves. Though these two observations were the minority, I was impressed a lot because I could see exceptions from my stereotyping thoughts.
    If possible, I would like to try the culture exchange from students speaking the same languages and see the difference without the language hindrance.

    Kit

  34. Yung Charmaine See Ming says:

    Part 1:

    The above is one of the short videos produced by the HK government during the fight against SARS in 2003. There was a campaign called ‘Operation UNITE’ and a series of short videos were produced to boost people’s morale and encourage us to be united in combating SARS. The video showed a group of doctors and nurses working together in providing both medical and psychological care to the patients. According to the main character in the video, Joseph Sung (now Vice-chancellor of CUHK), the medical officers were always willing to offer help to the patients, even if they need to put their own lives at risk. They all put patients’ lives as their first priority and common goal and put their own benefits aside in this critical moment. At the end of the video, we can also see a large group of people from all walks of society giving their support. While watching the video, I could really feel the sense of unity among everyone in HK. The sense of unity has always been an emotion that is valued in the HK culture. In times of crisis, we are always ready to offer a helping hand to people around us and will ride through storms together. Whenever there are disasters, people voluntarily organize social campaigns (e.g. donation campaigns) to show our support. I hope that people in HK will always treasure this ‘sense of unity’.

    Part 2:

    To answer the questions, perhaps we should think about the meaning of culture and emotion. From my point of view, culture represents some values, attitudes or behavior that are shared among a particular group of people. Emotion, on the other hand, represents feelings and cognitive processes in response to different situations. Culture affects emotion because our values and attitudes influence the way we view people and events. Two persons coming from two different cultures may hold different opinion and induce different feelings towards the same issue or occurrence. For example, during the in-class exchange experiment, HK students expressed happy emotions towards advertisements that emphasize love and reunion with family which are important traditional values in the Chinese culture. On the other hand, American students did not show any particular appreciation towards this kind of advertisements. Rather, they prefer advertisements that try to ‘break away from tradition’.

    I always conceive American culture as being more ‘individualistic’ while Chinese culture as more ‘collective’. Therefore, it was not surprising that Chinese advertisements make use of ‘tradition’ and ‘family reunion’ as selling points, whereas American advertisements usually emphasize individual success stories (as in the Subway example) or expression of individual style. The perception that Chinese advertisements are more ‘informative’ in terms of having more ‘word descriptions’ was also in line with my expectation. In fact, I think this is somewhat related to the ‘collective’ culture. It seems to me that the ‘word descriptions’ seem to ‘feed’ consumers with a lot of information that helps build the message that the seller wants to convey. The objective is to implant consumers with (or sometimes remind them of) certain shared values that are related to the brand image. On the other hand, American advertisements, with fewer words and more pictures, may give consumers more room for imagination. Thus, the advertisements may appeal to different individuals differently.

    There may be several misconceptions about the Chinese culture before this activity. For example, American students may have thought Chinese students were more passive in voicing their opinion. However, this was not the case. Although at the beginning of the activity the CUHK students appeared quite shy (the TAs had to invite them to speak), they gradually warmed up and participated actively. Another misconception is about the acceptance of the Dior advertisement. The Stanford students seemed surprised that a lot of HK students showed acceptance towards the ‘Dior’ advertisement. They may view Chinese people as ‘conservative’ and thought we would not like advertisements with so much sexual appeal. However, I think that Chinese people are becoming more and more open-minded nowadays (perhaps owing to their increasing exposure to Western culture).

    I have some additional comments about the experiment. Is it possible to alter the experiment a bit by having a cross-over of the elements from the advertisements from both cultures. For example, for the Group A advertisements, if we replace the ‘smiling American family’ with a ‘smiling Chinese family’, would the students hold different opinion towards them? For the Group C advertisements, if we use the same format of the ‘Kofu wine’ advertisement but replace the bottle of ‘Kofu wine’ by a bottle of popular white wine (e.g. Chardonnay) and adding some word description that trace back the history of this kind of wine, how would the students react? This alteration to the experiment may give us some more interesting ideas on cultural exchange issues.

    Name: Yung Charmaine See Ming
    SID: 1008603971
    CUHK, Team B

  35. HU Yifan says:


    Friends from the U. S. may find this really weird: a large group of people occupied the entire garden, and started to dance. This is actually a preserve activity of Orientation Camps in CUHK–‘camp fire’, where people gathered in large numbers dancing to old Chinese songs with movements handed down by the past generations. Featured in the video clip is the camp fire from one of the CU colleges, Shaw College.
    You may wonder what makes the people so happy. It is not that Chinese people like acting ‘crazily’ very much or that they prefer getting aroused. I guess the key word is ‘gathering’. When a group of people gather together, there are just so many topics to talk about, so much information to share, so many resources to make fun of. I guess this is one of the manifestations of the characteristics of ‘dependent society’, where people depend on the interactions within each other for pleasure and fun.

  36. Christy Lee says:

    Part 1
    I have chosen the advertisement of Dr Tann English Assurance courses in the Ever learning tutorial centre as the cultural product that embodies emotion valued in Hong Kong culture – feeling of success.
    Here is advertisement of tutorial centre, “Ever Learning”:

    As you can hear from the slogan of the advertisement, “Ever learning, we learn for a beautiful life!”, it brings up with a message that academic achievement is very important in Hong Kong, otherwise, your lives turn out to be unsuccessful. In fact, Hong Kong people do value academic achievement, since it is a well indicator of success in the future. Thus, in my opinion, this advertisement would be a good representative of feeling that academic achievement is important for developing successful life in Hong Kong.

    Part 2
    Interesting exchange experience:
    Firstly, I think the cross-cultural discussion is very interesting. It not only gave us an opportunity to understand others’ culture, but also let us know how people in other culture expected us. In spite of looking at the same advertisement, people from different cultural backgrounds see the same thing differently and even each individual in the same culture has different perceptions on the same object.

    1) Relationship between culture and emotion:
    As we talk about the relationship between culture and emotion, I would think that culture is the set of shared values, attitudes, goals and practices that characterizes a group. When people in the same culture see the same cultural object that embodies emotion valued in their culture, they may have the same emotional arousal as well as other cultures may not aroused by the same object though. For instance, as the Chinese students read the moon-cake ad, they would think of the Mid-Autumn festival and reunion of families. But the American students might find it difficult to feel the happiness of Mid-Autumn festival bought since they did not have this festival. Moreover, in U.S.A., distances between home of parents and that of sons are quite long, so it may not be possible to hold gathering when they have one day off only. This turns out to be not suiting their culture.

    2) Expectations about American culture before the exchange:
    Previously, I thought that American would emphasize on individualism, care about achieving one’s own goal, and appreciate other culture. After the exchange, I was surprised by the comments of Stanford students in the tutorial centre ad. When the ad was spreading the message that “less stress, more success”, American would think that academic achievement of family member could bring harmony to family, but not merely focus on personal success. It indicated that they were not as individualistic as I thought.

    3) Expectations I thought students in different culture probably had about my culture:
    My beliefs regarding how westerners thought about us were confirmed in the exchange experiences. They would consider Chinese as traditional, family-oriented, and collective. For instance, in the Kongfu Chinese liquor ad, they would think that it was old-fashioned and not attractive to them. However, I thought this example of Chinese ad could not totally represent the Chinese culture. Due to globalization and urban development, both Hong Kong and Chinese culture are changing and becoming more modern, and people are much more open-minded. As you see many other ads in China or Hong Kong, most of them have been mixed with western culture and Chinese culture already.

    4) Comments that came up during the exchange:
    I found that comments from American students on the Subway sandwich ad to be interesting. When Americans focused on weight loss and the nutrition factor for sandwich, we emphasized on the quality of sandwich and the price. It revealed that there could be a big cultural difference on the same thing, and implied that marketers have to conduct researches on the population with a particular culture in order to understand what targets need and to figure out how their products could be marketed successfully.

    To conclude, I enjoyed the exchange experience with students in different cultures, it did inspire me a lot about how culture made us different. I look forward to the next cultural exchange.

    Name: Lee Hoi Yi, Christy (CUHK)
    SID: 1155000440
    Team: C

  37. Fung Wai Hin says:

    I am glad to have the opportunity to have a web conference with students from the States and exchange our ideas about how culture affects emotion and ads.
    In my opinion, culture is like a filter when we need to form perception and emotion towards the environment. That is, our culture affects how we perceive things and shape our values. While our experience may be similar, our emotion towards it can be totally different due to our culture. For example, in the HK liquor ad, the culture background of the product would probably work for Chinese consumers but not the Americans. Confusianism is such a popular ideology in Chinese society that it creates an authority for whatever linked to it. In fact, confucius was never famous for making liquor, and the ad never mention anything about the product itself except for the ‘confucian recipe’, which no one knows whether it is true or not. Therefore, the whole point of the ad is to convince the audience that drinking this ‘confusian’ liquor will make you more popular among your friends because it is from Confucius and it was served to emperors thousands of years ago. However, for Americans, they do not have the same cultural background as Chinese people. Therefore, they may find it weird and expect more information about the product itself from the ad, as some of the students from Stanford said, the ad ‘reminded her of Halloween’ and ‘was a bit scary’
    Before the conference, I was expecting the US students to actively participate in the dicussion. I would say US students are eager to express their opinion in the conference as expected, however, after a little bit of warm up, I found that Hong Kong students became more active and the difference between the two group of students diminished. One interesting observation for me would be the pattern of responding of Hong Kong students. Usually, we don’t raise up our hands when asked to share our opinions. However, when one person raise up his or her hand, many people follow. I think it is probably that we want to share our opinions, but just don’t want to be the first one and get all the attention. On the contrary, US students do not have this pattern.
    I think students from Stanford would probably thought we were conservative, traditional and relationship-orientated. In fact, it can be shown in the ads we chose. The mooncake ad obviously was about Chinese traditional values of fillial and family reunion. However, I would say the difference wasn’t that big. For example, we participate actively after some warm-up. Also, we don’t really find the Dior ad unacceptable as students from Stanford may expect. I won’t say it is a misconception, instead, I would say the cultures are somewhat mixing in Hong Kong as many of us have exposure to western culture more often.

    Finally, I would like to share a link of an anti-smoking ad in Hong Kong. It is about how popular you would become among you peers after you quit smoking. The background music is a famous old Cantonese song. I think it reflects the collectivist ideology in Hong Kong society as it is more about how other would think positively on you after you quit smoking instead of how you, as an individual will benefit from it.

  38. Sung Yun Cho (Jessica) says:

    Name: Sung Yun Cho, Jessica (CUHK)
    SID:1155014660
    Team: will be in session 2

    part 1 of blog response–cultural

    i chose a trailer from the korean movie “taegeuki” to talk about my culture:

    In korean culture, family is the most important thing, whether it is protecting them, sacrificing on their behalf, or providing for them. Here in the movie, the older brother (long story short) gives up his life for his younger brother. The only focus during the war was to protect his brother.

    This type of thinking can be translated to families like my own, who have immigrated to the US. Parents gave up their lives and homes in Korea and immigrated to the states to provide a better education and lifestyle for their children. I have personally seen the struggles that my parents have gone through, and I have personally reaped the benefits of growing up in the states. Even in other areas of their lives, I see them sacrificing every day, so that I can grow and do the things I want to do–for example, study abroad.

  39. William says:

    This is a really interesting discussion and it is a good chance for both the Stanford’s students and CUHK students to learn a bit more about each other’s culture.
    For me, culture is the common characteristics of certain group of people; it could be anything, like food, religion or behavior. Emotion is a response, both psychologically and physiologically, that help meet some social goals. Like, we cry because we need comfort. As emotion has social functions, it’s no wonder that culture could affect much on emotions and its expression, like display rules. Indeed, people with different cultural backgrounds would have totally different schema towards the same thing. I remember that a student from Standford felt the mooncake ad spooky, probably due to the dark background and the full moon. But we Chinese would associate it with family, which gives us a feeling of warmth and harmony. Culture alters the schema we have and directs our emotions.
    Knowing that American is individualistic, I expected that American students would appreciate or focus more on individual success and improvement. It’s generally true through our discussion. Like, the subway ad, it focuses on the story of a successful businessman. But US students are not that individualistic as I expected before. Like for the tutor ad, its selling point is that the academic achievement could help the family members. I did not really understand the ad at the first sight and thought it should be an ad from health centre or hospital. And now, I realize that being individualistic doesn’t mean they don’t value much on their families or social relationships, but they may act in other ways that we, from other culture, never think of.
    I expected that US students would think Chinese are conservative and that’s the reason they chose the dior ad. And yes, they do, as they’re quite shocked after knowing that quite a lot of hong kong students conform to the ad. Culture is actually a dynamic thing, which will change with time. Most of the Hong Kong people nowadays would actually appreciate it yet some elderly would feel offensive.
    Another interesting thing about the US ads is they are usually not informative. Yes, it is a common strategy to sell affection, but I would not buy a product just because of the attractiveness of its ad design.
    CUHK (team A)
    Leung Chin Cheung William
    1009620652

    • Laura Drohan says:

      I felt that William made an important point about a common tendency to think of other cultures as either individualistic or collectivistic. He pointed out that while some aspects of our culture focus on the self, such as the Subway ad, other aspects value our impact on family members, like the Sylvan tutoring ad. Although the US is viewed as an individualistic society, it is easy to overlook subtle aspects of our culture that value a degree of interdependence.

      But American culture is not the only one that is frequently essentialized. Some Americans tend to generalize about other cultures. For example, Chinese culture is often viewed as a more traditional society that values the common good more than an individual’s well-being. This assumes that the everyone that makes up Chinese culture practices collectivism in its most extreme form, which is not true at all. In reality, all cultures find their own balance of individual and collective values. Different cultures lie on a spectrum and cannot be placed under vague individualist or collectivist categories.

  40. William says:

    Part 1
    I think hopefulness is valued much for Hong Kong people. Hong Kong society is very competitive and many people struggle here for better lives. The average working hours of Hong Kong people ranked high in the world. We work hard not only because of our deligence but also because we strongly believe that our lives could become better in the future. Here is the ad from Cathay pacific. The song “I can fly” touches many people. The lyrics make people hopeful and that’s why it touches many people.

  41. Yuen Shung Chit says:

    Part 1
    SID 1155004430


    This is a commercial for a chain tutorial school in Hong Kong. As friends from US may know that Hong Kong is a place with keen competition in society. People value their children’s competitiveness very much as they are willing to spend a lot on off-campus education. Tutorial becomes a very profitable business in Hong Kong and advertising helps shaping this atmosphere. This ad stressed on the consequence of focusing too much on instant enjoyment but overlooking the importance of studying, so when people grow up, they will face hardship at work. It reminds Hong Kong people of their awareness in education and future prospects, so they have to invest in early time.

    CUHK
    Yuen Shung Chit
    1155004430

  42. Name: Lam Hoi Ting
    SID:1155004073
    Team: will be in session 2

    part 1
    I choose a trailer of a Hong Kong movie as my option of the cultural product.
    A Simple life is a newly made movie directed by Ann Hui. In the movie, the director tries to dives us a syory between an old servant and her little masters Roger. It also gives us a detailed picture of the present culture of taking care elderly people in Hong Kong. Chinese Tradition emphasises the concept of taking care of our parents by ourselves, however, as society changes , many of Hong Kong sons and daughters become busy and lack time to take care of them. Therefore, it gives rise to many elderly rest home and many of the elderly people are looked after by the staff there. Although this is common in recently, but this doesnt mean that some tradition beliefs which have been embedded in our mind for so long were erased. We now still focus on care, love, and respect to elderly people, but just the way to covey all those concept has changed.

  43. Odilia says:

    Part 1
    Apart from focusing on family union, Hong Kong is a place where people stress a lot on creativity and innovation. In order to catch attention, commercial has to use ideas that are fresh to everyone. This ad about a certain bus company is an example. With the interesting background music, together with the different posture that relate bus with everyday life, people would pay much attention on it. Sense of humor is something important in our culture.

    CUHK
    SID: 1155002910
    GROUP A

  44. Edmund Lo says:

    CUHK
    Lo Tak Tsun Edmund
    1008603034

    • Edmund Lo says:

      Group C

      Part 1:

      http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%BA%8F%E5%BF%83%E9%A2%A8%E6%9A%B4

      The cultural product I selected is a TV series “Heart of Greed” Produced by TVBC. It featured struggles between family relationship and the greed on money and power. I believe this is a special cultural product that particularly suits Hong Kong people’s taste because both family relationship and monetary successes are much treasured among many Hong Kong people.

      • Edmund Lo says:

        Part 2:

        Culture affects emotion in two ways. First it affects how a person appraises a situation and also the subsequent emotion that he/she has. For example, suppose a person arrives at a new country to start his/her career. If the person is an American, the more individualistic American culture would prompt the person to appraise this situation as successful or challenging, bringing up more positive emotions, such as feeling energetic and happy. If the person is an Asian, the more collectivistic Asian culture would prompt the person to appraise the situation in a more negative way, such as feeling lonely.
        Second it affects the variety of emotion that one has. For example, for Japanese, their emotion of feeling ashamed would be richer – depends on different situation, they may feel different kind of shames.

        In the exchange last week, I expected American culture would cherish individualism a lot while Hong Kong Chinese culture would cherish both individualism and collectivism. Expectation on American culture was confirmed, but for the Hong Kong Chinese culture, it turned out to be cherishing individualism less than I had expected.
        I expected the American students in the exchange would conceive us to be very collectivistic. This was confirmed because the participants in America side often stressed that we care more about relationships between family and friends. Their expectations were correct, but personally I believe Hong Kong people also cherish a certain degree of individualism, especially on career issues.

  45. CUHK/ Vivian Ho Chi Tong/ s1155014806

    Part 1
    The cultural product that I have chosen is glutinous rice balls.This cultural product is said to have originated from the fourth century in China, but became popular in the Tang and Song dynasties. The rice balls are traditionally filled with red bean paste, sesame paste, or peanut butter paste. Some are even eaten without any fillings. Asians, in general, treasure family, particularly during special occasions, such as New Year’s, and the Mid-Autumn Festival. The glutinous rice ball’s round shape symbolizes reunion and happiness, as does its name, tang yuan, hence they are during those celebratory occasions. The glutinous rice balls are still an extremely popular dessert for the younger generations, and can be eaten regardless of occasion.

    Picture of Glutinous Rice Balls:

  46. Cheng Wai Sum says:

    Part 1
    http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/photos.htm?shopid=2431&position=6&page=1

    Hunger breeds discontent. When we talk about the culture in Hong Kong, we cannot leave out the eating part; and when we mention the eating style of Hong Kong people, we should definitely pay attention to the most characteristic restaurant in Hong Kong—“Cha Chan Teng”. We can say it is a combination of eastern and western restaurants because both eastern and western dishes are served in the same place. In the first photo from the above link, we can see that there is a glass of cold milk tea, a cup of hot tea with condensed milk and a pineapple bread with butter. Although many different kinds of dishes are provided, these three are the most representative. Somebody says that if “Cha Chan Teng” cannot provide these three with good taste, it will never be a successful restaurant. I choose “Cha Chan Teng” as a representation of the culture in Hong Kong, not only because Hong Kong people like the foods, but also because of the people’s emotion and sentiment towards it. “Cha Chan Teng” is not only a place for people having meals or tea, but also a place to gather friends. Whenever we talk about “Cha Chan Teng”, many people may think of the time they spent with their friends and the things that they did in the past. All of a sudden, the memories which have been forgotten for a period of time come back. Moreover, “Cha Chan Teng” allows us to feel that we are all linked together although we do not know the people around us. It is because all Hong Kong people must have eaten the foods before and have the memorable time spending with friends.

    Part 2

    In my opinion, although there is individual difference among the people, people who share the same culture have similar emotion. When people are having the same culture, they have lots of similar things both physically and psychologically such as behaviors, languages, perception of the world, beliefs and values. Due to the similar living style, people having the same culture perceive things in a similar way and have similar emotions towards the things. In the cross-cultural discussion, although both students from CUHK and Stanford saw the same advertisement, there was a quite obvious difference between the perceptions of the students from different universities. Take the second set of advertisements as the example. In the ad selling subway, students from Stanford put more focus on the story of the man who ate subway in order to help him to lose weight; in contrast, students from CUHK put more focus on the price and the taste of the subway when considering whether to buy it or not. In the ad selling moon cakes, some students from Stanford thought that the ad was a bit scary due to the dark background; however, students from CUHK liked the ad a lot because it could express the warmth and the love when people had reunion with the family during mid-autumn festival. From these, we can see that culture can drive us to have different emotions.

    Before the exchange, I thought that American were more active when they expressed their points of views while Hong Kong people were more passive. This was true only in the beginning of the cross-cultural discussion. During the “warm-up” period, the teacher assistants needed to invite students to give response by giving the microphones to them. However, after a while, students from CUHK were also active to give response and express their views towards the ads. Apart from that, I also thought that American were more individualistic while Hong Kong people were more collectivistic. However, it was not right at all. In the first set of ads which were about the academic success, the ad from American seemed to be more collectivistic because it linked up the academic success with the success in family while the ad from Hong Kong seemed to be more individualistic because it gave out the message such that academic success only belonged to the one who worked hard on school.

    I think students from Stanford may think that Hong Kong people having a Chinese culture may be more collectivistic and more conservative. They may think that we are less active when we express our views towards the ads, which has been proved to be incorrect. Moreover, they may think that there may not anyone like or accept the ads from the American because Chinese are more conservative, but the fact is that some students from CUHK like the ads from the American more than those from Hong Kong. Apart from that, they may think that we accept the ads from western culture, the ad of Dior, in a less proportion than they as they feel shocked when they see so many hands up in choosing the ad of Dior.

    I think this cross-cultural discussion is a great valuable experience for me. I really enjoy it and I hope to have other discussions in the future as it can greatly help us to know more about the cultural difference in a real setting.

    Name: Cheng Wai Sum
    SID: 1155006698
    CUHK, Team B

  47. WONG, Wai Shing says:

    This is an advertisement selling soya milk in 2009. In the video, the actors are singing a song called ‘Stand by me’ and the scene is always showing a group of friends smiling together. It wants to make people think that drinking this soya milk with your friends can strengthen one’s friendship with others and bring one happiness. In my opinion, unity is the most valuable part of Chinese culture and this advertisement can deliver this message.
    Friends can give us support and encouragement, as shown in the lyrics of the song ‘Stand by me’. We can also share happiness and miseries with them. As long as we have friends, we can overcome many obstacles and enjoy our lives.

    Name: WONG, Wai Shing
    SID: 1155000897
    CUHK

  48. CHU Pak Fong says:

    I am an international student studying in CUHK who comes from Macau. So I will now introduce a traditional and famous food of Macau, the “Pastel de nata”.

    Here’s a link from wiki about Pastel de nata:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastel_de_nata

    Here’s a website about the most famous Pastel de nata in Macau:
    http://www.lordstow.com

    Information about Macau:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macau

    Macau is famous of its historical heritages from both Chinese and Portuguese cultures and its casinos. What I am introducing to you is a famous food, which is representative of Macau people’s view and emotion about the traditional and historical values of this city. Pastel de nata has a long history in Macau and it’s still a bright mark of Macau. From this we can see, we are devoted in keeping and protecting the cultural products of us. In recent years, Macau government are putting more effort and money in maintaining and development this heritages. As a result, Macau has become a well-famous city all over the world and attracts many tourists to come everyday. Not only historical culture, Macau also has its modern aspect of culture such as gambling and modern landmarks. In conclusion, I suggest you to come and experience the wonder behind my culture.

    At the end, here’s a funny clip about a famous “cooking show” happened on the street:

    Part2:

    This exchange experience gives me a deeper concept about the relationship between culture and emotion. The meaning of “culture” for me is something (an idea, history, or spirit, etc) that is representative to that specific area, which is also a special characteristic for the people inside that area, while “emotion” is the way of expressing personal feelings toward other stimuli. Although we are students inside the similar age group but the differences in cultural contexts made us respond differently in emption on the same ad. Hence, we can notice that culture is linked with emotion and can shape it in different ways. For example, western countries are more mind-opened to sexual relationship while Asians are more conservative in this aspect.

    Before the exchange experience, I expected that the American students were more willing to say out their ideas or express their feelings, and the American ad will mainly focus on the individualism and liberty in American culture. The result confirmed with my first point – Stanford’s students were more interactive in the discussion and had shared more about their own feelings and thoughts over the advertisements. Oppositely, HK students were slow-to-warm-up in the discussion over the topic. And the content of the American ads were quite fitted to me expectation. The 2nd and 3rd ads were concentrated on individualism, talking about how a person succeeded and how a person could attract other’s attention. However, the 1st ad gave me a surprise idea that American culture also focused on FAMILY. The idea of family-as-a-unit was linked to reducing stress. This gave me a new understanding of American culture. Nevertheless, liberty seemed was not a point to focus in American ads.

    Actually I am an international student studying in CUHK who comes from Macau, a small city next to HK which famous of the casinos. Many people may not understand much about this tiny city and may think that Macau is straggled in technology, education or development. However I can say, this is a totally wrong concept about Macau. Macau is a place that combines of Chinese and Western culture (mostly Portuguese) and is a highly developed city. Macau’s culture contains traditional elements and new-technological ideas. Where can you find a place with such fruitful cultural products and histories? If you have a chance, I strongly recommended you to visit Macau and experience the combination and Chinese and Portuguese cultures.

    At the end, I want to say that I really enjoy the video discussion with the Stanford students. From the observation and participation in the discussion, I notice that the linkage between culture and emotion is an important aspect that we cannot neglect.
    Looking forward to have another cultural exchange 🙂

    CUHK
    CHU, Pak Fong
    1155004600
    Group A

  49. Part 1:
    ‘SLIGHT’

    I have chosen a short video produced by a campaign in HK called Lovemore♥HK, titled ‘SLIGHT’.
    In this video, an old woman is picking soft drink cans for sale. Her work is to collect the cans into a bag, and then to flatten the cans by stepping on it, and finally get the cans to the recycling factory with a trolley. This is her everyday and usual work. However, two young guys appear today and make some difference. At first, they seem to be bullying the old woman by causing a chaos to the basket of cans. But actually they are just trying to help her with a different and funny way: hip hop dance. We cannot relate dancing to a harworking, old woman’s life. But what this video reflects is that even something ridiculous, or as slight as giving someone a helping hand like this, it can makes difference to their lives. I think this character of caring the weak is observable in Hong Kong people. Sometimes, we make some effort that is so small, but can bring warmness and happiness to others. For example, we hold the door for people with disabilities or carrying heavy bags. This character should be valued and raised among ourselves and also in other cultures.

    Name: Ngai Yee Shan
    SID: 1155000945
    CUHK, Team B

  50. WONG, Wai Shing says:

    This is an advertisement selling soya milk in 2009. In the video, the actors are singing a song called ‘Stand by me’ and the scene is always showing a group of friends smiling together. It wants to make people think that drinking this soya milk with your friends can strengthen one’s friendship with others and bring one happiness. In my opinion, unity is the most valuable part of Chinese culture and this advertisement can deliver this message.
    Friends can give us support and encouragement, as shown in the lyrics of the song ‘Stand by me’. We can also share happiness and miseries with them. As long as we have friends, we can overcome many obstacles and enjoy our lives.

    Name: WONG, Wai Shing
    SID: 1155000897
    CUHK

  51. Lam Ka Wai says:

    飲茶~幸运楼酒家

    中壢中信港式飲茶

    part 1

    Actually, I think people around the world share similar emotions, and here are basic emotions for human like happiness, anger, etc. Nevertheless, the way or the media for us to feel the same emotion can be totally different.

    I would like to note about the culture of “Yum cha” of the Chinese people, which for them meaning the happiness and warmth shared among the family and beloved. Chinese people emphasize the relationships with family and friends, “Yum cha” is the activity that people having breakfast, which is drink tea and eat dim sum together. This form of breakfast is as follow:
    Find a table (usually round one) and order the type of Chinese tea, and people usually use the tea to wash the eating and drinking utilities before they eat, later they can order the different types of dim sum from a dim sum cart, and the order will be marked on a dim sum sheet where order is represented by the chop.
    Hong Kong people enjoy this type of breakfast very much as it is famous culture here, we treasure the time yum cha with family, talking and drinking in a leisure way, that’s why this type of restaurant is usaully full in the Sunday morning, it’s like family members can enjoy their shared moment and take a rest here. For me, yum cha was the activity that is cherish in my memory, when I was young, it’s happy to go yum cha with family, it reminds me the warmth and happiness with my family, it shows the union and binding among the family.

    Name: Lam Ka Wai
    SID:1009618622
    CUHK

  52. Huang Lillian Ting says:


    This commercial sells slimming services, like a beauty salon, except on its emphasis on slimming and breast lifting services. The trend of slimming down keeps on circulating in our society. This commercial emphasis on the attraction of a “slim” woman to young man. It uses a typical scenario (the beach) in which women would hate their extra pounds the most. In fact this kind of commercials are flooding in Hong Kong, and the attractiveness rather than the healthiness of a women is usually stressed. Though this is more or less a cliche topic to discuss, it is interesting to see how globalization affects a culture’s concept of beauty.
    Huang Lillian Ting
    CUHK
    SID: 1155003503

  53. Wong Lok Yee says:

    Part 1:

    This song is one of my favorite Chinese pop songs sung by a famous Chinese singer, Faye Wong back in 1999, and translated into English, it is known as “Wishing We Last Forever”. This song is special in the way that, it has made use of a poem written by the Song Dynasty poet, Su Shi, as the lyrics of the song. The lyrics/poem has conveyed the poet’s desire for family reunion, and its popularity among Hongkongers has also reflected how Hong Kong people value the importance of strong family bonds.

    Part 2:

    Different culture have different cultural distinction, while Western culture tends to emphasize more on individualistic values, Chinese culture tends to be more collectivist in nature, highlighting more on family bonds and Chinese tradition. With such differences in our culture, people living in respective culture would also be intensely influenced by those values promoted by their own culture, and therefore, people may develop different values and emotions. These emotions may also be reflected through advertisements in newspapers, magazines and on tv, since its people would be more interested in the ads if emotions valued in their culture is promoted.

    Before the exchange, I have the preconceived notions that Hong Kong Chinese would probably have more advertisements that stress on the importance of family bonds and reunion, especially with the fact that the Mid-Autumn Festival was approaching. This expectation was confirmed by the advertisement advertising moon cake, and the important thing is that, instead of showing a moon cake, the advertisement had shown a mother and son, which represent family reunion, and this ad must have aroused the interest of many Hongkongers, who would identify with such emotion very strongly.
    On the other hand, I have the expectation that in American culture, there would be probably more advertisements promoting individualistic values, especially personal success, and this is also confirmed during the exchange, especially with the ad that was selling Subway sandwiches. My daily observation is that it is rather uncommon for Hong Kong advertisements to make use of an individual’s success story to draw the attention of the people, and as some of our fellow classmates pointed out, Subway advertisements in Hong Kong usually have nothing other than the price of different sandwiches. Thus, such differences in our advertisements have further reassured my preconceived notion that personal success is valued greatly in American culture, and ads that promote such idea would probably arouse the emotions of Americans more than Chinese do.

    I think students in American culture would probably have very similar preconceived notion towards Chinese culture and emotions as we Hong Kong students do, since from the exchange with the American students, they had also reflected their opinion that Chinese people stress more on family bonds. Although some may have the expectation that Chinese culture value more on family success since it is more collectivist in nature, this may be a misconception towards our culture, since nowadays in Hong Kong, people value personal success more, even parents try to encourage their children to study harder for the sake of their own future career prospect. In Hong Kong, children and teenagers would no longer study hard so as “to make my family proud”, and this is value may be rather similar to that of the Americans, and this is also confirmed by the local tutoring advertisement presented during the exchange.

    Name: Wong Lok Yee
    SID: 1155003939
    CUHK; Team C

  54. Sin Ka Yiu, Emma says:

    I would like to share one of my favorite movies that can show the thing valued most in the Chinese culture, that is relationship in family. As the above comments shown, there are actually many types of relationship valued in our culture, including relationship between family, couples, ‘brothers’ and friends etc. But among all of these relationships, I think the relationship between fathers and daughters are the most touching one. It is because in the mind of Chinese, fathers have the highest status at home and are responsible for making commands. Fathers are encouraged to be sober and seldom talk unless crisis occurs. However, they will relax and smiles will appear in their faces when they are looking to their daughters.

    The link of ‘Run Papa Run’ trailer

    And this Hong Kong film, ‘Run Papa Run’, can definitely express the love and care of a father towards his beloved daughter. The main character of this movie is the leader of a triad society. In his entire life, he has never been a good leader, a good son and even a good husband. However, after the birth of his daughter, he started to make changes in his life and becomes a good father. In order to give his daughter a peaceful life, he converts his criminal business into legitimate one like running tutorial centers and financial institutions. Besides, he even replaced his scary tiger tattoo with a cartoon one after seeing his daughter crying due to the tattoo. The film is full of touching scenes, which reflect how a father express his endless love towards his daughter. And I think this kind of feeling and the joy within it is most valued in our culture.

    CUHK
    Sin Ka Yiu, Emma
    1155002381
    Team: not yet arranged

  55. Fan Tsz Chin says:

    Part 1:

    The Golden Elephant Brand is the number one rice seller in Hong Kong. A Cantonese song that praises the love of family is played throughout this TV advertisement. The lyrics say family love is pure, beautiful and everlasting. The video images also suggest that parents work hard to raise their children. From this TV advertisement, we can see that rice is associated with family bond and the brand is trying to reinforce this linkage.

    Family bond is much valued in Chinese culture. In a collective society, we treasure qualities like harmony, consideration and support. Family is the immediate environment where we gain comfort and support from, while eating meals together represents closeness. In fact in celebrating Chinese festivals, Chinese would invite family and relatives to have home-made meals and rice is a must-have item.

    FAN Tsz Chin
    SID: 1155003428
    CUHK

  56. POON King Yi says:

    This photo shows family members going yum cha together. I think that this picture represents an emotion which is highly valued in my culture: filial piety.

    During weekends or special holidays such as Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day, Chinese people like to go yum cha with their parents as well as their grandparents. It is a very good activity for family gathering as the grandparents who have difficulty walking can participate too. Yum cha is not only about dinning together but more importantly to accompany the grandparents and cheer them up. Children who have earning ability would also pay the bill to thank the parents or even the grandparents for raising them up because it is common for Chinese children to be taken care by their grandparents or living with them.

    Chinese children are taught by the parents, teachers and even story books to show respect to the senior members of the family since they are very little. It is our duty to take care of our parents when we grow up.

    Name: POON King Yi
    SID: 1155000117
    CUHK

  57. Leung Ka Man says:

    The cultural product I choose is yum cha (drinking tea), which is an Chinese traditional activity involving drinking chinese tea and eating dishes called dim sum. I think such activity embodies family warmth which our culture emphasizes a lot. What will you think of when talking about yum cha? It is an important product in Chinese culture as it links people, especially family members together and is one of the Chinese traditions. Many Chinese gather in Chinese restaurant to have meal together in the holidays as a family gathering. During the meal, people chat with their family members and eat dim sum together in a round table. Particularly, people will fill others’ teacup. Such activity is important in Chinese culture as people treasure family al lot. And like the hot tea, many families are full of warmth and care. When going to yum cha, you can always feel the warmth in it and thus being in love with it.

    below are the links for the picture or video describing yum cha:

    1) a picture with Hong Kong comic characters showing what yum cha is like:
    http://media.photobucket.com/image/%25E9%25A3%25B2%25E8%258C%25B6/ping6173_photo/235.gif?t=1255268534

    2) a short video showing what yum cha is like:

    Name: Leung Ka Man
    SID: 1155003540
    team A, CUHK

  58. Philip Chan says:

    To talk about the relationship between culture and emotion, I would first of all define ‘culture’ as a product of people’s abilities or reactions towards their own needs in corresponding environments. In order to adapt to the environment, or to meet the challenges, people in the same group there would develop some shared values or practices, which would be insisted to keep. Therefore, when people in the same group meet certain cultural aspects of their own kind, they would arouse similar emotions which the others would not have such arousal. Just like the Mid-Autumn Festival, the feelings of eating moon cakes in Hong Kong with families or friends would be way different in America.

    Before the discussion, I thought American students would be more individualistic, focusing on personal success and they would be more active than the HK students, keen on leading the discussion. Moreover, I thought American students tend to be more creative and able to look things at various angles whilst they would think that HK students would be more conservative and way more passive than them. After the discussion I think some parts of my expectations are confirmed, for instance the American students really participated in a more active way while HK students were more passive, rarely spoke out unless being asked by tutors, while interestingly, when HK students became more familiar with the environment they were more active. Perhaps that is the way HK students act: in a new environment, they tend to be passive until they are familiar with the situation. Also the American students were not that individualistic, as shown by the ads, reflecting the concept of ‘family’.

    I choose chopsticks (http://hk.wrs.yahoo.com/_ylt=A3OyCpW8zXBO.DcAkgq.ygt./SIG=128puqcui/EXP=1316044348/**http%3a//images.xooob.com/20081199/200811992041465.jpg)
    to represent our culture. Chopsticks are like other cultural products, for example red pocket, that they represent several meanings in different situations. For instance, in a wedding party, usually guests would be given a pair of well-warped chopsticks, meaning best wishes towards the couples and also the guests; if the chopsticks are ‘stabbed’ into a bowl of rice, we could not eat it as it should be served for dead people. Through chopsticks, you can see that Chinese people like to give meanings to things in different situations, and the Chinese need to be aware of those implied meanings of cultural products as if they put it in the wrong way, they may be misunderstood.

    Name: Chan Shun Leung (CUHK team A)
    ID: 1009629072

  59. WaiWai says:

    Part 1.

    The cultural product I’ve chosen is a video clip from the movie Yin Shi Nan Nu(aka Eat Drink Man Woman) directed by Ang Lee. It’s about a master chinese cuisine chef in his retired age and his three grown daughters. So we can imagine the film to be about family. All four characters are having their own problems: the old father having aging crisis because of his fading sense of taste and the death of an old friend; the daugthers having their own lives and issues, though live with their father, but mentally not bound together. The moive is about how they sort out their problems. In the end, two girls moved out, but funny thing is that they are more bound together than before.
    This movie reveals two values of chinese culture: family and eat well. Eating is important to Chinese since the very ancient time as revealed by some chinese old saying and historical stories. A seemingly simple chinese dish could involve complicated procedures. Eat well not only brings contentment, happiness, but also plays a role in bringing family harmony. Scenes of family meal are throughout the movie and it’s actually the only time in a week that they sit together for the chinese feast prepared by their chef father.

    Part 2

    What I have learnt about emotion and culture is that emotions are responses to environmental events and stimuli, cultural factor can shape emotion by affecting how we feel towards the stimuli and telling how emotion should be expressed and when the emotion is exhibited, and of course on how others’ emotions are interpreted. For example, considering the universal indicator of positive affect, smile, the wide smile in the Learning Centre’s Ad seemed a little bit faked smile to me whereas Stanford students seemed to interpret it as genuine happily smile.

    About the internet exchange, I have to say it’s such a novel and interesting idea that I have never expected for in the university despite the technical imperfection. Knowing that there would be video conferencing with the Stanford students, I was kind of worried that we CUHK students may be too passive that no one’s willing to give comments as Easterners are perceived as more hesitant in standing out from the group and in giving comments. It was indeed the case that CUHK Asians are more passive than the Stanford students. But it was actually less serious as I imagined considering the language obstacle, large class size.

    A misconception that the American students probably had about us is that Chinese are conservative and traditional which was confirmed by them being surprised seeing many Hong Kong students like the Dior Ads. Actually I would say most young generations in Hong Kong or other regions of China are quite open-minded due to the exposure to different cultures under globalization. But in the other hand, we also embrace the traditional Chinese values, that’s why we can appreciate the underlying value in the moon cake ads and understand the rationale used in the Chinese liquor Ads.
    Lastly, I would like to point out and also remind myself that those characteristics of a certain culture are not the whole picture of that particular culture though they may be more noticeable compared to other cultures. For example, though individualism is valued in American culture, but family is also important to many people, likewise we Chinese treasure the family and traditional values, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t strive for success. Also, significant individual differences exist among a group, we shouldn’t label or replace an individual with the features of that group.

    Name: Ng Wai Wai
    SID: 1155002629
    Team: C

  60. Tina says:

    SID 1155002467
    Tina Yeung Yin Ping

    Part 1
    This is one of the most unforgettable ads I have ever watched. To me, its not only an ad to revitalize a fading product, it reminds me more about youth, as well as the memory of my old school friends.
    Vita soya bean milk is not the most fashionable drink. It is a old school drink particularly popular in 80s in Hong Kong. As time changed, vita soya bean milk gradually lost its marketing with the rise of other soft drinks. Hong Kong people still drink Vitasoy, but Vitasoy does not occupy market share as much as that in the past time. That’s why Vita tried to make a new ad to attract more youngsters to be its target group.
    I can say the effect is quite potent. Youth is an universally accepted positive attribute in all kinds of ad, including China, Hong Kong and other Western countries. But what specifically remarkable is the emphasis on the MEMORY, or reminiscing the old days. The ad remind us of the school days, even when the scene was shot in modern HK, with lots of youth element, there is still one shot of students buying Vitasoy in an old-fashioned grocery store. We reminisce our days of buying Vitasoy, just like we reminisced the historical meaning of the queen’s ferry pier, the clock tower (which were both torn down for urban redevelopment). This is rarely seen in other place, like in China, technical development is well-praised. On the other hand, Hong Kong, as one of the most developed cities in the world, continues to pursue development, with embrace to our old history.

  61. LEI Mei Fong says:

    (Part 1) – http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i30/su1224/ScreenShot2011-09-14at115319PM.png

    The above link is a photo of a traditional Chinese wedding invitation card. You can see that the cover is with a Chinese word called “double happiness”, written “hsi” or “xi”. The word is not in regular Chinese writing, which combined with two standard Chinese characters for happiness. The two “hsi” graphics symbolize the new couple to have happiness together. It is specially used in Chinese wedding for marital happiness.

    Also, red is also the color of celebration. Using the red color with the word “double happiness” makes the card effective valuable to Chinese culture. Mostly, you will see many products printed with this red word in traditional Chinese wedding. All these would bring out happiness feeling and message to people around.

    Name: Susanna, LEI Mei Fong (CUHK)
    SID: 1155000439

  62. Chan Lok Yi says:

    Part 1:

    This is the advertisement of MTR. It shows the development of MTR and wants people to show understanding for the inconvenience due to MTR’s construction work. The background music is the “Lion Mountain”, which is a well-known song among Hong Kong people. I think the advertising company is so intelligent to make use of the relationship between culture and emotion. Because all Hong Kong people are familiar with those scenes (Emotion), which are the “collective memory” (Culture). Then the messege in the advertisement will become more acceptable.

    Name: Chan Lok Yi
    SID: 1155002448

  63. Kate Law says:

    Part 1

    This is a TVC of a local supermarket. Traditional Chinese people emphasizes the relationships with their family members and put them in their first place. However, Hong Kong is such a fast-pacing city that people hardly find any leisure time for their family members. They work all days and nights just for earning money to ensure that their family members have a good living standard. Therefore, Hongkongers really treasure the time spent with their family. This commercial is showing that the little girl, who desires to see and stays with her father like the other little girls in Hong Kong, is trying to save money with many methods to “buy” her father for a chance to stay with him. And one of the method is visiting that supermarket and you will find how cheap the price is in that supermarket. This implies you can save enough money by visiting this supermarket to stay with your father.
    It is quite touching for Hongkongers, at least for me. I am living in a traditional chinese family. I hardly see my father as he always work and work leaving no time for his family. Therefore, I think it is a dream for every little girl in Hong Kong to stay with her father and play with him. This commercial shows how Hongkongers cherish their family and how much they want to stay with them.

    Part 2

    I have never thought of the relationship between culture and emotion before the last lecture. In the web conference, I found that culture is an important component in expressing our emotions. From my understanding, culture is a concept that affects our attitude or living habits due to history, or something like that while emotion is a way of how we expressing our attitudes or feelings towards a particular event. In the last lecture, I could see how we react differently towards to same ad. For example, in the ad with a man selling sandwiches, all Hong Kong students said that they didn’t like that ad because they just focused on the price and taste of the sandwiches while the American students expressed their different attitudes towards that ad. I can see different emotions expressed due to different cultures in the web conference.

    Before the conference, I expected that the American are confident in speaking out loud their own opinions while the Hong Kong Chinese are shy in sharing their opinions. My preconceived notions matched what I found in the web conference. Even though American didn’t agree with the majority, they didn’t mind to share what they thought about and they insisted on their own ideas. However, Hong Kong students would only express their standpoints after finding that the majority had the same standpoints with them. For example, most of the Hong Kong students raised their arm after seeing the others raised it as well when being asked if they liked the ad shown. On the other side, I expected Americans emphasized individualism before the conference while Hong Kong Chinese focused on community, family or team spirit. However, what I found in the last lecture contradicted with my expectation. I remembered the Americans were quite collectivistic like Hong Kong students as they loved the first ad which linked success in academic results with success in family relationships. I was so surprised to see the American being amused by this ad.

    I expected the Americans would think Hong Kong students are conservative and traditional. Therefore, in the exchange, as I predicted, they were really shocked when they saw many of us liked the ad of Dior as they would think that we cannot accept this kind of ad. I think this misconception is due to the media in America as they always instill some wrong messages.

    This exchange experience is quite inspiring to me.

    Name: Law Yuk Ting | SID: 1155003575 | CUHK | Group A

  64. Gary Lau says:

    Part 1

    This is the trailer from one of my favourite movies “Ip Man”. The movie tells a story about a Chinese martial artist called Ip Man. This movie is a typical Chinese action movie in which lots of Chinese tradition values are shown.

    One of the values is the emphasis of family relationship. Ip Man thinks that having lunch or dinner with family is the most important thing to do. He thought that respect to family, especially his wife, matter the most. If a person has an outstanding individual achievement, but doesn’t respect to his family, the Chinese society would still consider that person as a loser.

    Another major aspect is the spirit of Kung Fu. The movie conveys the notion that Kung Fu is not about damaging, harming people. It is about defense. When Ip were having friendly competition with other masters, he would not use all his force to hit his opponent whenever he got the victory. This act earned respect from his colleagues. This represent one of the values in Chinese, that is being calm, peaceful, don’t be aggressive. After all, winning is not important. The most important thing is maintain a good and peaceful relationship with others.

    CUHK
    Lau Tin Lok Gary
    1155003587

  65. gigiwu says:

    Part 1

    Hong Kong is a very hard working city, you don’t only find 24 hours convenience stores just right the corners of every street but also 24 hours supermarkets and restaurants. People are competing with time every minute, they try to get as many things done as possible with the time they have. This habit of us may have been passed down from the old times where most of the Hong Kong people were hardly earning enough to support their daily living. Therefore we believed that we must work hard to earn what we desire.
    This green tea ad put its emphasis on how people in Hong Kong should loosen up from their intense living style. It shows that you can have fun even when you are stuck in the traffic and even at work by consuming their product. What is more remarkable is that in the advert the lady said ‘relax, Hong Kongers!’ this shows that it is implicitly agreed that people from Hong Kong has a more stressful living style.

    Part 2
    So far, I have limited knowledge on the relationship between culture and emotion. However, from the discussion with the Stanford students I come to notice the different responses and emotions one might give and experience from the same matter, due to their cultural background.

    Prior to the video conference discussion I expected the Stanford students to favor their own adverts more since they tend to have more easy-going characteristics, who are less concerned with the details and get attracted by the general story and meaning the advert is trying to bring out, when compared to the Hong Kong Chinese who favors detailed information. The education ads proved me wrong with most American students preferring the Hong Kong education ad. Also the responses in both ads may suggest that Hong Kong people are generally less interested in dealing with their stress from work and they don’t see stress from their children’s education as a major problem of the family. In contrast, Americans are more concerns with stress and encourage anti-stress activities.

    It was understandable and anticipated that the Standford students did not prefer the other two ads from our side since they are both very culture based. However, the liquor ad from our side, in my opinion, is targeted to an older age group. Therefore even some of the Hong Kong Chinese of our age may not fully understand the message it is trying to convey. This makes it even less surprising for the Stanford student to find it not attractive. However, this advert does show how the culture history is valued in our society, especially to the older generations. As mention in the discussion Americans are less likely to put a history element into their advert due to the diversity of background in their society. This makes me wonder if this suggests that our cultural backgrounds play a role in shaping our emotion responses.
    Gigi Wu
    1155004942
    Team C

  66. Feng Chen says:

    Part I

    The video above is published by a company named Tengxun, who is being famous for a chat software–QQ. QQ is just like MSN, as we can talk to people, even see them from thousands of miles away. It is super popular in mainland China, over 2 hundred million people using it.
    The story is about a young boy used to be really impatient to his mother, who loves him deeply but not in the way he wanted, then when he went studying abroad and left home eventually, his mom learned herself how to operate computer and how to use QQ to chat with him. Finally he found out the meaning of family and the product QQ gave children and parents a chance to reunion.

    Leaving home to HK for over a year, every time I see this video, I can not stop tears dropping, because it is just like what I am experiencing. I think this advertisment concerning a new tech product shows us really traditional Chinese view toward the concept — family. China is formed based on family as its unit. So, in Chinese culture, we measure family the most t, even though there may be great generation gaps & misunderstands between kids and parents, they still regard each other the most important one in the world, just as the video shows.

    Part II

    During the discussion between Standford’s stundents and us, I saw some commons and also differences. Before the discussion, I hold an expection that American students are more open and more interactive than us, haviing great willingness to speak out, may even kind of aggressive sometimes, while HK’s students are quite shy and less outgoing and more intended to be listeners rather than speakers, because in most of the courses I have attended, we are really like that. In fact, what I thought is proved to be not that correct. At the very begining of it, HK students are a bit quiet and American students lead the discussion indeed. However, with the progression, HK’s students are motivated by the other side of internet, and speak some remarkable ideas out initiatively. They raise interesting questions as well. In Chinese culture, we are influenced by Confucianism a lot, where being middlebrow is the best style of a person, but now, as the Western culture flow in, standing out and being a leader are appreciated now. In addition, the American are not aggressive at all and they are really inspire HK’s students and being good listeners.

    Moreover, there are also some distinctions on ads presented. The individualism in American students are discussed a lot above, however, the feature interets me most is the way we introduce our production. The Western ads are focused on what it is like or where it is from or what it will brings, the Subway one for instance, while Chinese ads are concerning on what it feels like rather that what it is. The mooncake feeling like reunion and the Chinese wine feeling like wind & poem are both examples for that. To my opinion, this distinction reflects culture differences in a great way. American culture are quite practicle and straightforward, as they heal cancer by cutting the tumor off directly. However, Chinese are more about feeling and meaning than a specific subject, thus, traditional Chinese medical science tends to give meicines to adjust the whole body feeling instead of cutting the sick part when facing cancer.

    The gap between two cultures is never small. If we can truely open ourselves up, we will benefit a lot.

    Name: Feng Chen (CUHK team B)
    ID: 1155001917

  67. Chan Shui Fun says:

    Part 1:

    Lion dance is one of the Chinese traditional cultures. We usually would have lion dance to celebrate certain Chinese traditional festival such as the Lunar New Year. We Chinese people believe that performing lion dance could bring us good luck. Owing to this belief, there may be a performance of lion dance on the opening day of a new shop as the shop owner hopes the lion dance would bring good luck to the shop.

    Part 2:
    First of all, I am very happy to have a chance to share my opinions with students from the Stanford University.

    In a certain extent, emotions are basically universal. That is, everyone share the same feelings when facing a particular incident. Say for an example, people smile when they are happy and cry when they feel sad. Yet, there are some cases that people may have different emotions towards a certain matter. Cultural differences may be one of the reasons behind this phenomenon. Take the advertisement of selling moon cakes as an example, we Hong Kong students understand this advertisement though there are no photos of moon cakes and we can feel the warmth by seeing the mother and son. However, students from the Standford University may not understand the background of the Mid-Autumn Festival and thus did not feel the same as us. This can show that emotions sometimes may be influenced by different cultures.

    I am used to think that American would see themselves as an individual but Chinese people would concern more on their family or friends. The exchange confirmed me with this preconceived notions. Like the example that I have mentioned above, Students from the Stanford University also claimed that they seldom have an advertisement that aims to sell the warmth among family. Yet, they usually show individual’s success in an advertisement. However, we Chinese stress more on family or Chinese culture. It is an important issue to gather family members together in certain Chinese traditional festival.

    I think that students in the other culture probably would think that we show collectivism and care more about the Chinese traditions. This can be shown by the differences in the styles of advertisements posted. However, Hong Kong is such a special place that possesses a fusion of Chinese and Western cultures. Some of our advertisement may also show some kinds of American styles which stress less on family and traditions. Throughout the exchange session, they may also find out that we actually stress more on words, whereas there are usually fewer words but more pictures in the American advertisement. This phenomenon is something that I or maybe they have never thought about.

    Chan Shui Fun
    CUHK
    SID: 1155002549
    Team A

  68. Wong Ka Yan says:

    Part 1:

    This advertisement was released in 2009 and was about life insurance plan. Customers are asked to pay regularly and the money paid will be used invested. The regular interest income can provide enough money for customers to achieve their goals in different life stages.

    The plot of this advertisement is the father cares about his unborn child’s future a lot. He imagines how her life will be. To give a better environment for his daughter to grow up, he needs to have enough money. So the life insurance plan can help him to gain money regularly.

    This advertisement mentioned one thing that most Chinese parents are concerned. They plan for their children’s future and hope that they will success when they grow up. In Hong Kong, parents force their children to learn more abilities like playing piano so that their children can have more chances to enter a good secondary school. So this advertisement can catch Chinese parents’ eyes.

    Name: Wong Ka Yan
    SID:1009627311

  69. Vera Sham says:

    Part 1:

    This is a TV commercial from this year, selling a traditional product for a traditional Chinese festival – the Mid Autumn Festival. It is a popular lunar harvest festival celebrated by Chinese every year on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar.

    The commercial is simple – a man and a little girl playing around and leaning against each other on a bench. There isn’t any conversation throughout the commercial, until there’s a line “Mom, I will care for you like a child.” appearing as subtitles when the little girl is replaced by an old lady. The Mid Autumn Festival is very meaningful to Chinese, it symbolizes reunion of all family members. It is a time when everyone in the family put down their work and gather. Chinese society emphasizes on collectivism, in which the benefits and achievements as a group is more important than that of an individual. The emphasis of the idea of “family” also brings the importance of the festival at this time of the year. This is definitely a cultural product as I believe only Chinese people would be touched by this commercial and understand the importance of family gathering.

  70. Chau Tze Fung says:

    Part1
    This ads is from an famous tutorial centre, promoting its summer course. I choose it because it represents Hong Kong’s culture as tutoring outside school is very common in Hong Kong, many student attend these kind of tutorial classes since junior secondary school. It is because study,grade,getting a degree in university is the most important to the students and their parents in Hong Kong.Being in such competitive society, students are pushed to be perfect in academic performance,tutorial centres appear because students and parents may think attending classes in school is not enough for public exams as many tutorial centre advertise on teaching exam skills.
    Now in this ads, there are even summer tutorial course for them. Gem, the advertising star in the ads, saying if you want a special summer,you should join their courses. Summer was meant to be a relaxing period, away from school, however, what were supposed to do during summer such as going out,adventure,sports are being compared to tutorial class. Sadly, that is what the ads means of ‘special’ summer.
    Large-scale tutoring outside school is not likely to happen in the US as it seems that students are not forced to attend tutorial classes even during school days.It may due to the workloads of teachers’ in Hong Kong,it is not easy to take good care of each student as they usually have a big class of like 40 students .Also, It is somehow related to the culture that parents in Hong Kong are likely to prepare everything for their children, they concern about their kids academic performance a lot, so they are likely to arrange them a packed schedule, sometimes it is just according to the parents’ own interest. However in the US, children seems to be given more choices of what they want to do, according to their ability.Going to university are not seen as the only way for their life.

    Name:Chau Tze Fung
    SID:1155000238

  71. Law Kai Fung Kelvin says:

    Part 1

    The video link above shows a classic tv ad for one of the rice products in Hong Kong. In the video, the famous HK actor Chow Yun Fat states that he has dinner at home every night (demonstrating harmony in a family) as the quality of this brand of rice is highly recommended. Harmony in a family is highly valued in our culture.

    Name: Law Kai Fung Kelvin
    SID: 1008611624

  72. Sin wai yee says:

    I would like to introduce a landmark in CUHK, ‘Pavilion of Harmony ‘, which represent one of the most important value in Chinese culture, the harmony.

    Here are the link for the pictures of the Pavillion:

    The first picture is the over view of the architecture:
    There are four important components in this architecture, they are the pool, the tree, the sea and the sky.
    First, you may wonder where the Pavilion is. To your surprise, it’s the tree which acts as a shelter of the pool and looks like a Pavilion. Our Chinese love, respect or even are intimidated by our mother of nature. We also love harmony and wish to live peacefully with nature. Therefore, the traditional Chinese architecture include the natural scenery or event artificially make some nature scenery in it. We just love to surrounded by the nature and always with the nature.

    Second, why I am said that the sea and the sky are included in this architecture, this is because when you look at this landmark, you can see the blue water of the pool, the blue sea and the blue sky seem joining together. As a result, it also called “the Union of Man and Nature”. To make it more interesting, if you walk to the other side of the pool, you seem to immerge in the water as you can see in the second picture. So, you can clearly see that our Chinese really love to be with nature.

    Harmony is a very important value in Chinese Culture, it can see in everywhere, such as architectures like this one, art, advertisement and so on and so forth to worship and remind us this value. Of course, we practice it sincerely in family, workplace and society.

    HongKong
    Sin wai yee 1155002727

  73. Ray 1008631274 says:

    Photo link:
    http://space.uwants.com/batch.download.php?aid=979607

    It was one of my favorite snack when I was in primary school. It tasted like potato chips but was sold relatively cheap. However, at that age, I still had to save my pocket money for few days to get one. I still remember there was always a tiny toy packed inside like little plastic car, coins, etc and I used to collect as many as possible because as a little child, they were my fountain of happiness. =) Sometimes I will exchange the toys with my classmates, too. I believed this snack was a collective memory among hong kong children but only to those who were born in 80s. 

  74. Wong yin ting Felice 1009629331 CUHK says:

    http://m.flickr.com/#/photos/10984245@N07/1016456356/

    This is a place in NA college in CUHK. The Chinese name of this place means “integration with the nature”. When people walk into this pavilion,it seems that they are integrated into the nature. This
     emphasizes the harmony between human and nature which is a core value in traditional Chinese.

  75. Yiu Tsui Ming says:

    Exchange Experience on 15/9

    I think this is an invaluable opportunity for me to have such an interaction with the students from Stanford University. From this experience, I have learnt more about American culture and the students’ mentality. It is really rewarding.

    I am especially impressed by how strongly the foreign students believe in their dreams and are going to pursue them. It is completely different in Hong Kong for students to uphold their dreams which are often considered unrealistic and impossible. When all Stanford students all raised their hands, I feel a bit shameful and I think the money-driven environment of Hong Kong is to be blamed. I can see that how the parents in foreign countries encourage their children to pursue and go for their dreams. However, parents in Hong Kong have been too pragmatic to achieve their dreams and so are their children. I understand that these are the deep-seated cultures which are not easy to change. The environment in Hong Kong has played and important in shaping our personalities and traits.

    Hong Kong people usually distinguish dream and reality very clearly. However, foreign students do not regard them as seperate bur rather complimentary. They believe that everyone can realize their dreams. The more free and relaxed learning environment has shaped a more open-minded mentality and their individual thinking is also respected.
    If HK students have unrealistic dreams, their confidence is usually undermined, shaping students with a money-conscious mindset.

    There are different determinants to determine a person’s trait but the social environment has been a crucial factor. I think this exchange experience is inspiring and I hope there will be different exchange experiences in the future.

    Name: Yiu Tsui Ming (CUHK)
    SID: 1155002749
    Team B (15/9/2011)

  76. Sin wai yee says:

    HongKong
    Sin wai yee 1155002727

    I want to elaborate the idea of harmony related to emotion that I have mention in my previous sharing.

    Perhaps the reason why the Harmony is highly emphasize is it make us feel assured, in other words is feel secure. Maybe Americans get this sense of feeling vastly through being competitive and even aggressive to grasp more resources, thereby feeling secure. In contrary, Chinese society is a collectivistic. Competing resources with relatives, friends or even acquaintances is somehow harm the collectivistic society. While sharing resources and striving for harmony seem to maximize the benefit of collectivistic society, thereby giving better security to the people, our Chinese love the concept of the harmony.

    In fact, the emotion of feeling assured is not only valued by our Chinese culture, but Western, such that according to Maslow hierarchy, security is essential for meaning life. The main different between these two culture is the way to achieve it. In this sharing, I take the Pavilion of Harmony as an example to show how Chinese valued assurance via practicing Harmony.
    Reflection after the second exchange
    Generally speaking, the exchanging atmosphere is good especially when we found some conflict between the Chinese and American culture. But to my surprise, American students are not as active as I expected. For example I have conceived that they asked questions enthusiastically in absence of invitation, whereas they need encouragement and guidance from their Professor like Hong Kong student.

    According to the participation rate, it appears that the Doraemon session was the most interesting and inspiring part among all. We discussed about both concept of dream and parental style, and in the end discovering the conflict among the US and Chinese culture. First, the American students are not as interested in the Cartoon as their counterpart. While they looked embarrassed mentioning when they watched the show, our Hong Kong students confidently admitted watching it and shared their view about it. Therefore, the show seems to be more popular in Hong Kong than in the U.S.A.

    We could find some hints about the phenomenon from our discussion about the dream. Our parents as well as our society stress about the academic success and being rich. Only if you strive to achieve these goals can you secure a good future. In contrast, dreams that are not compatible to these ideas or cannot directly relate to these goals are regard as wrong and unrealistic, and vice versa. It is a norm that childhood fantasy are teased or even scolded by our parents. Since the fantasy is suppressed by our parents and the show displayed a variety of creative and fantastic gadgets, we are absorbed into it. While American parents are more open minded and allow their children to develop whatever talent they have. Dreams in Americans are not as impossible as their counterpart. The extent they are attracted to the magical gadget are therefore smaller than Hong Kong. I think this is really interesting phenomenon about how culture shape people’s value and so their emot

  77. Yuen Shung Chit says:

    Part 2

    I am so glad to have attended the discussion with the Stanford University students I am amazed by the cultural difference between us.

    One of the example is point of view on pursuit of personal goal, aspiration or dream. Stanford University students raised a very distinctive example for illustrating the idea of encouragement in pursuit of personal goal in USA – Hannah Montana. Its about how a girl-next-door becomes a popular singer. We can see 2 distinctive cultural perception on this issue, 1st, there is no superiority among different aspiration, no matter your dream is to become a lawyer or a bus driver; 2nd aspiration is not just a dream, but an achievable goal. This is so different from what we have taught in our childhood. For Chinese, we put so much emphasis on income and social status, which results in that there are hierarchy for different aspirations, such as doctor is a more respectful aspiration than singer, those are what we should aim at. This stops many Hong Kong people to try niche markets such as being a musician or artists. Also, dream in Hong Kong seems like a far destination which can’t be reached. Hong Kong children are imaginative, they wish to become scientist, astronauts etc. but when they gradually grow up, their aspiration becomes vague dream, they do not believe that one day they could become what they wish to be. They doubt the possibility and their own ability, opportunities available, so they shift their aspirations to those socially accepted, praised occupations. It is pathetic but according to this materialistic world, no one will challenge such thinking and make a change to it. More importantly, can we say which thinking is correct? If we have to decided, then it’s a philosophical problem of human’s ultimate goal or meaning of life, whether it is to be socially success or achieving personal goal? social expectation vs individualism. What is meaningful or happy? etc

    Another point that is fun to see is that, when we judge a cultural product from the other country, there is a funny phenomenon that Hong Kong people seems to explain it or analysis it in the view point of their local culture or knowledge, but US students analysis it by questioning or understanding the standpoint or culture of the origin of the cultural product. It may somewhat link to the difference in openness to ideas. Hong Kong people, or Chinese, are “given” ideas from the authority and their are thinking in similar path from their origin. It seems that the top-down process of perceiving a cultural product plays an important role. But for Stanford university students, they learn the cultural product by understanding the culture of the origin, they first understand the culture, the cause then they look at the cultural product. This is different from Hong Kong people who use their mindset or knowledge to look at things. In this learning aspect, I believe that in future when I try to understand a new thing, I will try to use the Stanford University student’s approach in order to remove bias and get to understand more thoroughly.

    Yuen Shung Chit
    SID 1155004430
    Team B
    CUHK

  78. Evan Ames says:

    To me, culture and emotion are two entities completely intertwined at some points, and completely irrelevant at others. From what I have seen from other cultures, the types of emotions more often expressed are certainly linked to the cultural background of the person. An example might be how Americans often exhibit more raucous emotions, especially when going out to “party” or have fun. On the flip side, in my experiences many people from Asian cultures seem to exhibit more subdued emotions, even when put in the same environments as the Americans. By this I mean that they might take part in the same activities, and may even feel the same emotions as the Americans, but what they exhibit outwardly often appears to be a subdued version of what the Americans express. The counterpoint to all of this is of course the fact that I believe in some situations, we all feel the same emotions regardless of our heritages. When a family member dies we grieve, whether we are from America, Japan, or Afghanistan. When we find true love, we are happy beyond belief. These types of situations are universal, and I feel that the emotions we undergo in them are also universal. These are of course only my preconceived notions of these cultures, but I feel I’ve had enough experiences with each to make educated observations.

    I think on the whole my expectations were confirmed, as the Americans did seem more outgoing than the Hong Kong (HK) students. When questions were asked by the professors it often seemed that every Stanford student wished to respond in length, while many of the HK students were tentative to jump in and give their opinions. As the class wore on though, the students seemed to warm up more, and the HK students became more extroverted. I also observed that in both classes, it seemed as if the females were much more willing to speak up than the males (although to be fair most of the Stanford class was female). I think that the preconceived notions the HK students had about the Americans were very similar to my own, and this seems to be true as I glance over some of the responses submitted by my fellow CUHK students. I think one of the main misconceptions that might exist is that Americans only love to party, or that if someone does like to party, that is all they do. I would use myself as an example, because I do enjoy going out to the bars and clubs on the weekends and have done so quite a bit since arriving in Hong Kong. At the same time, I feel that I am a hard worker, which I think is backed up by the fact that I earned my way into the university I attend, UPenn. I have been able to find a balance between my studies and having fun, and this is very common among American students I know. In terms of actual observations, the CUHK students seemed to find more taboo subjects such as sex very funny, while the Stanford students seemed to be more relaxed on the whole (although this may be at least partly due to the fact that those students were more comfortable conversing in English). I’d be interested to know whether the HK students also recognize that they are more introverted in the class setting, and whether they feel this is as a result of their cultural upbringing or if they feel that they act in the same manner and it is simply me who perceives incorrectly.

    Name: Evan Ames
    SID: 1155014661
    Team: C

  79. Koala Yu says:

    Cultures affect human mind and emotion.
    In order to attract customers, advertisements are usually related to culture value showing what people want and think is important.
    Western culture emphasizes individualism while Chinese culture emphasizes family bonding. In the alcohol advertisement provided by Stanford University, the man who seems having much power and authority sits in the middle of two women holding wine. Also, the cosmetic advertisement shown at the end of the lesson show a lady and head of a man who seems to attracted by the lady. It seems that ladies can attract and control the men after using the products. Both advertisements emphasize individual dominance.
    On the other hand, the moon cakes advertisement from CUHK showed a pair of good relationship son and mother. The skill of the advertisement is only arousing the love of costumers toward their parents. It seems successful if target is Chinese. However, it does not work on westerners as they do not know the festival and the emotion toward family is not as strong as that of Chinese. Another advertisement about sandwiches showed in the class seem much in favor of Stanford students. The guy shown is a successful person. That one’s again prove that western culture put more emphasize on personal success. Westerners’ emotional link is much easier to be aroused by successful legend than their parents. One day, if a needy person becomes successful because of buying or eating moon cake and an advertisement of moon cake shows him eating moon cake, may be westerners will be willing to buy the product.

    Name:Yu Chin Shan, Koala
    SID: 1155003469
    TEAM B

  80. Vivian Ho Chi Tong/ S115014806/ Team A
    Question 2: What is your biggest worry or concern as a student at CUHK/Stanford? Please rank the following items in order of importance. Then, elaborate on your top 2 or 3 choices.
    _3__Managing stress
    _4__Getting good grades
    _1__Fitting in socially
    _2__Maintaining a healthy lifestyle
    _6__Choosing a major
    _5__Finding my passion
    _7__Dealing with financial issues
    As an exchange student at CUHK, fitting in socially is one of my first concerns. One of the reasons I applied to be an exchange student is to improve my social skills and learn more about this different society. Being able to successfully manage stress and maintain a healthy lifestyle is also a crucial concern of mine. It is particularly important to me since I am not used to the education system in Hong Kong. Furthermore, I have heard a lot about how stressful it is to study in Hong Kong, therefore it is especially important to me.
    What are your goals for the future? From what you’ve learned so far about cultural differences in America and China (specifically differences in ideal affect), how do you think your goals have been shaped by the cultural context in which you live?
    My goal for the future is to find a job with a stable income as well as one that I enjoy. From the previous web exchanges, I discovered that Chinese people value family more than Americans. In addition, Americans value personal success more. In my opinion, personal success varies from person to person. My idea of success is to be able to lead a happy, carefree life. I think my goal is more influenced by the American culture, probably due to the many years of living in Canada, than by my Chinese ethnic background.

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