This book aims to provide Americans studying or traveling in China with a perspective and a reference. Although we may say that all Chinese people in China share certain values, beliefs, and characteristics, it is important to acknowledge that there can be significant differences in how these are exhibited in different regions, situations, or people, because there are many subcultures within the Chinese culture. My own particular background as a Beijing native undoubtedly affects my outlook. For example, this book presents the Chinese experience largely from the Beijing perspective, which is generally considered to be one of the mainstream cultures in China.
There are two parts to this book. Part I is a “cultural encounters” quiz which consists of two sections. In both sections multiple-choice questions illustrate common scenarios that foreign students or travelers are likely to experience when they are in China. Readers may use this part as a self-evaluation tool to measure their awareness of Chinese culture, especially with respect to studying or traveling there. Part II provides the answers and cultural briefings for the encounters that were listed in Part I.