LETTER TO COUSIN 4
First,let me take this chance to thank you for taking your time and payingus a visit, here in Beijing. Secondly, let me welcome here in thehome city of Beijing. You may not know me as your niece, because youleft when I was very young, and we had not interacted enough. I knowyou have missed Beijing home, since you went to work in Brazil tenyears ago. Since you have visited us for a family re-union, we as theentire family welcomes you back to our family. While you were away, alot of things have changed here at home, and it is my pleasure tohelp you understand some of the stereotypes and generalizations thatare common in the home town today.
Totell you more, let me first explain to you what I learnt in theuniversity, as it relates to my message. For your information,stereotypes fixed and oversimplified views and opinions that formideas and images about another party or a group of parties. Thestereotypes make a person to make a presumption about people orgroups of people in reference to their culture, ethnicity or race(Macraeet al, 2000).On the other hand, usefulgeneralizations are exaggerations that a person uses to describe agroup of people (Hirschet al, 2002).While they may be offensive, useful generalizations help a person tonot only makes assumptions about a person, but also draw conclusionsabout groups of people.
Itis part of the local stereotype that the Chinese never forget abouttheir home, no matter where they go. This is proven by your decisionto come home finally. It is also another stereotype that Chinese mendo not marry western wives. Well, as much as it is said, I am yet toprove this since I have not met your wife yet. However,generalizations are different. As a generalization, it is said thatAsian culture is better than western life, and I appreciate that youhave proved this example of generalization by visiting home. Anothergeneralization is that when young Chinese leave home for years, theyforget their language. However, you have proved this generalizationwrong, since I spoke to you today in Chinese on the phone last weekfor ten minutes.
Nomatter the stereotype or generalization that people talk to youabout, one fact is clear, you are Home. Welcome home. This is what Iwanted to inform you as you start your stay here at home, in Beijing.I hope you will stay longer. Thank you.
Hirsch,E. D., Kett, J. F., & Trefil, J. S. (2002). TheNew Dictionary of Cultural Literacy.Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Macrae,N. C., Stangor, C., & Hewstone, M. (2000). Stereotypes,Cognition and Culture.New York: Guilford Press