Notes on Intercultural Communication

Archive for the ‘Emotions in Different Cultures’ Category

The Origin of Facial Expressions

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Facial Expressions Develop in the Womb

baby-faces womb

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(…) Before he or she is born, a fetus begins to move his or her face — parting lips, wrinkling a nose or lowering a brow for example — making movements that, when combined, will one day assemble expressions we all recognize in one another. A new study has shown that, as the fetus develops, these facial motions become increasingly complex. (…)

Nadja Reissland, University of Durham in the United Kingdom

Read the full article online here or download pdf here.

(retrieved 04.02.2014 at http://www.livescience.com/15939-fetus-facial-expressions.html)

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Study of Facial Expression of Blind Athletes

Matsumoto Facial Expressions Blind Sighted

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(…) By studying the expressions of the blind athletes in the Paralympic Game and in comparing them to the expressions to the athletes’ (…) regularly games, we can tell whether they have the same expressions or not.

So the study of the blind athletes in the Paralympic Games told us conclusively, that the source of facial expression of emotions must be resident in some innate biological program, that we all have and are born with and that we have from birth. And that everybody from around the world, as long as you’re a human has that. (…)

David Matsumoto – Professor of Psychology, San Francisco State University (transcription from the video by the editor)

(retrieved 04.02.2014 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5G6ZR5lJgTI&feature=player_detailpage)

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(…) Central to all human interaction is the mutual understanding of emotions, achieved primarily by a set of biologically rooted social signals evolved for this purpose—facial expressions of emotion. Although facial expressions are widely considered to be the universal language of emotion (…), some negative facial expressions consistently elicit lower recognition levels among Eastern compared to Western groups (…).

Read the full pdf here.

(retrieved 12.02.2014 at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982209014778)

For more information about expression of emotions see Perception and Expression of Emotions in Different Cultures.

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(reviewed 12.02.2014)

Culture and Colours

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Culture and Colours

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colours in different cultures(retrieved 14.06.2013 at http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/colours-in-cultures/)

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colour emotion guide

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Performable (now HubSpot) wanted to find out whether simply changing the color of a button would make a difference in conversion rates. They started out by trying to guess the outcome of a simple choice between two colors (green and red) and trying to guess what would happen.“Green connotes ideas like “natural” and “environment,” and given its wide use in traffic lights, suggests the idea of “go” or forward movement. The color red, on the other hand, is often thought to communicate excitement, passion, blood, and warning. It is also used as the color for stopping at traffic lights. Red is also known to be eye-catching.” So, clearly an A/B test between green and red would result in green, the more friendly color. At least that was their guess. Here is what their experiment looked like:

colour performance test

So how did that experiment turn out? The answer was surprising: The red button outperformed the green button by 21%. What’s most important to consider is that nothing else was changed at all: 21% more people clicked on the red button than on the green button. Everything else on the pages was the same, so it was only the button color that made this difference.

(retrieved 15.06.2013 at http://www.fastcompany.com/3009317/why-is-facebook-blue-the-science-behind-colors-in-marketing)

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Red in Western and Chinese Meaning

(…) Because of distinctively different cultural backgrounds, the core meaning of red leads to different abstract meanings in each language. Chinese people used to think they were descendants of the Sun God and red is the color of the Sun God, so the original worship endows festival meanings of red in Chinese culture. Red in English is mostly related to negative connotations, such as anger, guilt and sin, and the main reason may be the correlation with blood. However, apart from different core denotations and connotations of red in both Chinese and English, both languages have similar connotations for positive, negative and warning. (…)

Comparison of Red in Chinese and English – Yanping Bai

Read the whole article online here or download pdf here (11MB).

 (retrieved 13.08.2013 at http://www.hpu.edu/CHSS/LangLing/TESOL/ProfessionalDevelopment/201080TWPfall10/BaiRed.pdf)

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Target Markets

Using Color Psychology to Attract Your Target Markets

Your target market is the people or businesses you are aiming to sell your products or services to; it is therefore important that you understand the colors that will attract your specific market.

With many businesses now being global, color has also become global. Know your the market you are trying to attract and speak the color language that they will best respond to. Then test your color choices on a small sample of your market before implementing a large and expensive promotion. Compare several color options, get feedback and then choose the colors which give you the best response.

Color psychology is not an exact science and there are no right or wrong colors, only colors which may get a better response than others from your target market. Understand that there is a physiological and a psychological component to each color as well as the subjective meanings attached by each individual.

Our color preferences are ‘colored’ by our gender, our age, our education, the culture we grew up in, preconceived color beliefs of the societies we live in, our childhood associations with certain colors, and our life experiences, whether those associations are negative or positive.

The following are typical generalizations to help you understand your target market, but remember, there are always exceptions to the rules!

Gender Based Color Preferences

Blue is a color which is generally favored by most people, independent of which culture, country, age, socio-economic bracket, or gender they are from, so it is the safest color to use in all your target markets, although not always the best color to use. Universally, pink tends to be favored by females.

Males:

  • Prefer the color blue to red, and orange to yellow.

  • Baby boys traditionally tend to be dressed in blue, except in Belgium where pink is used for baby boys.

  • In the western world many men are color blind so you need to be aware of the red/green visual problems if this is your target market and choose other colors that are not as affected.

Females:

  • Prefer the color red to blue, and yellow to orange.

  • Baby girls traditionally tend to be dressed in pink except in Belgium where blue is used for baby girls.

  • Tend to have a broader range of color preferences to men and are more open to trying new colors.

Both Genders:

  • Blue, turquoise, green, red, yellow, black, white, gray and silver are colors that are the most suitable for use in a business marketing to both males and females.

  • Pinks and purples are now becoming more acceptable to males, with pale pink business shirts and purple casual shirts commonly seen on men.

Age Based Color Preferences

Babies:

  • Cry more in a yellow room.

  • Respond best to high contrast visuals.

Pre-adolescent Children:

  • Prefer brighter primary and secondary colors – red, yellow, blue, orange, green and purple.

  • Also prefer solid blocks of colors rather than patterns.

Adolescents/Teenagers:

  • More open to experimenting with more sophisticated and complex colors due to their exposure to computer graphics programs such as Photoshop.

  • More influenced by cultural influences due to multiculturalism and greater access to world markets through the Internet.

  • Many younger teenager girls love varying shades of purple and pink.

  • As they reach their late teens they often show a preference for black – this relates to a psychological need for black during the transition stage from the innocence of childhood to the sophistication of adulthood – it signifies the ending of one part of their life and the beginning of another, allowing them to hide from the world while they discover their own unique identity.

Young Adults:

  • Similar to teenagers.

  • Tastes begin to change around age 25 as they become more sure of themselves and find their direction in life.

Adults:

  • Prefer more subdued colors.

  • Are less open to experimenting with color, tending to stick with their favorites.

Mature 65+ Years Old:

  • Yellow is the least favored color of this target market, unless it is a pale butter yellow.

  • Preference for clear colors such as fresh blues, pinks, greens.

  • Preference for cleaner colors such as blue-greens rather than olive greens.

  • Are generally more comfortable with the calming colors of blue, green, pink and purple, than the bright, stimulating colors of red, orange and yellow, although some will choose muted blue based reds and pale yellow.

  • Many females often choose colors in the purple range, varying from deep purple and violet, to mauve and lavender, and plum colors, as they grow older.

Corporate Color Preferences

  • The more serious the business, the darker the colors – dark blue, dark green, dark red, indigo, black, gray.

  • The more casual and light-hearted the business, the brighter and lighter the colors – red, orange, yellow, bright green, bright blue, pink and purple.

Class Differences

  • Working class and blue collar workers tend to prefer the bright and warm primary and secondary colors of the rainbow.

  • Wealthier people tend to prefer the more complex and sophisticated colors – tertiary colors, and shades and tints of primary and secondary colors.

Education Based Color Preferences

  • Research has shown that the more educated people are, the more sophisticated their color choices seem to be.

  • Well educated people respond well to tertiary colors and those given unusual names.

  • Less educated people tend to prefer the simpler basic primary and secondary colors.

  • Broader education through the use of the Internet has resulted in greater access to worldwide influences and effects on color choices.

Climate Based Color Preferences

  • People tend to prefer colors that duplicate the colors relating to their climate.

  • People from warm tropical climates respond best to bright, warm colors, while people from colder climates tend to prefer cooler and more subdued colors.

  • In the Scandinavian countries, fresh and bright blues, yellows and whites are popular.

  • In Switzerland, more sophisticated colors such as dark reds and burgundies, gray and dark blue are common.

  • In South America the warm reds, oranges, yellows and bright pinks are popular.

  • Australian Aborigines respond well to the earthy reds, oranges, blues and greens that are seen in the outback regions of Australia.

(retreived 14.06.2013 at http://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/cultural-color.html)

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(reviewed 14.04.2014)

Marriage in Asia

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Marriage in Asia

Gavin W. Jones, NUS is Professor of Sociology and Director of the J.Y Pillay Comparative Asia Research Centre at the Global Asia Institute, National University of Singapore

(…) Marriage patterns across Asia are diverse. Though many countries in East and Southeast Asia now show patterns of very delayed marriage, not all of them do. The people of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Myanmar marry late, while the people of Indonesia marry earlier. Almost all women in China are married by the time they reach age 30 — but this pattern is not repeated by ethnic Chinese populations elsewhere in the region (including Hong Kong), which have extreme patterns of delayed marriage. Interestingly, it is not that women marry very young in China, but rather that marriages are concentrated in the 20s to a much greater extent than in other East and Southeast Asian countries. (…)

Read the full article online here  or download full pdf “Marriage in Asia“.

For more background info please visit the East Asia Forum Quarterly.

(retrieved 28.04.2013 at http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2013/04/26/marriage-in-asia/)

(reviewed 28.04.2013)

Written by NoToes

28/04/2013 at 14:51

Individualism-Collectivism and Accountability

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Individualism – Collectivism and Accountability in Intergroup Negotiations

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However, for those who place a high emphasis on collectivism, cooperative behavior and harmony with others, especially with persons with whom one is similar, is normative and is likely to ensure positive evaluations in accountable negotiations.

(…)

In the low-accountability condition, those who had high levels of collectivism reported less cooperative intentions and behavior, and achieved lower outcomes, as compared to representatives with low levels of collectivism.

(…)

However, the current research suggests that negotiators’ behavior depends both on the nature of the negotiation situation, as well as on negotiators’ collectivism. Applying this to cross-cultural investigations, this suggests that broad generalizations about the negotiation styles of cultural groups, which does not take situations into account, are likely to be inappropriate.

Read the full essay online or download as pdf.

Michele J. Gelfand / University of Maryland at College Park
Anu Realo / University of Tartu, Estonia
Journal of Applied Psychology , 1999, Vol. 84, No. 5, 721-736 – retrieved 08.12.2011 from http://www.bsos.umd.edu/psyc/gelfand/index.html

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Perception and Expression of Emotions in Different Cultures

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Perception and Expression of Emotions in Different Cultures

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Facial Expressions develop in the Womb

baby-faces womb

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(…) Before he or she is born, a fetus begins to move his or her face — parting lips, wrinkling a nose or lowering a brow for example — making movements that, when combined, will one day assemble expressions we all recognize in one another. A new study has shown that, as the fetus develops, these facial motions become increasingly complex. (…)

Nadja Reissland, University of Durham in the United Kingdom

Read the full article online here or download pdf here.

(retrieved 04.02.2014 at http://www.livescience.com/15939-fetus-facial-expressions.html)

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Study of Facial Expression of Blind Athletes

Matsumoto Facial Expressions Blind Sighted

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(…) By studying the expressions of the blind athletes in the Paralympic Game and in comparing them to the expressions to the athletes’ (…) regularly games, we can tell whether they have the same expressions or not.

So the study of the blind athletes in the Paralympic Games told us conclusively, that the source of facial expression of emotions must be resident in some innate biological program, that we all have and are born with and that we have from birth. And that everybody from around the world, as long as you’re a human has that. (…)

David Matsumoto – Professor of Psychology, San Francisco State University (transcription from the video by the editor)

(retrieved 04.02.2014 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5G6ZR5lJgTI&feature=player_detailpage)

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(…) Central to all human interaction is the mutual understanding of emotions, achieved primarily by a set of biologically rooted social signals evolved for this purpose—facial expressions of emotion. Although facial expressions are widely considered to be the universal language of emotion (…), some negative facial expressions consistently elicit lower recognition levels among Eastern compared to Western groups (…).

Read the full pdf here.

(retrieved 12.02.2014 at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982209014778)

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Visual Perception of Emotions in Different Cultures

Cultural Influences on Perception

(retrieved 09.05.2013 at https://www.boundless.com/psychology/sensation-and-perception/advanced-topics-in-perception/cultural-influences-on-perception/)

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visual reception of emotions

(Color coding is as follows: blue, “left eye”; green, “right eye”; yellow, “bridge of nose”; orange, “center of face”; red, “mouth.”)

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cover_fig3

(The succession of blue → green → blue circles (indicated by the black arrow) corresponds to the fixation sequence “left eye” → “right eye” → “left eye.”)

(…) Here, we report marked differences between EA (East Asians) and WC (Western Caucasian) observers in the decoding of universal facial expressions. EA observers exhibited a significant deficit in categorizing ‘‘fear’’ and ‘‘disgust’’ compared to WC observers. Also, WC observers distributed their fixations evenly across the face, whereas EA observers systematically biased theirs toward the eye region. A model observer revealed that EA observers sample information that is highly similar between certain expressions (i.e., ‘‘fear’’ and ‘‘surprise’’; ‘‘disgust’’ and ‘‘anger’’). Despite the apparent lack of diagnostic information, EA observers persisted in repetitively sampling the eye regions of ‘‘fear,’’ ‘‘disgust,’’ and ‘‘anger.’’ (…)

Cultural Confusions Show that Facial Expressions Are Not Universal by Rachael E. Jack (1, 2); Caroline Blais (3); Christoph Scheepers (1); Philippe G. Schyns (1,2) and Roberto Caldara (1,2) / (1)Department of Psychology, (2) Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (CCNi) University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QB, Scotland, UK, (3) Department de Psychologie, Universite de Montreal,Montreal, PQ H3C 3J7, Canada

Download the full .pdf here or online here.

(Current Biology –  Volume 19, Issue 18, 29 September 2009, Pages 1543-1548: retrieved 19.02.2011 under http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VRT-4X0FH86-5&_user=10&_coverDate=09%2F29%2F2009&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=afe59a73a6b115faacec22215d993939&searchtype=a )

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Visual Expressions of Emotions in Different Cultures

perception of facial expression

Spatiotemporal location of emotional intensity representation in Western Caucasian and East Asian culture. In each row, color-coded faces show the culture-specific spatiotemporal location of expressive features representing emotional intensity,for each of the six basic emotions. Color coding is asfollows: blue, Western Caucasian; red, East Asian, where values reflect the statistic. All color-coded regions show a significant (P<0.05) cultural difference asindicated by asterisks labeled on the color bar. Note: for the EA models (i.e., red face regions), emotional intensity is represented with characteristic early activations. 

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Expression of Emotions in Western and East Asian Cultures

expression of facial expression

(…) The Western Caucasian models form six emotionally homogenous clusters (e.g., all 30 “happy” models belong to the same cluster, color-coded in purple). In contrast, the East Asian models show considerable model dissimilarity within each emotion category and overlap between categories, particularly for “surprise”,“fear”, “disgust”, “anger” and “sad”(note the heterogeneous color coding of these models). (…)

(…) First, whereas Westerners represent each of the six basic emotions with a distinct set of facial movements common to the group, Easterners do not. Second, Easterners represent emotional intensity with distinctive dynamic eye activity. By refuting the long-standing universality hypothesis, our data highlight the powerful influence of culture on shaping basic behaviors once considered biologically hardwired. (…)

Facial expressions of emotion are not culturally universal by Rachael E. Jack (a,b,1), Oliver G. B. Garrod (b), Hui Yu (b), Roberto Caldara (c), and Philippe G. Schyns (b) – (a) School of Psychology, University of Glasgow, Scotland G12 8Q (b); Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology, University of Glasgow, Scotland G12 8QB, UnitedKingdom; and (c) Department of Psychology, University of Fribourg, Fribourg 1700, Switzerland; see also PNAS May 8, 2012; vol. 109 no. 19

(retrieved 23.06.2013 at http://www.pnas.org/content/109/19/7241.full.pdf+html)

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Emoticons in Different Cultures

emoticon_style

(…) Emoticon styles can be either horizontal or vertical, where horizontal style is known to be preferred by western countries, and the vertical style by eastern countries. This study finds that an important factor determining emoticon style is language rather than geography. Regardless of their inherent meaning, most emoticons co-appeared with both positive and negative affect words (e.g., haha, smile, kill, freak). Furthermore, the contexts and sentiments that were frequently associated with a given emoticon varied from one culture to another. Our finding confirms that facial expressions may not be universal (…); people from different cultures perceive and employ facial expressions in unique ways, as easterners smile and frown with their eyes, whereas westerners do so with their mouth. This was even true in the online world. Therefore one might want to consider the cultural background of one’s followers to communicate efficiently in online social networks. (…)

emoticons in different cultures

Emoticon Style: Interpreting Differences in Emoticons Across Cultures by Jaram Park, Graduate School of Culture Technology, KAIST jaram.park@kaist.ac.kr; Vladimir Barash, Morningside Analytics vlad@morningside-analytics.com; Clay Fink, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory clayton.fink@jhuapl.edu; Meeyoung Cha, Graduate School of Culture Technology, KAIST meeyoungcha@kaist.edu;

Download the full .pdf online here or here.

(retrieved 30.10.2013 at http://mia.kaist.ac.kr/icwsm13_emoticon.pdf and http://crowdresearch.org/blog/?p=7720)

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Placing the Face in Context: Cultural Differences in the Perception of Facial Emotion

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Placing the Face in Context

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(…) Two studies tested the hypothesis that in judging people’s emotions from their facial expressions, Japanese, more than Westerners, incorporate information from the social context. In Study 1, participants  viewed cartoons depicting a happy, sad, angry, or neutral person surrounded by other people expressing the same emotion as the central person or a different one. The surrounding people’s emotions influenced Japanese but not Westerners’ perceptions of the central person. These differences reflect differences in attention, as indicated by eye-tracking data (Study 2): Japanese looked at the surrounding people more than did Westerners. Previous findings on East–West differences in contextual sensitivity generalize to social contexts, suggesting that Westerners see emotions as individual feelings, whereas Japanese see them as inseparable from the feelings of the group. (…)

Placing the Face in Context: Cultural Differences in the Perception of Facial Emotion by Takahiko Masuda, University of Alberta; Phoebe C. Ellsworth, University of Michigan; Batja Mesquita, Wake Forest University; Janxin Leu, University of Washington; Shigehito Tanida, Hokkaido University; Ellen Van de Veerdonk, University of Amsterdam

Download the full pfd here.

(retrieved 23.06.2013 at http://www.ualberta.ca/~tmasuda/index.files/MasudaEllsworthMesquitaLeuTanidavandeVeerdonk2008.pdf

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Perception of Bodily Sensations during Emotion in different Cultures

“While riding a train, a Chinese friend and I had eaten a lot of snacks that did not mix well. I suddenly suffered from nausea and realized that I was pressing the epigastric region with one hand. I was sure that I had strained my stomach.

At the same moment, my Chinese friend said that he was suffering from vertigo and he seemed very concerned about it. I inquired about his perception several times. He insisted that he was suffering from vertigo and only after some time he remarked that something was wrong with his stomach.

I tried also to experience vertigo, and actually found it was not very difficult because the nausea was associated with a feeling of unclarity or confusion in my head.”

(…) This anectodical story illustrates well how bodily changes in similar situations can be experienced very differently by members of different cultures. Such differences can originate at various levels of the somatisation processes, from the production of physiological changes, to their detection, to their labelling and, ultimatly, to their memory. (…)

The perception of bodily sensations during emotion: A cross-cultural perspective by Pierre Philippot & Bernard Rimé, Research Unit for Clinical & Social Psychology, University of Louvain at Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium; to appear in Polish Journal of Social Psychology, 1997

Download the full article online here or download pdf here.

(retrieved 23.06.2013 at http://www.ecsa.ucl.ac.be/personnel/philippot/Intercult_Polish.pdf)

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(reviewed 26.04.2014)

Written by NoToes

24/02/2011 at 20:27

Posted in All Articles, China, Collectivism and Individualism, Culture influences Brain, Emotions in Different Cultures, Intercultural Management, Surveys

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Hope in Different Cultures

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Hope in Chinese Language

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Traditional: 希望
Simplified: 希望

First Character: 希 (xī) – rare; infrequent
Second Character: 望 (wàng) – hope; expect; to visit; to gaze (into the distance); look towards; towards

(retrieved 29.05.2010 at  http://mandarin.about.com/od/dailymandarin/a/xiwang.htm)

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The Tao Te King

13

Success is as dangerous as failure.
Hope is as hollow as fear.

What does it mean that success is as dangerous as failure?
Whether you go up the ladder or down it,
your position is shaky.
When you stand with your two feet on the ground,
you will always keep your balance.

What does it mean that hope is as hollow as fear?
Hope and fear are both phantoms
that arise from thinking of the self.
When we don’t see the self as self,
what do we have to fear?

See the world as your self.
Have faith in the way things are.
Love the world as your self;
then you can care for all things.

(retrieved 29.05.2010 at http://www.mindfully.org/Tao-Te-Ching-Lao-tzu.htm)

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Chinese Symbol for Hope (“we always have hope to face fate”)

The Chinese characters have developed long time ago and haven’t undergone many changes in the course of time. The hope symbol in Chinese culture has a mysterious appearance and is painted with the help of a brush. Traditionally, the hope symbol is drawn on a white rice paper. The paper is decorated with a floral silk pattern that is blue in color. The Chinese art of drawing such symbols is known as calligraphy. The hope symbol is also used as a wall hanging artwork. Bamboo could be used to frame this artwork.

(retrieved 29.05.2010 at http://www.buzzle.com/articles/chinese-symbol-for-hope.html – sorry, broken link)

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In Chinese language, fear and hope refers to 恐惧和希望(kǒnɡjù hé xī wànɡ). Symbols for fear are ghosts, diseases, death, and so on. All these things make people feel hopeless in life, so they try their best to avoid them. Symbols for hope are spring, the color green, the rising sun, and sunflowers. People think green means life is vigorous. The rising sun and sunflowers means life is coming again.

If you have any other questions related to Chinese language, please feel free to contact me at Jennifer.zhu@echineselearning.com. I would be glad to help.-Jennifer

(retrieved 29.05.2010 at http://answers.echineselearning.com/questions/2010-05/17/171358105YPGEFUSH.html)

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Hope in Western Culture

The Bible

Röm 15,13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

(retrieved 29.05.2010 at http://www.bibleserver.com/#/search/TNIV/hope/1 – please make sure, you get the English version)

Hope is termed a theological virtue because its immediate object is God, as is true of the other two essentially infused virtues, faith and charity. St. Thomas acutely says that the theological virtues are so called “because they have God for their object, both in so far as by them we are properly directed to Him, and because they are infused into our souls by God alone, as also, finally, because we come to know of them only by Divine revelation in the Sacred Scriptures”. Catholic Encyclopedia

(retrieved 29.05.2010 at http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07465b.htm)

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Greek Mythology – Pandora

The theory of Hesiod,[8] the oldest of all the Greek poets, was that the Titan Prometheus, the son of Iapetus, had formed man out of clay, and that Athene had breathed a soul into him. Full of love for the beings he had called into existence, Prometheus determined to elevate their minds and improve their condition in every way; he therefore taught them astronomy, mathematics, the alphabet, how to cure diseases, and the art of divination. He created this race in such great numbers that the gods began to see the necessity of instituting certain fixed laws with regard to the sacrifices due to them, and the worship to which they considered themselves entitled from mankind in return for the protection which they accorded them. An assembly was therefore convened at Mecone in order to settle these points. It was decided that Prometheus, as the advocate of man, should slay an ox, which should be divided into two equal parts, and that the gods should select one portion which should henceforth, in all future sacrifices, be set apart for them. Prometheus so divided the ox that one part consisted of the bones (which formed of course the least valuable portion of the animal), artfully concealed by the white fat; whilst the other contained all the edible parts, which he covered with the skin, and on the top of all he laid the stomach.

Zeus, pretending to be deceived, chose the heap of bones, but he saw through the stratagem, and was so angry at the deception practised on him by Prometheus that he avenged himself by refusing to mortals the gift of fire. [25]Prometheus, however, resolved to brave the anger of the great ruler of Olympus, and to obtain from heaven the vital spark so necessary for the further progress and comfort of the human race. He accordingly contrived to steal some sparks from the chariot of the sun, which he conveyed to earth hidden in a hollow tube. Furious at being again outwitted, Zeus determined to be revenged first on mankind, and then on Prometheus. To punish the former he commanded Hephæstus (Vulcan) to mould a beautiful woman out of clay, and determined that through her instrumentality trouble and misery should be brought into the world.

The gods were so charmed with the graceful and artistic creation of Hephæstus, that they all determined to endow her with some special gift. Hermes (Mercury) bestowed on her a smooth persuasive tongue, Aphrodite gave her beauty and the art of pleasing; the Graces made her fascinating, and Athene (Minerva) gifted her with the possession of feminine accomplishments. She was called Pandora, which means all-gifted, having received every attribute necessary to make her charming and irresistible. Thus beautifully formed and endowed, this exquisite creature, attired by the Graces, and crowned with flowers by the Seasons, was conducted to the house of Epimetheus[9] by Hermes the messenger of the gods. Now Epimetheus had been warned by his brother not to accept any gift whatever from the gods; but he was so fascinated by the beautiful being who suddenly appeared before him, that he welcomed her to his home, and made her his wife. It was not long, however, before he had cause to regret his weakness.

He had in his possession a jar of rare workmanship, containing all the blessings reserved by the gods for mankind, which he had been expressly forbidden to open. But woman’s proverbial curiosity could not withstand so great a temptation, and Pandora determined to solve the mystery at any cost. Watching her opportunity she raised the lid, and immediately all the blessings which [26]the gods had thus reserved for mankind took wing and flew away. But all was not lost. Just as Hope (which lay at the bottom) was about to escape, Pandora hastily closed the lid of the jar, and thus preserved to man that never-failing solace which helps him to bear with courage the many ills which assail him.[10]

Having punished mankind, Zeus determined to execute vengeance on Prometheus. He accordingly chained him to a rock in Mount Caucasus, and sent an eagle every day to gnaw away his liver, which grew again every night ready for fresh torments. For thirty years Prometheus endured this fearful punishment; but at length Zeus relented, and permitted his son Heracles (Hercules) to kill the eagle, and the sufferer was released.

Read the whole “Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome” from E.M. Berens online at the Gutemberg Project or download the pdf here.

(retrieved 29.05.2010 at http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/22381?msg=welcome_stranger#page21)

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Various

Those of us raised in Western culture were never taught that fear is the price of hope. Rather, we can’t envision life without hope. Hell, according to Dante, is the place devoid of hope; he warned Christians condemned there to “abandon all hope, ye who enter herein.” The Hebrew prophets warned that without vision, the people perish.
Hope is what propels us into action. We’ve been taught to dream of a better world as the necessary first step in creating one. We create a clear vision for the future we want, then we set a strategy, make a plan, and get to work. We focus strategically on doing only those things that have a high probability of success.
As long as we “keep hope alive” and work hard, our endeavors will create the world we want. How could we do our work if we had no hope that we’d succeed?
Motivated by hope, but then confronted by failure, we become depressed and demoralized. Life becomes meaningless; we despair of changing things for the better. At such a time, we learn the price of hope. Rather than inspiring and motivating us, hope has become a burden made heavy by its companion, fear of failing.

Margaret Wheatley

(retrieved 29.05.2012 at http://www.margaretwheatley.com/articles/BeyondHopeandFear.pdf – sorry, broken link)

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(reviewed 20.02.2014)

Internet Pornography in Different Countries

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Jerry Ropelato`s article about the world`s revenues of internet pornography (2006)

Read his full article here.

It is obvious, that Korea spends an enormous sum on internet pornography. Why is that so? Read an analysis about Korean sexuality from the Humboldt Universität Berlin here or visit their website http://www2.hu-berlin.de/sexology/IES/southkorea.html

For sexuality in other countries refer to the index: http://www2.hu-berlin.de/sexology/IES/index-countries.html

Japan and China are following Korea in a distance. Pornography is officially prohibited in China, so the official numbers displayed only show the top of the iceberg. Obviously the Confucian values play a major role in internet pornography.

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