i2 International Institute of Education


Why is China so materialistic?

goldie122 (645 posts) • 0

When I first came to China I loved the fact that many things didn't matter...

People wore pajamas and slippers outside... who cares.

Maybe you have a car, maybe you don't... it didn't matter.

People wore the same clothes days in a row... it was normal.

These days, people seem much more materialistic... young people only considering NEW expensive cars that they really cannot afford; young teachers buying LV and Gucci bags; everyone and their moms having iphones or better.

I've worked with Chinese making no more than 5000/month, yet they have a BMW, tons of clothes, shoes. Once a Chinese colleague of mine got a new fur coat for, she said, 5000 yuan. I was surprised, mostly because the coat was blue and quite ugly, but wondered... is anyone saving any of their money or is everyone just about impressing others?

redjon777 (560 posts) • 0

To much western influence on the younger generation plus the fact they probably didn't buy it out of their own wages but their parents.

The Dudeson's (1106 posts) • 0

I don't think it is western influence.
Chinese have bought ridiculously expensive Chinese crap, as well,... many decades back.

Now just more crap is offered.

redjon777 (560 posts) • 0

Probably right, they've just added the stuff the west thinks are materialistic. Everyone likes to spend though wherever you live and whatever their wage lol.

OceanOcean (1170 posts) • 0

I've heard it explained away as kick-back from the years of famine and poverty under Mao...

Napoleon (1184 posts) • 0

I think it's amazing how obsessed Chinese are with how much things cost. If you stopped your average man in the street and asked him how much his shoes/ socks/ watch cost, he would be able to remember how exactly how much they were and where he bought them. This would work for anything as obscure as his electricity bill or the amount he'd spent on the bus that day.
He'd look at you with a clueless expression when you couldn't give him the figure you spent on dinner.

Another trait is if they have bought a relatively expensive item then the price they will give you will be ridiculously exaggerated. Not sure why this happens but it seems to be a Chinese custom.

The Chinese avarice for pretty shiny things far outweighs anything I've seen elsewhere on my travels. It's stripped away much of the culture that lay before it. They seem able to live off a pittance in order to buy a handbag, forgo the most meager of comforts to buy designer shoes.

It's escalated so much in the last 10/15 years that it's quite worrying to consider to what levels they could take this to.

Liumingke1234 (3297 posts) • 0

Totally agree. It definitely has to do with the West influence. All the access to Western culture has hada big influence. Why do you think they put up the Great Firewall? Not even the government can stop it now. Now even the Chinese dramas focuses on material wealth, luxury lifestyles at any cost. China isn't as quaint as it use to be. China isn't that mysterious, enchanted place people went to discover amazing things. Now it's Shopping malls, McDonald's, Pizza Huts, Gucci, BMW's, mine is bigger and better than yours, etc. A poor imitation of the West.

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