Chinese culture

Continent Comparison: Europe vs Asia

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European culture

When thinking of the differences between these regions you can come up with numerous things, but there are more differences and comparisons that don´t immediately come to your mind. People often think that Europe is more developed than Asia is, but this is not always the case. Asian countries have different development levels , but that doesn’t mean Asia is a ‘poor’ continent.

Culture

Working in Asia

Europeans tend to be more straightforward when presenting their opinions. They want to be sure that their statements are clear and properly delivered, but they don’t want to be rude or impolite to other people. Asians like to discuss topics for a longer time than Europeans do. They can talk about something for hours and still not come up with a conclusion. Usually they become passive-aggressive, and try to avoid any inconveniences during meetings. Europeans are more individualistic; they like to motivate themselves, instead of being motivated by other people. Asians are more focused on group dynamics; they share success and failure among each other, and let everyone know they belong to a community.

Europeans build connections, so they can use them to get successful. In Asia, making connections doesn´t matter as much as using existing connections for career advancement. Time is money for Europeans, so they want to show up on time for meetings and appointments because they know that everyone’s time is very valuable. Asians are more focused on the culture and intimacy, so time is not considered a top priority. We can say that there are some differences between the two continents. But as everything is modernizing, the cultural differences are disappearing. So don’t be fooled when coming to Asia, because they know more about Europeans then you think.

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History

Exploration is an important part of the two continents' shared history. Their common history dates back to the middle ages. Europeans discovered Asia through two mediums: by land and by sea. The first trade routes were established in the year 500 when Europeans started trading with the Islamic countries. Europeans also made contact with the Tang dynasty in China in later years. Between 500 to 1300, travelers smuggled trade goods from one continent to the other. At the start of the Mongolian Empire in the 13th centruy, the famous Silk Road was born, when trade was more formalized between the two continents. Asia cultures possessed a lot of desirable goods to Europeans, which helped stimulate trade. In current times, trading between the two continents is only increasing. This has caused more and more Europeans to relocate to Asia to follow the trade routes.

Differences

Living in Asia

When traveling to Asia from a European country, you will definitely notice many differences. These differences are even more apparent when one visits smaller cities, where foreigners are nonexistent.

Asian social greetings are very different than those used in Europe. In Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam, a greeting is usually carried out in the form of a bow. In Southeast Asia, it is a smile and nod is common when giving a verbal greeting. In contrast, a handshake is the most common greeting in Europe. When you are not sure what to do, a verbal greeting is always acceptable.                                                                                                      

Food in Asia is also different than European meals. The Asian cuisine has many different delights that can be found in different parts of the continent. In Asia, it is more common order a variety of dishes that everyone can share. In Europe, people usually order individual dishes. Europe utensils include a knife, fork, and spoon. In most Asian countries, people will eat meals with chopsticks, and use a spoon for soups.  

European habitsChristmas is widely celebrated across the whole European continent. However, most of the religions of Asia don't recognize Christmas, so the holiday is not celebrated all that much. You might be able to find some Christmas festivities in parts of the continent, but they will likely to be different then those of Europe.

Although it is easy to point out all the differences between the two continents, the cultures of both are becoming more similar. As the world is more connected now then at any point in history, cultural exchange is happening an ultra frequent occurance. The cultural exchange is apparent as shown by Europeans who come to Asia, and are able to relocate themselves for years. The same is true of Asians who move to European countries and adapt themselves to the unfamiliar culture.

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