Monthly Archives: December 2009

Sweeden vs. Finland This essay shows the differences and the similaritys of Sweeden and Finland it tells how they earn and spend money and all economic characteristics.

Comparing Economic Characteristics

In this essay I’m going to compare and contrast Sweden and Finland’s economic characteristics. Compare means to show all the similarity between things and contrast means the show all the differences between things. Economic characteristics are how people earn and spend their money in their country. It’s interesting how two countries so close together geographically can have so many similarities and differences.

Natural resources are very important to both countries economies. Sweden is a big producer of iron ore and other natural minerals. Finland is not a big producer of minerals. They lack in coal, oil, and most of the other natural minerals. Over half of Sweden is covered in forests. Finland also has lots of forests. The government owns one-third of their northern forest and timber is Finland’s biggest export. They are a world leader in the pulp and paper market.

The two countries have different money systems. In Sweden they use krona and you have to use eight and a half krona to equal one U.S. dollar. In Finland the call their money finmark and one finmark equals one U.S. dollar.

Both Finland and Sweden joined the EU (European Union) in 1994. Both countries have socialist governments. Both countries have very well-developed health care systems. Both countries spend approximately 8.8% of their GNP on health care costs.

Finland and Sweden both have a free-market economy. This is a good thing because this means that the government can’t put prices on someone else’s products. This means people get to put their own prices on their own products. Finland has a very high unemployment rate at ten percent and Sweden on the other hand has a lower one at five point five percent.

Finland and Sweden agriculturally produce different things. Finland produces cereals, sugar beets, potatoes, dairy cattle, and fish. Sweden agriculturally produces other things like grains, sugar beets, potatoes, meats, and milk. Finland has more than twice as much agricultural output as Sweden. Finland has five percent output and Sweden has two percent output. Finland is a low-lying country with over 60,000 lakes. This probably makes for more fertile soil and better growing conditions.

Both Sweden and Finland have huge, long coastlines. This is very good for their economies because of all the importing and exporting they can do on the harbors. Finland is a great place for fishing. A great place where fish are caught and sold on the spot is Helsinki, Finland. Sweden is also a very large fishing country, most fisherman start out being cod fishermen.

Both Finland and Sweden place a very high degree of importance on preserving the environment. They have strict laws on industrial emissions allowed and a high level of nuclear safety. Hydroelectricity is a very important type of electricity in both countries. Sweden is a higher hydroelectricity producer at forty-six point five percent and Finland only has twenty-six percent of their electricity produced this way.

Imports and exports are very important to both countries economies. Sweden spends a lot more on imports, sixty-eight billion to be exact. Finland only spends thirty-one billion dollars on imports. They both have the same top two import partners. The first is Europe and in second is Germany. Sweden makes eighty-six billion a year on exports. Finland on the other hand only makes forty-three billion a year on exports. Sweden and Finland’s top three export partners are also the same. The first is Europe and in second is Germany and in third is the U.K.

Sweden is a big producer of well-known cars like Volvo and Saab. These cars made in Sweden are exported all over the world. Finland on the other hand does not produce or export cars.

These two countries climates are very similar. This is mostly due to their geographical location. Both countries border the Gulf of Bothnia and the Baltic Sea. They actually share a land border in the northern part of both countries. Both countries northernmost land is within the Arctic Circle. Northern Finland has a humid-continental climate and the central-south has a subtropical climate. Sweden has the same climates just in different parts of the country. Sweden has a humid-continental climate in the central-south and in the north there is a subtropical climate. Their average temperatures and average annual rainfall amounts are very similar.

Both Sweden and Finland are Scandinavian countries. The Scandinavian languages are similar in alphabetical characters but they each have their own distinct language. The Swede’s speak Swedish and the Finn’s speak Finnish. Small percentages of their populations actually share the same language. Six percent of Sweden’s population speaks Finnish and 3% of Finland’s population speaks Swedish.

The people of both countries have similar religious beliefs. The primary religion in both countries is Evangelical Lutheran. Ninety-four percent of Sweden’s population and 89% of Finland’s population practice this religion.

After comparing and contrasting the two counties I have come to the conclusion that Sweden and Finland are pretty similar. They have similar geographical location and climates. Their people have similar religious beliefs, enjoy art and place a lot of importance on preserving the environment. They’re government structures are similar since they are both socialist countries. Sweden’s economy is stronger than Finland and this is probably due to the difference in natural resources and the type of imports and exports out of Sweden. I think both places would be a good place to live, but you would have to like cold weather! In doing this essay I learned a lot on how Sweden and Finland are similar and different.


Gamelan

The word gamelan simply means ‘musical group’ and may refer to 20 different kinds of xylophones, percussion-type music ansembles. Just as the Balinese share the planting of rice and the upkeep of their temples, traditional orchestra clubs, ‘sekaha’, are a communal organization in which everyone shares an equal interest and pride.

Scholars believe gamelan music may derive from the sound of priestly bells. Another theory holds that the percussive component of gamelan developed from workers using heavy pounding-poles to beat out music as they beat the husks off rice grains, perhaps lifting the trough off the ground and laying it on crossbeams to enhance the resonance.

The gamelan is likely indigenous to Indonesia and probably consisted of bamboo instruments. The royal courts of Bali emulated the pomp and ritual of the Javanese Majapahit Kingdom of ancient Java, and Balinese courtly music was no exception.

Mentioned of gamelan orchestras have been found in chronicles dating back as far as the 14th century. With the Dutch seizure of power in 1908, Balinese court culture began to undergo a drastic transformation.

Their power and sources of revenues sharply curtailed, the ‘puri’ ceased to function as cultural centers. By the 1930s the ceremonial glitter of the courts had faded and most of the courts gamelan were in storage, gathering dust.

Unable to afford their traditional role as patrons of the arts, many courts sold their gamelan to village musicians, thus passing the domination and fostering of the arts into the hands of common villagers.

Whole orchestras were melted down and recast in forms that better suited the flamboyant and frolicsome tastes of the masses. From the moment the music left the courts and filtered into the villages, its development accelerated and took on a life of its own, becoming louder, faster, more earthy, and available to a much wider audience.

Today, the village gamelan is played with more vigor and passion than the slower, haunting Javanese-style orchestra, which remained the prerogative of the courts on Bali until well into the 20th century.

Sudden changes, displaced accents, bursts of rapid, precise, highly syncopated playing, increases and decreases of volume, and a highly developed counterpoint based on simple melodies give many Westerners the impression that gamelan music is improvised like jazz, but this is untrue. If an orchestra musician started hammering out his own tune, he’d be immediately expelled from the troupe.

Alternately playful, blaring, with a frenetic, vibrant sound, gamelan is Balinese music like no other you have ever heard. The assorted drums, gongs, and cymbals carry a wide variation of pitch and timbre.

What might be called octaves are not exact octaves and may sound off-pitch or dissonant to Western ears.

Instruments with a high range of notes are struck with more frequency than those with lower ranges, so there’s a greater proportion of high harmonics over fundamental harmonics. Half and quarter notes are employed to a considerable extent.

There are five or seven tones in Balinese music, just as in Java. The instruments are tuned when they’re made to either the pentatonic (five-tone) ‘pelog’ scale or the septatonic (seven-tone) slendro scale.

All the instruments have fixed pitches, with the exception of the wistful, viola-like rebab and wailing suling (flutes).

Each gong-like instrument is tuned to its neighbor, making the whole gamelan a self-contained, coherent musical unit, played as a single instrument rather than a collection.

Each instrument is tuned to its partner in a slightly higher tone, producing the shimmering, and ‘tremolo’, so characteristic of Balinese gamelan. Even on an individual instrument, the octave notes may be tuned slightly higher than the matching lower tones. Played together they produce rich, throbbing sound.

A Balinese gamelan piece usually consists of four or five movements, each divided into four phases: a solo to introduce the piece, the introductory theme, followed by central body and then the clashing, thunderous finale.

Typically, compositions are named after animal actions or temperaments: Crow Stealing Eggs, Fighting Cats, Toad Climbing Pawpaw, Golden Butterfly, or Snapping Crocodile.

Composers are selected from the orchestra’s best players. In everyday life they could be waiters at a restaurant, artisans, or field laborers. It’s difficult to make out who controls the orchestra so perfectly and precisely because the gamelan has no real conductor. Instead, the orchestra is lead by the two drummers, often the most accomplished musicians of the group.

They link the instruments together, control the tempo, and underline the accents. With their knowledge of both dance and music, the drummers signal other musicians to play the proper musical gesture to accompany a specific dance.

The music itself is played from memory, which is extraordinary when you consider how lengthy and complex some pieces are.

The Balinese have worked out a system of notation, but the orchestration of the melody is fixed so notation is seldom used. Learning by repetition, the Balinese say when a piece is practiced long enough ‘it enters the musician’s liver and he plays without thinking.’

Musicologists marvel at the way two musicians play interlocking parts as fast as possible, beating out alternate notes at top speed and in perfect coordination, resulting in a faster performance than one player is capable of.

The Balinese like their music very loud and dramatic, with sharp changes in the tempo and volume. A piece always seems to end unexpectedly-as if in mid-song. In the south, the playing style is more refined and fluid, radically different from the violent, rhapsodically styles of the north.

The Balinese themselves refer to their orchestra simply as gong, as in ‘gong gede’ or ‘gong kebyar’, and each set of instruments is given names such as ‘Sea of Honey’ or ‘Floating Cloud’.

There’s a gong for almost every occasion-weddings, cremations, cultural performances, birthdays. Special music accompanies long processions to the sea, or lures the gods from their celestial heights. Other melodies induce a trance, entertain the masses with musical comedy, or accompany all-night operas for the elite.

Ensemble size ranges from the huge 40 member gamelan gong to the mini-xylophonic quintets carried on multistoried pyres in funeral processions.

In between you’ll find 30-piece bronze percussion orchestras, small angklung, bamboo gamelan, orchestras entirely of lutes and mouth-harps, and small quartets playing the accompanying music for choral symphonies composed of chants and grunts.

Each ensemble differs in the instruments that make it up, the scale used, and the sonority. Many types of orchestras can be pared down so that they can be played by marching bands.

Since the 1960s, credit goes to tourists for keeping alive some forms of gamelan which might otherwise have succumbed to the pervasive influence of modernism, though experimentation with new styles never ceases.

The Western music inundating Bali is now looked upon as a stimulus rather than a threat, but youthful composers also look to older traditional Balinese forms for inspiration, and forms are always coming in and out of style.

The seven-tone ‘semar pegulingan’ orchestra in which some instruments are played with two hands has now become the most sought-after ensemble for the creations of contemporary Balinese composers.

The archaic and rare ‘gong selonding’ features metallophones with iron keys and very simple trough resonators. The highly distinctive, classical ‘tektekan’ orchestra of Krambitan in Tabanan is made up of men carrying split bamboo drums and giant cowbells around their necks. Exorcising malignant spirits when pestilence strikes the village, this is the only orchestra of its type in Bali.

The refined ‘gong gede’ and ‘gong pelegongan’ prevalent in the early years of this century, essentially as temple orchestras, were superseded in the 1920s and 30s by more up-tempo ‘gong kebyar’, which started catching on in northern Bali in 1915.

Until recently, it was the most popular and widespread type of orchestra, but has reached a state of saturation both in numbers and style. A few older ensembles are coming back in popularity.

Revived in the past five years is the spectacular ‘gamelan jegog’ of the western Jembrana Regency which consists of mammoth tubes of bamboo, the largest measuring up to 30 cm in diameter and over two meters in length. When struck with a big, padded mallet, the sound made by the resonating ‘jegog’ tubes can be heard over a great distance.

Bali’s consummate gamelan instrument craftsmen live and work in the villages of Tihingan, Sawan, and Blahbatuh. These highly respected artisans have a profound knowledge of metallurgy, bronze-smithing, instrument-tuning, and woodworking.

The tone of each bronze key is matched against a wooden tuning stick, then laboriously filed to acquire just the right pitch. Similar instruments are slightly out of tune with each other to make a shimmering, more appealing sound.

Although all ensembles are tuned to roughly the same scale, there is no universally accepted reference. This is very much in keeping with the belief that each gamelan has its own spirit. For a Balinese, it’s unthinkable to step over an instrument lest the unique spirit residing in it be offended.

The largest and most famous gong foundry (pabrik gong) is I Made Gabeleran’s in Blahbatuh. After melting an alloy of tin and copper with hot coconut charcoal fires stoked with bamboo plungers, Pak Gabeleran’s smiths forge magnificent sets of ‘trompong’ or cast ‘reyong’ in molds.

He has big room displaying completed instruments of an impressive small ‘kendang batel’ or glittering ‘gangsa giing’. Specialists carve the ornate wooden frames and stands for the instruments in a rear courtyard.

The workshop complex, Sidha Karya-Kerajinan Gong, which produces five or six complete gamelan ensembles a year, is a must-see for the lover of gamelan.

In the Northern village of Sawan live four generations of gamelan-instrument makers. Workshops here turn out gender, ‘gangsa’, ‘cengceng’, and other instruments.

Of all the instrument-makers on Bali, Widandra gives the best explanation of the entire process. Or check out the poster in the showroom with photos and explanations of the steps involved. Instruments and small, carved, gilded stands are also for sale. If you don’t buy anything, please leave a donation in appreciation of Widandra’s time and effort.

To achieve the rich sonic complexity and subtlety of Balinese music-without a notational system-requires long hours of rehearsal.

Depending on the orchestra, rehearsals are held as infrequently as once every six months or as often as five days a week. In preparation for an upcoming festival, temple anniversary, or to provide music for a dance troupe, incessant rehearsals take place.

You have an excellent chance of happening upon a gamelan rehearsal, usually after sunset when villagers gather around the ‘bale banjar’ where the orchestra is kept. Follow your ears-you can’t miss the metallic, jangle energy and deep, reverberating gongs. Sit near the musicians so you can feel the power of the music.

Rehearsals are casual, open-air affairs with dogs prancing across the dance floor, old men playing flutes in the background, and babies falling asleep amidst the clashing of drums, gongs, and cymbals.

If not preparing for a performance a musician might even hand over his mallets to a spectator during a session. Entry is free. The instruments remain in the ‘bale banjar’ for anyone who wishes to practice. Training starts at a very early age; when the musicians take a break, a mob of little boys descend on the instruments (it’s almost impossible to damage them) and start improvising a melody, often quite deftly. They learn the various parts of the composition by imitation.

A great number of villages offer commercial daily or weekly performances in the bale banjar-outfitted with a ticket table, rows of chairs, and lighting.

A temple performance is one of the best places to see the gamelan perform. Temple anniversary ceremonies, ‘odalans’, are always taking place somewhere on Bali and visitors are always welcome. Ask the local tourist office, your hotel proprietor, driver, or guide. Go in the late afternoon or early evening when spectators are arriving with their offerings.

A group of interested people may also commission a performance. The fee is very reasonable, depending upon the size and elaborateness of the orchestra and dance troupe, and the length of the program. Go up to the head of the music club, the ‘ketua sekaha gong’, and make arrangements for your group to be seated in the ‘bale banjar’ or other community space.

The camaraderie and interplay such an event fosters between visitors and villagers are unforgettable.

At the Denpasar Arts Center on Jl. Nusa Indah in Abiankapas (a 15-minute walk east of Kereneng Station) visitors can see dance and music rehearsals as well as public dances.

The art center also features two magnificent open-air amphitheaters with modern lighting and hosts a Bali Arts Festival. Each year from mid-June to mid-July musical and ‘sendratari’ competitions, as well as diverse classical and modern music performances, are held daily. If it’s the high season, book your hotel early so that you don’t miss it.

Though the wide varieties of Balinese compositions are generally attractive to Western ears, some formidable obstacles face Western students.

The rhythm defies Western music notation. Indeed, the whole Western concept of scales and keys, as well as the terminology, is alien to Balinese music. While a Westerner may discern two separate five-tone scales, a Balinese can recognize at least seven.

Learning to appreciate the music requires great concentration and ear training. Students are started off kindergarten style with big charts, and audible counting games accustom the class to the role of each instrument before they kneel behind the real thing.

Singing their parts along with the music, Westerners must adjust to rhythms that can’t be wrestled into four beats per measure. Although the instruments appear simple, a number of tricks go into playing them. One of the most difficult to learn is the mallet technique-the knack of striking the keys with a mallet in the right hand while dampening the keys with the fingers of the left a millisecond later.

This split-second timing at very high speeds sometimes takes years to master. Decide first on the style of music you want to study. The most popular choices for Westerners are the ‘tingklik’, ‘gong kebyar’, and gender ‘wayang’. Michael Tenzer, author of ‘Balinese Music’, advises students to learn the basic melodies on the gangsa first, as other instruments like the reyong and kendang are too abstract for the beginner.

Bring a tape recorder so that you can hear the lesson and practice later.

Determining payment is awkward for a Balinese teacher because their instruction is usually given to a group and payment is made in favors or obligations rather than in coin. Ask other students what the going rate is-about Rp10,000 per lesson in 1995.

My opinion of Kotka, a small town in Finland. This is where I live.

I live in a town called Kotka. Kotka is located in south-east Finland on the Gulf of Finland.

The town was founded in 1878 and the population is now about 56 000. There are so many things that are good about Kotka. We have the biggest export port in Finland, the imperial fishing-logde in Langinkoski and there are so many sport facilities here that you can almost do any sport you want.

To live in Kotka as a teenager isn’t that bad. There are a lot of different activities, e.g. you can play football in KTP, the team with maybe the most fanatic audience in Veikkausliiga(the national soccer league). I have myself played for their youth-team and you can develop your skills. The adult team is very keen on taking new rising stars into their team and therefore Kotka is the town of opportunities for a young soccer player. Enough of soccer!

If you aren’t interested in sports, there is still a whole lot that you can do. Kotka has its own club for those who are interested in live role games. I don’t really know anything else about that matter because I’m not interested in that kind of activities, but I ought that it’s good that we have one.

If you are a teenager without any hobbies there are still two cinemas, one theatre and lots of other places to hang around at. Don’t worry if you’re not keen on sports, you will find something else to do.

In my opinion Kotka has only one bad thing for the teenagers. It’s a growing drug problem. It wasn’t such a bad problem 10 years ago, but nowadays almost everyone knows someone who uses drugs. It sounds quite bad, but we’re a pretty little town, so the number of drug addicts is quite little, after all, but it doesn’t help the matter that something should be done for this problem. We haven’t still got to that point that it’s out of hands, but we’re going there, if something isn’t done as soon as possible.

Back to the good things! As I earlier said, the port of Kotka is the largest export port in Finland. The town Kotka was actually founded because of the Port. The world was in a need of wood during the 19th century, so a port had to be founded to transport good to Baltic countries, Russia and rest of Europe. During year 2000, 2,4 million ton of goods was transit, 4,4 million ton was exported and 1,5 million ton was imported. The port stands for 32% of the whole export in Finland.

If you’re not interested in sports, ports or other activities you can always go to the imperial fishing-lodge in Langinkoski. One of the most popular tourist sights is Langinkoski and the former fishing-lodge of Tsar Alexander III and his family which is situated there. The architecturally beautiful log-built villa sits beside the rapids. On the hill above is the Tsar’s Lodge cafe and on the access road below there is a cafe and art gallery.

So Kotka is a place where almost anything can happen. You just have to make peoples minds focused on your ideas and off you go. All the sport facilities, cultural sights and the port make Kotka a place worth living. Don’t mind about a minor drug problem, look at the bright sides, because there’re a lot of those!

State Comparison of Dallas, Texas and Shreveport, Louisiana.

State Comparison of Dallas, Texas and Shreveport, Louisiana Dallas, Texas and Shreveport, Louisiana both, have several pros and cons that can help in deciding where to reside in. The most important topics in this decision regard the costs of living, the city’s employment status, and its general features that the city may be known for, such as state attractions, reliable government, or its lack of resources.

In the battle of costs for living, whether they might be for houses or apartments, Shreveport wins. The average price for a 3-bedroom house in Dallas is $143,697, compared to Shreveport’s Price, $130,593. If you would rather live in a 2-bedroom apartment, Dallas may charge a $865 rent payment, while Shreveport will charge $635. On a scale from 1 to a 100, 100 being the U.S. average for cost of living, Dallas is at a 93.83, where Shreveport trails with a 91.35. If you don’t mind to pay an extra $230 a month for an apartment rent, then these statistics may not bring you to a final decision.

Both of these cities, are known for there exciting attractions. Dallas has Six Flags over Texas, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Texas Rangers, while Shreveport is known for its Casinos and Hotels such as the Boomtown Casino and Hotel, and the Hollywood Casino and Hotel. Each city is about tied as far as recreational activities depending on your interests. If youenjoy sports more than gambling, then Dallas might be a better choice.

Shreveport however, definitely has the more elegant dining, with restaurants serving food from a variety of different cultures and backgrounds such as Greek, soul food, and oriental. Despite all the activities that can be done in your leisure time, each city’s government works hard in making sure you are safe and you are provided with enough adequate resources.

Dallas delegates several city council briefings each month in order to report abuse of city resources, prevent yard waste from polluting our waterways, and to ensure homeland security. Shreveport also has city meeting once each week to discuss street or sewer improvements, discuss the distribution of the annual budget for public services such as medical benefits, and to give the people of the city to voice their opinion on any public issues.

Another important aspect that must be considered when deciding a place of residence is the city’s employment rates. Currently Dallas has an employment rate of 92.4%, while Shreveport’s is 93.6%. Depending on your current career, whether the market is in demand for your specialty or not, this issue can make or break your choice. If there is a possibility that you may not have high a job security in that area, than the cities attractions, government procedures, and rent charges will be of little concern.

I currently live in the city of Dallas. Despite the lower employment rates and the higher costs of living, I would remain here, since this is where my family resides, and that’s what is most important to me. Depending your own personal priorities will depend on which city is right for you.

The Outline of China.

Background of China

China is believed to have the oldest continuous civilization, which has over 4,000 years of verifiable history. Beijing is the capital of China and is the focal point for the country. The official language is standard Chinese, which is derived from the Mandarin dialect. Most business people speak English. Though there are nearly 200 dialects in China, there is only one written language.

The People’s Republic of China is a socialist country under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. The Chinese government promotes atheism although the constitution guarantees freedom of religion. The Chinese practice a variety of religions and the three main religions are Buddhism, Taoism or Daoism, and Confucianism. And there are also a small number of Christians, Islam, and several others.

China is the most densely populated country in the world with approximately 1.3 billion people. And most of the populations are Han Chinese. However, the growth rate has slowed to less than 1% per year, due largely to laws limiting children to one per couple. In an effort to control the population growth, couples are allowed to have only one child. Second children are possible, but at a very high penalty. This policy has had success in the large cities and more affluent areas where monitoring and control is more manageable.In areas further away from Beijing and in the more remote the area, it has had less success.

Everyone in China is entitled to 9 years mandatory education and adult literacy is nearly 81%. There are about 961,000 schools at all levels. And there are approximately 1,080 universities and colleges, many of which have on-line websites.

Economic Overview

In late 1978 the Chinese leadership began moving the economy from a sluggish Soviet-style centrally planned economy to a more market-oriented system. Whereas the system operates within a political framework of strict Communist control, the economic influence of non-state organizations and individual citizens has been steadily increasing. The authorities have switched to a system of household and village responsibility in agriculture in place of the old collectivization increased the authority of local officials and plant managers in industry, permitted a wide variety of small-scale enterprise in services and light manufacturing, and opened the economy to increased foreign trade and investment. The result has been a quadrupling of GDP since 1978. In 2001, with its 1.27 billion people but a GDP of just $4,300 per capita, the GDP of China reached 7.3% in 2001. Agriculture and industry have posted major gains, especially in coastal areas near Hong Kong and opposite Taiwan, where foreign investment has helped spur output of both domestic and export goods. On the other hand, from 80 to 120 million surplus rural workers are adrift between the villages and the cities, many subsisting through part-time low-paying jobs. Another long-term threat to continued rapid economic growth is the deterioration in the environment, notably air pollution, soil erosion, and the steady fall of the water table especially in the north. China continues to lose arable land because of erosion and economic development. Beijing will intensify efforts to stimulate growth through spending on infrastructure, such as water control and power grids, and poverty relief and through rural tax reform aimed at eliminating arbitrary local levies on farmers. Access to the World Trade Organization strengthens China’s ability to maintain sturdy growth rates, and at the same time puts additional pressure on the hybrid system of strong political controls and growing market influences.

The Hofstede theory on China

According to the work of Geert Hofstede, let’s analyze the culture of China.

1.Power Distance

We can find that Chinese PDI is the second highest index in the Hofstede theory, which indicates that inequalities of power and wealth have been allowed to grow within the society. This society is more likely to follow a caste system that does not allow significant upward mobility of its citizens.

2.Individualism

The much lower index of individualism indicates that China has a society of a more collectivist nature with close ties between individuals. These cultures reinforce extended families and collectives where everyone takes responsibility for fellow members of their group. It can be attributed primarily to the Communism and its emphasis on a collectivist culture.

3.Masculinity

Since China is a country with a long history of feudality, it’s easy to understand that China is a high masculine country. Though many western cultures enter China, the whole society still experiences a high degree of gender differentiation. In this culture, males dominate a significant portion of the society and power structure, with females being controlled by male domination, especially in the less developed and remote areas.

4.Uncertainty Avoidance

The relatively high uncertainty avoidance index indicates China has a low tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity. It has more written rules, less risk-taking by managers, lower labor turnover, and less ambitious employees.

5.Long-Term Orientation

We can easily find that the LTO is the highest-ranking factor in the figure. It indicates China prescribes to the values of long-term commitments and respect for tradition. This is thought to support a strong work ethic where long-term rewards are expected as a result of today’s hard work. However, business may take longer to develop in this society, particularly for an “outsider”.

The Most Important Characteristics of Chinese Culture

Two of the most important concepts in Chinese culture are guanxi and face. The first, guanxi, has been defined as sharing favors between individuals, connections, relationships, and the ability to exert influence. The second, face, also called mianzi: saving face, losing face, and giving face.

A relationship marketing approach to Guanxi

Guanxi, meaning connections or relationships is an important characteristic of Chinese culture and at the heart of doing business in China. It describes the intricate network of relationships and mutual trust that influence behavior of individuals within groups.

Foreign companies often underestimate the importance of guanxi when transacting business and the time needed to build these relationships. It works efficiently in Chinese people’s social lives. Through “guanxi”, people can get a job for which they have no experience and skill. Those who have “guanxi” usually get what they want because the connections network is 99% workable in China. Obtaining goods or services through connections is informally referred to as “going through the back door” (zou hou men).

In the commercial world, a business will run much easier with good relationships with vendors, distributors and, most important, the municipal, regional and central government ministers whose disfavor can cripple a company. Guanxi can take the form of a night of karaoke with the local fire department regulator in order to get a new computer room plan approved. Or it could mean hosting a banquet with a customs official to make sure precious hardware shipments arrive at some point. And the high regard for relationships should apply to people inside the company as well as outside. A boss can gain staff loyalty and support by breaking the professional formality to form friendships.

The Chinese Concept of “Face”

“Face” could be saved or lost in China. It can be defined as “status”, “ego” or “self-respect.” Basically “saving face” is about avoiding made to look stupid or being forced to back down in front of others. In the West it is somewhat important but in China, it is critically important. If you criticize your Chinese employee publicly, you might get his or her resign letter on your desk the next morning. It’s an unforgivable relationship killer to make someone “lose face” in public.

You should never, insult, embarrass, shame, yell at or otherwise demean a person. If you do, they will lose “face”. For example, a Chinese warrior chief, Xiang Yu, after losing a battle, committed suicide because he had lost face. Though this may no longer occur, the concept of “face” remains alive and well in China. Awareness of face and its impact is an extremely important cultural issue.

Some Labor Law which should be Mentioned

When in Rome, do as Romans do. So when a foreign corporation wants to enter the Chinese market, local laws should be remembered. Let’s see the regulations on Labor Law of the People’s Republic of China.

There are thirteen chapters in Labor Law. The first chapter introduces the general provisions such as Article 4 says, “Employers shall establish and improve their rules and regulations according to law and ensure that the workers enjoy their rights and perform their obligations.”

The second and seventh chapter introduces the promotion of employment and the protection to women and underage workers, such as the Article 10 “The State shall create employment conditions and expand employment opportunities by way of promoting economic and social development” and the Article 62 “Women workers giving birth shall enjoy a maternity leave for no less than 90 days”.

The third one introduces Labor Contract and Collective Contract, showing that the contract should be elaborate, fair and legal. For example, the Article 18 introduces the illegal contracts.

The fourth, fifth, sixth ninth chapter introduce working hours, vacation, wage, safety and health care and other basic benefits and welfares. For example, Article 38 shows that an employer shall ensure every worker to have at least one days’ rest for a week; Article 49 shows that the factors influencing the minimum wage standards; and Article 55 tells that workers engaging in special operations shall receive special training to acquire the required qualifications.

Chapter Eight introduces the job training, telling that the employees should be trained before they take up their posts.

The tenth chapter introduces the rules of the labor disputes. For example, Article 78 shows that when settling labor disputes, the principle of legitimacy, fairness and timeliness should be followed in order to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the parties to the labor disputes.

The eleventh chapter shows the rules of supervision and examination, telling that any organization or individual have the right to inform and bring charges against any act that violates labor discipline and the laws and regulations.

Chapter Twelve introduces the legal responsibility of both sides. For example, Article 97 “If an invalid contract concluded due to reasons on the part of the employer has caused harm to workers, the employer shall undertake the responsibility for compensation”; Article 102 “If a worker dissolves his labor contract in violation of the conditions prescribed by this law or violates the provisions on keeping secrets agreed upon in the labor contract, thus causing economic losses to the employer, the worker shall be responsible for the compensation”.

And the last chapter shows the supplementary provisions, such as Article 107 “The law shall come into force as of January 1, 1995″.

Recommendations

Be patient

As an old Chinese saying state, “If you go to the stream in the morning, you observe that a rock in the stream has the power to part the waters rushing over it. But if you return to the same stream in 100 years, you see that the water has washed away the rock.” (http://workabroad.monster.com) So remember: Trust and relationship go a long way in China. Success in Chinese markets requires persistence and a long-term view. You’d better not expect immediate, be willing to forgo the short-term profits and develop networks for future business.

Build a network of relationship

In China, guanxi, or connections, is everything. Developing relationships through the various government ministries that promote foreign business and cooperation is an effective and respected means of meeting new people. So it is essential that companies establish strong relationships with distributors as well as midlevel government bureaucrats, who often have great influence over policy decisions. Once trust is established with key players, foreign firms will find that production, distribution, and advertising are easier to achieve.

Establish strategic partnerships

Many U.S. businesses believe if they go to China, they need to get a deal–any deal–quickly. But the wrong deal in China can sink a business, and exclude it from other more lucrative partnerships. Analysts advise companies to consider partnerships carefully and ask these questions: What does the Chinese partner expect? How quickly? What connections does the partner have in government? With other technology providers and distributors? The rule: Don’t try to do too much too fast.

Be flexible

China’s regulatory and legal environments are still immature and basic infrastructure is not readily in place. Companies must learn to manage change and accept the “fluid” business environment. Foreign firms should understand that it is incumbent upon them to maintain and revitalize relationships, even if things don’t turn out as they expect.

Reference

http://www.chinabig.com/

http://www.chinabig.com/

http://www.chinabig.com/

www.china2go.com/

http://www.cultualsavvy.com/c

www.cyborlink.com/besite/

http://chinaunique.com/

http://chinaunique.com/

http://www.greekorthodoxchurch.org/

http://gsbnet.uct.ac.za/

http://www.poolonline.com/

http://workabroad.monster.com