China and Russia have both been in the news a lot recently. (By the way, Agi and I loved watching a lot of the Olympics. They ended on an exciting note for us when Hungary played the US for the men's waterpolo gold on Sunday. Hungary definitely needed a morale-booster so I'm glad they pulled ahead in the end. I think waterpolo is a great sport because it combines teamwork, skill, endurance and speedos.)
Back to the China-Russia topic: I wanted to write down an experience I had with a young Russian woman and a young Chinese guy earlier this year in my Hungarian language class that gave me some insights into how they are different culturally from Westerners.
There were also two British women, a Spanish guy and a Swiss woman in the
class (consider us "NATO"...). The teacher said that we were all good,
motivated students but the big differences came out in how we
approached the final exam--the only actual test of the course. You
really couldn't fail and the main motivation was just to do as well as
you could for your own benefit. At least that's what the Westerners
A week prior to the test, the Chinese guy (a good looking, smart guy who worked out a lot too) started freaking out. He talked about the exam non-stop and apparently studied every day for 6 hours and couldn't sleep the night before the test. He was still the first one to turn the exam in--about 15 minutes before everyone else and not that quietly--and then afterwards he asked every single one of us what score we got (a faux pas to the NATO crowd, but no one really cared that much; by the way, he and I scored the same 94%).
The nice Russian girl also studied a lot and we knew she would do well.
What surprised many of us was that after the test was passed out and
the teacher stepped away, the Russian girl looked through the exam, then
pulled out her notes to refresh her memory on a few points and cheat a
bit, and then went on to score a perfect 100%.