After the Austrians in, you wonder why the Chinese love France so much? What images do they have of this country? Or conversely what are the things they don’t like?
For them, France is synonymous with romance, art and Western life. Living in France is a dream for many of them, because it is a sign of professional and social success.
It’s quite ironic when you see all that a Chinese can do for his girlfriend. Showering her with gifts every day, giving her titanic bouquets of flowers, two-meter bear stuffed animals or even holding her handbag when he is with her.
When you’re in China, you see a lot more romantic little touches from the Chinese to their girlfriend than the French do. So why do they think the French are the most romantic?
Is this a cliché mostly fueled by rare French films popular in China? Like saying that the French are all libertines… This idea of libertinage in France is less present than romanticism, but we hear it said too.
French romanticism would then be in the „way of life“, traditional Chinese products?
If you look at Chinese dramas, life is in France is synonymous with working little, having coffee on the terrace in magnificent architectural settings, shopping in luxury boutiques and finally eating delicious things all day long.
Life in France is for some of them a luxury that not everyone can afford.
It is important to remember that life in China is very different. There is no minimum wage like in France, the salary can vary enormously depending on your job, which creates a huge gap between the rich class and the poor class.
The Chinese that we meet in France, whether students or tourists with their cameras, either have a lot of financial means to afford the trip, or saved for months or even years to pay for the ticket. ‚plane.
Admittedly, this is not the case for all Chinese in France, but they are still very numerous in this case.
This is one more reason why France is a dream destination: not all Chinese people can afford it, it is a difficult destination to reach. However, living in France is a symbol of professional success because working there means living much more easily.
Paris or the countryside?
Between the French capital, the other big cities or the countryside, where do the Chinese who come to France go?
The Chinese are like the Americans on one point: they know the geography of their country very well, but very little about the geography of other continents. If you ask a Chinese where is France, there is a good chance that he will answer you that it is a city in Europe, because for some of them Europe is just a big country…
This is why many Chinese only know Paris, see Bordeaux (for wine of course). But after all, many French people only know Beijing and Shanghai as Chinese cities so it’s not very shocking.
The Chinese mainly go to Paris. The city is obviously recognized by the majority of Chinese people as the most beautiful, romantic and incredible city of all. Living in Paris with a view of a monument like the Eiffel Tower is a very big dream for which some Chinese do not hesitate to pay a high price.
Outside Paris, the French countryside is also talked about in the Middle Kingdom. Many Chinese dream of visiting the small typical French villages with their castles and fields as far as the eye can see.
Finally, we can mention other large cities quite well known in China such as Lyon, Marseille or Toulouse, where many Chinese students come to study French. We can also mention Bordeaux, which has made a very good place for itself in the hearts of some wealthy Chinese, obviously for its wine.
Apart from their attraction for the big French cities, the Chinese also like the French. Open-minded, very friendly and very beautiful are words that often come up when you ask a Chinese to describe a French person.
Many Chinese dream of having a French friend, to share their culture or learn about European life. Have a French friend ais is also a symbol of social success for some of them, especially in China. As in some cities there are very few French people, having a French friend can be seen very well.
Since the income in France is much higher than in China, some Chinese think that the French (or Europeans in general) are rich. This is one of the reasons why French tourists in China tend to be fooled on the prices of certain things such as souvenirs or hotels for example.
It can therefore be said that the Chinese generally appreciate the French and France very much, even if they do not really know either of them. Nevertheless, the Chinese who made the trip may have a very different opinion.
Beyond the cliches
As said before, the most popular destination for the Chinese is Paris. Knowing that the French themselves are generally not very fond of Paris, what do the Chinese people who go there for the first time think?
Upon arriving in France, the Chinese are very quickly confronted with French hospitality. Once again, a lot of clichés but which hold a bit of truth. The French people they meet first, such as the taxi driver or the hotel service, can make them be in a bad mood and lack a bit of politeness…
Then, many Chinese people find it quite difficult to find someone to make themselves understood, especially in restaurants or shops. Some stores, such as Galeries Lafayette for example, display their prices directly in Yuan, the Chinese currency, to combat this.
Another thing that surprises Chinese people is that almost nothing is open on Sundays. In China, Sunday is not really considered a rest day, all shops and restaurants remain open all day. Another cultural difference between the two countries.
Finally, the thing most criticized by the Chinese who have come to France is insecurity. Today in China, almost everything is paid either in cash or via a phone application like Wechat or Alipay. It usually suffices to scan a QR code, enter the desired amount and payment is made instantly.
They therefore do not or very rarely use a blue card. This explains why Chinese tourists in France very often have a lot of cash on them, which undeniably attracts thieves or other malicious people.
Despite the rather bad feedback that some Chinese have been able to give from France, the country remains a destination that makes them dream. The positive clichés far outweigh the bad experiences that some travelers may have had.