Socio-cultural features of Uyghurs and potential opportunities for mutual understanding in the context of the current situation around the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region of China« Back
Examining cross-cultural studies, one will try to focus on the differences between Han and Uighurs, but it will be useful to look at the problem from the point of view of searching a potential bridge for rapprochement.
Many neuro-linguists believe that language is a means of thinking. For example, Chinese linguoculturology sees its task in studying the links between the Chinese language and Chinese culture in the framework of awareness of the "historical mission" of the middle Kingdom. Culture is searched for in "keywords", idioms, and stable expressions. For example, the" key words " of Russian culture include the nouns Longing, Fate and Soul; the Japanese have the concepts of Honne and Tate Mae (inner world and external manifestations); the Chinese have "Guangxi", the fraternal principle.
These key cross-cultural concepts shape the child's thinking. And here it should be noted that the majority of residents of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region do not speak Chinese. The new Uyghur language belongs to the Altai family (the Turkic branch). The Uighurs use the Latin or Arabic alphabet, while the Han Chinese use Chinese characters. Even if you agree with all the critics of linguoculturology at once, the very way of learning these two languages develops different brain functions, different character traits.
Plus the factor of entropy or noise, which significantly affects the communication process of people even speaking the same language, due to at least cognitive distortions, and what to say when people speak different languages? This is why the Chinese government puts so much effort into teaching Chinese, but the process is not so easy. It is clear that people who have accepted the Chinese language with its method of study, concepts and idioms, would have thought in a much closer direction to the Chinese
The language picture of the world of Han Chinese is identified with increased imagery, musicality and emotionality, the idea of freedom of thought, intuitiveness. This is reflected in their communication style. It is like a form of a good Symphony that does not let you get bored. In negotiations, the Han are patient and polite, but more extroverted than the Japanese, for example, and less extroverted than the Uighurs. They can speak from a position of strength, but they will try to save the face of all participants in the process.
The Chinese (Han) negotiator needs to know the partner during the preamble in order to adapt the offer on the go. When meeting with an obstacle, they can delay the process, trying different tactics, including hard-line rhetoric, if the obstruction continues, the tactics can change. Khanets is probing the partner.
The Uighurs ' communication style is radically different and comes from their main roots: the Islamic religion, which is the source of its diversity. The influence of the Turkic languages provides declamatory inserts, as well as a persistent position in an attempt to open and maintain communication channels. The connection with China guarantees patience and Asian guidelines for dialogue, as well as passive periods for reflection in order to adjust your position to the interlocutor. There can be a kind of roller coaster with explosive periods, followed by Asian calm. They are incredibly self-controlled and sensitive to the situation, feel the political climate, can perceive and obey reason.
An exchange that leads to progress is considered constructive, so they keep the door open, as they say, for further discussions, bidding, if you want. The word bargain is not accidental. Although the Uighurs are a closed people for "outsiders", especially for the Han, they know a lot about trade and are ready to communicate with "outsiders"for the sake of profit. The "silk road"historically took place on their territory. And this is, in fact, the merchant class, which for the sake of profit, most likely, is ready to adapt to any prohibitions.
The act of listening to Han and Uighurs differs significantly. Uighurs will listen carefully in search of the same benefits, but they would like to speed up the process to isolate the details. Therefore, speakers need to avoid ambiguity, which is very popular with the Chinese. And this is an important differences.
Uighurs do not like criticism and officialdom, they like direct offers. If criticism is present, it should never be direct and always soft, because otherwise we will face self-defense-usually at a high level of stress. It should also be mentioned that they listen with a certain level of skepticism. They are quite impatient and like energetic speakers. Another thing is the Han Chinese, where the ability to listen is good manners. The speaker's manner is more important than the content of the message itself. Here, the Han need to remember that this doesn't work with the Uighurs.
The Han Chinese also have a great desire for harmony in the views of the parties, so they can delay and delay the answer. Here also plays a role the desire to save the face of all participants in the process, which the Han people expressed more strongly than the residents of XUAR.
In cross-cultural communication, there is a concept of layers of culture that are stacked in a triangle. But there is a very important point here. When it comes to Islam, identification is primarily based on religious rather than national principles. While self-determination generates values, so to find ways of rapprochement and easier to handle than concepts of state, nation, scrapie, gender, class, and values the religious component. In the case of Xinjiang Uyghur, it is important to work closely with the elders to find a balance in the issue of coexistence of different nationalities.
To sum up, from the point of view of cross-cultural communication, it is useful to consider the following steps:
- the compulsory study of the Chinese language;
- take into account the communication features of both parties, such as negotiation features and auditory patterns;
- take into account the factor of self-determination in the process of appealing to correctly defined values.