Asian Living -- Busting the Myths

How many of you have left your home country?

How many of you have lived in a foreign country?

For those of you who have done neither, I'm here to tell you about what it's like. Often, people who do not travel internationally have a misconstrued idea of what it is like outside of their home country {in this case, I'm going to talk about America}. It's often embarrassing, how Americans think of other countries.

I'm here to tell you how it really is, one myth at a time. 

{No one speaks English outside of America.} False! Not even bothering with countries where English is their native tongue (England, Australia, etc.), there a lot of people who speak English, especially in Asia. Hong Kong has a large amount of English-speaking people, even though Cantonese is their original language. English is a business language --therefore, anyone who travels outside of their native country speaks at least broken English.

{All we eat is rice, three meals a day.} This one, I can't necessarily claim as false, because it depends on what country you are referring to. However, in all of the Asian countries I have been to, rice is served three meals a day. However, it's cooked in different ways --congee is served for breakfast here in Hong Kong, and it is soupy rice. Other meals will include plain rice, stir-fried rice, and rice that has been pounded into cakes. 

{Asian kids attend school 6 days a week.} Unfortunately, this one is very true, specifically in China. Chinese schools run 6 days a week, and the average high school students spends more than 12 hours a day studying. Shocking, right? It is this custom that contributes to the stereotype that all Asians are extremely head-smart...which is also rather true.

{Everyone loves Americans.} This one, I'm going to put down as "false". It varies from country to country, but most people make fun of America. They see us wasting finite resources, living in extravagant homes, and owning multiple cars. All of these things are true of Americans. Asian people prefer a simpler life style, and are very good at conserving their resources. So no, not everyone loves Americans --there are actually a few countries out there that flat-out hate us, and for good reasons.

{You don't have to learn their language.} This is the biggest myth out there. Just because a lot of people speak English, American travelers often fall into the mindset that they don't have to learn to speak the native language of the country they live in. This is completely untrue. Even if they speak English, you have to remember that you are in their country, and therefore should have the decency to learn to speak their language. Americans often get frustrated with Spanish immigrants for not being able to speak English. Likewise, Chinese will be offended if you have no interest in learning Chinese. 

Since most of the above were "myths," I'm also going to give you some random truths about living in Asia!

  • There are people who use animals as their main form of transportation.
  • Yes, starvation is a problem among several different countries in Asia.
  • Japan really does have a lot of anime and comic books for sale in their book stores.
  • South China residents are famous for eating monkey head soup.
  • Koreans have a savory dish called boshintang, or "dog soup". 
  • Yes, it is literally made of dog meat.
  • Asian businessmen do wear white socks with black dress shoes.
  • Fruit is often sold out of carts pulled by mules.
  • In Chinese zoos, common animals (chickens, goats, and cows) are put on display.
  • The Chinese invented fireworks to scare off evil spirits. 


Mikayla Raye is an American teenage blogger who lives in Hong Kong. 
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  1. Bravo, Mikayla!

    Maybe one day I'll travel to HK or wherever you are then, and visit you... :)

  2. Wow interesting! I don't actually have any of those misconceptions, but I totally didn't know all those random facts! Very interesting indeed! I would looooove to live in a foreign country for some time!!

  3. Dog soup? O...kay.

    Hmnn, great post, but I also think there are a lot of unfair myths and stereotypes about Americans as well. And all of us are not necessarily frivolous.

    And yes!

    Other countries speak English, as it is a business language. England, anyone? XD


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