In this research paper, the aim is to look into the Chinese culture and how it affects a person’s ability to access health care. It goes into details of the various aspects of the Chinese culture and it does this through interviewing a person of Chinese origin. It is noted that the Chinese have numerous cultural holidays in one year, which are observed and celebrated with respect to the solar and lunar calendars ( The traditional Chinese used the appearance of the full moon to base their calendar and this is still in practice although they have incorporated the Gregorian calendar because it is the one used internationally. They use it to base the modern holidays, which usually include the celebrations of leaders birthdays.

            The major holidays observed include the Chinese New Year and the Lantern Festival, which are observed in the first month of the lunar calendar. In the fifth moon there is the festival of the Dragon Boat while in the 8th moon they celebrate the mid- Autumn. There are also some holidays that are found in the Gregorian calendar, which include the Tomb Sweeping Day that takes place in April the 4th, 5th or 6th. There are many other holidays that have not been listed here including birthdays since the emphasis has only been on the major holidays. Some of the other holidays may depend on the year and those who are ruling and thus their celebration days are not constant. These include mostly the birthday holidays.

When conducting the research, I encountered many difficulties especially in the area of language barrier. The interviewee used spoke mostly in Chinese and was also very fluent in written Chinese but has a very poor mastery of the English language. This led to the need of an interpreter sometimes but in the long run the information needed was collected. The person who was interviewed was a local who it was felt, would be able to represent the local people who are the majority and not as highly educated as most of the rich people are. Also the age of the person had to be a bit advanced so that the data collected may present a truer picture of the Chinese culture from one who understands it best.

Analysis of the interview

Among the Chinese, health practices are based on the balance that exists between the yin and yang principles, which translates to hot and cold principles ( One is said to get ill if the balance is destabilized. In accordance to their principles, they believe that a “pool of blood” considered necessary for life is located at the chest and thus they are never comfortable with CPR and other health practices that include the interfering with the chest, as they believe that it can cause death. There is also the belief that when a person is unconscious their spirit is around and interfering with the body at that time would lead to either illnesses or death. This is in addition to the belief that when one dies, all the body parts have to be intact and hence the apathy shown towards anesthesia and intrusive surgery.

When one has a mental related illness, it would be better if they complained of physical discomfort since emotional distress will cause stigma. Any sick person needs to include traditional folk healing processes in their care and this usually includes animal sacrifices. Foot massage is one of the many ways to bring about and maintain good health. The massage is done after the feet have been soaked in hot water with herbs. They believe a lot of healing rituals saying prayers, chanting incantations. The family decides who treats the sick person and what sort of treatment is required. The illnesses experienced are blamed on past bad behavior, which is being punished, and also to soul loss.

Currently, it has been noted that the western culture has influenced the people’s perception of the ideal body weight and shape especially among the young people. They tend to prefer thinness and leanness as the perfect body shape for them, which also indicate good health. They observe this in the televisions and then strive to look like the models they see on films. They do not care much for nurses and health care providers and actually prefer to look after their own sick unless it is an emergency that they cannot cope with. The interviewee expressed the opinion that it would be preferable if the health related issues could be taped or demonstrated, as they are easier to understand regardless of the language used.

Once a person is sick, spiritual leaders are very important, as they are needed to chant incarnations and say prayers to chase away the evil spirits that are believed to be tormenting the person. Since the people already believe that the reason why one suffers is because of a wrongdoing committed in the past, this then hinders in the seeking of medical care from health practitioners because they prefer having the spiritual leaders deal with the problem. They rarely consult them because they consider them to be incompetent and people who do not know how to heal. Since an illness is a major source of stigma from the community, one rarely complains of any symptoms and always strives to portray a picture of health and well-being.

The form of leisure that a person adapts is related to the sort of work that person is involved in and also in the level of education that one has (Chou K.L, Chow N.W.S. & Chi I. 2004). There has been recent introduction of leisure education and also the incorporation of western-based form of human resource management that involves the enhancement of leisure activities in the work place. The client is not very enthusiastic about the changes taking place in the society especially those that have been as a result of interaction with the west. This is because it has made people lose touch with their spirituality and also the sort of food people now eat in search of the ideal body shape is detrimental to their health.

Other than that, people are becoming more prone to cancer and hence the need of surgery which is not desirable. This is because they are imitating so much of the western culture and it has been established that those who live in the west have more cases of cancer than those who live in their native country. They are very suspicious of scientific health care because it is seen as not involving the spirituality that is part of their culture. They also involve practices that go against their traditions like surgery, which affects the individuals “pool of life”. Also the use of anesthesia and CPR goes against the traditional believes as they lead to the loss of an individual’s soul, which is a major catastrophe.

The Chinese are very sensitive on matters of privacy. They value their privacy very much and do not take it lightly when one tries to intrude on their privacy. They value when they show courtesy to a person and the same is retaliated by the person. They do not like to be touched especially by strangers and this affects the way they react to health care in hospitals as they see the touching as an intrusion on their privacy. They have clearly defined relationships with people and Confucius sets them out as being ruler-subject, husband-wife, father-son, brother-sister and friend-friend. The people they relate with have to fall under these categories and this affects the administration of health care especially if they are not clear on where to place the medical practitioner in regard to these relations.

Among the Chinese there is a very distinct difference between the men and women and also how they relate to each other. Modesty in this culture is defined by ensuring that one is completely covered and the different sexes stay away from each other. This modesty is carried even to the health care facilities and thus may hinder administration of healthcare. It hinders breast examination and also mammography, which are used to determine if one has been rectified by increasing the number of female gynecologists and obstetricians. (Andres C.S.2006).

Despite the gender of a client, modesty does not allow the person to exhibit their sexual parts of the body. This then affects the diagnosis of a disease and also in the performance of certain forms of surgery. It is very hard for one to allow vasectomy and hysterectomy to take place because it would negatively affect their psychological well-being because it is against their custom. They also avoid speaking of the dead because they are supposed to be respected because their spirits are still around and may overhear them. They can retaliate to the negative words spoken about them by causing maladies to befall the person or people speaking about them in the negative way. The dead are to be respected and cared for by the living.

Since the client is a Buddhist, there are the beliefs that are adhered to by Buddhists concerning the dying process. This belief helps both the dying and their family and friends. The belief concerns the connection between the body and the elements whereby when one is sick, he or she is believed to be the “earth giving way to water” (Chrissy & Company 2007). The process of dying is in stages and when one dies he or she is only half way through the process. The body dissolution starts with the illness whereby the bones deteriorate and also the hair, muscles and nails and the individual experiences a decrease in their mental and physical capabilities. The patient should not be emotionally tasked at this time. The next step in the process is the “water to fire” whereby the body begins to be dehydrated and it is at this time that the family and friends are most needed to provide care.

Those Chinese who are well up are circumcised either during their teenage or in their early 20s. When it comes to child development, breastfeeding is continued until a child is 3 years old. Weaning could start at any time from the time a child is 6 months old and it almost always starts with rice followed by vegetables and eggs then fruits and Soya beans and meat is introduced last at approximately 12 months. Chinese children before weaning are very large but once weaning is started, their weight takes on a negative turn (Chen J. & Taren D. N.D.). In the first trimester of pregnancy one has to avoid carrying heavy loads and also the use of sharp objects is prohibited as well as the intake of certain foods.

During childbirth, they prefer to eat to get energy for the labor and only take warm water at this period. The men wait until the child is born and play no role in the delivery room. The family is supposed to take care of the elderly in the family and all members are supposed to chip in and help in this and also in the care of the children. This is changing in the modern Chinese family whereby, the family is of a nuclear nature although parents may be living with them. The elderly are highly valued for the experience they have accumulated over the years and are deferred to by the young people.

The client’s education level is minimal and this affects the ability to read health educational literature and in turn the health behavior. Friends and family affect ones health and care when one is sick. The family is involved in the care of the sick especially in ensuring that the balance between Yin and Yang is maintained. Health promotion depends on the social economic status of the family. Since the client is the wage earner and does not earn much there is no insurance cover for him and family. The living areas are congested because that is what is affordable. The benefits reaped from the cultural organizations are many especially in education and free health services. The wife stays at home taking care of the family.


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