Chinese vs Kiwi approach to using the library

Interesting incident at the Parnell library (behind our Euroasia Parnell campus) today. Chinese lady walked up to counter with granddaughter, wanting to return a book. She said this in Chinese but obviously the Kiwi librarian had no clue what she was on about. Chinese lady asked granddaughter to translate. But the 3 year-old looked clueless. In the midst of the confusion I walked up to assist.

I explained to the Chinese lady that returns simply go into the box.

Chinese lady was shocked. She

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asked how would the library know if the book was returned. What if the book goes missing?

I asked her not to worry but she wasn’t convinced. I explained to her this is how it works and assured her the books are safe.

It’s difficult for Kiwis to understand what the fuss is all about. Why can’t these Chinese folk just drop their books in the returns box like everyone else?

It’s also difficult for Chinese to understand why books aren’t returned over the counter. Who’s responsible if the books are stolen?

It’s inevitable. Our history and upbringing influence the

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way we think and act.

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About The Author

Kenneth is Director of Euroasia. He is passionate about languages and cultures.

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