Living in China


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The family Sieber moved from Brazil to China in 2006 because of Joachim Sieber´s work, I`ve got an interview with Joachim and his daughter Stephanie Felix Sieber, about the cultural impact and the political differences that China as in comparison with Brazil.

Stephanie Felix Sieber is 21 years old and she is studying International Relations at the university Anhembi Morumbi in São Paulo, she moved to Shanghai when she was 11 years old and with no previous knowledge of the language.

How was the cultural impact when you arrived there? It was chocking, everything is different, the people are different the food is different and the especially the language, it was very hard at first not only the talk but the writing.

Did you notice any difference between the Brazilian and the Chinese in freedom of speech and expression? Because I went there too young I didn’t care much for these things, I had no notion of the reality to live in a place where the style of government is the opposite of ours, but there wasn’t any difference in the freedom of speech that could be noticed easily.

Do you believe that this experience could or affected in your decisions of work and study? I`m pretty sure that it had, living abroad was one of the motives of why I chose International Relations. I didn’t have only a notion of mandarin as I also learned English and having to live abroad and in a such different place, I believe that it will help me in the future, live another reality and another culture completely different, living in this environment you can adapt, identify and learn with this people.

Joachim Sieber is 50 years old and he lives in China since 2006 because of his work which is the manager of a food factory.

Did you notice if there was difference in the way people treated you in your work or in your everyday life for being a foreigner? People always treated me with respect and here is not different, they respect me just like the people in Brazil respected me.

Are there any big bureaucratic differences in comparison with Brazil?  There are no differences; here you can find as much bureaucrats as in Brazil.

How China`s economic style affects your job? With the fast growth not only in economy but in general, there are some laws that they will have to create and other laws that will have to change to keep the growth.

Do you think that with proximity between China and Brazil may help in Brazil`s development? It can help both ways, at first China is with Brazil since 20 years ago, only in the big cities there is a fast growth, the interior is very poor and they have no development, at least is a very slow one, but this proximity will definitely help the  importation and exportation and both countries will  develop from this.

Do you want to come back to Brazil? Yes and no, my job is here now and I like to work here, I like my job; but I miss my children and I would like to go back to see them and to live with them.

Felipe Baldarena Ribeiro

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