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Tight social networks and activities in Japan and China

I've read a couple of articles about how people in Asia, in particular Japan and China, lived older and "well". The main points from these articles were: social interactions and regular physical activities. I had the chance to observe some of these.

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Over the last few years, I've read a couple of articles about how people in Asia, in particular Japan and China, lived older and "well". The main points from these articles were: social interactions and regular physical activities. I had the chance to observe some of these.

Last December I was in Japan in Takayama, a small city in the Japanese Alps and we went one morning to a local coffee shop which was busy with elder people chatting, reading the papers, and drinking coffee. They all look happy and lively! When a new person came in, the others welcome her / him. It made me reminded these articles on the importance of social interactions. 

In March I was in Shanghai and I spent a morning wandering in a park observing the various activities taking place: Tai Chi, handkerchief dance, ballroom dance, gym, choir, badminton... People engaging in these activities were for the most part 50 and above... Back to the articles I read: social connections and physical activities.

Note: This is not my first time observation: whether in other cities in China, in Vietnam, Japan, Cambodia, Thailand, etc. I've made  similar observations.  

Talking with a Vietnamese friend about these observations, she emphasized the importance of social ties and doing some, even light, daily physical activity in group. 

We know from studies and observations (several mentioned as inspirations in this phase) that social ties and physical activities matter and it seems that some cultures are "better" at supporting this. The question is  how can we replicate this in Western cultures that might be more individualistic? 

I also like the idea posted by Katsuyoshi Ueno in the vibrant cities challenge where you could also create connections across generations:  /open/vibrant-cities/concepting/community-exercise/

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DeletedUser

Yes, those kinds of activities are very common in China. Almost every city have the social networks and activities. This is a good way to make friends for elder people but also allow they to live healthier.