Throughout my years of living in three different countries, I came to find out that living in a place of either subtropical or tropical climate has a huge impact on its people. Generally speaking, there are two different types of climates in our globe, one consisting of four seasons, spring ,summer ,autumn, and winter, which is called a subtropical climate, and another type of climate consisting of only dry and wet seasons ,which only countries in the equator enjoy, called the tropical climate.
On whether a person lives in a place with a subtropical or tropical climate, it will create differences in their lifestyle and personality.
Climate affects a person’s lifestyle. In my early years of living abroad, I began noticing differences in people’s small but noticeable habits as compared to mine. I was surprised at first when my peers from subtropical countries admitted to only showering once a day, regardless the weather.
In Southeast Asian countries, we always shower at least twice a day, sometimes three times a day, regardless the weather. We just do it out of habit. After understanding more of their culture, I came to the conclusion that sources of clean water is not as abundant in subtropical climates in comparison to our humid archipelagos. These days clean water might not be an issue anymore in most developed countries, but the habit of only showering once a day sticks on. Another thing I notice was that people from subtropical climates talk about the weather a lot, they would talk about the weather when greeting someone, or ask about the weather to start a conversation, growing up in a tropical country, people around me never really greeted me with a “Isn’t the weather great today?” .
However, a few months into living in China, I myself began discussing about the weather a lot with my friends, this is because in a subtropical climate the weather changes so much , so often, temperatures rise and drop so frequently, that a brief appearance of the sun and a temperature a little warmer would cause you to exclaim happily, “ What a great weather we have today!”. Aside from that, the way our architectures are built is also different, the floors of the houses in Southeast Asia are usually made of ceramic tiles, to keep the room cool even in the hottest day, whereas the tiles of houses in China are usually wooden tiles. It is interesting on how the climate affects even the smallest of human habits. Secondly, although people rarely notice this, climate affects a person’s personality. My classmates from Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia, tend to be very laid back and friendly, in contrast to my other classmates from countries with a relatively more extreme weather, who are usually more of an individualist, and are keen to get work done faster.
I think this build up all has to do with our nature, our ancestors in Southeast Asia have always had it the easier way, having the abundance of natural resources and fertile soils, there is really not a need to work as hard. Meanwhile, people in subtropical areas are not blessed with such privilege, they have to work multiple times harder to get crops growing in their barren lands, amidst all the constant changes in temperature. This lead to differences in behaviour of the people in both societies, stretching as far as up to the present day. In conclusion, climate has always had an impact in our daily lives, affecting both our lifestyles and personalities. Although each specific area has a different kind of climate, we can generally group them into tropics and subtropics, and just by grouping them into two, we can already observe a striking difference in people of the two groups.