Asians certainly have their own ways of doing things, and sometimes the old Asian ways are superior to how things are done in the West. I bring two such cases in point to your attention. In general, the guiding Asian principle is to go from large to small or to follow a logical progression.
For my first case, I use the addressing of mail. Most of the Western world uses the following sequence:
First Name, Last Name
House or Building Number, Street Name
City, State, Zip Code
The first piece of information listed in the example above is actually used last. Think about that. The first task is to get the mail to the right state, then to the desired city, then to the proper street followed by the correct house, and finally to the intended person. Asians write this in the order of:
Province (State), Postal (ZIP) Code, City
Street Name, House or Building Number
Family Name, Given Name
It makes perfect sense, given the logistics of how mail is actually sorted and delivered: Large (province) to small (person) as well as being in logical progression.
Dealing with dates is easier in Asia as anyone who has ever tried to manually sort computer files by date understands. To illustrate what I mean, just enter a column of different dates using the normal format of month, day, and year into your word processor. It isn’t easy, though many software programs have code to do the hard work for you behind the scene.
In Asia, such a problem does not exist because, once again, they go from large to small. What we would type as 7/4/2015, for Independence Day, it would be 2015-07-04 in Asia. Consequently, the computer would first sort by year, then by month, and finally by date. While some computer programs have code built into them to accommodate this, it is still a good habit to acquire.
You might have noticed that the month and date in my example above are in two-digit format, which uses a leading zero as necessary to make two digits. If you make a list of numbers from 1 to 20 and do not use leading zeroes for the one-digit dates, you will get a big surprise when you ask your computer to sort them. The list will be:
1, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 2, 20, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 – not what you want! But add in the leading zeroes to make the numbers all two digits and things work as expected.
We can learn good things from Asia, and these two cases make that point.