Narrow minded overly opinionated people really annoy me, especially when they are passing judgement of a people or culture from the safety of the other side of the world. Both Sabrina and I enjoy reading Wang Jian Shuo's Blog primarily because the readers that leave comments are quite funny. But today I got a bit fired up with a Chinese guy who lives in America and his criticism of the people here, so I wrote a bit of dig back at him.
I think that Shanghaise are materialistic. This is definitely true. They discriminate more based on ECONOMIC CLASS than anything else.
But, the phenomenon isn't just in Shanghai, it's spreading everywhere in China, where money is more important than morality, where women throw themselves at foreigners and hating their own kind. That was the impression i got when I visited China in May of this year.
Me and my wife (both ethnic Chinese) dress as what we would do in the US, casually, went shoppin gin Shanghai one day. You should see the type of uppitiness from some of the SERVICE people. We're basically upper-middle class, own our own home, etc. in the US. I guess we just don't wear some stupid business suit when we go on vacation, unlike most mainlanders. Anyway, she heard of some shop that makes good traditional chinese dress on Nanjing road and went into the Peace Hotel for directions. The lady in there was soooo rude -- it's funny, because she's really nice to the white guys and gals there, just not us. She even tried to talk to us in her BROKEN-ASS English in order to impress us, and my wife just reply back in English back to her face.
The store isn't much better, until we spend $100 USD on a single dress. Then you see them FLOCKING toward servicing us - i.e. materialistic.
It's pretty pathetic that Shanghai will assume that just because you're a white guy, you're rich, but when an ethnic overseas Chinese come back, they're automatically assumed to be poor. Here's a hint -- most of teh white guys who teach English in China are POOR ASSES when they get back to the US -- they're only advantange is the cost of living adjustments. And, most of them are extremely conservative and would love to see China fall onto its ass and engage in civil war (they're also proud supporters of Japan).
Patriotism in China? I see none, i just see a bunch of whores thinking foreigners are better than their own. It's the sad truth.
However, unlike the previou poster, i'll say that the Chinese space program is something to be proud of. To be sure, the design of the original space craft was based on an older Soviet design -- however, every space expert agreed that the design was heavily modified and changed and you really cna't say it's just another Russian copy. And most if not all of the major components are manufactured in China. Sure, it's late, but only 3 countries in the world have sent people to the space on their own - and let's not forget that the entire US shuttle fleet is GROUNDED right now. Unlike the US, i don't think China will stop its man-space flight program.
As far as the poor goes -- there have always been a wide gap between rich and poor in China -- the solution isn't economic re-distribution, but to enforce a fair and equitable treatment of the poor in terms of LEGAL and LAW and ORDER, something for which China lacks. And if this isn't addressed soon, all the Shanghaise are gonna suffer big time when the next revolution occurs. If CHina doesn't address it's lack of law and order (it's legal system is about who has politcal power or money, not about justice), there will be another revolution and civil war.
Posted by: Tony on November 4, 2005 07:52 AM
I find it quite funny how judgemental you are of people living in your `old' country when you and your wife obviously couldn't get out of the country fast enough. You have a very narrow view of the world and you paint with a very wide brush.
You also call the people of your `old' country whores who think foreigners are better. Well, you are the one who sold out and moved to a foreign country - for what purpose? Better opportunities? More money? Aren't you the whore in this context?
You also suggest that every `white guy' who teaches English in China wants to see a civil war in China and they support Japan! What are you talking about?
Finally, you have the audacity to say that the Shanghainese are materialistic and discriminate about class - then in the next paragraph you talk about how you are `Upper Middle Class' own your own home in the US and went to spend $100 on a dress! Can you say `Hypocritical'?
Take a look at your own attitude before critisicing others. Maybe the lady was rude to you because she was sick of the attitude some expatriated American Chinese like you have.
I am an expat living in Shanghai, I love the people here. They have a vibrance and enthusiasm about improving their life that many people don't have. I can smile and laugh with the people, even when they are focusing on making money (like trying to sell me something). Making money is what people all around the world do. Money provides a lifestyle and better living standards, this is a relatively new experience here, and people in China are wanting to catch up on what they have missed out on over the previous 60 years. So please don't be so judgemental on people that you don't know whilst you sit in your nice Upper Middle Class house in the US where all the struggle of trying to establish good living standards by the people was done long before you got there.
Ps. I know I'm not Chinese, so I may get treated differently, however my girlfriend is Chinese, and I experience a lot through her. And no Tony she is not a `whore' that threw herself at me. We met in Sydney, and I in fact pursued her for some time. We decided to move to Shanghai for a few years so I could be exposed to the culture. I am not afraid of living here - why are you?
Posted by: Guran on November 4, 2005 12:19 PM
Judgementalism is one of the very few things that actually get me fired up - so don't worry, I don't go around sticking it up people too often!