Author: waveheatin

What makes Chinese Chinese? [Copy link] 中文

Rank: 1

Post time 2003-11-27 11:28:04 |Display all floors

good reflection

I really enjoy this discussion. I  think it's a logical topic in chinese way. Most chinese feel anxious when we face the reality. So we need ask what makes chinese chinese? That's a good reflection.

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Post time 2003-11-27 16:49:54 |Display all floors

rubynell, I respectfully disagree with some of what you say.

There are many prisons in China with those who are not so wise, respectful, nor caring.

Also, the Cultural Revolution was not an event in your history guided by such high morals and wisdom.

I can speak for America that earlier Chinese immigrants unmercifully exploited ( and still do) newcomers by making them work for slave wages and making it extremely difficult to adjust to a whole new country and culture.

One may have the finest university education, with many prestiguous degrees and honorary titles, but that does not guarantee that one is wise. Wisdom comes from something that is very different and difficult to pinpoint.

China is a very old country and culture that includes a past of horrible inner-chao brought about by various greedy, cruel warlords. This is a large part of what made China so vulnerable to foreign invaders. And there has been many centuries when there were years of famine and epidemics of horrible diseases. Nontheless, China has woven a wonderful history of art, literature, and philosopy.

But to believe that all Chinese are so wise and wonderful can not be true, as that implies some kind of genetic propensity that cannot be proven.

There is a wisdom among many people of the world, as well as a strength of persevance. Often, personal growth and wisdom come through pain and having to adapt to an unfriendly environment.

And for great lessons to be learned, one must be willing to learn. Too many people, regardless of country and culture, fall short because of many factors.

Throughout the world, one will find wise, kind, virtuous people, among the bad and the indifferent. And, indifference is the antithesis of wisdom.

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Post time 2003-11-27 20:21:57 |Display all floors

Rubynell and Blue Tiger, May I Join the Debate:)

While I agree with the tone of blue tiger's opinion, like him, I too would respectfully disagree with some points he raised.
History tells us there is no extreme in anything - definitely not the altruism blue tiger suggest. While we should all be morally upright, and even be a "caring being", we should also be on guard against people who are not. Society and the world make up of different people with different behaviour. When the political leadership of Qing Dynasty China was inept and corrupt, and when famines and natural calamities struck, the Chinese race was really on its knees. Instead of giving the poor and helpless Chinese folks a helping hand, the British introduced opium to China as "an item of trade". The other European powers did not stop Victorian Britain (also known as 'Great' Britain then) but colluded with it to invade China. Where was the so-called altruism blue tiger mentioned?

More recently, Iraq was invaded on the grounds of having possessed "weapons of mass destruction". Now we know it was a pretext for invasion, pure and simple. Was there any moral ground to it - ask yourself, Americans. It clearly demonstrated how one superpower had ignored the entire body of the United Nations and went ahead with invasion without world sanction.
Coming to his mention of Chinese prisons, the Cultural Revolution and earlier Chinese immigrants exploiting later immigrants, I'm afraid he may be using borrowed information without first seeing it first-hand. I've not seen the Chinese prisons myself but to put them in a different category from American prisons seems a little beyond belief. No one can claim exclusive right to have high morals, especially in dealing with criminals.
Next, let us not mix politics with the culture of a people. The Cultural Revolution was all about political struggle for power - not about cruelty or morals. We don't say Americans lack integrity generally just because of one Watergate scandal, am I correct?
More incredulous is the allegation that earlier Chinese immigrants exploited later immigrants. It that were true, then it cannot have happened only in American but anywhere with a history of Chinese migration, be it Britain, Africa, South America, South-east Asia and etc. Let me tell blue tiger of another Chinese cultural behaviour - the strong bond of clans and race, especially in a new and adverse environment. Instead of exploiting each other, they are more likely to help each other. If not, you won't find the many Chinatowns all over the world. If he were to doubt me, let me tell him I'm such a descendant of Chinese emigrants.
So, it is very likely blue tiger is affected by the "hearsay syndrome" which the America press suffers from time to time. Of course, there are also instances of brilliant reporting by them, the Pulitzer Prize stories are just but one.
In a nutshell, I shall fall back on the Chinese philosophy of yin-yang, or a balanced viewpoint of matters. And this is not exclusively a Chinese thought either. The German Hegelian philosophy, I understand, is quite similar.
Blue tiger's last words are something we should remember, ie. be willing to learn (not be parochial in outlook) and never be indifferent (and I should add the word "conceited" too).

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Post time 2003-11-27 22:21:12 |Display all floors

Your "hearsay syndrome"

And you, green_outfit, suffer the "hearsay syndrome." I have actually traveled in China, during Mao Zedong's era--and in recent times. I saw gangs of the Red Guard stomp little old men into the mud! I have spent my life traveling, experiencing much of what is in the world.

Also, most Americans hate Bush. In fact, he was not legally elected. So, I call upon China and the United Nations to arrest him and try him before an international tribunal...then HANG HIM!!! Then, oversee a fair, democratic election in America to return our country to the people! How do you that Idea?

Altruistic? It is several notches above being cynical. I can do more by being friendly towards those around me and by seeking friendship with those from other countries and cultures, rather than shouting a despot leader into killing others to satisfy some dark part of my psyche...compensating for a cruel father, or whatever.

Now, I wish you could come to America to see how things actually are, rather than read about it in your media, hahaha!!!

By the way, you are just as free as I am to e-mail American politicians to air your views with them and debate them. :-)

Also, do you know that former President Reagan and his, then CIA Director Father George Bush put Saddam Hussein into power and sold him weapons of mass destruction? Do you know that Father Bush enlisted Bin Laden into the CIA, trained him, and armed him? Do you know that Bin Laden was on the CIA payroll, when 9/11 occurred? Tell me something I don't know in detail! :-)

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Post time 2003-11-28 11:47:28 |Display all floors

"Hang the President"

Do you hate Bush?

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Rank: 4

Post time 2003-11-28 16:39:47 |Display all floors

Let's Separate Facts from Fiction :)

Let me stress that I'm here for calm and objective debate. If in the process I've stepped on any toes, it is unintentional.
First, non-Chinese may not know that the Cultural Revolution was started to purge opposition to Mao's leadership. It was later exploited by the Gang of Four with patronage from Jiang Qing. A lot of hardship and public damage were caused to ordinary folks including my own aunt and cousins in Guangdong. But these insane underlings called the "Red Guards" lost their bearings and ended up bullying anyone who is not "with them". To me, they were as cruel and atrocious as the Japanese Army which trampled across Asia during World World Two.  They were against their so-called "foreign imperialist, reactionist, revisionist and what have you".
My question to Blue Tiger is this - "How did you manage to be in China then and yet live to tell the TALE ^_^? You would be No. 1 enemy to the Red Guards because they can't differentiate between an American and an Italian :). And the Red Guard's atrocities is not news, definitely not to readers here. We all know about Deng Xiaoping , Liu Shaoqi, Marshal He Long families' sufferings at their hands. So there is no need to educate (or re-educate) us here. I have seen the damage done to the Ancestral Temple built during the Song Dynasty at Foshan, Guangdong before it was later repaired. My mum still have fond memories of that temple.
The Red Guards cannot even account for 2% of China's population of 1.2 billion. By associating the political manoeuvre of the Gang of Four with the decency of the remaining 98% of Chinese is to expect us to be nincompoops.
Well, I too like to laugh occasionally, it's good for health. In this instance, I'd like to think mine is the last laugh. Please don't be condescending by presuming others are less worldly-wise and less travelled, notwithstanding that I'm younger. I too have travelled extensively when I was a senior executive with an airline. You're right to say wisdom is something that cannot be learnt from university studies, and it is certainly not confined to older people as well. And may I add, the institution of "higher education" has been around for ages, not only in China but also the world at large. Therefore, I don't want to to run down the wisdom of our forefathers.
Let me dwell on another presumption - that of my supposedly narrow range of news and reading material. Older men these days often forget we're in a global world. Not only can we access news from CNN, BBC, CNBC, CCTV, Voice of America etc from cable TV and the Internet, the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, AFP, Reuters, Times and Newsweek Magazines etc are available around the world. Most large offices and bookstores in Asia have these media. One last word, my post-graduate studies were from an American university ^_^.
As for airing my views and debating with American politicians via email, I'll be the first to admit I don't believe these politicians (and not their personal assistants instead) would read emails from total strangers everyday. We can do with less of that balderdash - I'm not that gullible.

Since you challenged me, let me tell you something you don't know and which you presumed to know. If Bin Laden was on CIA's payroll, how is it they don't know of his whereabouts when 9/11 occurred? They would at least know of his network of friends and contacts. Worst, having enlisted him, the CIA must be pretty inept not to discover his fundamentalist Islamic leanings, let alone the vast Al Qaeda organisation he was building :) Having said that, I remember there's a handsome reward for information leading to the arrest of Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and their lieutenants in the order of millions of American Dollars. Please remember to share a little of that reward with me since you seem to know so much of Bin Laden and I'm the one to remind you ^_^.

Sorry blue tiger, I'll gladly accept whatever you say as facts if only they were backed by evidence available in the public domain. I'm not one who is easily intimidated by claims of someone being present in certain places and at certain times. I merely use my common sense, and not much wisdom is required in the process :)

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Post time 2003-11-28 19:53:50 |Display all floors

Poor green_outfit

I don't mean to stand you on your head, but I find it a gross waste of my time to play games with an amatuer idealogue who is hollow and noisey like a drum being beaten on. :-)

You confuse dogma and narrow mindedness for fact. I come to this forum for a casual conversation and friendship, not to play childrens games with someone so insecure in yourself, as you are.

By stating that you are not easily intimidated is actually an admission of your insecurity and weakness, especially, when it is not my need nor intention to intimidate people; therefore, you are taking a rigid, defensive posture. I am a friendly person, and I don't want to be the flexible bamboo that breaks you.

I would suggest that you look within yourself to seek the roots of your personal troubles, such that you will find a more meaningful, pleasurable life for yourself. Perhaps, you had a harsh father, or the other children bullied you and teased you. Those are things for you to examine...and don't be afraid to ask others to help you.

If I were a religious person, who believed in "pie in the sky" mumbo jumbo, I would say a little prayer for your well-being and happiness.

Now, my friend--take good care of yourself! :-)

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