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2/16/2010

The Awakening

Until 20 or 30 years ago, being Chinese is very uncool, very embarrassing and even shameful. It is a race that has been condemned by the West and bullied by little Afro and Asian countries. It was a poor ancient civilisation that has nothing going on for it, militarily weak, impoverised, inferior in science and technology, even in agriculture. It was struggling to be a nation, a very huge developing country of the hungry third world. Its citizens still trying all ways to escape to any foreign land, away from a harsh communist govt. Its Chinese diaspora quietly and humbly minding its own business and trying its best to earn a living through trade and business. No high ambitions as keeping a high profile will only attract unpleasant attentions. The Chinese were best described by the Westerners as non descript, inscrutable businessmen, lacking in character and talent. They all look alike. They were the natural target to be ripped off, to suffer discrimination, oppression and extortion at all levels of society they happened to reside. The best way to survive was to lie low, find a strong political leader as a godfather to protect their interest, and pay him well. Many Chinese were ashamed to be associated with anything Chinese. They discarded their language, culture and customs and willingly embraced Western culture to look respectable, and claimed to be international citizens of the world. Unfortunately they were only bluffing themselves. No one believe that they were anything else except Chinese. They could not believe that they have Chinese written on their faces even if they speak perfect English or American, and wear branded clothes. They were repeated victims of racial discrimination and violence. In a short span of 30 years, China is now the second most powerful country in the world though it still insists that it is a developing country. The Chinese who were running away are returning home to contribute to the rebuilding of their country. There is not only new found wealth, but new found pride and confidence in being Chinese. The returnees were not down and out failures but successful entrepreneurs and technocrats, scientists, doctors, academics, etc. armed with the latest knowledge and skills they have acquired to do their share for their homeland. China too is confident enough to open its door wide, and Chinese citizens are free to come and go. Not only the Chinese were returning, the Chinese diaspora who have left the country decades and centuries ago are also returning, rediscovering that there is nothing wrong being Chinese. They too are awakening to a new world where Chinese is no longer the shameful and inferior people of the world, fit only to be coolies, cooks and laundrymen. They are rediscovering their roots and their history and culture. The Westerners are also starting to learn Chinese to understand and do business with the Chinese. Chinese has become an increasingly important international language. While the West has just begun to learn Chinese, the Chinese are learning English in a big way. English is a very important must know language in China. In no time, the mainland Chinese are going to be proficient in both Chinese and English and will be well placed to benefit from the advances of science and technology. What have changed or contributed to this dramatic transformation of the world’s political and demographic map? Were the new Chinese aliens or just the same as their poor peasant predecessors? Where were they during the 300 years of dark ages in China? There were no talents then! Now everyone is saying that China is full of talents. Put simply, the Chinese were victims of minority rule during the Ching Dynasty. The Manchus were just a hunting tribe, like the Mongols, and ruled China with their muscles and swords. Culturally they were inferior to the Han Chinese but chose to oppress the Han Chinese for their political interests. The drive and enterprise of the Han Chinese diminished and many were impoverised when the dynasty collapsed. Those who escaped had to eke out a living in foreign land and subject to all kinds of harrassments and obstacles put in their ways. They were shackled people, and had no one to fight for their rights. They were suppressed, exploited and degraded in all fields. The Manchus were bankrupted, weak and helpless. And when the communists took power, the overseas Chinese were natural victims of the Cold War and continued to be marginalised in their new countries. The Chinese of today are no longer oppressed in their homeland and everyone is free to live their dreams and their high aspirations, at least constitutionally. Internationally, the victimisation and discrimination have lessen and they were able to break through in many fields of endeavours. The Chinese today no longer feel ashame or fear to be known as Chinese. And with a world that is freer and with racial discrimination and prejudices breaking down, there is little to hold back the individual Chinese to live their dreams and be treated more fairly everywhere they go. Relatively speaking, things are getting much better for the average Chinese and the diaspora in their new countries. Still there are many countries that would want to continue to suppress and oppress the Chinese and their drive, and to rob them if they could, or to commit racial genocide at the slightest excuse. But there is a new hope and a new awakening.

24 comments:

Jaunty Jabber said...

While reading this post, some images from memory lane flashes across, faces of some Chinese (local) who proudly announced that they don't understand a word of mandarin.

Can't understand a language is forgivable, but why the need to be proud of it?

Anonymous said...

I am most proud to be a Chinese,

however,

i never feel the need to boast about it.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

I wrote this piece not to crow about being Chinese but more about how 1.3b people were suppressed and oppressed over a few centuries, and how they have risen from the ashes against all odds over a short span of time.

With the changing values and morality, many obstacles have been removed and they are now in a better position to be what they are and be fairly treated and be equals among mankind. They are no longer the pariahs as the West want to make them out to be or the bogey man to be whacked when the circumstances needed a bogey man.

Robert Tan said...

If only mankind can be colour blind and look inside rather than outside and be less conceited and more tolerant.....if only.....

Sigh......

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Yes Robert, the world will be a much better place if we are less colour conscious. The concept of international citizen still has a long way to go.

We need aliens to help us by becoming the new bogey man. Then we can gang up together to kill the aliens.

Wally Buffet said...

I just don't quite understand how the Chinese population in China consisting of majority Hans can be ruled by Manchus for so long without being overthrown. Maybe the Hans are easily corruptible, same as now.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Simple really. The corrupted Confucianist philosophy of blind loyalty to the emperor. Never upset the status quo. Live your life as they are destined. So the rulers will be most happy to keep them under shackles.

Probably one of the reasons why Mao sent the Red Guards to uproot all the old beliefs and doctrines and religions, to start on a new slate. No superstitions and silly customs and beliefs. They have been liberated.

They could have been liberated earlier during the Taiping Revolution if the Han Chinese were to join forces and rise against the weaken Manchus. But the scholar, gentry soldier leaders thought it was not right to revolt against the son of heaven. And they remained enslaved.

Min Min said...

I am proud to be a Chinese too. I have a Chinese learning website. If you are keen to learn Chinese, please check it out at
http://www.learnchineseeveryday.com

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Min Min, welcome to the blog. The Chinese should talk softly and continue to improve themselves. No need to brag about being number 1 in this and that and demand recognition. When they are there, the world will notice.

America and Europe know that they cannot kick China around anymore. Political power grows from the barrel of the gun. The Chinese today have guns as big as the Americans. But no need to use it like the mad Americans, starting wars everywhere.

And don't behave like a cocky upstart trying to use force on smaller countries to demand respect as a superpower. So far so good. Be a responsible superpower. The recognition will come if China is doing well economically.

It is now not that easy for the West to spread ills and lies about China and the Chinese. The Yellow Peril myth they created to frighten themselves and the world no longer holds water. They may soon have to invite the Chinese to populate America and Europe as they will become a minority in their own countries. The immigrants will soon be a majority in 50 years or so and by the democratic process, the new majority will rule America and Europe.

The West will have a hard time trying to prevent a reverse colonisation process by the muslim majority. That will be an interesting development. In US you have President Hussein, in UK you have PM Farook, in France another President Mahmood, in Spain another President Ibrahim, and so on and on.

It will be the end of the Anglo Saxon Christian Europe and America. This will take place in less than 100 years.

They will be begging the Chinese to reproduce more to help populate their lands: )

This is the prophecy of redbean!

Wally Buffet said...

In 50 years time,although I won't be around to rejoice, I would be happier if they had an American President Mao, a British Prime Minister Wong, a French President Ling and an Australian Prime Minister Wu. How to achieve that? Start changing their immigration policies right away. It is still not too late to reverse the past mistakes. Also, China has lots of raw talent to export other than being the factory of the world. The world will be a better and safer place then. It will definitely be more prosperous too as the Chinese are known to care only for economic advancement and all things productive.

Hehe.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Haha Wally, you just be happy in Lijiang. I can see a Emperor coming up there, from a Singaporean Chinese: )

And forget about your dreams. The Americans and Europeans, including Australians, believe that Chinese are good enough only to be cooks and laundrymen. And Australia has started a new policy to stop cooks from going there. See?

Wally Buffet said...

No leh,

What I visit London, Washington, Paris and Canberra, I see lots of Chinese being driven up to the halls of government in Limos. Maybe the transformation has already begun?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Maybe we are witnessing the early signs of the restructuring of the world order. Black man in the White House, Hussein becomes President of the US and Europe going to be part of the Muslim World. Chinamen being driven to the White House....great change is coming man.

Anonymous said...

Chinamen being driven to the White House? Unlikely, unless US and China unite as one country.

Obama is different. He does not present himself as coming from a country with a different ideology, so he is acceptable. A Chinese will always need to beak away from the perception of being linked by forefathers to a less than friendly country. The world still view race with tinted glasses.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

US and China unite as one country? I think it has a higher possibility than Singapore merging with Malaysia: )

Wally Buffet said...

China should claim the US since there is historical proof that a Chinaman set foot on North America way before Christopher Columbus. So it's not a merger, it's an acquisition.

Anonymous said...

Humankind originates from Africa or so, claimed some experts.
I claim the Chinese to be the forefathers of mankind becos of their sheer numbers. They, the Chinese can't be so procreative unless they are the greatest maters in the World or they mate more frequently than others.

Imagine that if China has not started their one child policy decades ago, today there could be easily a few more billions of them.

And I still maintain that the Chinese must be the earliest mankind and the most productive.

As for Obama as President of USA, it could be for part of a term, the American Businesses are run by Whites and the Blacks are only good in performing arts and sports. With the measures he implemented and plans that are mooted, the White Businessmen are not going to bear with him for long.

In any case, Obama's plan for the US will not work. The Americans should buy their wares from China than to make them themselves. It does not make economical sense. The US Dollar should be brought down to the same value as the Ringgit(Malaysian Currency) for the US to be competitive with other countries.

The Americans have to stop living in big houses, driving big cars and paying their artistes and sportsmen like mad World.

Chindia said...

IMHO, what you dscribed about the Chinese are mostly from the upper class of the society. Yes, there are numerous exception to that.

What had inherently not changed are the lower middle class. While they are very proud of their rising nation, most of the laymen are still trapped in the Mao's day of thinking. You will not missed them quoting their Ultimate Leader every now and then and with a zest so strong that the man is indeed alive in most of their heart.

A few friends, two of them in their late 70's are shocked when they see what Mao had done during the Cultural Revolution in the Discovery Channel and The History Channel while they were in Singapore. And guess what, yes, they blamed the west for twisting historical fact to propagate into the minds of people outside China, trying to make their revered leader look ugly.

About foreign language, what most of us see them learning is English. The real thing that is happening on the ground is they are learning more languages than what we perceived them to be learning. English yes, then French, Spanish and even Korean and Japanese. It is of no surprise given their sheer number of living beings in their country.

One paradigm did not change though, of which it is still deeply ingrained in them. Working for the Chinese chenghu is the way to success in life, as far as the laymen on the ground is concerned. It is still seen as a tee-png-wuah (iron ricebowl) and a gateway to many good things in life, if you know what I am trying to imply.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

With 1.3b people, 50% can be a huge number of people. The bulk of the Chinese in the backyard are still peasants and now increasingly factory workers. But they have enough to eat and could see a better future for their children. And there is peace and opportunities for the able, and no humiliation by foreigners anymore.

As a people, they are standing up together, some taller, some shorter.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Forgot to add that the Chinese people must believe in themselves that they can be as good as the best. The days when they were suppressed and oppressed and discriminated will be gone for good. No need to feel inferior anymore. No need to feel ashame anymore.

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