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10/07/2011

Ethnic pride ethnic shame

Singaporean Chinese are different. They are not the same as the China Chinese or the Malaysian Chinese or Taiwan Chinese or any Chinese around the world. But some bear a very dominant trait in hating anything Chinese, dismissing anything Chinese, finding Chinese disgusting and something to be dissociated with. They see China Chinese as the lepers of the world, the rogue nation that meant no good but harm to the world. To this group of Singaporean Chinese, the China Chinese are the pariahs, the untouchables.

They forgot that they are Chinese too. They may call themselves Singaporeans or international citizens, citizens of the world, but they cannot hide the fact that they are the same disgusting Chinese that they detest and hate. There is no ethnic identity or pride in who they really are. They may harbour thoughts of dying their hair blond, bleaching their skin white, and adopt all mannerism of the westerners.

Can anyone be respected when he can’t even respect himself, his own identity and his own ethnicity? Such people will only be regarded as outcasts by their own ethnic groups, and be sneered at by those they hoped to be and wanted to be. The very basis of respectability is to respect yourself, your own ethnicity, be it Malay, Indian, Eurasian or Chinese. Only by respecting self can one earn respect from others.

I am a Singaporean Chinese. I do not hate nor despise the Chinese. Neither do I adore or idolize them. I do not prejudged them. I look at them as another people, to be respected or to be dissociated from, by their acts, by rights or wrongs that they do. Not simply because they are China Chinese. This applies to all other races. The 1.5b people cannot be simply grouped into one, one type, one kind, one behavior, bad and nothing good. They are a sea of humanity, with good and bad and ugly, just like us, just like every ethnic group.

But we have some very different Singaporean Chinese that have stereotyped the China Chinese, China, as simply of one kind, bad, bad intent, bad in everything. How their mindset gets to this level, with deep seated perversion of thoughts and thinking process is difficult to fathom. Our education system does not teach them to hate their ancestors, their breed or their ethnicity. How did they grow up to become thus? Yes, the Singaporean Chinese is different from all other Chinese, but some are much more different. To this group, they take pride in hating China and anything Chinese.

If they cannot see anything good in their own ethnicity, can others see anything good in them?

21 comments:

Bai Hu said...

Hi Sir,
Thanks for highlighting this long-time problem among almost many Singaporean-Chinese. Indeed, i almost agree with what has been discussed by yourself. Yes, our education system did not teach them to hate their ancestors, but at same time, we also did not teach them to love their ethnicity too. Furthermore, our family especially our parents do also have to play a part. I still remember how our own parents or our neighbors or friends' parents at some point in time expressed strongly in disgust of Chineses from other countries. Always giving a full list of examples of why their children should avoid playing or getting too close to them.
In my opinion, education has to play a role to highlight & emphasis our respect to all human races & cultures. At home, our parents do have to play a part to cultivate care, concern & love to people around us.

Anonymous said...

I am fine being Chinese - not better or worse than any other ethnicity.

But based on empirical evidence, I can safely say that China Chinese in Singapore are crap.

Whlie Singapore is not a shining beacon in 'behaviour' as far as countries go, China is much worse. So I can safely say that leaders in China (who are all Chinese) are crap.

Anonymous said...

This one sensitive and I salute you for having the courage to write about this.Hope you do not lost some of your friend for writing this.But you still have my support.

Leow leow .Bo yor kew leow.Many Chinese parents start to think of giving their children a wonderful AngMor name even before they are born.,including those who dun know abc.
You can hardly find respectable names like Chuang Kwong Yong or Shih Siew Poh nowadays,but only more Tony Tan or Silvia Lim..
Say they Buay Jin Chor,they say I suakoo.
Remember the one who ask you to try to name yourself as William Chua to see whether the angmor will look up upon you?Thats me,just to provoke your thought.
Cannot put my name here on this 2 occasions becos it may offend too many people.
The only way for children to learn and respect their origin is by not giving them an AngMor name.Many who give their children angmor names landed in old folks home as a result and they still dun understand why.Sorry if I offend anyone .No debate on this.Pathetic.I say they deserve it.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

I agree that this is a very difficult topic to talk about. I agree with anon 11:44 that many of the China Chinese here are of the boorish kind. Many of them are peasants and farmers and their social graces are not much different from our parents and grand parents.

As for the Chinese leaders, there are still many that are very corrupt and still retaining the old mentality of warlords and royalties, where abuses of power and other people's freedom are still common. But I would disagree when the top leaders are concerned. My view is that the likes of Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao and the next echelon leaders are quite admirable people.(to be cont)

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

cont.
The psychic and mentality of the Chinese people, including Singaporean Chinese, are formed by centuries of history, and unfortunately the last few centuries were best remember as the dark ages of China and the Chinese people.

The prime of Chinese civilisation probably peaked during the early Ming Dynasty with the voyage of Admiral Cheng Ho as a fine example of diplomacy at its best. They set out not to conquer the world or to kill the less natives like the West did wherever they went. Cheng Ho's mission was spreading peace and goodwill, and trade. They even married a princess to the Malacca royal house.

After centuries of oppression and poverty, by the Manchus, the Japs and the West, the Chinese race was as good as bankrupt of intellectual finese and social graces. The Westerners used to sneer at the Chinese for only able to invent the gunpowder, compass and paper. After that everything was invented by the West. There are some truths to such a rub. The Chinese did invented many more things but no one claimed ownership in the past. Then the ravages of history turned them into farmers, peasants, bandits, and beggars. They were a lost race that was diminished totally. They were the joke of the world. Even SE Asians were looking down upon them.

They are rising from the ashes, not exactly a phoenix yet, but showing potential. You could see some finese in them during the Sino India border war in 1962. google for youtube video for a liitle history of the time.

After being hit by several surprise attacks by the Indian soldiers, of course they lost in the first few rounds, they reorged and thrashed the Indian soldiers, cutting through India like a hot knife on butter. But that was not the my point.

In the course of the war, they captured almost 4,000 POWs and a huge arsenal of arms and military hardware. They unilaterally withdrew. Return all the arms captured and told the Indians that they would not recover their lost land taken from them by the British, by force.

And that was nothing too. It was the way they treated the POWs. No Guantanamo. The POWs were treated like friends. No interrogation or torture for war intelligence except for their names and unit. They were well fed, the wounded were treated. And they were all returned to India without any demands for compensation or war reparations. It was an exemplary military exercise and protecting the Indian pride, no humiliation or nasty demands for anything, even the Chinese land which the Indians took over from the British and claimed as theirs.

The China Chinese are only 30 years old from the day they opened up to embrace the new world. They will grow graceful like the Europeans over the years if they continue to prosper.

So far they have conducted their international relations with all countries on the basis of equality and rule of law unless they are cornered. They have taught the Vietnamese a lesson they would not forget, though the western views, to save some face after the shameful American defeat, was that the Vietnamese gave the Chinese a lesson.

Just watch the arrogant Vietnamese after their David and Goliath defeat of the Americans and whether they dare to launch anymore border incursions into China will be enough said of who got caned and will not misbehave.

We are seeing a new China with a new Chinese people coming out. The examples here are probably of the lowest type and not representative of the 1.5b people.

The Singaporean Chinese were like that a few decades ago. Many are not better off even today.

Anonymous said...

Wen Jiabao crap? I can safely say that some people must be living in the caves for too long.

Some first world leaders cannot even lick Wen Jiabao's toes for compassion and sense of honourable duty.

Anonymous said...

Heheheh, the Americans could possibly laugh themselves silly at these Chinese screwing China and thinking they are Americans. To the Americans, in the good ole days, these Chinese will be good as cooks, loyal and unambitious, and not very smart. The best cooks they shall be. The Americans really love them.

Anonymous said...

Here is one Chinese who is really sick of China today: http://politicalwritings.wordpress.com/2011/10/01/what-makes-a-great-nation/

It is how amazing that many Chinese buy the West's story about Tibet and Taiwan. Most of them look to US as the preferred nation but they do not really know US history and current affairs well. That is why during WW2, China has far many traitors than any other countries in war. Perhaps, this is the weakness in Chinese ethnicity.

Jonathan said...

You have misinterpreted the motive behind the distinction. Race and ethnicity are things which we cannot change. However, the concept of nationality is a purely imaginary one. When people say that "I am not a Chinese," they are not denying their ethnicity, they are denying the political association as being stereotypically applied according to ethnicity. Your argument is essentially a non-issue.

Jonathan said...

Upon second reading, I think you have gotten the whole issue wrong. The special mentality among Singaporean Chinese did not stem from a ethnicity concept, but rather a nationality concept. A denial of "Chinese" identity has been taken by you to mean a denial of Chinese ethnicity. Instead, you could have interpreted this group of people's expression more charitably and understand it as a denial of Chinese political association (nationality).

Anonymous said...

A Chinese born here and happy to be one. Sent to English Language Medium school by an innocent, ignorant and naive mother, i dropped out of secondary education.
Learn Chinese on my own liked my unschooled late father did. Spoke/speaks to all family members in dialect/Mandarin.
When my spouse told me to speak to our children in English if and when they were born, i told her over my dead body. They speak dialects and Mandarin and the eldest kid took Chinese as First Language in her school days.
Anyway, just a personal experience to share; me am of the view that some of our political leaders have worked for Japanese and British in the past, my mum did too.
My mum is like a cat wanting to be a tigress or lioness, full of ambition. She is extremely hardworking and if i may say, highly intelligent. But as olden day Chinese used to say, beware of 'xiao ren yu ni ren' and 'ni-ren' is not because of their craftiness. It was 'wu zi'(not worldly) whereas 'xiao ren' are the treacherous kind. Unfortunately in Sin, most of the political leaders are English educated and many were educated in Europe and the US. They are mostly pseudo angmohs.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it is as simple as that. It is not just Singapore Chinese who 'look down' on PRCs. Many Hongkongers also have a negative view of PRCs. Yet, virtually all Hongkongers are proud of their (Hong Kong) Chinese identity and culture, and unlike many Chinese Singaporeans, actually do speak and function daily in Chinese.

Of course, one must not pre-judge individual PRCs. But when you consider the country as a whole, the main impressions are all negative ones. It is filled with people who spit on the streets, who have primitive toilet habits, who are good at cheating others (including other ethnic Chinese, whether PRC or non-PRC). Its people are crass and materialistic showoffs. Things are so screwed up that even infant milk powder can be contaminated with plastics.

I don't care if a country known for such things is populated with white, yellow, red, green or purple people. But the truth is, it's populated with more than 1 billion yellow people.

And this simple demographic fact is going to impact on everyone else who is not a PRC, but who happens to have a yellow skin. And that's one reason why ethnic Chinese lucky enough to come from places which have experienced development and modernization, 'look down' on PRCs.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Jonathan and all, Thanks for your comments. There are two issues being discussed here, the crass mentality of the Chinese and the presumption that the country is bad or will become a rogue nation, to destabilise the world, to bully small countries.

I fully agree with the first issue. I find such crass mentality and filty habits disgusting, not only among the China Chinese, but also Singapore chinese, and all people of all races. These bad social habits can be changed over time if the people wanted to, with education and discipline.

What I find more disgusting is to adopt the presumption that China is a rogue nation when there is no evidence otherwise. The fact is that China has been a victim of all the rogue nations and is standing up to be a respectable nation on its own right. China has all the rights to be rich, to be powerful, to have its strong armed forces. Now what is wrong with that when other countries can have them and China cannot?

What is there to question China's motive when the western military powers are abuses their powers everywhere? The questioning of China's bad intent is to presume guilty and to prove its innocence. Why should China be seen as guilty of an intention that may not even happened? The truth is that China has been a very responsible international citizen, and doing all it can to stabilise the world from economic, financial and military adventurism started by rogue nations. Why not demand an answer from the rogue nations?

And by the way, who is Singapore or a few individuals to question China's intent in the name of Singapore's national interest? Makes me laugh.

Some nations are also asking why a small little island is armed to the teeth? The same very reasons why China needs to be armed to the teeth. And China has a sad history for being weak and at the mercy of rogue countries, almost colonise or broken up.

The fact that many Chinese are all over the world is because they were driven out from their ancestor land, because China was weak and looted by the rogue and militarily powerful western nations.

Is it wrong for China to build a strong defence force to make sure history does not repeat itself? To take on the task of questioning China by an inconsequential nobody is simply stupidity. It is like the little rat demanding to know why a lion must be big and strong.

They know the answer, so do the Americans. But they chose to repeatedly ask the Chinese the same question in every public forum. The intent for asking is mischievious.

Anonymous said...

Been to China, Hong Kong and some other places where there are Chinese. No problem communicating and mixing along with them. At my workplace, there are more foreigner workers, majority Bangladeshi, China Chinese and Indians from India than locals. Again, find them easier to relate to than locals.

Must say that me does feel that Sin Chinese are more prone to uprooting themselves next to their pro western inclination.

As for 'Xiao Ren', these are people who can sell their souls, betray their fellow countrymen and give their countries away for personal gain. Treacherous is the right word to describe them.

patriot

Anonymous said...

one issue with China, the design to destroy another nation way of life by COMPLETE disregard for environment.Case in point Myitsoen Dam in Burma and also in Africa & Indonesia.( china can destroy her river & environment, not suggests it though)
I wish Chinese Companies practice environtal caution for all benefits. This is not China fault copletely but the Chineses are better aware & educated than Burmese regime and Africans who are raping their own people for self interest.

China is making enemies with the PEOPLE of some of these nations, never mind how friendly Govts are.

Anonymous said...

THE BEST FORM OF COLONIZATION IS TO MAKE OR FORCE THE DEFEATED AND VANQUISHED TO ABANDON THEIR OWN ORIGINS AND CULTURES. IMAGINE RACE, LANGUAGE AND RELIGION COMPLETELY CONVERTED!!!! AND LANGUAGE IS THE HEART OF CULTURE.

IT WOULD BE THE ULTIMATE VICTORY AND CONQUEST IF THE COLONIZED TOTALLY LOST THEIR MEMORIES OF THEIR ORIGINS.

SO, TO THOSE WHO SAY LANGUAGE DOES NOT MATTER, THINK AGAIN.

IN CONQUEST, ARMIES EXTERMINATE THE MALE AND RAPE THE FEMALE ENEMY WITHOUT KILLING HER. THIS IS ALSO ONE WAY HOW ONE RACE STAMPS ITS' IDENTITY ONTO ANOTHER.

patriot

.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Must send the Singaporean Chinese to South Africa where they are classified as blacks. And try to reason with the South Africans that they are not Chinese but Singaporeans.

This classification is new, just happened.

The said...

Classifying Chinese as "black" in South Africa - is this supposed to be positive discrimination?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The Chinese were once classified as blacks or coloured. The reclassified as honorary white.

Actually the Chinese asked to be classified as blacks to be given govt assistance for projects and affirmative actions which they were deprived and discriminated like the blacks before.

So they rather be classified as blacks today to get some privileges for their mistreatment under the White regime's apartheid rule.

Anonymous said...

I think the key distinction here between Chinese as a race in Singapore (or HK or anywhere else besides China) vs the Chinese in China is Civilisation.

I don't agree that it's right to group all Chinese simply as the same race as the behavior and mentality is totally different.

It's no secret that China Chinese are crude, uncivilized, rude, uncaring, inconsiderate and has no sense of shame. You can see a lot of examples in Singapore nowadays, even in China itself where a great example is when people cut queues and feeling righteous about it.

As a Singapore born Chinese, I'm ashamed to be associated with the likes of China Chinese whenever someone had mistaken me as from China whenever I'm travelling in the western countries. There is nothing similar at all based on the reasons I've indicated above and I have no hesitation to draw a line between a China Chinese and Singaporean Chinese.

Although there are many ugly Singaporean Chinese in the country, we are nowhere close to the level of these uncivilized people from China who invaded Singapore and make this place such a mess now compared to the good o'days.

Anonymous said...

These 'Uncilivilized people' from China,given time, will learn and improvise. Just think of how Singaporeans used to be in the past and the government had to educate the public on courtesy and fine those who spit & litter. Don't forget that your ancestors have the same habits and behaviors and that you Singaporeans have shown that you can improve.

In my opinion, Singaporeans need to take a more open approach to foreigners instead of being xenophobic. If you really do love Singapore, you should find solutions and think how to help these foreigners to assimilate and thus they can better contribute to society.

Finding faults all the time will only make things worse and its wasting time.