October 17, 2013 at 9:12 pm #36264
I want to share a thought… maybe more like an outburst of emotions.
I spoke with an italian person just yesterday and I heard many beautiful words (ironic) against the chinese people… she is here to do business… the point is, why people aren’t objective but most importantly don’t respect others?
Some stereotypical thinking that I’ve heard too many times:
– chinese/black people are dirty and stupid
– hongkong/taiwanese/japanese/south korea people are better than chinese
– italian/russian are mafiosos
– americans are warmongers
I can go on in a long list. This is the speaking of people in a multiethnic world… ? in 2013? What kind of poor thinking is this??!!
Sometimes I really don’t understand…October 17, 2013 at 9:58 pm #36268CallumParticipant
I would say that the existence of this forum, which represents a very broad network of people from a lot of different nations, serves as a counter to the negative attitudes of a minority of thinkers that you’re talking about. Stereotypes are unfortunate business. A leftover habit from a time where we were all afraid of the unknown and scared of foreigners.
Ergo all of these stereotypes must be taken with a pinch of salt, as I’m not sure if there’s anyone who truly believes that they’re 100% accurate. Every day I’ll hear the Dutch call the French gay, the Polish call the Dutch lazy, and the Greek call the Chinese Stupid. The latter has led me to believe quite the opposite. However these are all meant lightly, as people will even accept these in an act of self deprecating humour. Except for the Greek guy, but he’s just an individual idiot.
I’ve been in Rome listening to an American man complain to the manager of a Burger King that he was waiting too long to use the toilet because there was only one for each gender. If people aren’t intelligent enough to accept that things work differently outside of their home countries, then let them live in their own ignorance and never experience the wealth of the outside world.
Maybe we’ll have a Belgian beer in a Dutch run bar in our city in China some time and talk about this at length. Just remember there is warmth and brotherhood among the tolerant and intelligent people.October 18, 2013 at 12:04 am #36277CharlieKeymaster
On a certain level, it’s practical to make some assumptions about people based on where they come from. With 7 billion people on earth, it’s easier to think in terms of generalizations that apply to a majority of people which come from a certain region or culture. Although everyone can choose to be anyone they want to be, most people are a product of the society from which they originate to a large extent.
There are political and cultural reasons for the generalizations that you mentioned, which are all based on at least a kernel of truth. For example:
- Mainland China basically missed out on the economic boom period of the 20th century that brought Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong incredible wealth along with physical and cultural development. Failed economic and cultural opportunity (that’s putting it very lightly) in the face of wealthy, prosperous, and culturally developed neighbors leads to the perception that you ride the short bus. Perception of this has been changing, but this topic of discussion is in generalizations. Africa, to this day, remains undeveloped which influences perception of black people around the world (most notably in developing countries like China, who have little or no point of reference for the identity of black world citizens).
- Italians are commonly depicted as mafia by popular culture, especially Hollywood films and TV. In the 1920’s Mussolini took control of Italy and cracked down on organized crime, so many of them immigrated to the United States (cities like New York and Chicago). The Italian Mafia became a huge cultural phenomenon in those cities during that time, and during the Prohibition Era warring Italian mafia families fought in the streets of major cities for control of the criminal underworld. In terms of the perception of corruption in the modern era, Russia = Putin and Italy = Berlusconi. Both notoriously corrupt. Of course, that says nothing of the Russian or Italian people.
- America fights an obscene amount of wars, and it wouldn’t happen if a large contingent of the American population didn’t support it. Our military industrial complex is insanely vast, and has major implications on governments all around the world (many countries don’t need standing armies because of the size of the US military and others push their economies to bankruptcy or people to starvation to compete). American society idolizes men who represent masculinity, and our popular media embraces those values (MMA, action movies, American Football, etc).
Anyway, I basically think there is an order and explanation for all of this, so it’s not as crazy as it seems on the surface.
When you meet an American, you unconsciously associate that person with what you know to be American. If you meet someone Japanese, you associate them with what you know to be Japanese. And so on. It’s natural.
One thing I love about living overseas (outside of the United States) is that you have the opportunity to meet people from everywhere. Through years of that experience I’ve learned that despite our different backgrounds, cool people come from everywhere and bring their own unique opinion and perspective. And when it comes to those, no one is right or wrong – we’re all looking through the lens of our prior experience.
This ended up really long.October 18, 2013 at 9:00 am #36281
What does Brother mean to you?October 18, 2013 at 11:43 am #36294BrendanModerator
One thing I love about living overseas…
Stereotypes will exist until the end of time. We are genetically coded to assess a magnitude of information in a flash, so boiling anyone down to bite size for convenience is natural. As man increased his boundaries and expanded upon his own geography he encountered many variations of self. It was a matter of survival that he learn to assess friend or foe, thus laying the groundwork for snapshot judgement of anyone who appeared to be ‘different’. Early man was also free of political correctness and dinner table sensitivity. We’ve been so bombarded with social commentary in the West it has at times blunted the very expression that makes us unique. Television continues to do a disservice to the masses in terms of multicultural exposure on the whole. Millions of Chinese sit down each night to all manner of stereotypes within their own societal structure. Between whiny women, uber manipulative businessmen/women, and oh so brave revolutionaries, there’s not a lot left. The nations lack of exposure to the real world at large makes for simplification when representing anything beyond Chinese borders.
We are just as guilty in the West. The British like to view Americans for example as ‘false’, or ‘too happy’. In truly miserable fashion the British do (generally and stereotypically speaking) like to belittle and reduce almost all beyond their borders. Ages old infighting between England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales only helps reinforce this mentality. Thankfully for myself, having been living outside of the U.K. for the last few years I can be free of this shared mindset. When I first lived in the U.S. I was struck by just how many people I met were critical thinkers, something the British like to believe they have the monopoly on. Owning 80% of the planet at one time will do that for you! I would regularly find myself in conversation with people who had an incredibly broad view of the world, and the people living within it. This was L.A. of course, so had I have been in Mississippi it might have been a different story, but isn’t that a stereotype right there. We all do it to some degree, but our intellect and humility hopefully set us apart from the wash.October 18, 2013 at 12:29 pm #36301IanParticipantOctober 18, 2013 at 1:56 pm #36312
Maybe I take care too much about this but when you listen too much times these stereotypical thinking, but is difficult understand when the people in front of you is ironic or show the true feeling.
If you really think that your country is better than another and you show this, are you really a better people of another?
Someone use this differences for do business too, but the respect for another people where is? where is the line between a joke and not?
Maybe my thinking is too much naive…
Meaning of brother in the title is like say that we are all the same people on the earth…October 18, 2013 at 2:15 pm #36319BrendanModerator
Meaning of brother in the title is like say that we are all the same people on the earth…
Sexist Fascist Pig.
😀October 18, 2013 at 2:27 pm #36321
Ahahahahah or sensual communist pig! which you prefer… 😉October 18, 2013 at 2:42 pm #36325
isnt this just another type of sterotype? yes, we are all the same but yet different, i think i will just accept it.October 18, 2013 at 2:58 pm #36328
isnt this just another type of sterotype? yes, we are all the same but yet different, i think i will just accept it.
But sure that we are all different! but the point isn’t this, do you read all the discussion?October 18, 2013 at 3:11 pm #36331
Federico, seems you dont get my point. I agree 100% and admire 200% of what Charles has said here.
People are different, for example, some take sterotype seriously, some dont, and each of us have our own standard and experience, for example, you feel bad when you hear your friend talking bad about Chinese. I just won’t, not because I disagree or agree. Some really like talking bad about everything, but then, there are also people who dont. So, relax.October 18, 2013 at 3:28 pm #36333
I’m really relaxed Fan, maybe you aren’t… you don’t think that an answer like your
– yes, we are all the same but yet different, i think i will just accept it –
is too much simplistic?
I’m the first people that think in this world everyone is good, but is different when someone always use same stereotypical statements… maybe isn’t a simple joke but something that’s really believe.
So for example if someone really think that chinese people are stupid, dirty… please don’t come here for do business or live, stay at your home!
if someone don’t want try to understand another culture and when must speak never use respect for another people, maybe you must check your self before…October 18, 2013 at 3:39 pm #36334
We just think differently, federico. To you, it is too much simplicty, but to me, accept is not a simple thing. Accept that each is different doesnt mean there is no respect. If one is so hateful about China, it is his/her own choice.October 18, 2013 at 3:57 pm #36337Rick in ChinaParticipant
The thing is – maybe that person was having a shitty day or just had some shitty experience happen to them. People change depending on circumstance, and it’s silly to presume we know all about someone’s circumstance when a comment or reaction offends us. Mature reaction is not to be offended, but rather a more measured response – maybe placate and reply after gathering more information, or simply don’t reply ignore it and move on. Keep in mind, you, too, decide with whom you spend your time or are around..so if you’re hearing a lot of things you don’t like or disagree with, it’s your option to change to which island you build a bridge (people are all islands, and we only connect via bridges we build..we’re not brothers, we’re disparate even by your own notion of not generalising! :))October 18, 2013 at 4:12 pm #36338
Is true Fan, everyone can make a different choice like try to be a good people in this word, that try to understand everything that’s different or not…
Rick, you can to be a mature people trying not to be offended and you can use more respect when you try to understand another culture or somenthing that’s different from you. The point isn’t only to be mature man/woman or not.
And sure I can decide with who spend my time and build a bridge on an Island, but you are sure that’s the way for a better society?October 18, 2013 at 4:21 pm #36340Rick in ChinaParticipant
I think we need to accept that everyone is at different stages in life, and coming from different perspectives and personalities. I think it’s crazy for anyone to create expectation for anyone else – it’s self-centred and presumptive… since we’re talking about something so subjective as ‘better society’, maybe what’s better to you isn’t what’s better to me? Wouldn’t it be hypocritical to expect everyone to conform to what you think is better for society and being more patient/accepting of particular things, but not to them – and whose right?
Based on that, we must also allow people to be as ignorant and angry as they choose to be – and if you disagree with the behaviour, it’s not your right to force them to change, but rather, have to either deal with it, explain and hopefully convince, or stop interacting with that person 🙂October 18, 2013 at 4:42 pm #36342
my mother never wants to understand other’s culture cos she dont need to work, she is very happy and content with her daily life. isnt that wrong or make her a no good person? each person has its own path, expereinces, backgroud, situation, preferences, etc etc to make up what they are and how they make their own choices. To accept that is indeed also a respect to the other.October 18, 2013 at 4:47 pm #36343
Like I said from the begin my is more like an emotional outburst, I’m here for share my thinking without presumptive idea of change everyone.
This MY “line” for a better life, try to understand everything speaking always respecting another people.
Like you said Rick, is better for me stop to interact with people that speak only bad words for chinese culture or for another one…
I believe in the mature confrontation of ideas, not in in simplistic stereotypes from people that are stupid and without respect 😉October 18, 2013 at 4:55 pm #36344
Fan, I agree with you when you say – To accept that is indeed also a respect to the other –
not when a people speaking with you say that chinese are “Yellow monkeys” or taiwanese/hong kong are better than chinese … only an example but this is for you is speaking with respect? is a constructive confrontation?
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