Monday, August 6, 2007

Rude comments- China

I'm getting more rude comments about China than rude comments about the adoption of a Chinese daughter.

I physically cringe when I hear them. My whole body stiffens and it takes me everything I have not shoot back something about the location of the person's head, if you know what I mean.

Talk about the Great Wall of China. There's an invisible Great Wall of America for some people who cannot think beyond America's borders.

Example. I was telling someone how kind the locals were to us. I gave examples- like being treated to dinner with locals we had recently met and their families. That was such a moving experience for us. And what did the person say back to me? "That's shocking, since the Chinese are such rude and nasty people."

Yeah. So you can see why I get upset. Then I realize that some people want to remain locked inside their minds and nothing I do or say will ever change that.

It's still irritating, tho.


jen said...

I had a sour experience with a chinese roommate - not that I hated all things China as a result - but reading your blog makes me want to go there! I had no idea it was that fun and cool, I have no idea what I thought to be honest, but you make it sound like a great vacation if you're willing to put up with a little hardship!

I could never picture my ex roommate like the people you describe. He was from China, his wife stayed home, he was here on a work visa. He was nothing but nasty to me, and tolerated my husband. He seemed to expect me to be the maid. So nasty people abound. It was hard to get over that.

Barina said...

It is a common misconception that Chinese people are rude and it comes from their customs/culture. I read books about HK and China before we came here and they all mention this misconception. It is because in China/HK people will puch past you if you are in the way or they will bump into you and not apologize, things along those lines. They are also very direct when they speak, there is no beating around the bush. These things are considered rude in American culture, but it is perfectly normal and acceptable in China/HK.
The funny thing is, I like myself better now that I have adapted to the culture here. What I mean is that because of the "rudeness" I have adapted here, I apologize a hell of a lot less and that is a good thing. I have always been one to apologize for the most ridiculous things and now I do it a lot less because of learning/accepting a new culture.
People are so closed-minded.

Jen-it seems most people have a maid here, even people who we would think couldn't afford it. They work for cheap, so it is affordable. He probably did expect that. Not that it was right, but it was probably justified by his being used to having a maid.

madeinchina said...

As with what Barina said, it is a cultural difference. Rude is a social construct that differs from country to country. Many people consider Italians and French to be astoundingly rude people, but in their culture their behavior isn't considered rude at all.

Going to another country and expecting the people there to behave the way you want them to is the pinnacle of rudeness.

Anonymous said...

All the Chinese people I've ever met (including the lovely Chemistry major who roomed next door to me in college) have been lovely people. But you must remember, we've had some problems with their government from time to time. And the news outlets keep saying China is evil. I learned long ago to judge people individually, and on how they treat me as an individual.

MississippiZen said...

So true! I just recently had an experience at a nail salon that got my blood boiling (you can read about it on my blog) .. but I think all we can do is to inform and correct the misconceptions when the opportunity arises! Glad I found your blog!