Education

    After an intense discussion with my father last night, today I want to talk about something I don’t like aboutChina: Education.

    We all say that the youth is the flower bud, the most valued, and the strength of future. But who are we kidding? Although we are promoting the concept of “Education” in every corner ofChina, compared to the high speed development of this country, those kids are not even in the running! Every now and then, I am always surprised by the behavior of people of my own age. What they do or what they don’t do leaving a strong smell of “immature” everywhere they go, indicate the fact that most Chinese student are only super-excised on “Study the Text Book”, which goes extremely opposite to the well-balanced education.

    Raising a kid is not easy to do these days, not to mention educating them. When a kid enters the primary school, the competition begins right a way. In order to get into a good high school, those kids are taken to countless training classes during the weekends: violin, painting, international Olympic math competition classes (No kidding, I even had a similar class at my age.), English practicing classes, etc. Those “hobbies” cost a lot of money and take the kids’ life away: they are too busy to be KIDS! But the thing is, if your kid is not qualified for some kinds of “special talents”, you will have to pay extra money and make extra effort to get your kid into a better high school. So the parents don’t have much say in this, we can’t blame them coz not every parent is born to be rich. But just imagine, despite all those classes, do the kids have the opportunity to learn how to get along with other people? Or how to be responsible? Or even, do they get to learn how and what is love??

    Sadly, the answer is NO. In fact, my mum just had a conversation with me two months ago, which should have been done when I was 17: Safe sex. And the funny thing is, after years of “self-study” on this “highly sensitive” subject, I already know more than my mum does. Same thing happens to “How to build a relationship” “The importance of independence” and “How to buy yourself a nice comfortable BRA”.

    Ok, you may say Chinese parents are not good at communicating and expressing themselves. And every time you blame it on the Culture, it is a dead end. So how do the Chinese teenagers learn those stuff to enforce their soft powers? The answer hides in the highly condensed word: University.

    The entrance exam of university is the very first challenge faced by all Chinese students in their life. The quality of the university, or should I say the ranking level of the university within this country, relates positively to their future salary payment. Every student fights full-time for their marks in this exam, 8am to 10 pm everyday. And all they learn are the same courses: Math, Chinese, English, Physics, Chemistry, Geography, etc. If they survive the exam, BOOM, welcome to university!

    During the 4-year-time, everyone needs to educate themselves from a naïve high school child to a well-sophisticated social person. They make new friends, they participate into every event held by university, they fighting their heads off to get an internship in the Fortune 500. And during these time, they must learn everything they need to be qualified to survive in the Society.

    If we compare the “self-study ability” of students around the world, Chinese would win without any doubt. But one side effect of self-study is that one could go astray very easily without proper guidance.

    I heard girls get pregnant twice at 15, I heard a couple divorced just because the man didn’t get the PHD degree. I heard a 26-year-old woman never had a date in her entire life, I heard the son beat his father just because his father couldn’t afford a house.

    I am speechless at those facts. What happened to Chinese youth? They don’t have moral standards in their heats any more. They don’t know what is respect and what is love, they don’t even know what’s the true meaning of life. And who do I blame? The Education, not only the kind of education you get in school, but also the education you could get from your parents and peers.

Train Wreck in China, July 23 2011

【[Background Info.]:
A Chinese bullet train crashed into another high- speed train that had stalled after being struck by lightning Saturday in eastern China, causing four carriages to fall off a viaduct and killing at least 33 people and injuring 190 others, state media reported.
– “Bullet-train wreck in China kills 33, injures 190”@http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_18538692

Up to now, the number of death toll has reached 35, the China official says. But the true number of how many people died in this accident? We will never know.

35, is a magical number: At least 35 people died in China train crash; 35 dead in central China Floods; A gas explosion at a coal mine in Henan China killed 35 people; 35 people were killed in the landslide in Chongqing, etc. Why those accidents are so obsessed with this particular number? One of the reasons I got from the Weibo (A popular mini blog website in China, which is very similar to Twitter.) is that the secretary of a municipal committee of the CPC will be dismissed if the death toll is not less than 36. Seems like some are always being protected from the responsibility they should take. Some of them who were involved in the rescue say, the death toll is surely over 35.

Questions raised during the rescuing: What is the reason caused this collision, is it the lightening or the unqualified train driver? The exact time when the accident happened? 20:34 or 20:28? And why the officials gave us two different timelines in two days. Why the second train hadn’t detected anything when the first train was paralyzed by lightening for several minutes? When I was trying to search for the answer, I always got two or three more versions. And the ones provided by the Ministry of Railways are always going contradict with the rest.

That’s the side effect of the Hiding Code in China which I’m not proud of. People could only get half of the truth, and the other half is hidden under the big red glorious brand: Gov.

I feel so sorry for those unfortunate people, coz this accident could have been avoided only if the Ministry of Railways did they job right. But at the same time, I feel so proud of the Chinese who spread the truth and giving a hand to those injured. Although actions of people are still under monitor by the Gov, we are trying our best to discover the truth. That’s one step closer to the real Change of this society.

And this is a good start.

Chinese in Foreigners’ Eyes


This is a documentary talking about how Chinese is perceived among people from different countries. I watched this video in Feb, and now I’d like to share this video on my blog because I think what they tell me is true. Despite the fact they are talking about chinese in england, and there’s quite a lot difference between chinese abroad and chinese domestic, which I will explain further later.

“Hiding-The-Dirt-Under-The-Carpet-Code”

    After a brief introduction of this blog, here brings us to the second part — secret social codes you might need to know to understand Chinese better.

    Although I am not an anthropologist and I was raised in a traditional chinese family, some of us chinese behavior always kept puzzling me: Why in our history text book, there’s only one single sentence describing the 10-year-culture-revolution but they keep the whole story of how DaYu successfully resolved the flood crisis 5000 years ago. And why my mum bought a dozen eggs and tons of fruit to the hospital when the patient she visited was totally not allowed to eat anything at the time.

    I’ve started thinking and observing since I was in high school, and the most fascinating thing about chinese behavior is that: They only present HALF of the true story, hiding the other half deep down in their hearts (and then put 5 locks on it.). It’s more like when you are cleaning the room and expecting your guests, you keep the room tidy and suck the dirt out of every corner of your house. The only difference is that chinese people will suck the dirt out but hide them under their newly bought carpet.

    So, let’s just name the first code as “Hiding-The-Dirt-Under-The-Carpet-Code”.

    You may ask whyyyyy would we wanna do that…I can assure you, the Hiding Code was created mostly from good intentions. We want to give pleasant feelings to our guests, we don’t want the dirt to bother them. But the problem is that we often go too far when pursuing this goal, and end up forgetting to do the very basic thing. So damage control time: “We tried our best but absolutely there’s no time to clean the floor, just put the carpet on the pile of dust, Maggie is arriving in 2 minutes!”

    But, the other benefit coming out of the Hiding Code is that we actually can hide the disgusting things under the carpet, and creating a false impression to our guests. And after years of practicing, we find out that it really works! That’s when the innocent Hiding Code is taken advantage of by those ill intentions, and it really does an excellent work contributing our bad reputations…

    Well, this blog is not built to blame the Chinese so lets just focus on the how to understand this Code and use it in your daily work. Here’s one more example:

    When you are having some really bad days in the week and come across a Chinese friend who’s not that close to you, and the boring grooming talk begins like:”Mike! Long time no see, how’ve you been?” The least you wanna do is telling him/her that you’ve been having some horrible crisis and haven’t slept for two days. Because in that way, this friend of yours will be obliged to care about you and concern about what happened. Chinese don’t want to trouble their friends, so the right answer in the above situation would be “I’m fine”, or ”Yeah I’m OK” without actually bring up any of your personal problems. Just keep the true story to yourself. * BUT, when it comes to the very close friends. You can just tell him/her what’s really going on, s/he will be more than willing to give you a hand if s/he could. Chinese people are warm-hearted and smart, so don’t let the Hiding Code get in the way of your friendship with Chinese.

If you find this example weird and ridiculous..Fine, I will come up with a better example next time. LOL.

Stereotypes

 

    Hello everyone, this is my very first blog on Watching The Chinese. As warming up, I decided to put on your shoes and see what Chinese look like from your eyes. So I googled the Chinese stereotype, and here are some words that I found:
 
    1 Orientalism, mysticism and exoticism
    2 Stereotypes of exclusion or hostility
    3 Stereotypes of Asian men: Emasculation and asexuality; Predators of white women; Misogynists
    4 Stereotypes of Asian women: Hypersexuality and the Dragon Lady; “Chinadoll” stereotype
 
    Well, after jumping up and down on my English-Chinese dictionary, I must admit that…Most of them are true. Chinese have a culture which is built on thousands years of history, we have our ways of reasoning, as well as the distinctive way of admiring the beauty. In the books and on the newspapers, we like to brag about how greatChinais, how strong and powerful a nation we have been. At the same time, we laugh about the Phone Hacking scandal happening inUKbut try our best to cover up what’s really happening in Xinjiang andTibetright now.
 
    In some way,Chinais a horrible country. But, all the above is just what you hear from the public media or witness the terrible behavior of Chinese tourists. Please do me a favor, ask yourself one more time: Do you really know about Chinese.
 
    From a more microcosmic perspective, I can assure you that we are NOT what you think we are. When you hang around in Beijing, you ask one single person for direction you end up getting answers and practical suggestions from 4 different people at the same time (Some of them might even personally show you the right way). When you take a visit in the university, you find students having brainstorms about their latest research, they work very hard for their thesis on International Economics. When you check out the Chinese males, you will be amazed how great their body look, with all the muscles and… a electro-motor-like-butt.
 
    The stereotypes have gone out of fashion years ago. Although Chinese people are still educating themselves on humanity, environmentalism and honesty, we have grown our new features in the past decade. The new generation are more willing to learn from different cultures, more open-minded, more willing to manage their own fate.
And we speak a better English than our parents.
 
    After having some conversations with my foreigner friends, I started to realize that Chinese are still mysterious in some way. The world doesn’t know about us. That’s when I decided to start this blog, providing you with a peephole into our daily life. Since the China government has blocked Blogger, I can provide you with the truth without any concealing.
 
    Woo, gotta watch the newest episode of True Blood. To be continued on Watching The Chinese next time 🙂