Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Chinese Century....中華世紀.....

I am a person who is very proud of my Chinese ancestry and heritage and this can be seen by my blog being named ' Chinese Chic'....however, it is funny that throughout the life of this blog, there has not been a single post on Chineseness or China...u can check the archives...so far, posts have referred to China and Chineseness but not directly....thus, today, this post shall be on the rise of China, Chinese culture and language as well as its impact on overseas Chinese and the world....

I am half Malaysian Chinese and half Taiwanese...thus pure 100% ethnic Chinese...i am Hunanese following my grandfather, a KMT soldier, who travelled to Taiwan from mainland China (Nationalist Party, which was the govt of China 1911-1949 ) right after the Japanese occupation of Taiwan and settled there when the KMT govt was driven to Taiwan. I am however biologically 3/4 hokkien given that my paternal grandma is Taiwanese (thus Hokkien) and both my maternal grandparents are hokkien too.

I have always been very proud of being Chinese and dislike and will look down on those Chinese whom have no sense of their roots or even worse, want to become 'white people' and do not know chinese AND do not make any efforts to learn the language or their culture...i have always held great pride in being able to speak Mandarin, Cantonese and some Hokkien and Mandarin will always be my language of emotion being more varied with more choices of words...further i have a Taiwanese accent which is one thing i am proud of..i ALWAYS get told that my mandarin is not malaysian accented mandarin and just today once again a shopkeeper asked if i was from Taiwan..haha..i don't mean to sound boastful but i just think taiwanese mandarin sounds more refined than malaysian accented mandarin..further, taiwanese accented mandarin gives off the impression that the mandarin level is higher(i 've been told my Chinese level is very high which is so NOT true...i attribute it to my taiwanese accented mandarin alone)

I don't understand why many Malaysian Chinese are just so 'westernised' like many singaporeans, hong kong people,etc...some seemed to be even ashamed of their chinese heritage trying to emulate the west as if being 'westernised' means being modern and being chinese means being backwards and uncivilised...so silly...

Also, the 21st Century has been reputed to be the Chinese Century....the 19th being English and the 20th being American...even now, the growing global power of China is very visible with CNN and Times frequently mentioning China and the recent Time Mag cover story being the growing popularity of learning Mandarin around the globe....indeed, my personal experience in Tokyo showed that almost anyone who was looking ahead to the future knew that the answer lies in China and knowing Chinese is fast becoming just as important as knowing English in the global marketplace....

However, I think there has been an improvement overall though in that more and more Chinese ppl overseas are rediscovering their roots and picking up mandarin and getting into Chinese culture again...for instance...haha, 'cheongsam/qipao talk' again...i have realised that in recent years, many tv dramas and movies have tons of nice qipaos in them showing a renewed appreciation of the dress by the Chinese....also there has been a revival of interest in traditional chinese arts and culture....

China and the Chinese will definitely play a prominent role in the 21st century given that there are more than 30 million Chinese overseas all over the world, there are Chinatowns everywhere from France to India, and Chinese food is famous the world over now from the smallest village in Britain to New York and Seoul...there are further 4 Chinese speaking areas, being China, Taiwan, HK, and Singapore...Chinese culture and language has also greatly influenced many cultures in Asia, not least Korea, Japan and Vietnam....With such figures and stats, how can one not feel proud of being Chinese??

Of cos it is essential to differentiate b/w love for Chinese culture, language and heritage and love towards China or the Chinese govt...i LOVE Chinese culture, language and history BUT am nevertheless extremely proud of being Taiwanese and have always regarded Taiwan as a separate independent country..thus liking the culture does not necessarily equate to liking the govt or nation..Taiwan and Malaysia will always be my home..not China...

That said, I am glad that China is rising cos it will bring benefits to overseas Chinese too...i look forward to the day when being Chinese or of Chinese background is something to be admired as it is now with being Caucasian/white or Japanese...also i am always VERY EAGER to promote Chinese culture and language.....so i am more than happy to meet ppl interested in Chinese culture and especially Chinese history; the Japanese invasion and occupation period 1931-1945....i would also be happy to assist anyone learning or wanting to learn Mandarin FREE of CHARGE and i can help u get a nice taiwanese accented mandarin like mine if u want, and further, i can teach both traditional and simplified chinese..haha..but u will have to be living in Melbourne...so do contact me if interested by leaving a comment!
........大馬心,台灣情,中華夢......

39 comments:

lawboycool said...

cant read dear

hcpen 彭皓全 said...

lawboycool: Do u mean the font colour? I changed it...thanks for the suggestion...

Jerry said...

I hope you will blog more about this. hun hao!

lawboycool said...

hmm... i m still proud of my malaysian accent.We are unique :)

The Searcher said...

Everything seems to be revolving around China these days. NOt many people are away China is still a very fragmented country with strong regionalism!

famezgay said...

i always proud being a chinese.. well Hahah even porn i prefer chinese rather than western one lar ahahah.. Ooops am i getting dirty here? uhmnn..

joshua said...

As odd as it sounds, I am truly grateful for being born a Chinese. Ok ok, I am NOT pure Chinese but... It's seriously amazing how much this civilisation has accomplished.

Chinese is cool.

ça va pas la tête said...

i think looking down on chinese who dont follow their roots is a bit harsh. Sometimes the environment we grew up, our past experiences shapes who we are.....

raghu said...

hi chinese chic

very good post. i'm eager to learn mandarin and chinese cultural traits. i'm an indian and will be spending 2 yrs fm august at shanghai.

keep continuing the good work

cheers/ragzz

hcpen 彭皓全 said...

jerry:thanks...i visited ur blog and tried getting in but ur blog url seems to have a problem..can u leave your blog address again?

hcpen 彭皓全 said...

lawboycool: Of Cos....i guess each has its own merits:)Also thanks so much for all ur comments!

hcpen 彭皓全 said...

the searcher: thanks for ur comment dear...much appreciated:)

hcpen 彭皓全 said...

ceusm: I didn't know chinese porn was popular...isn't it Japanese porn? Well, i wouldn't know anyway...hehe

hcpen 彭皓全 said...

joshua: Glad u think the same way...hope to see u when u return to Penang sometime:)

hcpen 彭皓全 said...

cava: I agree...i don't blame chinese who did not have a chance to learn mandarin or chinese culture much due to their environment but they should at least make an effort to understand..further, many english educated chinese actually look down on chinese educated, mandarin or dialect speaking chinese and view anything remotely chinese to be 'old fashioned'...so that is what i view as very unhealthy and worrying...

hcpen 彭皓全 said...

shin: Hi!!!!! Namaste. I am honoured to be one of the first blogs which u have left a comment at...i visited ur blog, its SO new...i hope u do enjoy shanghai...its very developed and modern now....so which place r u studying ur mba at? It is taught in English correct? Also i simply love indian culture too cos india and china both are civilisations with a long and rich history...do visit often:)

ça va pas la tête said...

Hcpen: Yeah looking down of ppl is not right, no matter what and who. Unfortunately, it happened everywhere. I am definitely against it. I think chinese themselves too can be quite 'superior' at times. I have heard of comment like this

"what do you expect, they dont eat rice"

That's bad.

hcpen 彭皓全 said...

cava:i agree looking down on ppl is bad but i have always only heard of english educated ppl looking down on chinese educated chinese..the world now still values western things more...for instance, playing 'western music' like the violin and piano is more prestigious than 'chinese music' like the er hu which is not even taught in malaysia anymore...further, with regards to the chinese dress (the qi pao) only recently has it been more sought after and fashionable for young women to wear it...From the late 1960s to the mid 1990s, chinese women, either western or chinese educated looked down on wearing the qi pao as 'aunty' 'old fashioned' and 'not fashionable'..this is a symptom of subconscious shame of wearing something which represented their ethnicity...haha...i just have my way of mentioning the beloved qi pao...anyways, i know its bad to look down on ppl but i just dun like the way we prioritise western civilisation and culture over our own native ones(this is fast changing though, thanks to the rise of China)...if u would like to know what is western in our lives i can list it out for u...i am aware many ppl do not realise how much the world has been 'Caucasianised' and view many western things as 'normal' when they aren't...and this starts from clothing...our clothes now are ALL western...NOT normal...i have always regarded myself as wearing 'western clothing' and not simply 'clothing'...but i do not have any other options cos they do not sell chinese clothing anywhere now..take a cursory look bck to the 1940s in England and China and u can see that the english wore similar clothing to us now with modifications whilst the chinese have abandoned wholesale our clothing opting for western style clothing instead...so sad..:(

Anonymous said...

I'm a little confused at your being proud of being Taiwanese, and not Chinese, yet being proud of being Chinese.

I mean, most Americans wouldn't say they're proud of being British once upon a time.

hcpen 彭皓全 said...

anon: yes, many ppl are confused cos usually, those who support a distinct taiwanese identity and think taiwan is an independent nation do not want to be associated with china or chinese culture whatsoever...however,i am balanced in my thinking and i dun think its necessarily contradictory...u must understand that chinese 'ethnicity' is a race, a culture, and does not equate to 'chinese nationality'and thus u can be proud of being both an ethnic chinese and ur nationality..eg: proud of being american (nationality) and chinese(ethnicity) proud of being malaysian (nationality) and chinese (ethnicity) and taiwanese (nationality) and Chinese (ethnicity)...taiwanese is a nationality and not a separate culture or ethnic group (although many taiwanese independence advocates would argue otherwise)and thus i can be proud of being both chinese and taiwanese...the american/british example...although it is not popular and indeed politically incorrect to associate americans as being the same as british...in reality, there is no such thing as an american culture or race..i categorise america,britain, australia,nz,and canada as all coming from the same culture and race, the anglo-saxon race/culture..when we talk about american culture, it is really a variation of this anglo-saxon culture just like taiwanese popular culture is really a variation of chinese culture...thus you can be proud of being american(nationality)and ur anglo-saxon bckground(not necessarily british...ethnicity)...hope u have a better understanding of what i am getting at now...

Xavier said...

yup, i am proud to be RICE!

actually i am first generation malaysian chinese, both my parents are real CHina Chinese

hcpen 彭皓全 said...

xavier: Wow, thats really rare....can u tell me abit more cos i am interested, like when and how old were ur parents when they immigrated to Malaysia?

Bryan said...

Be it China or Taiwan or overseas Chinese, we are still Chinese. I think you can't compare the Chinese, particularly in China, Taiwan, Macau or Hong Kong with the Chinese in South East Asia. Why? Simply because of our surrounding and local culture. In Malaysia, we need to be multi-lingual to survive. And when we are being grown up in multi-lingual environment, you will have all sorts of influence in lifestyle and languages that we speak.

In a multi ethnics society, we need to adapt our life within our own culture and other ethnics culture. They must be respect and somehow modify our lifestyle so that we live in a harmony way.

Actually I disagree with ppl who said Chinese cannot speak Mandarin is so called "banana man" or 香焦人. If an oversea Chinese can speak Cantonese, Hokkein, Hakka, Teowchew etc, still they can speak in Chinese. Because Mandarin is also a dialect in the northern part of China, so do Cantonese, Hokkein etc which form the major dialects in the Southern China.

When I was in Shanghai in April, I talked to some locals there. What a surprise, they hardly practice Chinese tradition now, let say in wedding, New Year etc. So can we say mainland Chinese are really "Chinese"? Why? Because I believe I understand more Chinese custom than they do.

I can't read a lot of Chinese, but I am trying hard to learn it now. But in a way, I can speak in Malay, English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkein and a bit of Hakka. So I guess I am still Chinese, even though my knowledge of Chinese characters are limited.

Have you been to Thailand? Look at the Chinese there. They even dream in Thai language. Ha ha ha

What I really salute about being Chinese is that they can survive whereever they are. Most know how to preserve most of the culture and at the same time adapt to the their environment.

Bryan said...

In my opinion, what currently separate mainland China and Taiwan is only the political ideology. If you compare between the two in culture and people, they are almost identical.

It's just like Malaysia and Singapore.

Well, different ppl look at things differently. So I guess no matter what's the similarity or differences between mainland China and Taiwan, the most important is that people in both sides will live in prosperity, harmony and peace. :)

Anonymous said...

It’s almost laughable reading your nationalist comments. You have failed to realize the much of the turmoil in the past political history stems from people sharing your arrogant views about themselvs that somehow belonging to one special group means superior. Americans, Germans, Japanese,..etc..etc..all feel the same way about themselves just like the way you do about yourself…for whatever whatever whatever reason just like those you have blah blah blah blah……no different from the view of Nazis….get it….Elitism..the feeling of superior…when are people like you going to realize the your life is no more better than lives of other people around the globe…it certainly doesn’t deserve any more special treatment than others…all life is equal..this is a humble thinking..humble thinking leads to peace….I certainly hope more people DO NOT feel like you feel about your country or whatever…you don’t belong to one country …you sure are not slave to your country…your country doesn’t own you….get it? Your patriotism blinds you….you probably one of those that will DIE for your country…how funny….Wake up..you have much to learn….

Bryan said...

Anonymous: I totally agree with u

hcpen 彭皓全 said...

bryan: Thanks for ur comments bryan...i totally agree with u that for overseas chinese it is ESSENTIAL to adapt and adopt the culture n practices of the majority in order to survive...however this doesn't mean to abandon ur roots, i advocate 'integration' but NOT 'assimilation'..thus it is ok for overseas chinese to be less chinese than the mainland Chinese or HK or Taiwanese ppl..however i see alot whom have not only adopted western culture but have almost completely ABANDONED their chinese roots which is sad...
also with regards to being able to speak a Chinese dialect but not Mandarin, i again COMPLETELY AGREE with u that that is sufficient as as long as a Chinese can speak a dialect be it FuChoW, Hainanese, Hokkien, Cantonese, Teochew, Hunanese,etc it is ok..Mandarin is only one out of many dialects..many people think Mandarin is a language when it is really one of the dialects....i DO NOT consider Chinese who speak dialects 'westerners'..so i agree with u there...
regarding Chinese from China as being less traditional and retaining less traditonal chinese culture, i AGAIN AGREE with u...many ppl think mainland chinese should be the most traditional but as ur experience in china shows, this is not always the case. The Cultural Revolution (1966-76) was disastrous and almost completely eradicated all traces of Chinese culture where the qi pao was banned, temples were closed down, ALL traditional practices during Chinese New Year and all other festivals were banned, antique was destroyed,etc so i know in many ways overseas Chinese are more traditional and have preserved more culture than their mainland counterparts...which is one more reason i am proud of being taiwanese cos taiwanese are much more traditional than mainland chinese, something which many people across the globe are not aware of...
and the fact u are making an effort to learn mandarin is already something which satisfies my standard...i am promoting people learning Mandarin, NOT BLAMING people for not knowing it in the first place...note the difference..its the effort that counts:)
Thanks for leaving a comment and do visit again soon:)

hcpen 彭皓全 said...

anon: I find it just as laughable reading ur delusional comments...first of all, make no mistake, people SHOULD feel good about their country, thats what makes their country strong..just look at Japan and South Korea, their ppl are nationalistic and their country are strong and rich...there is a connection..
of cos nationalism and patriotism DOES NOT MEAN elitism or feeling superior towards others...u can love ur country or ur heritage but still respect other nationalities and races around the globe..I DO NOT feel superior towards other races cos if u bothered looking at my past posts, i have lavished heaps of praises on South Korea and the Koreans, does that sound like an elitist Chinese speaking? If i were truly arrogant, i would be saying stuff like how much more superior Chinese culture is and how Korean culture is really a sub group of chinese culture( believe me i have heard comments like this alot!)and I do NOT AGREE with this...i admire korean culture just as i love Indian culture which has a comparable history and depth to Chinese culture...i find some indian men really sexy...
so i DO NOT feel superior so please do not assume things next time before u ask me...
also u r sooo wrong about me dying for my country cos i will NEVER die for my country in most circumstances cos living is the most important thing, we should all aspire to live on and survive whatever the circumstances...i think YOU have much to learn when it comes to jumping to conclusions and assuming things when they r not there...

savante said...

Wah, free chinese lessons ah!

Paul

hcpen 彭皓全 said...

savante: Well, i am just interested in Chinese,hehehe

小喬 said...

第一次的經過,總不想讓自己白走一趟,
終於還是留下了些痕跡,
彭皓全..
謝謝你在我生病的時候,
給我的噓寒問暖,
感恩!

hcpen 彭皓全 said...

小喬
謝謝你的留言.希望以後也常能看得到你的痕跡.還有你生病時給你的問候,只不過是朋友該做的,不用這麼客氣啦!其實我更感動你生病時還打電話給我.有空打給我吧!
'小朋友'(哈哈)

Anonymous said...

Hellow, I'm the first anonymous person who was confused on the whole China/Taiwan issue. If you are pround of Taiwanese independence, there will come the day when being separate from China will make the two cultures too different. This is just history. Your accent is already an indicator of that. One day, your children or grandchildren or greatgrandchildren will say, I'm Chinese? and not see how that is.

hcpen 彭皓全 said...

anon: Thanks for ur comment, well i do not think taiwanese and chinese culture will divert so much as to become 2 different cultures...overseas chinese living in singapore and malaysia have lived outside the sphere of china for decades if not centuries and the culture can still be categorised as 'chinese' so taiwan which went thru more than five decades of KMT sinicization is not going to become 'non-chinese' anytime soon...
America and England also have been separate nations for over a century but american and british culture are essentially 'anglo-saxon'. Nothing has changed, variations exist but the core has not. However, it is now clearly not politically correct to say that american and british culture are essentially in the same cultural category...i am NOT saying that american and british/taiwanese and chinese culture are the same or even similar BUT what i am saying is that they are similar enough and will not change any time in the foreseable future to be categorised under the same cultural category...

Anonymous said...

bù guò yì
My url is: darkclarity.blog-city.com
I hope you don't mind I link to you
Jerry

hcpen 彭皓全 said...

Jerry: Thanks for linking my blog, do visit often though my posts on China-related issues aren't that much despite my blog name:)

小黑子 said...

The culture between China and Taiwan are very different. Some people may think they are the the same looking from the outside, but they are not. When you go to Shanghai, do you every wonder why so many taiwanese and 台商 hang out in 新天地 and don't hang out with the locals ?

China had 文化革命 and Taiwan had 日本殖民. The cultures have gone their different paths.

Besides, we speak 台灣國語 :-) ( That is DaiWan GuoYi in Hokkien )

小黑子 said...

In addition to my last comment I do think that Taiwanese culture and Chinese culture are as similar to be called the same in general. Just as US/British are similar.

However it you told a British person that their culture was the same as the US they would probably disagree.

If you said they were anglo/saxon, they would probably agree.

Maybe what is needed is an english version of the term 華人。Which is chinese , without really saying 中國的。

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