I am sure Hailey (old blog), Roddy and Hailey’s friends in CRI (China Radio International) will not be unhappy because I mentioned their names and out meetup tonight. Hailey is a successful blogger and an editor in CRI. Tennessee Ruck has a good review of Hailey’s blog. I just found it when I returned. Roddy runs Chinese Forums, a great place for ex-pats in China with more than 1400 registered users. I managed to get some time to walk out of the office at night for the first time in my 9 working days in Beijing and enjoy the night life in this amazing city.
We talked about many in our meetup, from real estate in Shanghai (Hailey is a real estate editorial) to the culture shock of a new comer to Shanghai; from the city infrastructure of Shanghai, to the difference between Shanghai and Beijing (the ultimate topic) and finally to blogging stuff. It is quite an interesting night. Roddy was so kind to listen to us talking in Chinese. He came from England and claimed to be able to understand 90% of our conversation. It is amazing. Roddy speaks very good Chinese, much better than my English.
It is nice to talk with people from different perspective, although this time I seemed to dominate the talk because it started with an interview request from CRI :-D
The young generation like Hailey and her kind collogues impressed me a lot – they just graduated from school but has smart ideas and open minds. I observe a deep gap between the two groups of people – those who were born before 1979 and those after. 1979 is the year the one child policy was enforced in China (Birth control is forbidden word here though). It is the only generation that is not directly affected by the Culture Revolution. I attribute the gap to these two major reasons.
Other young generation representatives are XGAO and Claire (mentioning with courtesy)….. Well. I am not saying I am too old, what I mean is, I am happy to see the younger generation become much better in communication, presentation, independence in mind and the change in lifestyles. It is quite promising for China.
During the talk, we touched the topic of Shanghai v.s. Beijing. “Which city you like better, Shanghai or Beijing?” Oh. It is an inevitable topic between any two persons from these two cities.
I love Beijing. Beijing is a fabulous city and becomes better and better everyday. I hope I can move to Beijing and settle down here for two years or longer.
I also love Shanghai. I miss Shanghai three days after I left it.
This was my answer.
If there is something the current Chinese society lack of, I guess it is mercy, or tolerance.
The argument of Shanghai is better or Beijing is better reflects the problem. If you check some websites with such topic, you will see how hot the topic is – no matter where you see it, and when it is raised. It seems the answer to this question divides people into two groups – pro-Beijing group and pro-Shanghai group. The size of the later is much smaller, though.
People in Shanghai believe, Shanghai is the best city in China. They believe any place outside Shanghai is bad, unbearable, without orders, uncomfortable, inconvenient…. (I didn’t say all, but I saw many people in Shanghai think so)
People in Beijing are more open-minded. They may not insist Beijing is the best city in China as people in Shanghai do, but they argue that Shanghai is a bad place. Wendy and I all have experiences to listen to Beijing people returning from Shanghai by train complaining everything about Shanghai – the air, the traffic, the roads, the food, the people…..
Why there is no answer in the middle?
I don’t know when this started but it became a trend already. I am worried to see some people in my country started to judge a person by their origin instead of the content of their characters. Discrimination started to spread on this old land.
We have discriminated people from Henan (for so-called un-honesty and lazy). We have hold against people in Shanghai (in many places outside Shanghai) because they cannot fit into the traditional culture. We even hated people from Beijing at the time of SARS (I mean to the extent beyond necessary medical precautions). Who are the next to be discriminated?
I become even more worried about the nationalism (featured with anti-Japanese movement and anti-Japanese good movement) that spreads more quickly than the growth of Chinese economy.
As the poster (scroll to the end of the page) I posted in 2003, the idea that all Japanese are bad set root in people’s mind. Oh. No. Hate started to overtake people’s consciousness.
In Nanjing, it was reported (not confirmed though) that students just like to beat Japanese on the street without any strong reason (well, they have strong reasons in their mind), and policemen just let it be. In Xi’an, taxi drivers tend to refuse to take Japanese passengers. In Chongqing, at the last football match between Japan and another Asian country, football fans almost conflicted with the Japanese fans (even without China team’s presence)
What will Happen on August 7, 2004?
Yesterday night, China beat Iran in the semi-quarter of Asia Cup at 5:4. I am very excited and proud of the breakthrough. I am looking forward to watch the final between China and Japan at the Worker’s Stadium in Beijing.
However, I started to worry that if China lose the game, the tension of anti-Japanese ideological trend may break the bottom line of restraint…. I hope it is my only my own imagination. I hope the history like the Anti-Chinese revolt in Indonesia does repeat itself. The August 7 may be a trigger if not controlled well.
Now the forums are dominated with anti-Japanese articles. This brings a big threat to peace. More voices should be heard. A great nation is a nation with open mind, great tolerance, and wise, not with discrimination or nationalism. Calm down, my people!
Note: by linking to these site does not I agree with contents of the sites. Just for your reference.
- Anti-Japanese Goods Movement
- Asia Cup in Chongqing (part II III IV V)
Update Hailey and Roddy are Nice People September 20, 2004
I just found I may mislead people to think it is Haily or Roddy’s point of view on Japanese and discrimination. Actually it is not. We share some common ideas on the world.