The Mis-Education of China
I was speaking with one of the employees at an English school yesterday and he said something very frightening to me. "I think English is a very important language to learn because people don't lie in English. If you read something in English you know it is true." When I assured him that deep down people are the same everywhere and there are dishonest people who speak English so you always have to use your power of reason, no matter what language is being used, he hugged me and thanked me for telling him. I would feel better about this if I thought he reasoned on my argument and agreed. But, I said it in English... so it must be true. Has anyone else run across this attitude? Was it just something this one man came up with himself, or is it a common belief among young adults in China?
bodaweiDecember 08, 2009, 12:11 PM
An unusual person on at least two counts - expressing those sentiments, then and hugging you. He is out of step with the vast majority of young Chinese adults that I have dealings with.
oranginaDecember 08, 2009, 11:41 AM
I am not sure of the translation on that one... A monk from far away has good scripture? Verses from far away are valuable? I think I get the gist. And I would agree that it is good to listen to what people from other places have to say, but in this "information age" what we have access to is simply more information, not better quality information which makes discernment even more important, not less. I suppose I am preaching to the choir. It was just shocking to hear the idea expressed so blatantly.
blackangelDecember 08, 2009, 03:45 PM
This attitudes just show a sad true story... while being ignorant of something -> meaning not to understanding something is not bad but just accepting everything for true can be very dangerous for Chinese people or anyone around the world... i think the best you can do its not to joke about this person instead as you did, a good explanation to him or her makes a big difference on the understanding of the world for this person. As my personal experience traveling around the world i can tell you every place you go people are the same, the only difference you will find its look, and how we communicate at the end there is good and bad people every where intelligent and not too intelligent etc etc etc so all we can hope its this person learn from this lesson of life so he or she do not get in trouble some day for over thrusting people... best luck to all.
TalDecember 12, 2009, 04:04 AM
orangina, with the greatest respect, a word of caution. I think you're new to China and may well be nonplussed by some of the things Chinese people say/do.
As a younger female, you may occasionally be subject to male interest expressed in ways you're not used to. (Many Chinese men are clueless about how to deal with western women, and may lack knowledge of the acceptable ways to see if they may/will reciprocate feelings of physical attraction.)
I'm most definitely not suggesting western women should worry too much about this, and I'm most definitely not condescending to you. Just be careful, that's all I want to say.
(Hope you get to see this message, it seems the Great Firewall has currently descended on CPod.)
oranginaDecember 12, 2009, 04:22 AM
thank you for the warning tal....
I am quite certain this particular young man was not interested in me. Or any other woman.
I suspected this guy had different views on many things than most Chinese people. I only posted this because I wanted to hear what experience others had with this issue.
Also, I have been a bit worried that my title might be misunderstood. It is a reference to the book The Mis-Education of the Negro written in 1933 by Dr. Woodson. His point was that the education system at the time failed black Americans, and all Americans, because it taught that races were intrinsically different and reinforced the idea that different people had their "place," and that happiness results in staying in your "place." One of the ideas he expressed was that information is not the same as education. This particular young man's idea reminded me that access to a wealth of information does not necissarily mean people around the world are becoming more educated, and that all of us need to guard our thinking ability.
changyeDecember 12, 2009, 04:46 AM
That's very true especially in an autocratic state like the PRC. What matters is quality, but not quantity.
access to a wealth of information does not necissarily mean people around the world are becoming more educated
pretzellogicDecember 12, 2009, 02:11 PM
Of course there's principled opposition to Obama. Plenty of it, and on many valid points. I disagree with the "death panels" assessment. If you agree, then say so. But it's probably best to avoid further discussion of politics on this website, or maybe start writing in mandarin about American domestic policies and politics in 2009. You'll have to count me out, because I only know 130 characters or so.
oranginaDecember 12, 2009, 02:22 PM
It would also make me eternally happy if we did not discuss governmental politics in this conversation. I would rather we all be politic...
politic - marked by artful prudence, expedience, and shrewdness