Archaeological evidence suggests Chinese people ‘once queued’

Share

By LAO SHOUXING
History Correspondent

Queues are rare in modern China, but when they do form, etiquette demands they be as intrusive and uncomfortable as possible

HENAN (China Daily Show) — Archaeologists excavating a site near the Shang Dynasty (1766-1050 BC) capital of Yinxu made a startling discovery this week, when fossilized remains of a trio of Chinese citizens, apparently in the form of a line, were sensationally uncovered.

Dr. Charles Whitmore, visiting paleontologist with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, says the discovery represents “a paradigm shift in our understanding of the Chinese people.”

The scientific community has long believed Chinese people to be “genetically unwilling to file singly,” Whitmore explained. “But this discovery suggests we may have been wrong and that they may have once been willing to form a line quite patiently.”

“To think that perhaps as recently as 3,000 years ago, the average Chinese might have possessed the faculties to align his – or herself – directly behind another flies in the face of everything we’ve assumed,” Whitmore continued. “Today, such linear audacity by the Chinese is only observed in excruciating military processions and firing squads.”

Millennia of sociological research has reinforced the original conclusion, most recently in the notorious 1994 Tsinghua University “Bus Stop” experiment, where students were asked to remain in single-file as a bus, driven by researchers, pulled up. The researchers then watched as the 12 students pushed, jostled and trampled each other on to the vehicle, even though it was empty and had ample seating.

The discovery is being hailed by Western scientists as an anthropological milestone tantamount to the Java Man and the Chauvet cave paintings and could cause researchers in other areas of Sinology to rethink scores of cherished theories, including the controversial suggestion by Whitmore that large swathes of early Chinese may have enjoyed lunch at “any random interval of time between, say, eleven and three?”

One Harvard history professor has claimed for years to have written evidence of a Ming Dynasty dinner party that “didn’t end awkwardly and abruptly just before ten.”

There is little consensus, however, among Chinese academics, who remain skeptical about the findings. “I don’t think we can rush to conclusions here,” Beijing Normal University professor Shi-mian Maifu told China Daily Show. “There may be some other explanation.  Maybe they were performing a dance, or playing some sort of practical joke. We just don’t know.”

Shi-mian, a noted scholar of Chinese ethics and author of seven university textbooks, urges Westerners to “stand still” and “remain calm” in the face of “sudden excitement.”

“I cannot believe that any reasonable, sane Chinese person would choose to purposefully increase the time he or she spends waiting out of deference to someone else,” said Shi-mian. “I just can’t stand behind that line of logic.”

Follow this and other leading China news at @chinadailyshow on Twitter

Share

Similar stories:

  • Pingback: Kelly Sandor

  • Pingback: gareth george

  • Pingback: Gilbert MAHE

  • http://twitter.com/garethdgeorge gareth george

    one of the best ever

    • Roy Walker says…

      It’s good but it’s not the right answer

      • Mr Chips

        fap fap fap

  • Pingback: Anthony Tao

  • wo hu cang long

    I am very sorry I do not accept this article as fact. Why you make fun of Chinese like this?

    • Beef_zeppelin

      Oh my god, you’ve hurt the feelings of the Chinese people!
      Actually, I think I’ve just been punk’d…

    • leon

      It’s a joke, you twit.

      • ying xiong

        right back at you sir.

  • Pingback: Jack Huang

  • Pingback: John Artman

  • Pingback: Mike Cormack ???

  • Pingback: Pen Wong

  • Pingback: tzigane

  • Pingback: Marianne Barriaux

  • Borninbeijing88

    Update: By observing the fossilised facial expression of those ancient Chinese, scientists confirmed the queueing homo sapiens’ once existence in China. “There was significant agony and suffering from physical pain, although accompanied with maintained discipline.” Whitmore believed mutation caused the queueing genes’ accidental apperearance, although the behaviour resulted- to follow the order and file singly is too inefficient and disadvantageous for the carriers to survive, which also lead to their quick extinction. “In fact, we suppose most of these queuers died in stampedes.” This may also explain our failue to spot any such genes’ modern traces in China.

  • Pingback: Forensic Evidence Suggests Chinese People Were Once Able to Form a Line : The Hypermodern