Westology is an occasional series in which Chinese experts explain the West
Part Three: Enduring Humiliation, with Professor Xifang Shuo, PhD of the famous Renda University
The other day, Professor Xifang – that’s me, I want to say – met my American colleague and friend, Gary, in the university canteen. He was enjoying a plate of our world-famous local dish, spicy chicken. Gary is very typical American.
“Good morning, Gary. You look very fat today,” I greeted him. But to my horror, Gary did not even reply, losing my face in front of the teachers, all students and, of course, my ancestors. I was literally speechless with my tray, waiting for the apology. Later I went home and send Gary some reasonable death threats, so I calmed.*
Now I wish to address the important matter of my hurt feeling. Let us begin the lesson.
Understand the arrogant “Why the foreigner always rude?” I ask this question to Anwar, my intern. He has been here in Renda many months, hoping to get hukou, but still he doesn’t know the answer. Later, I remember Anwar is Mongloid from Xinjiang and cannot understand our culture.
Not like Anwar, normal Chinese are always curious about foreigner culture. For the example, my office is full of items I find overseas and bring home for personal interest. When I like something from a temple or a palace or other funny place, I give something back. Often I leave my name on a stone or sometimes a modest offering, like remains of my lunch. In this way, Professor Xifang creates mutual understanding between China and the West, what we call the “win-win diplomat relation.”
China is an ancient civilization (some say it precedes history). From the compass to calligraphy, the modern world is full of China. But foreigners never realize this, because we are very modest. Instead of praising our modest, many arrogant Westerners like to bash at China. There are so many humiliations every day, sometimes I am wondering if I am imagining things.
List of insults only in month of August
- After I make kind offer to install Chinese software package (belong to my friend company) on PC of British colleague for very low price, he promises to “think about it.” But James never got back to me!
- Last week I invite Ava, the German teacher with large breasts, to my apartment, so to share some warm congratulations toward Olympics king Sun Yang. Ava has not heard of Sun or interest in sport. I was so angry, I smiled and tell her “OK”
- Later Gary tells the class he has never heard of our famous spicy chicken, but actually it tastes like another dish he had in Guizhou. Everyone knows the Guizhou chicken is shit!
- Today I give a lesson about our ancient history, James say afterwards that I am wrong, Great Wall cannot be seen from space and copied by aliens. This was a “joke” by American clown called “Ripley.”
To call our famous Wall a “joke,” huh? This insult I cannot bear. We Chinese never dishonor our friends by saying the truth, but this time my head explode. James immediately shows deep shame… so tells me an astonishing secret.
“Yes it’s true, Xifang. Every week, all the foreigners meet in a room to figure out ways to insult China. That is all we talk about.” In fact, James even tells me, he is late for the meeting that very moment and has to run away! This is lucky, for I am once again speechless.
When I imagine these anonymous dogs and their secret meetings to make plots and silent our people, I am thinking this would never happen in China!
(*Of course I stay anonymous, so not to offend Gary)