Recently I met many Caucasian Aussies who work with Chinese people in different professions, from tour operators to bankers who are on the lookout for billionaire renmimbi investors. Listening to my non-Chinese colleagues, customers, friends – their common lament is – how can we better understand these Chinese people who are so different from us Aussies and Kiwis. And I might add: we, the Chinese from outside the mainland (the hua qiao), are also different amongst ourselves even though we are all Chinese. As a ”Malaysian-Chinese-Australian” who have lived in Oz for many decades, I often face the same question: how do we understand ourselves as Chinese. The truth of the matter is that there is not just one Chinese culture but many. The Chinese diaspora or dispersal has been going on for many centuries. This global scattering of the Chinese probably occurred as soon as the first Chinese fleet set sail from China aeons ago. In his book 1421 the author Gavin Menzies, claimed (probably fictitiously) that Zheng He, the most famous Chinese navigator known to us Chinese people, went round the world and discovered America. It was not Christopher Columbus! Zheng He, so brilliant was he that today many Taoists still worshipped him as one of the deities in their spiritual pantheon of saints. Continue reading “The Chinese Are So Different – Cannot Understand Them…”
In the modern world, love and marriage begins when two hearts collide and the experience of “falling in love” occurs. Marriage may or may not follow. Nevertheless, the general hope is that love will lead to marriage. Love and marriage goes together “like a horse and carriage.” Forever and ever. Eternal love. Trite as these phrases may be but the experience of falling in love leading to a union that lasts eternally is the longing, the hope and wish of most.
Writing this editorial soon after the Paris terror and horror, I can’t help but think of what differences in religions, ideologies and doctrines can do. Managing our differences for peace may well be the most powerful skill we humans can have in this time of global terrorism! As this is the Christmas editorial, I ponder on Jesus Christ, one of the greatest peacemakers in history. Besides, it is His birthday: Christmas.