For many Christians, the birth of Christ is very significant and Christmas is a time of celebration and rejoicing. Contemplating thoughtfully on the significance of this as yet another Christmas draws near, I can’t help hearing my mother’s words. No religions ever teach you bad things, she would say. “Do good, love one another”, her words come to me now, midst the recent turmoil and turbulence of recent world events with the election of Trump as the president of the United States of America, with the horror of the war raging in Syria and nearer home in Malaysia and Australia, there is little good news either.
In a recent post on some of the best courses in Australia, Bupa Life Insurance featured us for our leading Mandarin Chinese Language courses. In the article, ‘Learn Something New with These Top Courses‘, Bupa says about our centre, ‘the classrooms are casual, relaxing and leading-edge through the use of accelerated learning techniques, making learning a new language not only effective but also fun.’
Numerous studies have shown that learning a foreign language is one of the best things you can do for your brain, medical studies have also shown that it may delay the early onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
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…”