Technically this blog is classified as an "MBA blog", but seeing as how classes at Carlson don't start for a few months,until the end of August, I'm going to write a few posts concerning life in
I do not intend on turning this blog into a "
Although one could fill a thousand books on Chinese culture and the Chinese people, I am going to write a series of posts on the various "species" of foreigners in
First of all, the average Chinese person views the world in terms of "Chinese" vs. "Foreign" (or "The West", which really means "Everywhere besides
Secondly, one must consider the inputs into the Chinese opinion of foreigners. First of all, there is the
So, if you combine the Chinese concept of "foreign", the actions of foreigners in
This brings me to the different kinds of foreigners that are in
The foreigners that stay in
Merely being foreign in
Some foreigners take attention seeking to a whole new level. In
Dashan: I’d like my own television show please.
TV Executive: Ok, what do you do?
Dashan: I can speak Chinese.
TV Executive: And….?
Dashan: Oh, that’s it.
TV Executive: HAHAHAHAHA Security, see this guy out please.
Let's imagine a hypothetical situation. Let's say that a PhD in mathematics is sitting in a classroom of 5th graders studying math. This PhD obviously knows the answers to all the questions and his fellow classmates will be in awe. Should the PhD raise his hand for all the answers to demonstrate his ability? Should the PhD feel proud in the fact that the 5th graders are amazed by his math prowess? Of course not. He has been studying math all of his life and shouldn't try to hog the spotlight. He wouldn't feel the need to steal the glory because there is no glory to be had! The "attention seeker" takes pride in being foreign/speaking English/being able to speak a bit of Chinese even though there is no real merit to any of these things. Does a Chinese person get praise in the
What part do the “attention seekers” play in forming the opinion of foreigners in the mind of the Chinese people? They simply reinforce the false notion that all foreigners are outgoing, loud, and love attention. Many times I have been told that my personality is “not like a regular foreigner’s” because I am not loud and I don’t talk simply to hear myself speak. Thanks to the “attention seekers”, I must explain that all foreigners are not like the crazy talkative foreigner they met in the English Corner or like the dancing, Chinese-speaking foreigner monkeys they see on TV.
“Attention Seekers”, we salute you.