During March, Korean’s political storm had a big impact on the Chinese community. You probably heard that the Congress of Korea Republic decided to recall their Mrs. President because of a series of scandals. However, during the hearing stage, the Mrs. President’s administration approved the US to deploy their missile defence system to Korea. At the same time the ordinary Korean people were marching in Soul. Also hundreds of thousands of Chinese people volunteered to boycott Korean products, Korean chain supermarkets and Korean TV series. Some violence took place and Hyundai-made cars were smashed. Actually a similar incident happened a few years ago when the Japanese Prime Minister at that time decided to visit the temple which kept the ashes of the most notorious Japanese war criminals who were executed after the WWII.
But you might never heard such news. I noticed one victim of the “Against Japanese” storm told media that when he was harmed by the angry crowd, local government sent police to keep him away from any media, a reporter claimed to be from Germany was kicked out of the hospital when he approached the victim and identified himself. The other American reporter was not allowed to enter the hospital building. The police were keeping a close eye on him for more than six months to make sure he was forgotten by the media. It is definitely not pleasurable to disclose this but I am afraid this type of behaviour makes the Chinese community, the foreign government and foreigners hard to trust any Chinese authority. But without trust, communication will be in vain at most of the time and achieves nothing. I am sure even the New Zealand government also has something that they don’t want the public to see, but trying to hide every bit of unsatisfying point won’t help any government, or person, to become better.
April is always AGM time. I am pretty sure the committee will bring a good report for us. And also thank you everyone for your support and hopefully your continued support in the future!
The meeting time and place is:
DATE: SUNDAY 23 April
TIME: 12:30 P.M.
VENUE: ROTORUA ARTS VILLAGE, 1240 Hinemaru Street
We will enjoy, as usual, our shared lunch before the AGM.
After complaining about the disregard of Chinese accuracy, Smith points his barrel towards the indirection of Chinese culture. He warned that even if a foreigner could speak Mandarin fluently, it might still be super hard to understand exactly what a Chinese person means when he speaks about something. Deduction is essential. He used his ‘boy’ as an example; the ‘boy’ asked to resign using the excuse that his aunt was sick and he wanted to go back home. But actually it was because he had some conflict as a chief and the latter one happened in this case to be the correct excuse of the two. Therefore the boy rival takes the oblique method of intimating that he recognised the facts of the case, and resigned to avoid punishment or further conflicts.
To be honest, nowadays Chinese might not be that indirect, but it is still indirect enough to confuse foreigners. By custom, when someone gives you some gifts, especially if it is from your elder relatives or from the person who wishes to thank you for some help, you shall only accept it after refusing two times if you would like to accept it. This demonstrates your modesty and not greed. We have an old saying “things should not come across for more than three times (事不过三)”Therefore people will try three times in order to understand what your actual attitude is. I remember when I wanted to accept a friend of my parents’ money as a lunar New Year gift, my mother refused on behalf of me and they came back and forth for almost two minutes before my mother finally accept the gift by saying “what a big gift and we should not trouble you by bring our son”. I was sincerely confused at the time and my parents told me afterwards that if I accepted at first instance, their friend might feel that I did not receive a good home and education and I might also shame my parent’s reputation some degree.
There are also other aspects that I was educated to be indirect. For example if me and my friends are arranging a short trip, and I end up paying the bookings on our behalf. Theoretically it should be shared by all immediately, but usually I prefer not say that directly but ask someone else to tell the team and ask for reimbursement. This sounds strange for Western culture people, but it is very common in not only our culture but also in business culture. Within an organisation, if two people have some conflicts, they usually expect a related senior person to stand up and resolve the conflict. I can see the flaw of this type of indirection, but the peer pressure/culture and common sense prevents individuals from changing their behaviour.
Just a reminder the National Conference is in Christchurch the end of May this year. Information can be found on the NZ China Friendship Soc. website. http://nzchinasociety.org.nz