Discussion » Nonsense » Dear laowai, don't mess with our Chinese-ness

  • Lin Dalan
    Lin Dalan wrote:
    What do you think about this article posted on Chinadaily.com.cn?

    Now, listen up, you foreigner boys and girls, Chinese New Year is around the corner and I want to talk to you seriously about fireworks.

    I saw this picture in a newspaper, where a smiling, cordial Chinese girl (rather pretty as well) was explaining the tradition of lighting fireworks to a group of foreign guys. They all looked very happy.

    I will let you know that is false information. Fireworks are no small matter, and no laughing matter either. So wipe that smirk off your face and listen up.
    As a Chinese, I want to be honest with you. For the past 30 years, we have opened up to the West, and welcomed foreigners like yourselves to come here to do business, to make money, even gave you some easy credit to let you buy real estate, marry our women, whatever. But this does not make you Chinese. There are things we reserve for ourselves, and it really doesn't matter how long you have been here, just don't assume you can be one of us, and don't touch the following three things:




    Most of you are well trained enough to withhold your chopsticks, whichever way you are holding them, and stay away from the chicken feet at Chinese dim sum restaurants. But some of you are show-offs. Most of the time, you are trying to prove to your Chinese girlfriend's parents that you are so Chinese. "Look, I am eating chicken feet. Mmm ... Good!"

    Don't do that. We really get annoyed when foreigners try to chomp on chicken feet. Sometimes, you are so polite, you don't spit out the bones, you chew them and try to swallow them. That's totally unacceptable. Because, when you do that, most Chinese start getting anxious about you choking to death on the damn chicken bones. And it is very difficult to enjoy dim sum when you are anxious.

    Sea cucumbers are not for you either. Most of you are rather intimidated by slimy sea things - jelly fish, sea cucumbers. But, there are those of you who are so brave that you insist on trying it, and pretend to enjoy it. Most of the time, you are a foreign businessman, you don't want to offend your Chinese host by not eating the most expensive dish ordered.

    I've got some news for you. Guess what? He didn't order it for you! He ordered it for the Chinese at the table! Do you know how difficult it is to soak the sea cucumber so it acquires the right slimy texture? No one can master it in his own kitchen. Only the restaurants can. So stop trying to pick up the sea cucumber with your chopsticks, it will probably end up in your lap anyway. Just politely put the untouched dish back on the lazy susan. We are not impressed by sea cucumber chivalry.

    Now fireworks. It is strictly, strictly for us Chinese. We really don't want you anywhere near fireworks. First of all, it is dangerous. You don't understand why 1.4 billion people have to turn into pyromaniacs for one night. It's totally beyond your comprehension. But we love it; we have been setting off these things since we were three and for 5,000 years. So let me just say that fireworks are not for barbarians like you. You don't get it. On the other hand, we Chinese have great tolerance for fireworks; it's one night when you can do some damage and get away with it. For example, you can burn a building down, a brand new building, with stuff in it. How can you comprehend that level of generosity?

    And, don't you dare try to do the same, we simply have no tolerance for it. You try to burn a building down, we will kill you, because, you were probably high, and we really don't give a hoot whether you are mentally disturbed or whether your prime minister is going to make endless harassing phone calls.

    So, you better be good, you better be nice, because firecrackers are coming to town!

    (Huang Hung is an opinionator on arts, lifestyle and showbiz.)
  • Lin Dalan
    Lin Dalan wrote:
    I find it not funny at all. actually really offensive.
  • TonyDice
    TonyDice wrote:
    was the headline Westerners Fail To Grasp Chinese Irony?
  • TonyDice
    TonyDice wrote:
    Great work, someone burnt down the CCTV tower with fireworks and killed a fireman. That was funny as hell.
    We have the same tradition on Guy Fawkes's night and lots of children get horribly burned. Long may it continue
  • Yuki Inés
    Yuki Inés wrote:
    er....I am the one who can never use chopstick properly(I've seen only one person in China who would use chopstick worse than me, but he's a londoner!!!! ). And I have already given up chicken feet since I can never eat them properly either.
    And fireworks...every spring festival nights I was trembling in bed and try to get rid of that noise!!

    Damn it, seems I really mess with my Chinese-ness!!
  • Daniel
    Daniel wrote:
    When reading that, I thought for sure it was some foreign writer poking fun at some of the Chinese people that have issues with foreigners. I mean, I thought most of the time it was pretty badly written for a foreigner but I was positive that it was a parody!

    I don't know, I think if I was a Chinese person associated with the writer or the organisation I'd be ashamed that they produced something that is almost identical to what complaining foreigners would write to mock Chinese culture.

  • Daniel
    Daniel wrote:
    Sorry! The above sentence should be *badly written for a native speaker'..
  • 哎呀
    哎呀 wrote:
    I don't like chicken feet, but like sea cucumbers alot.

    Hate fireworks noise!!!

    I always mess with our Chinese-ness, can not accept so many culture and habits...
  • Mobidextrous
    Mobidextrous wrote:
    This was a pretty funny post. I'm a major fan of sarcasm. Long live veiled prejudice!
  • Mobidextrous
    Mobidextrous wrote:
    But I still adore Kaiser Kuo's stuff, it's like this but better.
  • Pete DeMola
    Pete DeMola wrote:
    It's like an Onion Op-Ed. Good stuff.
  • Ms Bla
    Ms Bla wrote:
    It's a good opus for alien!
  • Jon Collins
    Jon Collins wrote:
    No worries. The Chinese should feel free to use pyrotechnic devices which are only for sale to licensed professionals in most developED countries. We won't stand in the way of your annual population decrease exercises.

    Carry on and Hari Kari as the Japanese say.
  • Pete DeMola
    Pete DeMola wrote:
    I think this is a great article. Too bad the author didn't include the following forbidden things:

    sleeve protectors

    tea carafes

    red star erguotou

    I'm now going to rock all of the above. Take that, Huang Hung!

  • Shane
    Shane wrote:
    LoL I hope this was in the ChinaDaily blog and not the actual print publication....
  • Candy Q
    Candy Q wrote:
    I'm Not quite sure I understand the article.
    How about weirder food served in restaurant, say testicle and duck blood?
    (no offense ppl, it's just too weird to me.)
    How about things exist in China that even annoy us Chinese, say kids in pants with open crotch running everywhere and peeing everywhere.
    Sorry, I just don't really get what the author wants...
  • Aurélien
    Aurélien wrote:


    >My face when I read that.

  • Ms Bla
    Ms Bla wrote:
    hahahaha That is awful Aurelien
  • Ms Bla
    Ms Bla wrote:
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)

    I just read from the China Daily ... apparently Huang had been living in US since she was 12 yo, so my take is that, it was just a humorous way of telling the foreigners about Chinese New Year ...

    So if anyone here is offended or confused, I would just say "lighten up", it's just one of many traditional Chinese cultures, perhaps her humor is not quite so easily understood ...

    ... by the way, I did not read the full article ...
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)

    Welcome Fries ... by the way, how are you enjoying the first three books?
  • Peter Baird
    Peter Baird wrote:
    I think its brilliant. Very sarcastic and very tongue-in cheek. I can't believe anyone would take it seriously.
  • TonyDice
    TonyDice wrote:
    So will the likes of Thorstan, George et alia admit: they got suckered by China Daily
  • wrote:

    I was offensive all the time by all of you, haha
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)

    Hahahaha ... Mr Sun ... offensive? you? cant say I notice ... you have a good weekend too
  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    I lol'd hard

    That's fucking awesome.
  • Minger
    Minger wrote:
    This was hilarious and I liked it so much that I actually considered starting to read China Daily for a brief second, before i remembered that it's generally so brimming with crap that it makes me want to vomit pure fury. When did China Daily develop a sense of humor?
    I will continue not to be a 中国通 and will avoid chicken feet and sea cucumbers (and anything else with excessive bones and/or internal organs). Firecrackers are just as annoying everywhere in the world, but it seems there's no way around setting them off for Spring Festival.
    I'm sure I missed the point of this somehow.

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