After coming to China, all foreigners learn that Chinese people love ancient history. The glorious past, fascinating past, past civilization .... everything in the past.
SEARU's 2 latest posts make me write this, because this is a topic I am sensitive about.
Because I grew up hearing the very same things, but about my country. How glorious our collapsed empire was, how civilized people were, how rich our culture is and how profound our religion is. You laowais may not know (because we are from different countries), but those with at least an average social intelligence back home KNOW that this is called "intellectual masturbation", meaning that everything written or said only serves your own pleasure and nothing else. (Yet the number of those people is relatively small).
After being countered by more powerful Western forces, my country went through a painful epiphany. We were not the best after all. All my underqualified middle school teachers talked about how cunning the US and Europe and Israel are. "They went to the moon but we're still arguing about trivial things!" they said. (Which is true by the way). However this comparison with the USA is meaningless. Because the US is another yarn of conceit. Neither being the World Police nor being the 2nd USA makes sense for any other country in the world.
Just like people from my country, Chinese people need to answer this question as well:
Shall we dwell in the past or move on to the future?
The past was awesome, the past was great. Congratulations, congratulations. Your ancestors were great people. Congratulations again.
But what about you? What about your children?
Can you talk about "Chinese morals" today, .without mentioning money, selfishness or cheating?
Can you talk about Chinese culture today, without mentioning how the urban class looks down on rural people, or that rich people flaunt foreign brands to show off their expensive stuff? Or without mentioning the fact that you have to sacrifice yourself to please others?
And do you do anything to change this, or contribute to change in any possible way?
I personally don't believe that a country where you have to smoke cigarettes to do business can become a Super Power economy.
I don't think traditions, family or child raising is meaningful when drinking excessive alcohol is a sign of manliness.
I don't think traditions, family or child raising is meaningful when women get married for money and have to pop out children.
I can't understand how superstitions become "wisdom", and how superstitious people claim to be knowledgeable.
And lastly, I don't think that mentioning "ancient history and culture" at the beginning of every sentence enables you to learn different things from foreigners.
The manipulated and unknown darkness of the past dims the possible light of your future.
The original blog: http://blog.chinadaily.com.cn/blog-1348685-21399.html