Tuesday, December 06, 2005
My husband is Chinese
I have noticed that my husband has changed a lot in terms of his views on China.
Now, a lot of people out there have a lot of bad things to say about China: its government and its people, but most of these people have never actually been to China and some of the others have an agenda.
But then some of the stories that you hear are true.
I have always tried to not enter into that political negative talk with Li in terms of China. I get very annoyed when other people attack Li and always come to his defense. I have done a lot of reading since I met him and checked out some history and research. I have also been to Shanghai and I LOVED IT!
I have always believed that you should be proud of where you come from and of who you are; Proud of your family, and proud of your heritage. If you are not proud of at least one of those than you are not proud of who you are as a person. This, to me, means disaster for you mentally. I have no right to tell my husband that his country’s government sucks. He loves his family and his country. He loves that he is Chinese and has every right to do so.
It is amazes me when we meet someone in the bar they automatically blame Li for all the supposed things that China has done. He reminds these people of what their western countries have done, but they always believe they are right because they are a democracy. This always pisses me off so much.
If there is one thing that I have learned from living in another country, it is tolerance, and a difference in cultural understanding. What we consider right in our western world is considered wrong here (e.g. the stupid NHK). I can consider it stupid and rant away about it but here it is still considered wrong. The same goes for our wrong and their right. There is the huge difference in manner tolerances that drive me batty, and basic perspectives on living arrangements. Sometimes I go on a rage (thank god for my blog) and I feel better after but it does not change our cultural differences.
Most, not all, Asian countries believe in collective thinking and working together in a whole beehive kind of way. This is one of the reasons why Japan was as successful as it was in WWII and also why they came back so strong after loosing that war. It is also why communism as been as strong as it is in China but collapsed in Russia. Our western culture is an ‘every man for themselves’ type of thinking.
When I went to China for my honeymoon that thinking drove me batty and I had a bit of a breakdown half way through the trip. The family stepped back and remembered that I was a foreigner and things went quite well after that.
When Li and I first got together he would speak very strongly in defense of his country and I loved him for it. These days Li has been listening more to other people’s opinions. The other day he stated:
-So many of my friends here in Japan who only hang with Chinese people, and my family and friends back home, have no understanding of the world around them and how other people think. They don’t understand their own country and they don’t understand Japan. I talk to people from all over the world because of being with you and I now understand my country so much better than before.
When we got the Internet in our house Li only read the Chinese news; now he reads Chinese news written in other countries.
Four years ago when I did my Japanese language test there were these people handing out Chinese newspapers so I grabbed one for Li. He threw it in the garbage all angry at it because the entire paper was news saying how evil and bad China was. Last weekend these same newspaper people were there and he took a paper. He has not thrown it away, but has been reading it in silence from cover to cover.
He still loves his country and loves being Chinese. He loves his history and wants his daughter to love it too, but nowadays he reads what others say about it and does more research on things. He has not formed an opinion and has not said the government is good or bad, but I have noticed him shaking his head more often and getting a little pissed off more often when reading the news.
He is not going to turn into some activist to over throw the government, but understanding is the first step to change.