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中国人的定义 The Meaning of Being Chinese
中国人的定义 The Meaning of Being Chinesein 陈凯论坛 Kai Chen Forum 不自由，毋宁死! Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death! Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:57 pm
by fountainheadkc • 1.371 Posts
The Meaning of Being Chinese
But if man loses all, when life is lost,
He lives a coward, or a fool expires.
--- Edwards Young: Night Thoughts
如果一个人认为因为自己失去了生命自己就失去了一切，那他只不过是一个懦夫胆小鬼。 充其量他死的时候不过就是个蠢人从地球上消失了。 --- Edwards Young: Night Thoughts
Very few Americans don't know what being an American means. If you ask an American that question, he or she will answer without hesitation:
"Being an American means loving freedom, loving life, loving our rights to pursue happiness and creativity. In one word, being an American means being a human being with dignity and rights, being an American means being an irreplaceable individual, being an American means being a unique being."
In sharp contrast, if you ask a Chinese what means to being a Chinese, he or she may hesitate to answer or be perplexed with the question. The reason for the hesitation is that he or she may have never thought about this question, and he or she may have thought he or she is not eligible or qualified to answer such a question, for one Chinese person is only a number in a group, and how can one number answer a question regarding one's identity. In China, one never has an identity, one has only social and cultural roles to play. His or her role had long been designated by the group and environment around him or her, even before he or she was born.
So the word "Identity" has never been in existence in the Chinese vocabulary. "认同 is only a translation and the meaning of it is vague. One can never have "Identity" without the concept of "Self" and "I". And the concepts of "Self" and "I" have never existed in the Chinese vocabulary. When a Chinese mentions "我, it is without "自, self. "我"is only a role one has to play. He or she is never himself or herself. He or she is only a number in a sequence of numbers without unique meaning. Wang Zhizhi put this concept of Chinese person so succinctly:
"I have no individual value without serving the state."
No one questions why there is such an entity called "中国 China. No one dares to ask such a question. It is as if "China" itself has a sacred meaning in it of which no one knows. Yet this meaning of invisible entity is as great as "God". It is somehow equivilent of a Christian saying that he is only a servant of God, a Chinese will always proclaim he or she is a "中国人. It is not only his or her only identity, it is his or her only standard to judge what is right and wrong. He or she is completely NOTHING without the title "中国 China. He or she will feel completely lost without such a title. As the radical Muslims dividing the world into believers and infidels, the Chinese divide the world into '中国人 and "外国人, Chinese and foreigners.
When you ask a question such as "What China stands for" or "What values a Chinese stands for", you will usually hear such words as "勤劳，勇敢，善良. (diligence, bravery, kindness)
Let's analyze these words. Warning: the English translation has difference meaning from the Chinese characters.
"勤劳", Diligence: Does the word mean "physically busy"? The Chinese are always proud of China's four inventions - paper, gun powder, compass and printing. Yet they will never see that in their 4,000 years of history, those are the only inventions, and they had been invented before there is such an entity called "China". In contrast to America's thousands of inventions every year, should the Chinese feel proud or ashamed? There has never been a theoritical scientist in China. In music, art, literature, social sciences and natural sciences, the world recorded almost none of the Chinese names. So where does this "勤劳come from? Is it because the Chinese are busy in their physical activities for follow emperors' orders and the slave owners' command? Anything else you can think of?
"勇敢, Bravery. In English, being brave has a definite moral tone in it. Should we call the suicide bombers brave, because they are willing to die for their cause? "义和团 Boxers were very brave is you think today's suicide bombers are brave. But the similarity between the Chinese terrorists "义和团, and the modern Islamic terrorists will not define the word "Bravery". They demean it. Moral confusion mars both the Chinese and the Islamic radicals. An act void of values of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness can never be called an act of bravery. It can only be property termed terror by the morally degenerated and deranged. And seeing the timidity and pathetic helplessness among the intimidated Chinese and Islamic masses toward their own authorities horror and terror over their own population, how can anyone call these kind masses composed with only flesh and blood without souls and minds "brave"?
"善良, Kindness. Is pity over oneself's helplessness, or others' misfortune the definition for "Kindness". Is there any element of respect in such pity? Can tolerance of evil be termed "kindness"? Can "kindness" be free of moral values? I have lived in China for many years, not one day I have sensed and benefitted from this "善良. Those Kind people often turned out to be man-eaters. They use their so called "kindness" to numb people and use them shamelessly under some lofty titles and fashionable names. The viciousness of their acts and conduct is without bound. These are the kind people who have supported a most murderous regime in China over a half century. These are the kind people who trample on others for a morsel of food. These are the kind people who will turn on each other under some grand ideals, reporting each other to the communist authorities just to gain an edge in climbing the social ladder. These are the kind people that will sacrifice their own lives for the state to suppress other people - the Tibetans, the minorities, the individual dissendents, the Taiwanese... These are the kind people who prostitute themselves and castrate themselves and sell themselves for an entity which represent absolute NOTHINGNESS. These are the so called "Kind People"... I have seen many of them. But I have never seen "Kindness".
What does China stand for? What is China and why does it exist? What is a Chinese? What does being a Chinese mean?
Maybe in the darkness at night, in the deep recess of your souls and mind, you can face your own conscience and your "self" to ask these questions that you have never asked before. Only when you start to ask such questions, maybe conscience and God can desend on you and make you a human being, an individual with dignity and respect, not just a flesh and blood on the altar of "China".
Take good care of yourself. Kai Chen 陈凯