Mittwoch, 30. Juli 2008

Wisdom and empathy in Chinese society

Chinese government is more and more afraid of losing its power. The mind control (see below) is just one sign of this...
But the helplessness of many people here when it comes to interaction with others is not just a problem on the top - it's a problem that can also be seen on the base:
Yesterday I was out with my girlfriend and her mum. We went to swim, afterwards had some barbecue and then returned home. In the front yard of our apartment building, a petite boy, maybe 18 years old, walked up to us, telling us that we are not allowed to enter the yard waking through the backdoor of the nearby hotel (although we didn't); we shall use the main door. We told him that we actually used the main door.
As a result, he started to insult us, telling us he has got eyes and so on... well, I didn't really take him serious, told him good night and headed towards our apartment building. My girlfriend and her mum didn't take it quite that easy and started to insult him on a volume that was absolutely not suitable for a yard surrounded by apartment buildings in the middle of the night. Well, it came the way it had to come. The guy and his friend started to shout back and I therefore climbed down the stairs, going to persuade my fellows that it was far more comfortable in the living room of our apartment then down here.
Too late - they already walked over to the guys, shouting at their face (some neighbours were getting curious, gaffing out of their windows or even coming down to the yard, some in sleeping clothes.
I was getting fed up with this kind of childish behaviour, so I stand between my them, asking my mates to get back home. They did not even think of listening to them, kept on blaming the uneducated prole guy. Of course the boy finally couldn't take it anymore and so he hit my girlfriend. I therefore took him aside, told him that hitting a girl was the most spiteful kind of behaviour he can show. This was not enough for my girlfriend - she wanted revenge, therefore hit him. He wanted to hit back but I made him get some distance. Then I asked my girlfriend and her mum to go back.
Boiling blood in their veins, they but kept insulting the guy on, asking for apology. The guy didn't apology - he preferred starting to fight again, so I had to walk up to him again, but it was too late - he already hit my girlfriend's mum on her face with her fist.
Enough was enough, the boy needed to be cooled down.
I then took him on his neck and pressed him on a nearby table, asking him not to touch any females anymore (I didn't shout, because I wanted to cool him down). After maybe 10 seconds in this position, he calmed down a little, but the rage in my girlfriend's mum arose and she wanted revenge. Just like a fury, she started to attack the guy, so that I had to take her, put her on a chair and ask her to not get up anymore for the next ten minutes, to prevent her from being hurt even more.
My girlfriend and the guy were meanwhile cursing on another again. I was now getting really annoyed by this, I just wanted to go enjoy my evening instead of playing nanny.
So I tried to get my girlfriend away, but the guy followed - until I asked him to go back. Meanwhile the fury on the chair called the police.
Like this it went on until the police showed up...
When the police finally arrived, the 3 fighters were taken to the police station, I was finally able to go back home.
Later I shall get to know that the went to hospital showing it to the doctor, asking the guy (who earned maybe 1000 Yuan or 100 Euro per month) to pay for it. Anyway, he was lucky, his boss did - but this shows the society here quite well.

People here do not want to give up - they don't want to lose their face and therefore embarrass themselves even more.
Who won this fight in the end?
No one. The guy was hit, the mum was hurt, everyone around was waken up - for nothing at all.
If one party was strong enough in mind to give up for peace's sake, no one would have been hurt, no one would have been waken up, the police could have enjoyed their soap opera they were probably watching in TV and I could have enjoyed my evening.
But this is just the way it works here; I didn't expect the guy to give up - he didn't have any education, he was one of the vast mass of proles, one of the losers here in China. How can he be expected to know hot to express himself?
But my girlfriend and her mum really disappointed me (which I also pointed out as soon as they were back from blaming the guy). He grew up in a patriarchal society, so for him it seems to be perfectly OK to treat women like that - it's the only way he knows to deal with them, the only one to get what he wants. Of course he is an idiot - but this is also his place in society.
Anyway, a middle-aged women who already worked as a manager and a university student should know how to solve a problem like this, they should be able to discuss something out without insulting or even fight. How can a society like this ever compromise, how can it come to a rational solution for problems?

Pressure still is the only strength of many people here - discussion is too difficult. Chinese should learn to understand others, to understand their friends and families - and even their enemies. It's time that this society starts to understand that an ally is better than an enemy and a quarrel will only be won when both parties are friends in the end.


creating my life hat gesagt…

hi interesting post and unusual behaviour by gf and her mother. usually people avoid confrontation at least in my experience. I m fr and live in london. have u asked ur gf and her mother why they reacted that way?

Redraindrop hat gesagt…

Well here in south China it's quite common behaviour, I often see it in the streets - in north China they act cooler, but nevertheless they can hardly forgive - look at the gov and its recent behaviour in some diffrences with people in the West, especially France...

In this special case, my mate's excuse was that they've been insulted...