China is the one of the world’s fastest growing economies and is well on its way to become a superpower in its own right. From being able to eat anything that moves to a Kung Fu fighter, Chinese are certainly misinterpreted by others and this stands true for all Asians in general which makes it very frustrating. Creating Stereotypes based on a few misheard rumors certainly hurt sentiments.
Here are top 10 Chinese Stereotypes:
Chinese is assumed to be the most difficult language to learn in the world
This is a common stereotype that Mandarin is supposedly difficult to learn. The language has 50,000 characters but you don’t need to learn all these to read books, newspapers or speak mandarin. In fact, if you know about 1000 to 4000 characters then it is more than enough to initiate a conversation with someone.
Chinese can eat almost anything.
This is a popular myth that is believed by rest of the world that Chinese can eat anything that moves. There is no truth in this and the reality is different. Chinese aren’t savages, they have different cuisines, dishes and recipes and they certainly don’t eat meat raw in the modern age of cooking. The Chinese don’t like to eat raw vegetables instead they prefer to eat boiled vegetables.
Every Chinese fights like Jet Li or Jackie Chan
After releasing a ton of movies focusing on martial arts like Enter the Dragon, Ip Man, Fearless and many more, there is a notion among others that all Chinese people are good at martial arts. It is not true at all and not everyone in China is the next Bruce lee or Jet Li or a Shaolin Monk for that matter. However, there are some monks who still practice martial arts and are fluent in it. People practice Kung Fu but only for the purpose of keeping the legacy of this wonderful martial art alive and not all of them practice it.
All Chinese kids are Mathematics and Science geniuses
It is definitely possible to believe this, after all many TV shows in the West always have a smart Asian guy who can solve any difficult mathematical problems and is nerdy as hell. Well sorry to say but what you were led to believe is not true. Although Chinese kids excel in many Mathematics and Science competitions, this doesn’t mean that each and every kid is good at these subjects. If that was the case, then there would have been a long list of successful Chinese mathematicians and scientists which is not so in real life.
Chinese are still traditional and orthodox
People from outside China firmly believe that China is still stuck in the past, in relation to its tradition, culture and thinking. This is far from the truth and the big cities in China like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou are like any other major city in respect of thinking, attitude and values. Youngsters are liberal in their thinking and to them subjects like sex, live-in relationships are not a taboo. Although there are exceptions, this doesn’t mean we can associate everyone with them thinking that the Chinese are frugal and conservative in their thinking.
Women in China are below men in the pecking order
This prejudice is not just for China but applies to the whole of South Asia as well as East Asia. Other countries have formed an opinion based on their history that women are subordinate to men. The equation has changed considerably in modern times and women have started giving men a run for their money in many fields. Particularly in cities like Beijing you can easily decipher that women are no longer the submissive ones instead are clearly able to stand up for themselves and even participate in business activities or lead a major company.
Goods manufactured in China are of poor quality
I am sure many of you can argue that this is true and show me proof in support of this, but read this first before getting all antsy. Those who love Armani and are big fan of them, then you must know that Armani has manufacturing facilities in China and other products like your beloved IPhone are also manufactured in China. Although, there are a lot of products which are manufactured in China and are of bad quality, so much so that they last only a few days, but this is not the case with every product that comes with the tag “Made in China”. Some of the Chinese products are actually top class and thus, this proves that it all depends on the brands which manufacture their products in China.
Chinese are bad at speaking English
It is true that there is not much focus on English during schooling in China and most of the books, newspapers are in Mandarin or in Cantonese. But, it doesn’t mean there are no other ways of learning English. There are private schools, English newspapers, magazines and novels, which provide a good source of improving one’s English. In the secondary stage of schooling, more focus is given on English as compared to the primary levels. But, this doesn’t mean that no English is taught at the primary level or the kids are totally incapable of speaking in English. Although, they take pride in their language but they also embrace the globally accepted language English.
Chinese are polite people
Chinese people are generally considered to be well mannered, gentle and polite. It is in their culture to be polite towards others and they are usually courteous people. But this isn’t the case with everyone as there are people who definitely speak their mind without showing any hesitation or mincing any words. Do not mistake Chinese for being timid as they are far from timid and though they don’t display it, they may have already killed you 100 times over in their mind.
The Chinese Government controls everything
The Communist Party of China (CPC) is the governing and the only real political party in China (other parties are just for show). There is a common belief that the CPC interferes in everything that is going on in the country; from politics to military to business and real estate, but this is not the case. The CPC has no interference in the business sector and other productive sectors like the manufacturing sector. The Government only drafts various policies in order to ensure smooth trade and business processes in the country. The Chinese have freedom of choice and it’s not like that they are trapped by the Government and have no powers to take decisions in any matter.