Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Chinese Inferiority Complex

Though our increasingly race-obsessed authorities love to lump all the supposed immigrant Chinese into one homogenous, monocultural group, it has been quite evident since we were schoolkids that we're all incredibly diverse. A particular clear dividing factor amongst the Chinese would be our medium of instruction peculiar to our multicultural nation, whether it's from our national schools where English / Malay would be our lingua franca or from our vernacular Chinese schools where Mandarin would be the medium of instruction.

Basically what we would have termed English-ed boys and the Chinese-ed boys. Communicating in different languages certainly made it even more difficult when we all met in our later secondary years. While my erstwhile classmates in my mission school spoke English as a matter of usual practice, our new emigre students tended to speak only in Mandarin.

And... never the twain shall meet it seems.

Umm... what did you say? Could you say it in English please? 

Not that I was ever wildly prejudiced against them. Honestly didn't have much of an opinion about them either way. How could I when I didn't know half of what they were saying? Apart from the usual muthafuckin curses spewed by my brutish seat partner Bastard Beng.

However according to an extremely resentful Diffident David, that didn't seem to be the case for his still bitter buddies- supposedly slighted by the horrifically monstrous English-ed boys.

David : Ah but you arrogant 'English-educated' boys always look down on us 'Chinese-educated' fellows.  
Paul : You're obviously thinking of someone else since we never did. 
David : Don't tell me you never made fun of the way we speak and call us names. 
Paul : We didn't. I don't know which idiotic bully did that to you but it's certainly not us. 
David : Sure boh?
Paul : Think we got made fun of even more with all the inane banana 香蕉人 comments.
David : And weren't you angry? 
Paul : Not really. Sticks and stones and all that. 
David : Not even a little bit infuriated? 
Paul : But why? The little pidgin Mandarin I knew I learnt on my own. Some of the boys who taunted us have been learning English for almost a decade and can barely string a sentence. Why should I be angry?  
David : True also. 
Paul : So you'll retract that 'English-educated' boys statement?
David : No, I still hate you guys. 
Paul : Wow. You know what, I am starting to believe there is a Chinese Inferiority Complex. 

Talk about holding a grudge.

Though David denies it repeatedly and vehemently, it's pretty obvious there is a deep-seated enmity going on there. No doubt some inconsiderate 'uncomprehending' English-educated bullies really did a number on him back in his vulnerable schooldays.

Seriously though, I don't think my friends and I ever teased or made fun of them ever. Why would we when we had other handy targets around :P Don't even think we even had a pejorative epithet for the lot till that asinine UCLA girl came up with the infamously racist ching chong ling long bit.

Even then I refer to myself as quite the ching chong ling long as well.

David should at least take heart that the divide shall become almost nonexistent in time with the rise of Mandarin as a world language - and the accompanying decline of Chinese students in our national schools.


Jaded Jeremy said...

Believe it or not, in Singapore, politicians had successfully exploited this supposed "divide" and hounded a political candidate until he left Singapore. It can be serious.

savante said...

Think my friend here takes it pretty seriously too! :)