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Thread: Cross-Culture

  1. #1
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    Cross-Culture

    There doesn't seem to be a suitable Forum for this thread, this was the closest.

    We are sitting here behind western cultural viewfinders, postulating on the behaviour of these rural Chinese people. It strikes me as strange that we should do anything more than percieve their behaviour, as opposed to the judging that goes on on the board.

    Unless we have experienced or have deep insight into another's subjective reality, how can we judge how they behave? Does anyone else think that the societal pressures or culture back in Nth Central China largely explains the way that the Shaolin behave on arrival in West?

    Chicken

  2. #2
    I wouldn't blame their cultural pressures on how they "behave". Misbehave would be a more appropriate term, but, no sense going there. I think they get here, with certain understandings and misperceptions, and try to take advantage of their situations without understanding the responsibilities associated with their new lives here. I attribute it to a lack of education, a complete lack of experience, ego, ethnic support and advice to the point of causing illegal behavior, and, birth and enhancement of narcissitic personality traits.

    I'm not sure where you want to take this thread.
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  3. #3
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    I'm not sure were this will go either, but perhaps discussion will be helpful,for too many people seem to be caught in the wheel...as followers and supporters of "monks" that may, and often do, deceive people.

    You know, I used to think the same way when I talked to people overseas who I felt were complaining about Chinese. Then, well, I realized that those who had lived there over a period of time, that studied and had knowledge of the culture, weren't actually judging. Rather, they were doing their best -- even if often shadowed in negative, intolerant, and narrow-minded mockeries -- to explain the origins and nuances of the Chinese thought paradigm. Which, like I've said, expands far beyond the monks in the West.

    Personally, I do not have any experience with monks, but, I do feel qualified to speak on Chinese behavior in general without postulating or being overly judgmental. What I state isn't anything that an educated, straightforward Chinese wouldn't. In fact, Chinese treat each other this way everyday -- it isn't news to the them!! There are plenty of terms for these kind of people in Chinese, and there are terms which specifically describe their opportunism, disingenuousness, and artful capacity for scheming.

    Monks have just been put in the position whereby they are able to exploit people, mainly students and others enthralled by shaolin, as a result of the trust and responsibility they are freely granted. But, has this behavior come to our attention only because people are now dealing with monks in the West? Is this issue limited to the monks? I would say, no.

  4. #4
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    Thanks. I figured that onesp1ng had some insight into this. I think I see things similarly to Ones1ing. I also agree with Doc as to what are the root causes. But I am curious why Doc and I see them in different lights... which incidently I think is great - terribly boring when someone agrees with you 100% all the time!

    This is my hypothesis, Doc you seem to think that everyone has an obligation to educate themselves and to be law abiding whatever land they are in. And I agree with you that this is the only framework within which a legal system can operate, but I'm also aware that many just do not have the ability to educate themselves to the standard necessary to survive western society. And that this indeed is probably one of the biggest differentiators between the comfortable and the poor, in that the poor do not have the minimum required intelligence to educate themselves out of their positions, and in the meanwhile us comfortably off keep raising the bar. Anyway, I think where we differ is that, I accept that there will always be people who will never reach the bar, and that the warriors all fall into that category. Since we are in a civilised society its our moral obligation to help them. Therefore I don't expect them to reach the bar, but I don't think that means that they have failed, whereas I suspect you do.

    My different light is that I think its a failing of us in not being proactive enough in giving them the support that they need, which is quite different to giving them the support that we think they need to settle over here successfully.

    The reality is probably a mid-point between these two positions (albeit that I'm only hypothesising that this is your position), as if you never expect someone to climb out of the holes they find themselves in, they never try, and without trying we never learn that we can succeed, but that's not a reason to not slip them a ladder.

    How do you see it Doc?

    Chicken

  5. #5
    Well, one of the problems that I encountered when dealing with my little disaster, was that of the ethnicity aspect; the "stick together" and "to hell with the white devil American". You have no idea how Kevin, my partner at the time, and I were demonized. I really didn't understand it, especiallly since my efforts were focused on helping that same community by bringing those individuals over from China.

    Stupidity? Ignorance? Or cut throat vicious self centered business pursuits? I have no idea what it was that drove those people to do what they did. I'm still baffled by it.
    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

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  6. #6
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    Jealousy?
    of you owning the white castle, sorry did I say castle, I ment condo (but that is how they think?).... and so being ultimately in control, and not really realising that establishing a good marial arts school in the west is an expensive concern, and not neccessarily the cash-cow that they think it is. I hasten to bet that they have less animostity towards you now that they are learning this for themselves, and that this respect and their contrition will grow over time.

    Cultural Superiority?
    The Chinese think that they are the middle kingdom, center of the universe, and therefore that they shouldn't have to answer to anyone, let alone a "smelly foreigner"!!!

    And Narcissism?
    (you are already onto this) but clearly in their simplistic understanding of things they don't yet know as we do, that any type of talent in this complex western society is worse than useless (because you still get sour grapes, even letting the talent go to waste) without good management.


    5 days after the wedding, Hengxuan was so taken over by these emotions: resentment that I hold the purse-strings, that I have to make the business decisions over here in the UK (he can't speak business english, nor read or write), that he's totally dependent on me, etc, that he's sulking, in such an evil, spiteful and at times openly abusive mood, that with the support of my family (who had just thrown a 130 sit down wedding banquet for us) I had to throw him out, in the hope of shocking him out of abusing me and calm down. (Well actually his mother has built in an abandonment complex, and having the full force of his abusive side unleashed on me after the wedding, I could finally come to exonerate her from building it in in the first place!)

    This was the day before Christmas Eve! He maintains that the wedding was the happiest he's ever been (he was centerstage all day which tipped off the Narcissistic High / Omnipotent Episode), and he's so happily married, but these issues are simmering in the background between him and me... he wants to be in control, he wants it all and he wants it now.

    So Doc, I hasten to guess that these are the same things at root of what happened to you, only I can see one other dynamic... I think that because of the age differential between the two of you, that I think there was an element of parenticide (sons chasing away eradicating the father primitive emotion) involved as well, which doesn't exist between me and Hengxuan.

    I don't think you were at fault at all, I don't think you deserve how they treated you (the vilification), I think it was a cross-cultural side effect, I don't think there's any comeupance for them (I think you have to just put it down to experience), and I hope sharing with you here, helps you from dwelling on what happened much longer.

    I hope it helps you to know that your sharing on this, the stuff with Hengshan's suicide, and other insights, helps me to see the patterns and helps me keep the faith, that Hengxuan is not doing all this because of something that I did, that it is ethnicity, and cross-culture integration issues that, if we get through the next year or two things are likely to calm down.

    Chicken

  7. #7
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    ...in that the poor do not have the minimum required intelligence to educate themselves out of their positions...
    LOL, how very Western of you. Like, 200 years ago Western, but still.

  8. #8
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    Zachsan,

    The US's entire history has been about being a bed for immigrants to prosper in. Here in the UK, we still don't actively acknowledge that we have an inward immigration policy! Furthermore, whilst we continue to remain head in the sand, we don't have anywhere near the amount of public services to support immigrants to ensure that they don't come here and live in poverty. As a result, a considerable amount of 1st generation immigrants do live on or near the poverty line... its only their offspring that get the education, and, if they are lucky, the discipline to benefit from it, instilled by the same parents (because they don't want their kids to live the poverty stricken lives that they have) therefore getting off the poverty line. If either of these components fail... eg, the kids don't have the intelligence to get through school or the parents don't have the wherewithall (and this usually comes with intelligence) to make them attend, then they get stuck on the poverty line for generations.

    This might be 200 year old thinking, but in the UK at least, I think its just as relevant today. So maybe the difference in attitude between Doc and I is down to the second degree effect that we delude ourselves that us English-speaking folk around the world are all thinking in the same paradigm...

    So thanks for the insight Zachsan.

    Chicken

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