“Chinese Eat Dogs” & Other Fake Stereotypes About China
Chinese culture in Western countries is both loved and hated. There are people who embrace it and who even enjoy to have Chinese friends, while others still hate China and Chinese people for many reasons, most of those are based on fake stereotypes. This article will take a look at four of the most common Chinese stereotypes and will explain why they are fake and they are only an excusant for racist people to still condemn the Chinese community.
“Chinese Eat Dogs”
This is the Chinese stereotype for excellence. Chinese people are often believed as “dog eaters” by those who lack of real knowledge about Chinese culture. This Asian country is very big and it is composed of various areas, each one with their different culinary traditions. There is an area of China called “Yulin” which is famous everywhere for their “dog festival” and this fact has given Chinese people the label of “dog eaters”. People who believe dog meat is popular in China are ignoring the fact Yulin is a small area compared to the rest of China. A very little percentage of Chinese people actually eat dogs while the vast majority of this community not only considers dog as a pet, but even condemns the festival. Saying “Chinese eat dogs” is not much different than saying all Italians are “mafia”, all Americans are obese or all Muslims are members of ISIS: all of these are fake stereotypes which can be supported only by racist and culturally backward people.
“Chinese Are Not Sociable”
Another very common Chinese stereotype is related to their ability to socialize with other people. Many Westerners believe Chinese community is unable to socialize with foreigners. The reality is different: many Chinese people are generally shy, especially when meeting someone who is unable to speak and understand their language. Even if there are surely some exceptions, Chinese people are not snobbing others and they are generally really friendly, after having won their initial shyness. The fact I have a group of Chinese friends is maybe the demonstration you can hang out with Chinese people without problems, at least if you are willing to approach them without any prejudice and by also understanding their initial shyness. Basing on my experience, Chinese people have a strong sense of friendship and of conviviality: also eating with them is a ritual we usually follow without using the smartphone at all (unless we want to take some selfies and pictures). In general, socialization in China much happens during meals, as Chinese people have a strong passion for food and for sharing it all together.
Chinese people and their entrepreneurship
Chinese people are generally great workers and entrepreneurs. Their attitude to work make them able to start new activities and find jobs very easily. They are not stealing any job and they should not be condemned for doing one of the most honorable activities a human being can do: working. Some people welcome the Chinese presence in their local markets, but there are still other ones who believe Chinese presence is something damaging their economy: Chinese who start new activities elsewhere are just working and they should not be condemned for being great entrepreneurs. There are even people who accuse Chinese business owners of tax evasion, ignoring that this issue is neither bigger or smaller than evasion of taxes practiced by other entrepreneurs. To give an example, if you come to a country and find some local bar owners not releasing receipt after your purchase, you are already being shown the evidence Chinese entrepreneurs are no better and no worse than other entrepreneurs. Condemning the entire category of Chinese business owners for this reason is not only unfair, but this also seems as an additional excuse to blame these people.
“All Chinese Look The Same”
Some people are unable to distinguish among Chinese, Japanese and Korean people. For them, they all look the same. The fact is that some of them really believe all Asians have the same face, so that they don’t think about the fact it’s just their personal perception. Calling “Chinese” every guy who has almond eyes is clearly wrong. Surprisingly for these people, also many Asians may think all Westerners look the same. The most important thing is to acknwledge that personal perception of the reality is not an objective measure of it.
These are only four of the many stereotypes about Chinese people popular abroad. Winning these is important not only to open your mind about a different culture which deserves the maximum respect like every other culture, but also in order to start discovering more about this fascinating piece of Asia. Honestly, hearing people who still say ”Chinese eat dogs” in the XXI century is a defeat for those who hope for a better world, with less prejudices and with more culture.