Posted by ampontan on Monday, September 24, 2012
A Chinese journalist working in Bangkok wrote an article for a local newspaper offering her thoughts on the recent demonstrations in China. A Japanese blogger read it and translated it into Japanese. Here’s most of it as it appeared on the (Japanese) Kinbricks Now site. Keep in mind this is going from Chinese to Japanese to English.
Territorial issues should be negotiated by governments, so the people should leave those issues to government negotiation and not demonstrate. The greatest shock for me, however, was the way in which people expressed their patriotism — by using violence to destroy Japanese shops and restaurants. I was incredulous, ashamed, indignant, and sad.
Then it hit me. We’ve been taught to love our country, but we were not taught any good ways for loving our country at all. I’m not saying that demonstrations themselves are bad. What is bad is misappropriating those demonstrations and using them as a vehicle for bad behavior.
There is no shortage of patriotic education in China. In fact, for those of us born in the 70s and 80s, there was too much of it. In primary school, the only songs we were taught were patriotic songs. They included Ode to the Motherland, There Would Have Been No New China without the Communist Party, and The Sun is Red, and Chairman Mao is the Dearest.
The only movies we saw in school were revolutionary movies. The villains in those movies were always pitiful, stupid, depraved Japanese or landowners. The heroes were the comrades of the Red Army, Communist Party members, peasants, or workers. This sort of self-righteous imprinting continued until university. Marxist-Leninist ideology and political lectures that teach the doctrines and policies of the Communist Party are required courses at college. I often cut those classes.
While we had a lot of this sort of instruction, we had no instruction at all in the rights we could demand and use as citizens. We also weren’t taught how we could obtain value and power through rational, peaceful, and legal means with a forward-looking approach. We weren’t taught how to be patient, to negotiate, or to compromise. We weren’t taught how to respect the interests of other people. All we were taught was: “Strike down the enemy!”
That’s why when demonstrations such as these occur, they contribute nothing at all to disputes over islands. They only give rise to violence that harms our own economy. We become emotional and behave violently, which amplifies the negative emotions and harms the rules and social justice. It ends in something that has nothing to do with patriotism.
The tragedy begins where there is no civic education.
Ode to the Motherland
Without the Communist Party, There Would be No New China, by Brother Hao.
And two versions of The Sun is Red and Chairman Mao is the Dearest. The first has a great chorus line and gets a little funky in the middle.
And the second is the Richard Clayderman treatment, which included a new title. He’s rehearsing it here in Beijing.