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Monday, February 9, 2009

Mapping the hurt feelings of the Chinese people

Here's a intriguing article about how China has been reacting to the things people around the world say about them. A chat with a friend also pointed out something rather poignant to me - that the Chinese are seldom embarrassed, more likely offended, or hurt. In a culture of 'face', embarrassment seldom seems a natural feeling 'innate' in the Chinese. Again, we have hurt, offended, angered, disappointed, but embarrassed? I wonder if there even is a suitable Chinese equivalent to describe embarrassment.

p.s. thanks Michelle for the heads-up.


Mapping the hurt feelings of the Chinese people
Posted by Joel Martinsen, December 11, 2008 12:14 PM
Danwei website

China's blogs and online forums have reacted in different ways to the official indignation over French President Nicolas Sarkozy's meeting with the Dаlаi Lаmа.

Boycotts, which played a large role in the anti-French sentiment during the Olympic torch relay earlier this year, were the subject of heated discussion (see Global Voices Online for more details).

But other netizens were inspired by the words of the deputy foreign minister; "The meeting grossly interfered in China's internal affairs, severely undermined China's core interests, gravely hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and damaged the political basis of China-France and China-EU relations."

How many times have the Chinese people's feelings been hurt, anyway? Blogger FangKC searched through the electronic archives of the People's Daily between 1946 and 2006 and discovered that 19 countries and organizations have been accused of hurting the feelings of the Chinese people:

Japan: 47 times, starting in 1985
USA: 23 times, starting in 1980, when Los Angeles flew the ROC flag
NATO: 10 times, mostly relating to the 1999 Belgrade embassy bombing
India: 7 times, starting in 1986 and mostly relating to border issues
France: 5 times, starting in 1989
Nobel Committee: 4 times
Germany: 3 times, starting with a meeting with the Dаlаi Lаmа in 1990
Vatican City: 3 times, starting in 2000
EU: 2 times, starting in 1996
Guatemala: 2 times, both in 1997
Indonesia: in 1959, when a newspaper inflamed anti-Chinese sentiment
Albania: in 1978, for criticism of Chairman Mao and the Chinese Communist Party
Vietnam: in 1979, for a high official's slander of China
UK: in 1994, over the Taiwan issue
The Netherlands: in 1980, over the government authorizing a company to provide submarines to Taiwan
Iceland: in 1997, for allowing Lien Chan to visit
Jordan: in 1998, for allowing Lien Chan to visit
Nicaragua: in 1995, for supporting Taiwan's bid to join the UN
South Africa: in 1996, for proposing a two-China policy

Source - (Date of Access 09 Feb 2009

Click here for the full article.