By Paul Chong Friday, 3 February 2017
“Nothing and no one can destroy the Chinese people. They are relentless survivors. They are the oldest civilized people on earth. Their civilization passes through phases but its basic characteristics remain the same. They yield, they bend to the wind, but they never break.”
―Pearl S. Buck
(Nobel Prize laureate and novelist)
Pearl S Buck’s quote concerning the Chinese is a verified truism without ground for any gainsaying. Truth stands the test of time. They never fade. They will always be around. Whatever the circumstances, they’re politically harmless yet economically unassailable.
The Chinese are most assiduous in their economic pursuit in life. It seems to be their only passion & interest, their magnificent obsession. They never yield.They are of a different breed, tenacious, resilient, resourceful, innovative & built with a sterner stuff. One runs out of appropriate adjectives in his description of the Chinese. Without doubt, the words patriotic & passion ought to be applied. Honour & respect to be duly accorded to the elders & national leaders without question.
Mysterious, they pop up in every corner of the earth. It’s been said that wherever the ocean flows & touches land, the Chinese will be there. However, the Chinese who left the Chinese shore in search of survival were mainly from the lower strata of the society. The elite stayed home. The elite class of the Chinese people never their motherland in the various waves of migration.
On that notion, as Lee Kuan Yew, the late founder of Singapore, in his encounter with the then Paramount Ruler of China Mr Deng Xiaoping, pointed out this very salient point & secret as contributing to the success of the overseas Chinese. Mr Lee held to that opinion & Deng saw what a difference the Chinese cream could attain at home, no doubt success would come at an even greater pace. The requisite was providing them with opportunities. The rest is history.
Perhaps it should be said, the success of the Singaporean Chinese, originally a class below the homeland’s elite, is even more admirable. Singapore, a city state without any natural resources, has been known as one of the four “Little Tigers” in Asia, was deemed to gloom when separated from Malaysia in 1965. Singapore, with 75% of Chinese population, is well known for its success.
Historically, though the scenario is changing fast, the Chinese are traditionally extreme hard working, never taking holiday breaks except when it comes to Spring Festival or Chinese New Year. Celebrations usually last for fifteen days, when family members near or far return home for reunion. Just look at the mass of returning migrant workers returning home for the Spring Festival by the expreeways, plane or train, high-speed rail system. Ahead planning for adequate transport means got to be provided to cater for the millions.
The concept of “Jia“ (family) is most significant to the Chinese from the individual single family to the nation – national family “guojia”. Every facet of life is centred on the word “Jia”. . . the person, community & the nation. Kinship ties are very important.
Now, as Chinese attain economic success, they are appreciating leisure & pleasure . . . taking time off for such luxury. Nowadays there are more Chinese tourists than others in all parts of the world.
Having lived in isolation for hundreds & thousand of years & having a mindset of inward looking, China & its people are open & reaching out to the rest of the world. For too long they had been isolated, deprived of the good things in life. They now want the best. They embrace globalization & are freely willing to share their new found love, fortune & treasure. While others are retreating, the Chinese are moving forth adjusting, adapting & adopting the concept & slogan as propounded by Deng Xiaoping. (As below)
to be replaced by
向 ”钱” 走
Both phrases sound alike in pinying “xiang qian zou”
The Chinese under Mao Zedong’s days were motivated, moving forward with passion in the renown Long March (October 1934 – October 1935). That was a gruesome & suffering endeavour where perished. It took Deng Xiaoping, the great economic strategist, after seeing the Singapore model, to open up China with the establishment of special economic zones in Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Shantou in Guangdong Province and Xiamen in Fujian. Henceforth . . . China’s phenomenal economic miracle.
In hindsight, China is merely revitalising & reinvigorating its great dynasty past. The sleeping dragon, which Napoleon Bonaparte dared not touch, is now awake . . . making the Chinese people recapturing their pride & dignity.
Stand tall without fear of fall
Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) is celebrated with great pomp by millions everywhere.
The Chinese are bringing joy to the world.