Tenwest Mandarin School


Cultural Colonialism

atwillden (109 posts) • 0

@laotou, sorry, I disagree. While going native is not in and of itself bad, mm teacher isn't actualy arguing for going native per say, as much as he is bordering on some very dark lines of thought regarding racial/cultural/ethnic purity (ie, too many foreigners in Shanghai, Shanghai isn't Chinese enough, foreigners should just blend in and not change the dominant narrative around them). Several people have been entirely civil in the exchange (some havn't, but its not entirely unprovoked) but it is incorrect to say that arguments for ethnic/racial/national purity are not advocating something that can be in fact very harmful. Replace the word foreigner in his arguments with any specific group (too many blacks in the Southern US, too many jews in Berlin, too many Paki's in London, too many gays in San Fran) and it becomes a bit more clear.

MM himself has said he is passionate about food and culture, so many have taken that at face value. I personally don't think he is correct on many, many fronts, but if he wants to write about it then it harms no one. When he starts going off on racial or national purity, or telling other 'foreigners' (what does that even mean!?) how to act, then he is going too far, and yes is taking the same road that so many others have which has been used to justify the terrible treatment anyone who is different from the majority.

laotou (1714 posts) • 0

At the risk of instantiating a mutual admiration society - like your analogies and analyses. However - I standby my request for a little more civility and tolerance. We can debate @mm's writing style, topics, agendas, and topical comments - without resorting to name-calling. I think that's virtual bullying and that's just not nice. For all @mm's lecturing - I'd still hate to see him bullied out of gokm...I even miss gaoxing's posts...colorful character.

nnoble (889 posts) • 0

I doubt there is any risk whatsoever of mm being 'bullied' off of www.gokunmingteacher.com! MM is persistent in claiming his 'rights' but has very little to say about obligations to others. The worst name calling I used was 'twerp' - on a scale of 1 -10 that hardly registers. Gaoxing raised a snigger and even a smile. The only person I remember gaoxing accusing was himself.

Alien (3819 posts) • 0

I don't remember mmkunming writing anything about race at all, much less about any conceptual absurdities of racial purity.

@mmkunming: I know what you're on about, but I still think the term 'cultural colonialism' to describe the attitudes of numerous foreigners in Kunming is misplaced. Colonialism, I think, implies either the possibility or the reality of taking over, and foreigners in Kunming are in no position to do so. I've suggested 'cultural arrogance', which I think is sufficiently descriptive and sufficiently annoying and obviously present (and not only among foreigners, but that's irrelevant, unless one has some 'THEY do it so we should too' type of attitude). 'Willful cultural ignorance', which likely leads to cultural arrogance, might be another one - the elimination of such ignorance requiring learning through experience, not just some kind of academic thing.
Ruling groups, in government, massive private corporations, the media, are of course all about cultural hegemony, and always have been - these people can back up their efforts with law, cops, education, money, tourist sites and museums etc., and do so in their own interests. Very frequently nationalistic. Some call this progress, even some kind of social evolutionary progress - I have my doubts - but all indisputably involved in cultural change (as is the groundroot resistance & necessary adaptation that rises from below).
I also think it's worthwhile to consider the concept of expat culture, a kind of offshoot of globalizing culture which is not necessarily monolithic and not necessarily 'good' or 'bad' and which develops in some autonomy from national cultures, including both the one that surrounds it ('Chinese', here) and the ones from which its members originate, has its own internal conflicts, compromises & cross-fertilization, within which, thanks to numerous accidents of history, the English language might be considered to represent cultural colonialism, as it tends to dominate expat communities...hey, I can go on like this.

lemon lover (883 posts) • 0

@Mr Smith
Bla bla bla bla bla.

Sorry we can do without your contribution and plugging of your stuff.

There are enough idiots on this forum already.

lemon lover (883 posts) • 0

Oops that was fast.

New brooms sweep clean.
Mr Smith was removed while I was reacting to him so you can disregard my last post ;-)

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