Wednesday, 24 December 2014

One of the Billion

Its an unfortunate thing to have the occasional longing to be disassociated from your traced blood. But if you have ever visited the crowded, cacaphonous cities in China, such as the cities of Zhengzhou, Xian and Guangzhou of which I have just returned from, you may have an idea. From the complete disregard for order upon queuing, little no no sense of personal space, horrific inequality in income and the overall indulgence of greed at the expense of social welfare, health, and the environment.

Of course all of these traits can definitely be summarily explained, and in no way really degrades the heart of the nation or its people. And again perhaps I'm holding my fellow citizens to a higher standard, indeed I want positive perceptions to reflect on my “kind” as well, if you may. Indeed everything does have its logical explanation. The concentration of people into the cities for people to find work has lead to congestion and general administrative services buckling at the knees, with one naturally wanting to accelerate the process; hence line skipping. As income inequality rises the poorer and middle class increasingly look enviously onto their wealthier peers, and the disparity urges on illicit and generally distasteful means to accrue income, hence their twisted barters. This one also has basis in the general frugality of many Asian cultures. Coming out of a truly communist nation in the 80's China's rapid surge to its current roaring economy has been paved with environmental damage, and certainly disregard for its social welfare and health system. They simply haven't experienced this kind of wealth before, and they're hooked on it like no Opium stash could ever do.

But at least in this current day, as Chinese nationals increasingly travel abroad, their reputation as a people only spoils more and more heavily in the eyes of the international community. It undermines the great work that migrants have done in developed nations all over the world. Indeed at first glance very little distinguishes a Malaysian Indonesian from a Chinese, and it is all too easy to paint an entire nation with the same, misinformed brush. Just ask any moderate Muslim on the unwelcome association to terrorism our media is all too inclined to imply.

I realise I may be complaining over a first world, rather trivial problem. And you would be most certainly right. In a nation of over a billion people, problems will inevitably arise as the cramped conditions and overpopulation lead to frustrations, excessive competition and cabin fever. These are just the thoughts that I am having here and now. I may one day wake up mature and uncaring of this perception. Soon.