Mr Turnbull: “Chinese people, stand up.” [The Chinese National Day]

Hi, Barry Li again. Happy long weekend time! 长(chang)假(jia)快(kuai)乐(le). Today we are not going to talk about the short “long weekend” in Sydney. (only 3 days) We are going to talk about the 7 days super long weekend in China, for the celebration of the National Day – 国(guo)庆(qing)节(jie).

The National Day of China is on the 1st of October every year, starting from 1949. This is the day that the new China (or the People’s Republic of China) was established. That’s the China that we commonly refer to as “Communist China”. There’s a famous sentence about the Chinese national day is what Chairman Mao said on the 1st of October 1949 in Beijing: 中(zhong)国(guo)人(ren)民(min)站(zhan)起(qi)来(lai)了(le). (China people has stood up). This is the sentence for this week.

“What do the New Chinese believe?: The Monkey King” – Musings from an Australian Perspective

As I brought up the Monkey King in my previous post on religion in China I thought it would be reminisce of me if I didn’t expound further on this little guy. In some regards he’s a bit like Santa Claus: everyone is familiar with the image and the symbolism in some small way. A guy with a white beard in a red hat is easily synonymous with the term Christmas. But Santa didn’t appear out of nowhere. Like how facts and truths about Santa’s reindeers, elves and home address are a bit more quick to mind than the story of his origin as a monk, the history behind the Monkey King is equally mystical, and also if it not as instantly recognisable as his appearance.

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“What do the New Chinese Believe?: Folk Beliefs and Superstition” – Musings from an Australian Perspective

When you do a quick internet query of ‘religion of China’, several answers appear: Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Islam and Christianity. Some will be quick to note that the first three answers don’t easily fall into the category of ‘religion’, but are often placed under a ‘philosophy’ branch instead. Regardless, this post will treat them all as having equal governance and significance to their followers’ lives. Continue reading

“Chinese-style Democracy: Human Rights in China” – Musings from an Australian Perspective

China, as Barry Li disclaims in the very first sentence of this excerpt, does indeed have a “poor record” on human rights. Li doesn’t expound further on particular issues, as neither will I. Plenty of journalists and articles elsewhere explain what has been done or denied to certain people, particularly those of ethnic minorities and those with political agendas not favourable towards the CCP. Likely Li doesn’t want to be blacklisted as a trouble maker in his home country; Continue reading

“Defining the New Chinese” – Musings from an Australian Perspective.

I’ll admit: when I looked at this section title and glanced very briefly at the text I did wonder how I was going to make a blog post about this topic, and one not too dry at that. Then some words caught my attention – Qing empire, Honolulu, Opium Wars – and I realised a lot more could be found in this than just a clarification of definitions.

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“Why Should an Australian Read This Book?” – Musings from an Australian Perspective

Why should I read this book? What a good question, Barry Li.

This is the third part of my elongated discussion of Barry Li’s book The New Chinese: How They Are Changing Australia. The first part was about his parents, then next himself, and now me – yay! (I’m Australian, in case that point’s been missed). But please don’t feel excluded if you’re not an Aussie from DownUnder, because “if you feel you are surrounded by Chinese, or your life is impacted by the Chinese in some way, or you seek to profit from trading with China” then I imagine this book is also for you.

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An insider’s view on Chinese buyers

In 2013 my wife and I were looking to buy our first home – something bigger in a nice suburb with a good school nearby. During the inspection for a three-bedroom unit in Killara I said to my wife “Wow, look at this, there’s no other Chinese buyers here. I think we can get this one!” And indeed, we did.

Unlike those cash-loaded, overseas Chinese buyers you see at property auctions, my wife and I are new migrants living on monthly Australian salaries. In addition to the normal frustration of being defeated at auctions by the super-rich Chinese, we also suffer from the common criticism today that “the Chinese” have and are pushing up property prices in Australia. I can’t blame people who put it that way because, the truth is, Chinese home buyers have lots to do with the property market in Australia…

View full post at onlineopinion.com.au

 

“My Story” – Musings from an Australian Perspective

Here enters the second part of Barry Li’s recount. It’s the difficult one to do: critique and commenting on someone’s personal story, especially when it’s only just over three pages in length. I’m guessing we will probably learn more about Li from the rest of the book than just this section.

         He’s 10 months old when he leaves his parents to live with relatives. He doesn’t live with them again until – I’m estimating rough dates here – about 14 years later to finish high school in Beijing. Is this normal? For an only child to be separated from his parents and live 2600kms away? It’s not uncommon in any case. Continue reading

“My Father’s Story” – Musings from an Australian Perspective

          I come to Barry Li’s book, The New Chinese: How They Are Changing Australia, with a little bit of background knowledge of China and the Chinese, having studied Mandarin for several years at high school and university, and having been to China four times, most recently having lived in Beijing for eight months. What I’m searching for here is something that fills the gaps of my knowledge, such as the difference between the psyche of Chinese people in China and the Chinese people in Australia. I’m certain there must be one; the world of urban Australia dining on breakfast until early afternoon, coffee and chatter spilling out onto footpaths sometimes seems realms away from the myriad of China’s alleyways, where tiny ‘hole-in-a-wall’ restaurants serve noodle and rice dishes without ceremony; where a central subway train arrives at least ever six minutes and bank cards are nearly obsolete to mobile payments; where large sections of the community still purchase fresh produce every day from local outdoor markets, the refrigerator used scarcely. I’m having trouble adjusting back to Australian life even after just a short time away – how does one who has lived a majority of their life in China transition to life here, or is it not so much of a step? That’s what I’m reading to find out.  Continue reading