Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Who are the Chinese?

Communists of course!

..But really.. I hope we, as open minded rational beings, would seek to define our friends across the pacific as something more intelligible than a word packed full with rhetorical effects. After all, as Americans are far more than overweight capitalists, so the Chinese are far more than their government might lead us to believe.

Significant in this equation is how important understanding the Chinese now is. Because really, there are many cultures in the world, far more than we have time to understand individually. I’m sure the Ecuadorians and the Costa Ricans have been over looked as well, but lets be honest, how much impact does understanding their culture have on our lives? The Chinese on the other hand are 1.3b strong, with an economy that by 2050, if their growth continues, will be larger than both the US and European economies. Thus, like any other subject in the world, when it’s importance increases, so should we increase our understanding of it.

Rather than attempt the futile process of explaining what might take the length of a book, I can probably do no better than suggest one of the books I have found most helpful to my understanding of the Chinese. Billions: Selling to the New Chinese Consumer, by Tom Doctoroff, has been an insightful read. Though the book is directed at advertisers, the book is predominately anthropology, easy to read and straight to the point. Tom Doctoroff, CEO of JWT (advertising agency) in greater China, also keeps a Blog, which I have also found to be very interesting.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-doctoroff/books-that-reveal-chinas_b_158343.html

From my readings and from my experiences, the Chinese truly are a fascinating and great people, worthy of their five thousand years of history. Eight years of George W couldn’t wash away our peace & love, hippie roots, and nor will Obama and the democrats strip us of that which seems to be essential to us: our capitalism. In similar fashion, we may rest assured, sixty years of oppression has done little to make the Chinese anything less than who they really are: Chinese.

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