A friend from Hong Kong

Mr. Derrick Chang (Chinese name: 張道恩) is a photographer specializing in travel, street photography and photojournalism, as said in his website. I met him accidentally on flickr.com, and his photos which are mainly the reflection of Chinese people and their life gave me great impression. He is skilled in catch of such instant moments which can make us to think further. Such as the picture shown here. If you are a Flickr's user, you can click here to see the details. He took the picture in July 1 protest of 2007 in Hong Kong. It read dilemma of Hong Kong people who have endured repression under British colony while encountered tyranny of communism China. So I add him as my friend and found something in common. Most important, he will be here in Xiamen after the Spring Festival. Mr. Chang was born in Canada and got a degree at University of Toronto. After he graduated from the university, he came to a college in Dalian, China to teach English, and stay there for 2.5 yrs. As grown in Canada like other Chinese raised in foreign countries, he can't speak Chinese well, at least fluent Chinese. I call these people as "banana people"(香蕉人:比喻海外華裔外表看似中國人,其實內心里和西方人無異), that is to say these people with appearance of Chinese but internal thoughts of western whites, like the bananas which show yellow outside and white inside. It needs understanding, I don't make any prejudice but just make an analogy. And this is understandable. Don't expect the oversea Chinese to think in a way like Chinese in mainland due to the difference of educational systems, background. Actually, it's quite interesting to know the thoughts of these oversea Chinese to their 'mother land', about the politics, society and etc. We should be better to hear the different voices from others. He said to me that the initiative of coming to China was to learn more about his 'roots'. Camera is his tool. When he first time arrived in China, it raised conflicts in him. He met many Chinese people and watched their deeds and behaviour. He said:
but the more I heard, saw and experienced, the more I realized I am very different in both thinking and behaviour I've traveled all around china, seen most of china

He was impressed by the friendliness of Chinese people around him, but not Chinese people's behaviour as an at large. He thinks Chinese people are very different from most people with the foreigners. He appreciated the Chinese who are nice to him and ready to be new friends. However, he:

doesn't like where Chinese society is going increased competition for everything, nationalism, polluting the environment.

It's going to be ugly, he said, and it already is ugly but will get worse. He wondered why there was such great difference between the historical texts in the foreign countries and those in China. He agreed on my opinions on history and historical perspectives of Chinese (I will discuss this issue in another post History, Historical Perspectives and Chinese People, which will also be written in English). He was also surprised that so many young Chinese people were unwilling to discuss the politics, even didn't care about it at all. Most Chinese say 'i don't care for politics it doesn't affect me' like those described in China’s Me Generation of Time magazine. He didn't agree. Because in china, politics affects people's lives MORE than other countries. It's pitiful that it seems that all Chinese people want just money, to be rich without considering the environment and the society. Some Chinese people told him that the foreigners are too simple minded. He retorted Chinese think too much and make things difficult when they don't have to be, for instance face (面子). Guanxi (關係: Relation ) is another Chinese concept that is china's downfall, he convinced.

China isn't a meritocracy. so Guanxi leads to corruption and unfairness.

When I asked him whether the concepts of freedom and democracy will change the nation, he confirmed the answer. But it can't be done overnight of course, it's recommended to release the power of the government to the people slowly and start with freeing the media. China is lack of Universal Suffrage. He could vote a politician whom he didn't like his/her doing out. Unfortunately, the Chinese people are forced to do things, even if they don't like or feel uncomfortable. I always think it's evil to force someone to do something which will make his/her conscience cursed.

If you do good, good things will happen to you and vice versa, if you do bad things, later you bad things will happen to you.

He used a religious term Karma whose meaning is quoted in the above block to say why we should do good. If not, we will one day pay for our deeds. It's not about religion. But the atheism CPC obviously doesn't know it, so it keeps being evil. He said the common in us is that we are both angry freshmen (憤青: fenqing). I have my own explanation of this word 憤 青 and I would rather to translate it into angry young Chinese because 憤 青 is an exclusive product of China. There was never been a people like Chinese who has suffered from such great pains and dilemma, so a population who. It's an absolutely controversial concept. 憤青 are always considered as the factor responsible for the unsteady of society no matter what kind of the social circumstances. The founders of Kuomintang are the 憤青 of Qing Dynasty; the early members are 憤 青 of Republic of China and now us in communist China. Sometimes they promoted the development of society and otherwise reversed the pace of history like the early members of CPC. So Chinese people have fallen into a weird cycle: "the guomindang was corrupt and stole from the people, so the people rose up and took them out, joined the CCP. 60-70 years later, the same thing is starting to happen, CCP is corrupt, incompetent and not able to lead the country". So the tide is turning. In the other hand, the number of 憤青 in a society and the degree of tolerance to this kind of people show the degree of health of the society. The conservatives always complain that why there are so many fenqing, disturbing the steady of society and ignorant of great leadership of CPC. In a Stephen Chow's movie King of Beggars (武狀元蘇乞兒), the answer of the king of beggars to the empire is quite classic. He said the number of beggar is determined by the empire, if the empire cares about the people and offers more ways to make money, there will be fewer beggars, otherwise it increases. Nobody would like to be a beggar. However, currently it seems that many people take angry as their occupation in China. But the rulers never think what they are doing is the deep root that results in such considerable amount of fenqing. If the society is really harmonious, nobody would like to search for troubles. We don't need to be angry as before. Furthermore, I am not a democracy activist.

He is studying a degree in English education at the University of Hong Kong। He said that he was impressed by me, quite different from other young Chinese he met. Frankly, almost of the foreigners contacted with me said i was quite impressive. Hopefully there will be sunny day at the end of holiday, because i have promised him to show a most beautiful Xiamen.