'Is that a pig-taxi up ahead? How rather stylish - let's try it'
Britain has set the standards for the world as a class-orientated country. Middle class are a dying breed, working class heroes such as footballers, x factor celebs, tend to be lionised, and the Upper Class are enjoying their lives. The class structure plays a relevant part to both British Born Chinese lifestyle, but in general you will see us in the middleclass to upper class lifestyle...and around the whole world emulating the western elitist structure but is it to a fault?
To arrive in England as an immigrant and start a new life, traditionally Chinese people have worked very hard to achieve this, and as a result we have been rewarded with the model minority status which we all too willingly accept.
Chinese are usually quite good at saving and investing and the kind of things that it takes to survive and even thrive in times like these. And as such, the more comfortable one is with one's life the less he or she is likely to care about developing cultural issues such as politics or art, or things that will progress our cultural development.
Now when you take Chinese pragmatic attitude towards life, lack of progressive thinking, our inward looking nature, middle class status, AND add that to the western economy that is crumbling to bits, and a possible second home in Hong Kong or China as a get of jail ticket... you get model minority perpetual foreigners, who despite our high income lifestyle ( or supposed) still havent created any progressive movement in culture or Chinese pride that we can be proud of.
Where the west has traditionally set the rules and standards, with China now becoming a global economic power to be reckoned with, Chinese are having to compete with western standards of progression, technology, arts, to make up for the lost time, and its something that China needs to be doing more of and what we overseas Chinese, who with our freedom of speech and self expression need to do as well.. but with a quarter of a billion of the worlds population...why isnt the incentive to openly express our pride there?
Chinese always seem to adopt western standards in almost everything as a bar to aspire to, so that we never seem to want to develop our own uniqueness or spend the necessary time to develop our own unique artistic voices..and why not?
When you add up all the high desire to assimilate to white culture - the high interracial marriage, the imitation of western snobbery ( or desire to escape our own culture for more perceived privileged status of white society) the hypocritical crabs in a bucket mentality of criticism amongst ourselves paradoxically contrasting to our blatant white-worshipping mentality, the general apathy towards racial identity politics...and in effect losing an opportunity of creativity...it doesnt make for a strong identity, nevermind a lack of interesting personality.
Our identity seems fragmented without considerable innovation and our culture is just 'exotic' and backwards looking and irrelevant to modern times, our technology still too 'copycat'. And despite reading the reports of how China intends to create unique ideas and brands, but are just copying the west so they can learn from them...im sorry but until I see proof, nothing will persuade me otherwise. Part of this copycat culture only feeds the racist 'they all look the same, act the same, to me' attitudes that the west adopts. And yet this glaring hole in our cultural identity is still, after all this time, something we choose to forsake!
For all the above reasons, the chance for Chinese cultural development is now. But you try telling that to the Chinese owner of a sweatshop or poorly made fake furniture in China. Or even Hong Kong filmmakers who have lost sight of quality of filmmaking and forced to adopt China's bland censorship policies, do Chinese film censors really ban quality filmmaking as well or is it just coincidence that the majority of films coming out from Hong Kong and China are crap?. Materially we are thriving , so why arent we progressing culturally?
Are we not able to evolve or are we stuck in a time-machine of perpetual copy the west til we are dead, crank out more mind-dead weak-plot films? Are we incapable of innovating? Or have we gotten too comfortable in our material excess? Where is our Chinese spirit?
And as long as we continue to act like 'animals' out to survive or thrive - whether working class animals or elitist animals emulating a western high class, then without a higher humanistic spiritual purpose, we will always be culturally labelled by the west as second best, no matter how materialistically well off we become and as a result, as usual,we will just plod along like zombies waiting for someone else to take up the mantle.