Thursday, 22 September 2011

How British Chinese Musicians Can Find Inspiration In Chinese Rap Music

Some British Chinese dont speak Chinese too well. Most British Chinese can only write 300 characters. But you don't need to speak Cantonese to relish the Chinese pride of the 1997 Hong Kong Band L.M.F.

 Lazy Mutha Fucka or LMF for short, is a Cantonese hip-hop group in Hong Kong. LMF were represented by Warner Music, in 1993, split up in 2003 and joined up again in 2009.

All members of LMF come from poverty, their material is based on real life and struggle in the lower class; and this created a lot of commotion and controversy, due to cursing and subject matter.

To me, LMF epitomises everything that needs to be expressed and defined clearly within our Chinese western identity- learning from our western background and then expressing Chinese pride, speaking out, against political injustic.

This is MC Yan. If he were British Chinese,  it wasnt so long ago that such an individual would be considered by the community as a 'white wannabe hippy'. But as one of the main writer of LMFs lyrics Yan's wisdom is more like a rebellious taoist scholar.

Seems like that doesnt stop the females wanting to take photos with him.

Welcome to the MC Yan fan blog!

From wiki:

LMF concentrated a large amount of their effort in expressing their discontent towards the political and economic turmoils in Hong Kong, such as the Asian financial crisis, as well as the incompetence of the Hong Kong political leaders, as demonstrated through the song "WTF". they also attempted to reinforce a distinct and unique Hong Kong cultural identity in which the youth of Hong Kong should be proud of as illustrated in the song "1127" taking Bruce Lee as a Chinese role model.[3]
Many of LMF's songs reflected the cultural problem of having a lack of an identity for today's youth to look up to and be proud of in the modern Hong Kong society. In their song "債" (Debt), they stated that many Chinese parents send their children to the opposite side of the world only to have them grow up to be "Caucasians with yellow skin" (Cantonese lyrics: "黃皮膚嘅鬼仔") while the parents have distanced themselves with their children and are not assuming the responsibilities of raising them.[4]

We British Chinese have issues that we can only identify with...working for our immigrant parents whilst some hoodie smashes the takeaway window for the nth time asking for a discount on a packet of chips.

Being brainwashed by western culture that we are so white we make a white man ashamed.

Snide racism from fellow employees at work.  Seeing our people represented for the nth time by an all too eager Chinese girlfriend of heroic white man  in the media. Reading more anti-China crap or hearing about it wherever we go. Our own self-perpetuated apathy.

Lots of hangups. But why dont we express it in music? Are we so eager just to put on a face and pretend that everythings okay when really its not? Where's our fury?

Bands like LMF have expressed their distinct voice that is unique, and British Chinese, clearly the largest and oldest group of East Asians in the UK haven't even made the effort to discover our political voice yet. Isn't it time we did?

PS For those who prefer mellower music here is British Born Artist Stevie Hoang

 For those who like their music edgier heres LMF

Plenty of room for both kinds of music, but in these politically corrupt times, why dont we have our own LMF?

Monday, 19 September 2011

Is the British Education System Inherently Racist Towards British Born Chinese?

We've all had to go through the British education system, whether you are an overseas student , Hapa, or British Born Chinese.

Guess who has the potential to come out the worst?

In most British schools you are taught British history. You are lied to about how 'Great' Britain is. Britain - the home of western social engineering and China is the one country that Britain failed to conquer despite its best opium efforts, and add to its little collection of colonies that made up the British Empire.

Typically, both immigrant Chinese, Hapas, and also British Born Chinese as hard working middle class , make the best efforts to send their children to the best education.

But whilst hapas can climb the ranks of the white elite, and children of immigrants, once graduating, unless continuing their further education in a British College or university, can go home and show off their well spoken english accent to their Hong Kong or mainlander family and friends.

For us British Born Chinese, there is little advantage that can come away from a public school education except a posh accent,casual racism that is supposed to 'toughen us up', which we can either fight back against, or be temporarily beaten down by.

With the lack of parental understanding provided by 1st gen / overseas parents for your situation, despite not knowing the figures, one can only imagine the 'casual racism taunts' that with no real ethnic social group to have standing by to support your Chineseness, and the extent you may have to suffer casual racism if you dont 'toughen up' at school- whether day school, boarding school, or regular comprehensive.

Indeed the only option one has from leaving a British education, whether public or comprehensive is joining in the social life , that probably was developed during the miserable teen years spent at school, in order to 'fit in', and this is left to develop further at university where we due to our lack of chinese social groups ( typically immigrant Chinese societies, whilst hapas conveniently ignore their chinese side to climb the ranks of the in-groups) , Again we either learn to embrace this culture  such as going to magaluf, getting drunk, taking drugs. Later on this disparity can lead to identity crisis and the need to fit in, /or we are lost and the cultural anomoly continues.

For boys, unless embracing the British Culture we are left to our own devices, unless we happen to be show-offs, socially  extraverted extroadinaires, and for girls, end up with white partners in their desperate hope to fit in and eventually outbreed the socially engineered self-hatred.

Truly the British educational system is where the British Chinese destruction begins. And unless Chinese people are welcomed wholeheartedly and not just paid lip service, and the two-faced social engineering takes a rest from demonising China and it's people , without a stronger British Born culture, this travesty will continue, and sadly create many more casualties of future British Born Chinese, causing psychological damage that no untold amount of money can fix.

Now if only us Chinese/future parents truly appreciated the power of politics and cultural identity, we could maybe do something to make life easier for those future potential victims?

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Is our Chinese nature too nonconfrontational to speak out against racism?

This is a theme that I have found echoing throughout this blog. If you read the articles on here it's pretty clear that racism is a topic that we British Chinese, British Born Chinese...I would even go as far to say as Chinese people... do nothing about.

So why are we so scared of speaking out against racism?

It's a known fact that Chinese people are by nature peaceful, almost too peaceful in our need for peace. For us British Born Chinese this blog is a good start, but it's funny that when it comes to the most common form - casual racism, we often go all po-faced.

This love for peace can be traced back, in my opinion to our confucian roots. Here is a list of his quotes that I quickly googled
looking at that extract, one of the first things that comes to mind is that the content has quite a paternalistic tone. And when we look at Chinese culture, we can see that the father figure plays an important role in the Chinese household.

The first Chinese who has emigrated to Britain, was as a quick wiki search will tell us:

first Chinese coming from the ports of Tianjin and Shanghai in the early 19th century, many thousands of whom settled in port cities such as Liverpool in 1804 and earlier.

Okay so let's meditate on that for a minute , and for two reasons: 

1. you probably didnt know that - why not?

2. you probably didnt care - why not?

It's a little known fact that many British Chinese first came to these shores as servants. What does this mean for us British Born Chinese? It means we have no history that we can be proud of. These servantile mentality, coupled with our Confucian-based need for a peaceful figure is the root of Chinese mentality downfall.

The desire for peace and lack of confrontation has made our race appear weak, when in fact we due to our ability to survive and avoid western conquering ( im refering to China which I consider myself ethnically part of ) are probably the strongest nation in the world. However, having said that there is a lot of work to do.

The average Chinese doesnt really think too much about his or Chinese identity, because of real life and work duties, but I believe this also is a problem with the Chinese nature. We are too practical and not culturally introspective enough. We don't question things enough. We always want quick solutions. Yes these are traits that can be said of our modernized humanity, but these are typically of Chinese traits.

A good example is that now the western empire is crumbling and it's doing all it can to hold onto it's illusion of imperial greatness, lots of westerners are now looking to China, learning Mandarin etc etc. But what about the people? What do these westerners find? A bunch of kowtowing Chinese who want to marry their daughters to white men? A bunch of Chinese who want your western tourist money? Why is the Chinese strength so elusive to identify? Are we a feminine culture by nature? Is the west yang and we are the yin? If that is the case, then what does that mean for speaking out against racism? Does it means we have to rely on China to put up with barbaric western political aggressiveness until one of the sides give up?

Are westerners better able to absorb Chinese culture than we are ? We are ethnically Chinese. Westerners will do anything to absorb other peoples cultures. But no matter how hard they try, they will never absorb the Chinese culture. We are the culture. We are ethnically Chinese. So why aren't we announcing it and running down the hallways screaming our Chinese pride and fighting western racism with it? Chinese, for all our faults, are the oldest living Civilisation alive and will probably continue to be til the end of time.

There are many questions that remain unanswered and i'm not here to answer or provide any quick solutions, but i do believe the first step is to see our weak spots and then do something about it, rather than living a life of ignorance. But to do that takes time, and study.

So far so good you may well ask, but what is my point?

My question is, is having a confucian mindset, necessarily the right one? And what is the alternative?

To me is outgrowing our slavish confucian mindset. Indeed, the mindset, we need to develop is an enquiring, even rebellious mindset

Shock horror! rebellion! my goodness! I can hear our Chinese brains immediately shutting down at such a suggestion. But it is this questioning nature that we will be able break free from our self-imposed slavery to find strength from our Chinese fighting ethnicity based on survivalism, endurance, wu xia mindset ,fighting aggression with aggression to win peace and better stand up against white racism.

This can be seen in the amount of foreigners who treat Chinese with their white privelige in China like these two videos here
Australian Rugby Players celebrating in Hong Kong

Guangdong: Foreigner hits a Courier for staring at his wife

Why can a white man go to any other country in the world and enjoy status because their 'superiority' breeds fear and respect in the host of that country? Maybe its because of the PR work that was already done by imperialists that allow for this 'privilege'

Here is one Confucius quote that I do agree with, but then having said that the guy probably covers everything from taking a shit to brushing your teeth. Anyway with due respect to our most well-known Chinese philosopher here it is:

"No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance."