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how "foreigners" can change into han-people ---->


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...many years ago, I read some text about confucian philosophy....

I was especially reading about confucian aspects of self-cultivation: From the confucian point of view, all confucians are a part of the chinese civilization, right?

I guess that's why many outside tribes (Manchu, Mongols etc...) COULD turn into something like chinese "citizens"...IF you cultivate yourself in order to become a good Confucian you definitely ARE a part of its Civilization.

So, in fact, everybody, from the pure blood han in central shandong to the nice indios in south america, would have the theoretical chance to become a part of chinese civilization...

I mean, it's incredible: it sets completely new light on the legitimization of han CIVILIZATION (as it is not han culture!)


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How is that applied to other confucian societies, e.g. Korea? I'm not sure too many Koreans would be happy if you told them they were really Chinese.

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Language Guy

Interesting theoretical concept, but I should direct you to the countless threads on this board about personal experiences of racism in China. And they're not just from white people, either.

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In fact, there's not a pure blood in China for thousands of years. Qin the First Emperor wasn't "pure blood" chinese by the standard at that time. He was a barbarian. The Great Tang was found by "foreigne tribes" who tried every best to develop, embrace and gestate the glory time of Chinese. Northern Wei Dynasty, another foreign dynasty, even execised a compulsory policy to sinocize its people.

For thousands of years, Chinese could be invaded by foreign tribes, but conquerers would assimilate themselve into Han culture. Today when we talk about Chinese, we're not actually talking about a particular breeding of people, it's about people living under the same cultural umbrella.

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My frustration has not prevailed yet...

from my point of view, today's chinese "racism" is nothing but backward thinking.

"We" will need 20,30 years, I guess, and that'll do...

Yeah, China needs something like a white "dashan minority"! :)

But seriousIy, think this has to develop and it will develop... think of 1,2 or maybe 5 million "white chinese" residents in a few decades. I'm just optimistic!

I ALSO KNOW THAT MY THOUGHTS REFLECT NOT REALITY. but nevertheless, time goes by, and time's on "laowais" side, countries change, governments change, and we also know that people's perception will change.

China opens up so fast. In comparison to the 80s and even 90s (not to mention before 1978!!!) China literally performs "great leaps forward" now. Year by Year these "great leaps" exponentiate themselves. I believe in the opportunities of my generation and future generations...

Oh yes, by the way, let's do it like the good old arabian merchants and make scads of children there!!! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

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Interesting topic. :mrgreen: Because China has had many expansionist empires, it is only natural that a process of civilizing and converting foreign peoples would emerge. Also, for most of Asian history, Chinese civilization was simply superior to the civilizations of other cultures. A good example of that might be the Tabgach Northern Wei dynasty. Many people had a gut-level distrust of the Hans, but eventually Chinese civilization and its advanced forms of authoritarian government (as compared to the less centralized more egalitarian hunting and gathering societies on China’s periphery) were just too strong for the elite to resist. And a slow process of Hanification ensued.

I think barbarians can become Han by other means as well: learning the Chinese language, eating Chinese food, using Chinese characters, receiving a Chinese-style education, adopting Chinese values…etc. In other words, foreign tribes or barbarians can change their lifestyles and worldviews and they will become Chinese.

Or, let me quote from the great Tibetanologist Fosco Maranini: “The Chinese are colonialists, however, by deep instinct and ethnic tradition, tend to impose themselves: therefore they exercise a subtle, continuous, involuntary pressure to make the “barbarians” abandon their rough, uncouth ways of eating, dressing, entertaining themselves, sleeping, singing, writing, thinking, and adapt to the methods that are more metropolitan and respectable. What if that is to take a century or two? So be it. What are ten or fifteen generations in our millennial history!"

There are a couple of curious things that I’ve noticed about the power of Chinese civilization:

1) It is considered universal. Some civilizations are exclusionary (ie. you cannot become a Hindu, if I am not mistaken). Han civilization is open and welcoming, (as long as you don’t go against the flow).

2) The aspects of Chinese culture mentioned above (food, writing, thinking...etc) have a heightened importance. Democracy and the ideas of individual liberty are the key components to the American identity and the key components to American national unity. When Americans talk about democracy, you can feel that regardless of whether the American knows what the hell he/she is talking about, you can get the sense that something almost holy and sacred is being discussed. Likewise, when Chinese people discuss their culture, especially its History, one often feels that is more than a set of dates and events being narrated, but instead a sacred and transcendent ceremony with the past is being carried out.

3) Many books about learning Mandarin have contents that reflect the subconscious belief that “culture plays a civilizing force” on foreigners. Why do second year books on Mandarin always include chapters about the history of tea, the Great Wall, and Confucius? Why do they almost always fail to include much of the most needed vocab necessary to function in daily life? The books’ missionary-like contents tend to reflect what some Hans deem necessary for conversion.

Anyway, these are just a few thoughts I’ve had. The subject of ethnicity and assimilation in China’s various empires is really a fascinating subject.

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