Sunday, 1 December 2013

Hooray Hooray; It was not a holiday !

I never thought that my Nobel Prize winning poetry ( !!) , featured in the previous post,  would so fox my readers. No my dear ladies and gentlemen , No, I was not on a holiday. I did not go trekking in the hills. I was not marooned on Robinson Crusoe island. I was not a trillion miles away from civilization.

I was in the People's Republic of China. And all of the facts mentioned in my "poem" are true.

The country hides behind the jīndùn gōngchéng. The Chinese have their own equivalents of everything - Weibo is actually bigger than Twitter;  TMall and Taobao are bigger than Amazon and E Bay.  Youku may not be as big as YouTube, but its all there and Renren is as big as Facebook. But then only the Chinese use these . CCTV is all in Chinese, except for one appalling English channel and the less said about China Daily, the better.

What a shame, that such a proud, fine, great and strong culture like China wants to retreat into isolationism. Three years after I left China, I go back and the thing that strikes me most is how much more inward looking China has become.

China has every qualification to "conquer" the world - not on horseback, but into the minds and hearts of the people everywhere. But my dear Chinese friends, you can hardly do that if you are gazing intently at your navel !


12 comments:

  1. Welcome back! So, you now have a lot of catching up to do, eh!

    Let us see if Nancy, er, Deepa will welcome you with three messages to show the same level of excitement that she did when she knew you were off the reservation for a long time ;)

    But, is China's inward looking that much a surprise? That has been a consistent feature in their history anyway.

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  2. @Sriram - Yeah ; history has shown China to be an isolatioanist country, but surely today's circumstances are different. The engine of the economy is exports - to all over the world. They are doing economic deals with every country on earth - China is building roads in the unlikeliest of places. And still ........

    By the way, beware of needling "Nancy". Until recently, her Google photo was with a python wrapped around her neck :)

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  3. :D :D never realized I left 3 messages on the previous post until the stalker mentioned it x-D ...

    But see your blog friends are such well wishers, they'd rather send you on a holiday than business!

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  4. When i read the earlier post and all the comments there, I was filled with remorse at the loss of opportunity to wish you a good holiday. well, this post makes me feel better. Looks like you have come back with more experiences of a place that is close to your heart.

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  5. Hahahaa....had a good laugh at our expense eh;-D.

    p.s: never asked u this but did u walk on the GWOC ever??? If yes, where da pic????

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  6. Post the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the chinese have taken up enormous reforms to promote English education from the primary school levels. Should take a while, but they would be there soon ...

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  7. @Deepa - Ha ha. Young sriram has a impish mind and is very partial to lovely charming women :):):)

    @Vincy - Yes - I have a fond corner for Chine and the people there.

    @Reflections - Oh No - would I ever laugh at the wonderful readers and commenters here. Just surprised; that's all. Yes, been on the Great Wall. No pictures though - I don;t even own a camera !!!

    @Iniyan - Great to see you here. and thanks for commenting. No - there's no way the Chinese will ever achieve mastery of English. It is a compulsory subject in school , but since when was language learnable simply from text books .


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  8. more travel stories and anecdotes, please:)

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  9. Wow, I never thought you were going to China...Hope you had a great trip. I agree with the your viewpoint but then the fact remains the isolationist policies of PRC allow them a steadfast growth, expansion and development, I believe at times standing over the rights of the ordinary citizen.

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  10. @Asha - Scared to do so ; in front of such an accomplished travel writer !

    @Prats - Possibly so, but I believe they are scoring a spectacular own goal by closing themselves to the outside world.

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  11. Dear Highly Respected Deepa:
    The comments were in jest. Please do not let loose those pythons on me, especially because of my intense fear of those creatures.
    Sincerely,
    A young snake oil stalker salesman

    Muahahahaha ;)

    Ramesh, yes, China exports to all countries, including Moldova, and builds roads even in Timbuctoo. But engaging in economic transactions is different from having an open society. Granted, as always I am mouthing off way more than I know ... but, my understanding is that even way back, when the Silk Road meant the physical thing and not the internet money laundering and drug trade, the economics was different from cultural and political interactions. Now, it has become even more possible than ever before to shake hands over business deals and but not to develop any interest in the other.

    Oh well .... I shall "slither" away at this point before I hear "hisses" or see the "fangs" coming out ;)

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  12. @Sriram- It will take more than that to make me show my fangs (which like every woman, I definitely possess :D) But for most part I am super benign and highly misunderstood just like the python I had around my neck. Keep it coming!

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