Arama They Didn't

From Douban:

A little Japanese child came to our home, and embarrassed our entire family

Please patiently read until the end, because what I have to say is definitely not one of those comparisons between the living and learning capabilities of Chinese and Japanese children you often see online.

Recently my second cousin who married in Japan and her Japanese husband returned to her side of the family on a visit, bringing with them a little Japanese child, apparently the child of her Japanese husband’s relative who was very interested in China and so came along with them. My second cousin, her husband, and the Japanese child all stayed at my cousin’s home, because my cousin’s son is about the same age as the Japanese child, and they could be playmates.

The Japanese kid’s name was Jun Fu, who had just begun first grade, and looked rather gentle and delicate. With his glasses, he looks rather like the main character Nobi from Doraemon. He speaks a little bit of Chinese but with it being his first time in a strange country and meeting this many strangers whose speech he doesn’t understand, he was a little nervous. Still, seeing our amiable smiles, Jun Fu very politely bowed to each and every one of us, greeting us with very stiff Chinese.

Truly, we all adored this little Japanese kid, so we were all very nice to him.

However, my cousin’s son Peng Peng, who is currently in third grade, was full of hostility towards Jun Fu. Peng Peng knew early on that Jun Fu was Japanese, so when he met him, the very first thing he did was raise his little fist, and the first thing he said was: “Down with Little Japan!”

Jun Fu didn’t understand “Down with Little Japan”, but he was confused to see Peng Peng raise his fist. Of course, Peng Peng didn’t hit him either, only intending to scare him a bit, and Jun Fu was scared so much the color of his face changed.

My cousin hurriedly pulled Peng Peng to a side, rebuking him that this is a guest and he must not be impolite! Unexpectedly, Peng Peng began crying, saying the teacher said, “Japanese people are Chinese people’s enemy, you are all unpatriotic!”

I also explained to him that what the teacher is referring to is history, but now Japan is currently improving relations with China, and that the Japanese kid who has come to our home is kind-hearted and our friend.

Peng Peng became even angrier, saying: “Then why just recently daddy and mommy were talking about how Japan stole China’s land and we should boycott Japanese goods everyday? Our teacher at school recently had us watch an educational cartoon, which was all about us bringing down Japanese imperialism!”

That day, Peng Peng continuously glared at Jun Fu with enmity.

Jun Fu however truly was a kind-hearted, well-behaved child. Later when I went over to my cousin’s home, I heard my cousin say that Jun Fu always keeps his things nice and tidy in his suitcase, never needs prodding to wash his face and brush his teeth, and even knows to wash his underwear and socks on his own everyday. Because he was embarrassed to have my cousin help him hang it up to dry, he carefully hung them on the towel rack n the balcony. When it came to meals, Jun Fu would look at those older in the house. Seeing his elders pick up their chopsticks, he would then look to my second-cousin, waiting for her to say something in Japanese, probably that it was time to eat, before he would pick up his own bowl and chopsticks.

Chinese parents really do like comparing their children to other people’s children, this cannot be denied. My cousin said she really wished Peng Peng was as thoughtful and easy to take care of as Jun Fu, having grown accustomed to picking up various kinds of garbage that Peng Peng leaves behind, cleaning and tidying up after him, doing this and that for him, with Peng Peng taking the best portions of food for himself as if that is how things are supposed to be, while they too give Peng Peng the best portions, spoiling him. But seeing how well-behaved, considerate, and polite Jun Fu was, even letting elders go first when eating, my cousin couldn’t help but say to Peng Peng from time to time: “Look at how that little brother so and so.”

Really, the way Japanese families and schools educate their children is just so different from the way China does. I really wonder if it is because of [differences in] overall social norms.

Little by little, this thoroughly exasperated Peng Peng.

The second day Jun Fu was here, Jun Fu friendly shared took his remote control car out and gave it to Peng Peng to play with. [Seeing this, I thought to myself,] Perhaps sharing was a part of the education they [Japanese children] receive. But on the third day, my cousin saw parts of the remote control car scattered all over Peng Peng’s room. She asked what happened, and Peng Peng viciously relied: “Boycott Japanese goods!”

From then on Jun Fu never shared his toys with Peng Peng again, and began keeping his distance from Peng Peng.

On the fourth day after Jun Fu’s arrival, Peng Peng finally changed his attitude, and became friendly with Jun Fu. It seems like children’s natures are inherently kind after all, and they’re willing to make friends. They first exchanged their names, with Peng Peng engrossed in learning Japanese pronunciation, while Jun Fu happily said “Peng Peng, “friends”, and other Chinese words. Peng Peng also took out his toy cars and gave them to Jun Fu to play. We could see that Jun Fu was very happy, so all the parents were also very much relieved.

To our great surprise, on the very last night that Jun Fu was at my cousin’s home, something happened that shocked and embarrassed our entire family.

That night, my parents, cousin and her husband, uncle and aunt, and I were all watching TV in the living room. My second cousin and her Japanese husband had gone out to do some shopping. Peng Peng brought Jun Fu out to the living room and while looking quite pleased with himself, he said Jun Fu had something to say to us.

Then Jun Fu, his cheeks blushing, hands fidgeting, smilingly and bashfully said something in his awkward Chinese:

“I’m a damn Jap! I’m sorry to all Chinese!”

Everyone was stunned.

Jun Fu saw the looks on our faces, and stood there, not knowing what to do.

My cousin finally found herself, immediately smiled, wrapped Jun Fu in her arms and rubbed his hair [as if nothing was wrong], while her husband went up and dragged Peng Peng into the bathroom where “smack” a slap was heard, the hit making even my heart tremble.

I thought, I now know what had happened.

It had to have been Peng Peng who taught Jun Fu to say those words, and Jun Fu must have thought what Peng Peng taught him to say was something we would appreciate hearing, probably like thanking us or that it was a pleasant stay in China and the like.

After Jun Fu left, my cousin’s family reflected deeply on how they raised their kid. At the same time, they were sad and worried about how such a little child could have such hate towards Japan bordering on the pathological in his bones. My second cousin said, as far as she knew, Japanese kids don’t have a very bad impression of China and would never have thought that today’s Chinese kids would have such deep-rooted hate.

Perhaps it is time for our patriotic education to be more objective. Our anti-Japanese sentiments should be softened too. Children are impressionable. Their hearts should be pure and good. When he sees his own compatriots setting fire to Japanese car dealers, smashing Japanese cars, surrounding and vandalizing JUSCO, or when the education in school involves instilling anti-Japanese hate, his patriotism has already begun becoming twisted. Furthermore, when recently there have even been people posting online about spraying themselves with Borancit [a Viagara type of product] and raping Japanese women into extinction, there is even less morality and rationality to be said.

Perhaps there will people who will read this and say, “Never forget national humiliation, this is exactly how children should be educated from when they are small!” But for some reason, in the face of a nice little Japanese kid, who wanted to befriend us so much with his cute blushing face, our Chinese children’s hatred has made us elders completely ashamed.

Source: ChinaSMACK, douban
Well I believe this is a good read after all the recent tension.
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