Thursday, February 2, 2012

Andrei It's culture stupid

People have been throwing around words like
Racism
and
Xenophobia
during the past few days because some people feel a little uncomfortable that large tracts of New Zealand's agricultural land are being sold to Chinese interests.

The same people see hypocrisy and racism in that the sale of agricultural land to a wealthy Canadian does not provoke the same level of disquiet.

And nor it would engender similar disquiet if the purchaser were a Chinese Presbyterian from Colorado who would have similar cultural affinities and language to the majority New Zealanders.

It is a lack of "cultural affinity" not the race of the buyers of the Crafar farms that generates the sense of unease in many if not the majority.

Here's a true story from about 15 years ago.

The Maersk Dubai was a container ship owned and operated by a Taiwanese company. The officers were Taiwanese and the crew were Filippino.

On route to Canada two Romanian stowaways were found. The Taiwanese Master put them overboard on a raft. They were never seen again.

Later a third stowaway was found and again he was put overboard, never to be heard from again.

When the Filippino crew found a fourth stowaway, knowing what his fate would be if discovered they hid him and fed him until they got to Canada - where they reported all to the authorities.

After much legal wrangling the officers were deported to Taiwan tried and acquitted through "lack of evidence".

Who do you have affinity with in this story?

What aspect of Filipino culture do we share with the vast majority of Filipinos but which is not a major feature of life in Taiwan?

Remember the Filippines is a largely Christian Country, Roman Catholic to be specific.

4 comment(s):

KG said...

I believe opposition to the farm sales is neither racism or xenophobia, in most cases.
There's more than one way to colonise a country, and doing it with money via politically-sanctioned means doesn't make it any more acceptable.
Africa gives a good view into the Chinese attitude towards exploiting a country's resources.
Key would sell his own Granny for short-term political gain.

Reggie said...

It is a measure of how facile the "New Right" truly are. As long as someone, somewhere, somehow is making money, that's all that matters.

James said...

Would have been interesting to see the Filipinos response if the stowaways had been gay....

MK said...

Don't forget that whole communism thing, the persecution, sham trails followed by a firing squad, organ thieving, forced abortions etc. Puts a damper on things when it starts weaseling in your direction.

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