Views: 16897|Replies: 25

Banana man--yellow on appearance but all white inside. [Copy link] 中文

Rank: 4

Post time 2003-10-29 04:09:00 |Display all floors
Banana man,

Recently I came across an expression, “Banana man”, yellow on appearance but all white inside.

Whoever coined this expression may also sufferer from the same psychological illness, from which most of us Chinese have been suffering in the past few hundred years. We Chinese have been going through some really tough time in China’s descending from its pinnacle in Tang (part of Sung as well) dynasty to the absolute misery and humiliation in the 19th and most part of the 20th centuries. The ‘barbarians’ just kept coming, and eventually had the upper hand. First came the “Jins”, then the “Mongols”, the “Qings”, and finally all the westerners, including the Japanese, a pupil of Chinese who copied everything from China in the past.

The confidence of Chinese was running at the lowest level until the fairly recent recovery. Such a lack of confidence exhibits itself in two extreme forms, the absolute admiration for Western cultures on one hand and the absolute denial of it on the other. Often our psyche swings violently between these two.

When confidence running low, we become so feared of Western cultures, afraid that they are going to replace our own, making us a ‘banana man’. This fear often turns us into a denial mindset, refusing to accept whatever strength the ‘barbarians’ may bring into our culture, until they knock our doors down. We then are faced with the reality and often turn into the other extreme, absolute admiration for Western cultures.

History may teach us that the one that dares to open its door and dares to embrace foreign cultures feels itself the strongest one, and often in the end actually becomes the strongest. Our own experience in the Tang dynasty is a good example in which Western cultures, Buddhism in this case, was treated as 经 "Jing”. Yet historians agree that Tang was then arguably the most powerful nation in the world in wealth, culture, and military.

So is the United States now, which is nothing but a full mixture of cultures from all over the world, built on the foundation of Western cultures, but greatly enhanced by others.

When the “banana man’ dares to openly and confidently swallow other contents, white, black or yellow, and wrap them all under his yellow skin, he will be strong again as he was in the days of Tang Dynasty. I am confident that China will eventually out grow the heritage of Confucius, dump its white Marxism, and become daring to embrace other cultures under its yellow skin.

One type of ‘banana man’ I was ashamed of becoming was the one who threw out all Chinese heritage and replaced it with the invention of Marx. How could we get any whiter inside than a Chinese Marxist? Also I want to question how much yellow content mainland Chinese still have these days given all the culture heritage has been so systematically destroyed by the Chinese Marxists in the past century, and history textbooks have been so systematically distorted with the view of a Marxist? In our growing up, were we educated with Chinese culture or with Marxism? I figure we were , and still are, much more of Marxist than Chinese. As such, whatever we do today, we will not be any more ‘banana man’ than what we already are. Ironic, is it?


Use magic tools Report

Rank: 4

Post time 2003-10-29 08:56:40 |Display all floors

another example

To my last message, I may have to add one more example of how a confident people built upon itself the most powerful empire of its time by shamelessly and proudly embracing other more superior culture. That is the Qing people, who conquered China but was willing to accept everything Chinese. Did they argue that they should keep their own Qing heritage? I bet they did, but in the end it was the advanced Chinese civilization that they adapted and married to. According to some historians, KangShi built, without a doubt, the largest, richest, and most populous empire of its time.

However, what drives me crazy is what went wrong after Chian Long. In fact the perpetual rise and fall of any civilization is always a myth. It seems that a civilization always reaches its peak right before its downfall. In hindsight, you cannot help wondering whether the fate of China would be very different had the Manchu people set their eyes beyond Chinese civilization, and paid some attention to the industry revolution that was soon to storm England and the world. Of course, the Manchu people can be forgiven considering how much they had already achieved, moving from a barbarian corner land into the greatest empire of its time. For the same reason, the English can be forgiven for their loss of their empire after only 100 years or so of dominance.

The lesson seems clear that, however great is an empire, the moment it becomes too proud of and indulges in itself the fate of its downfall is already set.

Thanks for your reading and comments


Use magic tools Report

freewill has been deleted
Post time 2003-10-29 11:07:38 |Display all floors

: )

Reminder: Author is prohibited or removed, and content is automatically blocked

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 1

Post time 2003-10-29 15:14:08 |Display all floors

wonderful presentation & beautiful english


Use magic tools Report

fengrufang has been deleted
Post time 2003-10-29 22:10:48 |Display all floors

your english is very very good.can you tell me how to study english?thank you.

Reminder: Author is prohibited or removed, and content is automatically blocked

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 4

Post time 2003-10-30 02:56:31 |Display all floors


Hi Wave:

Nice post.

To the best of my knowledge, the term “banana” is used to describe Asian immigrants that think they are more European or American than Asian.  Banana, “yellow outside, white inside”, refers to their attitude and behavior.  They often act as if they were born in that country and forget that they are Asian.  Especially when someone said they speak the language without any accent.  Imagine a Chinese walk into a Chinese restaurant and orders in English with a heavy accent.  It's not only prophetic, it's pitiful.  Again, I hated it when someone asks me if I speak English. Well, Do you speak Chinese?  You can dye your hair, bleach your skin and jack up you nose, you are still Chinese.

Use magic tools Report

Rank: 6Rank: 6

Post time 2003-10-30 03:31:05 |Display all floors

Very good post wave

And I like your name too!  

I haven't heard of "banana man"  before.  Does this mean that if I come to China, I will be "egg man?"  

Use magic tools Report

You can't reply post until you log in Log in | register

Contact us:Tel: (86)010-84883548, Email:
Blog announcement:| We reserve the right, and you authorize us, to use content, including words, photos and videos, which you provide to our blog
platform, for non-profit purposes on China Daily media, comprising newspaper, website, iPad and other social media accounts.