By: Maisnam Chanu Liklainu
I met two Chinese girls who didnt know about Bruce Lee. A teacher once told us- people who speak the Mandarin are the brainiest lot. The two Chinese girls were an exception. They had little knowlege about Bruce Lee and other things….. I guess they called him something in Chinese… I was shocked…..Bruce Lee is a big hit here…Till today ,there are people who religiously watch his flicks made in Hongkong… Every year, many students from East Asia flocked to India.
I was fascinated by the Chinese and even took up a course in Chinese Studies…I love to read about the rise of China, its economy,the relations with its neighbours and then its sporting prowess….Latter, I shifted to Japanese Studies ….I came across so many friends from East Asia….The most difficult part was communicating with them….It was very ,very dificult to communicate with the East Asian students…They looked very lovely and very subdued.
The epitome of Confucianism……. Confucianism as a belief is admirable but females are expected to be submissive.Our friends from East Asia weren’t argumentative,interactive or participatory….The East Asian students didnt want to mingle much….They were okay with the Northeasteners like me….I could sense their paranoia and uneasiness with others . The East Asians lack ettiquetes and the social skills. They look refined and polished in soap operas and movies.
There is a story…..Once an Indian Professor went to Korea. He took a cab. In the course of the conversation between the cabbie and the Indian Professor…..The Korean cabbie said to the Indian Professor-“Oh India,you are from my enemy country.” On the other hand, Indians would never say this to a Pakistani. In one of the seminars on East Asia… A Japanese women referred to Indians as very backward. To them India was all about snakes and people living in slums. The teachers gathered on that day handled those remarks very well. This was where Indians score over them……Which is the art of diplomacy.
Then,I met a Japanese girl, Ria….She was very shrewd….She narrated to me how her general knowledge about Manipur came in handy. She knew about Ibobi,the capital of Manipur, and several other tidbits….This came in handy when she visited the Taj or any other monuments of importance in India.She bluffed the people in the ticket counter that she was from Manipur. The people in the ticket counter asked all those questions to ascertain whether she actually was from Manipur or a foreigner…..She was crafty enough to pose as a Meitei….She didnt have to pay for visiting those important monuments. Another Korean researcher knew everything about Manipur. How many tribes are there, how many districts,who belongs to general category and who belongs to Schedule Caste and who belongs to Schedule Tribe… I was pleasantly surprised. Further,another Korean I met was Yoon.She used to take my class notes.She lost that class notes written in a big fat Register. The Register contained many important information about English Literature which I copied painstakingly during my graduation days and wanted to keep it for future reference. I had to bid farewell to that Register. She lost it in an auto-rikshaw. My worst days and nightmare came after that incident….East Asians,we love them…There are numerous instances of their quirkiness. They can be weird, funky, whacky, blunt and odd at times.
The East Asian girls are cute. Their countries project cute as a soft power element. They are all the product of that……