Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Too bad Canucks! Sidelights on Chinese Life by J. Macgowan

  • The Canucks, despite having the NHL's best regular season record, were eliminated in the first round by the Los Angeles Kings.  This is quite a disappointment for them.  I have to admit that after posting an entry in this blog hoping for that result, I do feel sorry for the Canucks fans who aren't hooligans.
  • I am reading   Sidelights on Chinese Life by J. Macgowan.  Written over a 100 years, it is an interesting, though very politically-incorrect, look at the Chinese people.  Throughout the book, Macgowan refers to the Chinese as Yellow, Heathen and inscrutable; writing as he does from the vantage point of a Christian Missionary.     
  • Macgowan is not blind to the many strengths of the Chinese character.  Throughout the book, Macgowan praises the Chinese as being loving of children, hard-working,  intelligent and unwarlike.
  • He criticizes for them for their low-regard for girls, the practice of wife-beating, foot-binding and Heathen superstition. 
  • Most of what Macgown said of the Chinese character stills rings true today, even though it can be argued that the 20th and the early 21st centuries have seen the elimination of many of their most questionable practices.  I would recommend this book to those who are interested in China and the Chinese, even if they might find its Christian Missionary outlook to be annoying.  Most of what it says about the Chinese character has a ring of truth to it.
  • The Westerner likes to get straight to the point.  The Chinese likes to wind his way to it.  An observation I have heard from non-Christians of the Modern Age and this missionary from over a hundred years earlier.
  • I was sweating today in Wuxi.  The sun has been glaring down in that humid Wuxi way.

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