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Mittwoch, März 31, 2010

The chieftain and the Taiwanese cellphone

In Taiwan weird things are happening and people behave... differently. Like Taiwan's president Ma handing out a cellphone to a tribal chief of the Solomon islands as a gift was nothing special, but the later discussion about it was strange. The Taiwanese are openly discussing (http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2010/03/31/2003469374) if the gift was appropriate or something more practical would have been better. What the hell do they mean, a bathtub instead or what did they have in mind?
While this discussion will surely be very embarrassing for the chief, it does not stop at this point but now they even discuss, if the man is able to use a cellphone. If you click on the link you can see a photo where the minister of foreign affairs is actually making a test call if they chieftain picks up the phone or not. This is a behavior which is quite typical on the island. The locals here deem themselves to be more intelligent than whites and especially darker skinned people and show this feeling of superiority very clearly and often in a rude way. "Ey darkie, phone alright? Or want a bathtub instead?" Dark skinned people encounter many bad stereotypes here in Taiwan, like being told when applying for an English teaching job that blacks could not speak proper English - and that to US citizens! What surprises me is even the government giving a darker skinned person this treatment - on an official level.

Well, the Solomon chief was hanging up the phone the article said. I can absolutely understand that move.

Note how the article points out the chief would own three cellphones and would have told the Taiwanese he knew how to use them. This is news worth reporting in the Taipei times! Guess how clever they are!

Mon dieu.

Edit: OK, the Taiwanese racism is not really hateful, it comes across surprisingly straight forward and without shame. Friendly bunch though. And clever bastards.

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