I may say a lot of things about China and the Chinese culture, some good and some bad… and there are many things that I do not understand or that I disagree with, but one thing is true about the Chinese is that once you have made a true friend. They are your friend for life.
In my past, I have had really good friends… close friends…and I am still friends with those people today. But there is something about have a traditional Chinese person as your friend that is different from any other friend I have ever had.
They will go out of their way to help you… even when you do not ask them too. The kindness they show you is different from most of us Americans. They have an innocence about them that shows in their friendship. It is like it would never cross their mind that you would do anything to harm them or hurt them. They are not on guard at any time, they never suspect that you would even consider betraying them. In their eyes you are pure and honest, and mean everything you say and do.
For the most part I am that way to my friends.. but I guess with my past friendships and relationships … it has left me kind of jaded. When I meet people I just have this feeling in the back of my mind that maybe this guy is not being honest or I do not know him well so he may try to cheat me.
When my girls at home tell me I look good… I have a thought.. do I really look good or do I look bad and they don’t want me to look better than them. Something along those lines. Now .. not with everyone.. but you know there are always those people who are your friends but you really do not trust them. For example, that girl .. that everyone calls friend but wouldn’t leave your man alone with her in the room. Or the girl… that in our mind think she is cute and we wish she would sit down, but she is considered your girl.. and that person that always wants to borrow money or things.. and never pays you or brings them back….. it is like they borrow forever.
Well.. when a traditional Chinese person is your true friend.. it is just like those Kung Fu movies.. they would throw their body in front of you to take the punch if they had to… They would take revenge on your enemies… and avenge your death if they had too…
I do not know if it is the long history of a closed society that made them have to depend on each other to survive or if it is just some kind of devotion they have to people that they consider their family. But it is a very strong feeling that they hold for their dearest friends.
This topic came to my mind today .. when I spend some time with some of my dearest Chinese friends. I noticed that they went out of their way to take care of me, to make sure that I was happy and comfortable while I was with them.
From carrying my bags, to helping me in and out of the car, to even paying for items behind my back .. while I was in the changing room. They consider me their elder sister or “Jie Jie” and they would drop everything to help me in my time of need. Even if it put themselves out. When you have friends like that… you cannot help but be the same kind of friend back to them.
I honestly believe that is what true friendship is being there for your friend in good times and bad times….accepting you for who you are… and ready to defend each other to the death.
I always noticed that Chinese families and friends help each other and support each other… no questions asked… and even if they loaned money to each other .. they never worried when it would be paid back… but the person who borrowed .. always made a point to pay it back double, when they accomplished their goal. They pride themselves on working together to achieve great success.. or living together to take care of each other.
Unfortunately, in African-American families it is not always like that, there is someone always out to get someone else, or jealous of someone, or just plain hate each other. The ones who have.. keep…. and the ones who don’t have.. take… Of course this is not in every case and every family.. but it is in mine…my people would nag you until you found your own place, or judge you on your business decisions… or just not support you at all…. or talk about you because you have become successful…. so it just really surprises me the devotion these people have.
They do say Ignorance is bliss…. and the fact that most of them have never experienced the things we experience in America, or the things we see on tv and in movies and even on the internet…. they really do not know that some people could take advantage of them and of their kindness. The government here has blocked so much of the real world .. that it is like they still think in the ways of the old Southern plantations, or even dare I say.. The Quakers…
I feel totally blessed to have made the dear friends that I have here in China… honored to be cherished by them.
Life is amazing…. you can find people who mean the world to you… on the other side of the world.
until next time….