In most parts of Northern
nations like Canada or Russia, we have one word for snow: “snow”. If we want to
be really precise, we will distinguish between dry snow and wet snow because
wet snow is heavy and shoveling it from your driveway is one of the more popular
methods of inviting a heart attack. But in the world’s far North the native
Inuit people have more than 30 words for snow because they live with it for
most of the year and minor differences in snow characteristics can greatly
affect hunting and survival. We have names for things that are important to us.
For example, one of the
most important categories of things in North America is alcoholic drinks. The
basic categories are beer, wine, and spirits (which are distilled), and many
products not fitting easily into these categories.
oWe have beer, bitter, ale, stout and lager; cider, mead, kumis and sake.
oWe have Chianti, Bordeaux, Beaujolais and Burgundy.
oWe have red wine, white wine, rosé wine, fruit wine, table wine, sparkling
wine, ice wine and champagne.
oWe have sweet wines, dry wines, fruit wines and potato wines.
oWe have fortified wines like Port, Madeira, Sherry and Vermouth.
oWe have absinthe and Aquavit; we have brandy, cognac and Armagnac.
oWe have schnapps and fruit brandies.
oWe have gin, vodka, rum, scotch, bourbon, rye and sake.
oWe have pubs, beer halls, taverns and beer gardens.
And I haven’t even begun.
And what does China have?
One word — jiu — for
anything with alcohol in it.
And if we want to be
precise, we have beer (pi jiu), grape wine (pu tao jiu) and the white stuff
that should kill you but somehow doesn’t — bai jiu. And China has no places
where people go to drink alcohol; no taverns, no pubs, no cocktail lounges, no
nothing. You can buy beer, wine and spirits in any supermarket or convenience
store, but you drink those at home (or in the park, or sitting on the curb).
You can of course order them in most restaurants. But that’s all. Almost
nothing to drink, and almost no place to drink it.
In the category of
family, in the West the “family” is the mother, the father, and the kid. That’s
it. We have uncles, aunts and cousins, and we have grandparents, who are not
family but are “relatives”, meaning we don’t like them but were born with them
and had no choice. But in China, “family” means the entire extended family
plus, occasionally, favored outsiders or even foreigners, in total
comprising perhaps 50 people sharing not only emotional but often financial
bonds as well.
In the West, we have only
a handful of names for family members, generally ending with second cousins.
But in China we have potentially hundreds of names for family members, far
beyond mother, father, son and daughter. We have names for younger and older brothers,
names for the father’s older and younger brothers and those of the mother’s and
father’s parents, their younger and older brothers and sisters. We have names
for the grandmother’s third cousin on her father’s uncle’s side of the family.
It doesn’t end. You can see that in China, we waste all our words on trivial
things like family members while in the West with our democracies and American
values we save our words for really important stuff like things you can get
drunk with. Clearly, China needs to change its attitude.
An American acquaintance
once asked me if all Chinese people had “American” names. I tried to deflect
that by saying they were ‘Western’ names rather than ‘American’ but she
countered by saying, “Well, that’s the same thing”. But it isn’t the same
thing. Her name, Theresa, is French. Her husband’s name is Russian; her son’s
name is English. There is no such thing as an American name. Actually,
that’s not quite true. There are three categories of American names. Pocahontas
is an American name, as are girls’ names that end in ‘i’ like Whoopi and Bambi.
The third category is the sometimes-cute names that black mothers give to their
football-player sons, like Jemahl and Freezone. That’s the list. But to
Americans, who copied all their names from people of other nations, the names
are now as American as Coca-Cola.
Mr. Romanoff’s writinghas been translated into 32 languages and his articles posted on more than
150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as
well as more than 100 English language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired
management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions
in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export
business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University,
presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr.
Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books
generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors
to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology ‘When China Sneezes’. (Chapt. 2 — Dealing with Demons).
What part will your country play in World War III?
By Larry Romanoff, May 27, 2021
The true origins of the two World Wars have been deleted from all our history books and replaced with mythology. Neither War was started (or desired) by Germany, but both at the instigation of a group of European Zionist Jews with the stated intent of the total destruction of Germany. The documentation is overwhelming and the evidence undeniable. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11)