ok. I'm late into this conversation. I know. I knew of the controversy. I saw the pillar-wrap in Tangs in Singapore.
I saw the "Hype" component last night in a English pub of all things.
So anyway, I started reading into it today. and well, while I thought the Nippon Paint was a little OTT, this one is almost valid. Although if you read the forums not many people have much of a clue about Chinese culture.
First they say Le Bron's ethnicity has not been discussed. That especially because he's black, and Chinese look down on blacks, white bastketballers might have gotten away with it.
ALL RIGHT. where do I even start.
Chinese people are xenophobic in general. I don't mean The People Of China only, I mean Chinese the race in general. my parent's marriage was 'unconventional' because they married out of their dialect groups. In fact, my mum isn't "real" Chinese. and due to more than a few complications, likes to insist black and blue that she is in fact, a "pure" Chinese descending from the heralded state of Swatow (where the most becautiful girls come from). But that's another story altogether.
In Singapore, this doesn't matter at all though.
And not to put the Chinese down, almost every race is like that. Especially the Asian races. Vietnamese, Hmong, Cambodian, Indonesian, Indian, Japanese, Korean, whatever. my Viet friend's father wouldn't talk to her for 2months because her boyfriend is Lebanese.
The stories abound.
My mother's last words to me as she left me alone in Australia at the age of 15 weren't "take care" or "be good" - they were "don't come home with an ang moh (white) boyfriend"
They're still doing some sort of reverse-blackmail on me.
"Your father is convinced you're going to marry a white man"
"You're so aussiefied. You're going to come home with a white husband"
I'm so tempted to tell them that the last Aussie I dated converted to Indian Buddhism, flew to Cambodia to volunteer there and is considering opening a functional co-op in Australia...oh and he's vegetarian.
Communist, Buddhist AND Vegetarian! He's more Asian than I bloody am!
Cantonese get away with calling white people gweilo. Of course, the word (I suspect) has long since lost its derogatory connotation.
But to say that IF a white person had shot the same ad the furore wouldn't have sparked is a ridiculous proposition and oversight.
Then there's someone who says that any ad featuring Le Bron whacking an old man is bound to recieve controversy.
Thing is, it's not the age issue here. Although a huge thing in Chinese culture, martial arts masters rely on juuuuuuuust a liiiiiiitle bit more than old age to get them through life. Honestly. They are accorded respect for being masters, not for being old men. sheesh.
and then "the black obsession with Chinese culture". It's been a well documented fact that minorities in every culture form a sense of solidarity. why not ask what the Aussie and American Asian fetish is with hip-hop clubbing at the moment? Or why do Mats in Singapore like to pretend they're black (and say the oddest things that real ghetto-fly people don't say)?
It's also called multicultuaralism. Sorry to burst your little vaccum bubble whoever you are, but there is Eminem, The Crown Princess of Denmark, Kelly Hu, Michelle Reis and Tyson Beckford. Your last Kanji character fad was laughable, you want the global-ethnic clothes but don't want the culture?
Sausser and Kant and various philosophers and linguists may all tell you that language contains markers of culture, and that knowing the language makes you more aware of the way people in that culture think, but I'm telling you that taking anything from any culture someone causes a little bit to seep into you. even if it's just a feeling that you're on a tropical beach.
So you xenophobes out there are all tainted. yes you are. Unless you're like Pauline Hanson's ex-2nd man.