What are some stereotypes for Chinese people? What are some common Chinese stereotypes? Which ones are offensive? Which ones are just a little annoying? Are any of them true? Are biracial Chinese treated differently?
- Small pennis
- Eat everything that moves
- Everything “made in China” is falsificate
- All Chineses are alike
- Chineses can’t speak english
- Chopsticker thieves
- Ninja/Samurai/ Kung Fu/ Tai Chi e Wu Shu
- Traditional Culture
- All chinese names are monossilabic : Chen, Dan, Wu, Tin, Chun, Chin, Yon, Yo, Cao, Jin,
- Most people like Chinese food.
- Chun-li, Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee and now Yao Ming seem to be very famous.
China has the largest population of any nation in the world. Chinese people are often stereotyped as being of a single ethnicity, when in fact the population of China is made up of many ethnic groups.
In Western media, they often get lumped in with other East Asians.
Western tropes specific to Chinese people alone include:
Chinese Laborer – Thousands of young Chinese men migrated to western North America and Australia in the hope striking it rich off the gold rushes of the mid-19th century. They quickly became resented for “stealing” jobs from white workers, particularly the more successful individuals. The fact that the vast majority of Chinese immigrants were men also made the prospect of “interbreeding of people of different racial types” a fear among white Americans and Australians.
Chinese Launderer – In The Wild West, and the inner-city slums of England, many launderers were Chinese in origin, and were just as frowned upon as the laborers.
China Takes Over the World – Yep. Because with Japan not what it once was, global conquest predictions have to go somewhere.
An especially common variant of this trope is “All Asians Are Chinese” – which, again, is understandable, both because Chinese (specifically, Cantonese) have been the most prolific immigrant group in the United States and because so many East Asian cultures (Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, etc.) were either culturally influenced by China or have languages that sound similar to Chinese.
Top 10 incorrect Chinese stereotypes
Having encountered different people from across the world from countries like India, America and Australia, I’ve noticed that foreigners always hold certain interesting stereotypes of the Chinese. Here, I sift the fact from the fiction:
Fiction – Every Chinese knows Kung fu or other Chinese martial arts. Fact – That’s not true. Kung fu is a fighting style which has developed over the centuries in China. The genesis of the form of martial art is attributed to the need for self-defense, hunting techniques and military training in ancient China. However, in modern China, few people are fluent in Kung fu. In general, people do not learn Kung fu. Some monks do learn Kung fu to keep this part of Chinese traditional culture alive, but that’s about it.
Fiction – Chinese is one of the most difficult languages to learn in the world. Fact – In fact, the grammar system of Chinese is quite simple when compared to other languages. There are 50.000 characters in Chinese, however, learning 1500 to 3000 characters is sufficient for one to read newspapers and books.
Fiction – All Chinese are good at Math. Fact – There is no denying that a large group of Chinese students are excellent at math but not all Chinese are math geniuses.
Fiction – Cantonese is the official language of China. Fact – Actually, the official language of China is Mandarin. However, most foreigners often mistake Cantonese as the official language of the country. The reason could be due to the majority of Chinese immigrants in the early 1990s who come from Canton. Another reason could also be the impact of Hong Kong movies.
Fiction – The Chinese culture is continues to be the same today as it was thousands of years ago. It is traditional and conservative. Fact – False, modern China is very much like other developing or developed countries. Major cities in China such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou are much the same as other metropolises around the world.
Fiction – Chinese women are subordinate to men. Fact – This stereotype originated from movies about ancient China. In modern China, women embrace their freedom and are taking more and more important roles in society.Chinese women are more independent today than ever before.
Fiction – Chinese think that money can buy anything. Fact – Not all Chinese agree with the view that money can buy anything. In fact, Chinese people believe in the power of diligence.
Fiction – Rice is the only source of food in China. Fact – Although rice is the main food in China, we attach great importance to the variety of food.
Fiction – Chinese people do not care about politics. Fact – That’s not true. In China, we do not have general elections like most of the western countries, but we do care about politics. The power elite in China enthusiastically engage themselves in politics and public affairs.
Fiction – Many foreigners tend to think that the Chinese are brainwashed or mind-controlled by their government. Fact – The origin of this misleading concept comes from the “Cultural Revolution”. Although, we are not granted complete freedom of speech, especially in the media industry, Chinese are now more spiritually independent.
See how Chinese thieves use chopsticks! (deshaked)