the Chinese peasant

in teamsouthafrica •  last month

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Last night while watching television, I found a show that was fascinating and even a bit emotional for me.

It dealt with the humble Chinese peasant. I saw it on CGTN, a Chinese television channel. It was talking about the sacrifices that the peasant made in terms of hard labour that assisted the Chinese in driving the Japanese armies out of China during World War Two.

How they built airfields, carved mountainous roads out of solid rock, and even gave their lives as simple, poorly trained soldiers, mere cannon fodder. Their daily wage was a mere bowl of rice with a few scraps of vegetables in. Months, even years, were sacrificed in arduous labour.

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I know the channel I watched was probable propaganda but the fact remains about their constant sacrifice for their nation. I wondered why? Why would these people give so much for so little?

I remember seeing a show on American history and how the Chinese "coolie" built some of the most incredible roads in the Western United States with great courage, through the Rocky Mountains. Quite a few of them died in its construction. These people did what no other was prepared to do. Poor wages and terrible living conditions, yet these simple people knew how to work! They may have been poor, but they were courageous and smart.

I look at my own continent of Africa and at my own country of South Africa. South Africa saddens me the most; as I have written previously, the poison of entitlement and laziness curses the land. Too many are bitter when they see the wealth of others. The clamouring question is "why can't I have that too?" The demand is "give it to me! It is my right!" The politicians feed off that, wanting the vote. In every election, the issue of Land Expropriation without Compensation comes up. Anger is felt everywhere, the landowners who are threatened and the dispossed who feel the process it being dragged out and taking too long. The South African Rand loses a value as negative publicity is raised in the media. It is a very sensitive matter that I will consider for a later article. Lots of land had been previously stolen by the old Apartheid Nationalist Government in the 1920's and 1930's for example.

So why do the Chinese peasant appear to be willing to give so much for so little? Is it their religious foundation? Is it the culture? I heard a very interesting concept the other day relating to the Asian. It deals with rice as compared to wheat as found in the Western world. To grow rice is tremendously hard work and it is even like a joint family endeavour. The kids must help the parents and so on, even after school a few hours may be required in the rice paddy. Does this help create the close family ties that seem to exist; the veneration that the older folks are held in by the younger family members?

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I think that all these factors do contribute.

The key must be their willingness to work so hard for so long; UNRELENTING.

To lazy people, if there is inadequate compensation for their efforts, then there is no requirement to work.

In South Africa, there is a concept called "sick leave". In general terms it means that every worker as the possibility to take 36 working days over a three year period. At the end of a year, any unused sick leave days lapse. Most (and I repeat most) of the working class in this country regard sick leave as their right to use. Rather take a day off pretending to be sick, and don't lose the day! Even yesterday when I went to the Chemist, there was a very engaging lady who was saying it is time for her to take a few days off as she hasn't been sick for a long time. Can you imagine any Chinese person or Japanese person having such a mindset? This is why Africa will remain at the bottom of the pile when having to compete against any Asian nation.

Work in and of itself is a reward; increased abilities and capacities. Benefit to society, development of a culture of being prepared to work. How many times haven't I seen where the peasant is prepared to give many years, even their entire lives in the hope that things will be better for their children?

I remember a news item years ago where Japanese students were complaining about there being too many holidays! I look at the most unsuccessful countries and I see that those are the countries with the most holidays.

The development of China into a world class society is happening rapidly. Their work ethic and self sacrifice is a solid foundation upon which a successful society is built.

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Yes, they may have a long way to go but they have come an even longer way.

I better tell my kids to start learning a Chinese language as they are going to take over the world.

Watch out world, here they come!

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Excellent review, my friend and you are right, China is developing rapidly and the peasants are playing this too, their role! Thank you @fred703

Interesting message. Indeed, work on the ground is in itself very hard work, and it is harder to grow rice in double. I think that the Chinese have been taught to work from their childhood, hence this capacity for work

My mother was born in China. And that's what she talks about the Chinese.
They are taught from childhood to heavy loads and a large amount of information.
A schoolboy must learn at least two thousand hieroglyphs. An educated person should know from four thousand hieroglyphs. The Chinese has formed a certain mentality since childhood, which in the future will help him to quickly learn the production operations and patiently master the equipment.
Chinese teenagers start to work early.
The territory of the Celestial Empire is not rich in minerals. This has taught the Chinese to save and carefully calculate their actions.
In China, successful people are respected, they are set as an example for children.
There are no pensions in the country in the usual sense of the word. Therefore, the content of the elderly falls on the shoulders of their adult children.
The Chinese hold on to their jobs, because competition among the able-bodied population reaches colossal scales.
The population of the country in the truest sense of the word lives at work.
The Chinese are not averse to drinking with friends, but they will never get drunk to an insane state. I respect the Chinese in absentia, and maybe they will really take possession of the world when the realties are :)

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when I was a kid studying military history, I did not have much respect for the Chinese army but now that i am older, my respect for their courage and work is huge. their capacity to work and look after their family is the ground rock to world domination if they so choose. I appreciate your information very much.

Such a valuable post about Chinese peasant. Your every article are educative for us. I appreciate your great work.

Very informative and valuable post,thats so bad,very aged peoples working in the fields,your all posts very great,I totally appriciate your valuable work,thanks for sharing,

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It may look bad to us to see the elderly working but those people love work, just like my mother, when she visits she always wants to help. self value comes from the ability to work

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Great comment,

The Chinese people are very hardworking. In the blog i saw the pics of Chinese they are working at this old age. Its good for their health also , i love agriculture because i am also agriculturist.

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It is the most wonderful experience to be outside, pottering around in the garden. spring is here in South Africa, so it is time to get my garden going again. the only problem we have here is that the municipality charges exorbitant prices for the water

Very beautiful article sir. I love your every article. God bless you.

The smile says Everything.!

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excellent observation

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Educative article..Nice sharing.

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Great post sir about chinease. I appreciate your blog.

I love agriculture and i love the farmer. Chinese people work hard and they love to work. Your article will be an example of a hard work.