Saturday, December 23, 2006

Stereotype (1)

TIME 2006I started out typing this post with a bit of glee, as I have just been awarded the coveted "Time Person of the Year 2006" award. Actually I mean, you and I are both awarded the Time Person of the Year for changing the face of the world through the fascinating interaction in the "Web 2.0" - youtube, flickr, myspace, facebook, friendster, blogs, forums, to name a few. Even my mum is now a regular Internet user, riding the waves of once-unimaginable technologies such as Skype, free VoIP (Internet to landline) calls and online sudoku. Today, almost everyone is on-line.

So, perhaps there's a good reason for us to feel good about ourselves, as Times Magazine has granted everyone such a great line in their future CV: "Awards: Time Person of the Year 2006". We feel so proud of what we have achieved, being tech-savvy, cool, trendy, up-to-date and all that. We are great people, living in a great time.

However, as a pessimist, sometimes I see such peril behind the apparent closer human relationships. Behind all the quantum leaps in our technologies, we have yet to improve upon the age-old human mentality. And that's what I would like to talk about: stereotype.

Fingerprint FaceThe word stereotype per se doesn't come with a bad connotation. Stereotype, is an over-simplified world view towards things in our surrounding. Admit it or not, everyone has a fixed set of stereotype. All of us instinctively keep alert of foreign workers in Malaysia, and comes Hari Raya, people feel unsafe about staying in KL because "those foreign workers are dangerous". Yes, the stereotype is in most, if not all people. Well, I am not saying that we should always greet them one by one or say hi. No, in this case, stereotype does serve a protective function, as it's indeed statistically valid that foreign workers are more likely to be involved in crimes due to their lower socio-economical status. Your mum's advice is sound to some extent, as avoiding interaction with high-risk people do keep you a little bit safer.

However, most stereotypes are unhealthy, if not hazardous. Let's just look at a few examples:

A nerd: Aiyorr, those lazy people arr, everyday don't want to study only know to go play football on the pitch and arcade.. What can they achieve in life?
An avid gamer: Haha, those nerds arr, they all only know to study nia, all other things they don't know one lar.. Got what use worr? Don't they most of the richest people are those who drop out from schools?
A Malaysian: Westerners are technologically advanced, but their values are corrupt larr.. so we actually live better than them, because got so much technology got what use worr, no value very teruk one... Nilai-nilai Barat sedang merosakkan akhlak rakyat Malaysia ni!
An Ang Moh: Malaysia bodoh!! This country is in deep shit, they are so indulged in self-glorification showered by their petroleum money. They build the highest building in the world, build lots of mega projects just to feed their own sense of sophistication. So you can imagine what their people are like: their people can't think for themselves, they are inefficient workers, the education level is a disgrace. They should learn from us in all regards!
A Chinese-ed: The English-ed, or bananas, are the disgrace of Chinese. Seriously, have they forgotten their roots? Aren't they embarrassed that they don't know any Chinese? Disgraceful banana!!
An English-ed: The Chinese-ed only know about the greatness of China, living in the glory of other people yet look at China as if it is really their country. They are small-picture people, for them China is the middle kingdom, and they don't care about Malaysia at all. They care so much about preserving their cultures, they are so adamant to "preserve the culture" while neglecting their roles in national unity. Ish those people, must have been brainwashed since young, just look at their language - they call every race besides their own as "kwei" (ghost), and they belittle Chinese people who have never learnt their langugae, regardless of reasons.
Yes, this brings me to the comments I mentioned in my earlier post. Why do we have stereotype? Why are stereotypic thoughts so prevalent in our society, we don't feel it anymore? Why do we accuse a certain group of people as being racist, when we are being racist by making that very accusation? I am leaving that to the next post.


hL said...

well.. my early-in-the-morning and "shallow" =P mind says:

#1: Envy? Jealousy? Pride?

#2: Provides opportunity to say bad things to ppl (i.e. life's more interesting with variation).

#3: The reason for the existence of the word "stereotype".

Good day.

PS: I "stereotype" u oso, btw. (See I'm so honest). BUT, in a good way, i feel. sorry of u feel offended.

kyh said...

True true... the stereotyping u quoted are so true! I used to stereotype certain peoples, but now no longer anymore. :)

Jasmine said...

that was funny. =)

youngyew said...

hL:Haha yeah those are some of the points I would like to talk about... Thanks for your input!

kyh: Yeah, I kinda quoted some of the most prevalent stereotypes, and some of them used to be my own too.

jasmine: :D

Anonymous said...