Sankaku Complex gave a short report on a real telling survey whose finding showed that 78% of those polled agreed that Christmas is an attack on Chinese culture. As with Japan, it seems that China may celebrate the holiday in a very non-religious fashion (no surprise – after all, the “Christian” churches in China are show churches, while the faithful must practice their beliefs in underground communities). I find the adoption of western practices in the east terribly interesting, not least of all because of the struggle and tension between ideologies and forces, including traditional and ancient culture, differing religious traditions (Japan, southeast Asian countries, etc.), Communist ideology (China and Vietnam), and tensions with foreign ideas and with U.S. military presence (Korea and Japan).
The results can obviously be compared to a conservative U.S. xenophobia. But the additional connection I see is with Japan’s rejection of Christianity in the late 1500s. As with China, the Japanese Christians had to practice their religion underground for fear of persecution. Also, the attack wasn’t so much on the religious aspects of Christianity. In Japan, the worry was that the Portuguese and others might be trying to make economic and political gain by using Christianity. In China, my assumption is that xenophobia and patriotism go hand in hand, as the Chinese want to maintain their position near or at the top of the world economically. The Chinese (the government officials, certainly) don’t want their chief competition, the United States, to gain any more foothold than the county already has.
Read the entire post: 78%: “Christmas is an Attack on Chinese Culture” | Sankaku Complex.