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Ang Moh = Red Hair = Whitey, but does it = Rude?

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banana
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Postby banana » Fri, 13 Jun 2008 2:08 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
pollyminaz wrote:We've been using the word for decades and no one has complained. (if there is, we haven't heard of it.) So why is it even a matter of right or wrong?


Therein lies part of the problem. Most expats of yesteryear were much to courteous to complain to your face and possibly make you lose face. Instead they went to the British Club Bar or the Bar at the American Club or Cricket club and vented there anger there. Nowdays, we do it on "EXPAT" forums. But unfortunately or fortunately (some of both) there is no doorman to keep out the local so the come here and get an earful then get upset at what they heard because you are now hearing what has always been but doing it under the cloak of anonymity. The truth of the matter hurts and then causes the all to familiar stupid refrain of "you do know haw to get to changi airport right?" Instead of trying to see it from the other side's sensitivities.


While I think polly's argument is weak, whose eyes are you trying to pull wool over, with the assertion that "most expats of yesteryear were much to(sic) courteous to complain to your face and possibly make you lose face"? Those were some of the rudest, most self absorbed people to ever walk the face of this island. I'm surprised with so many of them here, the universe hasn't realigned itself to revolve around them.

I've been to the American Club as a kid and worked with them early in my career and can most assuredly say most members either have stables with high ceilings or a sense of entitlement that would make a teenager today blush with shame. Some both.
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Postby Wind In My Hair » Fri, 13 Jun 2008 4:52 am

banana wrote:While I think polly's argument is weak, whose eyes are you trying to pull wool over, with the assertion that "most expats of yesteryear were much to(sic) courteous to complain to your face and possibly make you lose face"? Those were some of the rudest, most self absorbed people to ever walk the face of this island.

I have to agree with Banana. In general (meaning not referring to you SMS) today's expats are much nicer. Less of a superiority complex and more open to experiencing a different culture. More willing to mix with locals and seek to understand rather than expecting to lord it over us. And therefore the expat-local conversation is only just starting, because only with mutual respect can there be any hope of listening to each other and meeting halfway.

It was the "By golly this place is a dump and the natives are barbarians" attitude that made us point them towards Changi Airport. But today more expats have the attitude of "Oh dear there's something I'm not understanding here". Then our attitude is "Stay, let's talk."

Look at this forum, this thread. In the past years I have not seen this mature a conversation. No longer the "I am right, you are wrong" mentality of the past with name-calling and what-not. Would a hot potato like this topic have gone on for 6 pages without turning nasty in yesteryear? Yet this time it's different. People are daring to be honest with the truth and yet not condemning those who think differently but genuinely seeking to understand and patiently explaining their perspective.

Perhaps we're all older and have fought for long enough to finally reach peace. Perhaps the expats here today are a different breed. Perhaps we locals are also trying harder. I don't know, but things are changing, old friend!

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Postby hiking out » Fri, 13 Jun 2008 11:00 am

perhaps also the influence of the internet that has enabled people to engage across space and time with a certain degree of anonymity.
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 13 Jun 2008 5:18 pm

That is why I started off my answer using a qualifier for the very first word - "Most". Most definitely not "all". And like the stereotypes of today both local and foreign, they are normally created by the minorities and not the "silent majority".

My wife grew up on a British Military camp here in Singapore and lived there her entire life. Her views on the British of the day were/are quite a bit different I must say. I guess it might have had a lot to do with how much actual interaction the locals had with the foreigners and how much was perceived.

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Postby pollyminaz » Fri, 13 Jun 2008 7:50 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Therein lies part of the problem. Most expats of yesteryear were much to courteous to complain to your face and possibly make you lose face.

Are the expats of yesteryear really so polite?

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Instead they went to the British Club Bar or the Bar at the American Club or Cricket club and vented there anger there. Nowdays, we do it on "EXPAT" forums.

Please tell me why there are stalls like 'Crazy Ang Moh' and 'Botak Jones'?

sundaymorningstaple wrote: But unfortunately or fortunately (some of both) there is no doorman to keep out the local

Of course there is no doorman, this is the internet. :lol:

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Instead of trying to see it from the other side's sensitivities.

Well, what about chinks? Have your ever seen it from our sensitivities?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 13 Jun 2008 9:39 pm

pollyminaz wrote:Are the expats of yesteryear really so polite?

According to my wife they weren't like you all are putting them up to be. And she's been around longer than I have and that's 6 decades. She lived among the British here in Singapore most of her early life. See my earlier post.


Please tell me why there are stalls like 'Crazy Ang Moh' and 'Botak Jones'?

For people to go buy western food as interpreted by Westerners? Good value for money? :???:

Of course there is no doorman, this is the internet. :lol:

You just figured that out? ](*,) #-o

Well, what about chinks? Have your ever seen it from our sensitivities?

I've never heard the term used here frankly. I have heard in used in the NAM years ago along with the equally abhorrent "gooks". I suppose it could be used by some, but after you have been called Ang Moh for a while, I would suppose that it might be a form of retaliation. "When in Rome....." If you call a guest in your country not so complimentary names (by their reasoning) they may well figure that why should there be any return respect. I would doubt that they started calling anybody that upon their arrival on these fair shores. I could, however, see how they might after a while.
:?


Oh, I also find your response rather typical as well. Instead of admitting that it is wrong, it's easier to trying to just shift the blame on others. Normal behaviour here. Whether somebody else is wrong or not is immaterial. Haven't you ever heard the saying "Two wrongs do not make a right."

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Postby EADG » Fri, 13 Jun 2008 10:35 pm

hmmm...this was one of my inital impressions of Singapore when I first arrived from Japan

there, where people are perhaps apologetic to a fault, here I've witnessed countless examples of difficulty or outright refusal to admit, accept or even share fault, even when it's obvious to both sides

there seems to be some weird sense that if doing so, one looses something, where in actuality, if one were to do so, the act in itself commands respect

not to mention it feeling better afterwards than the alternative

sundaymorningstaple wrote:I also find your response rather typical as well. Instead of admitting that it is wrong, it's easier to trying to just shift the blame on others. Normal behaviour here.
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Postby banana » Fri, 13 Jun 2008 11:12 pm

EADG wrote:hmmm...this was one of my inital impressions of Singapore when I first arrived from Japan

there, where people are perhaps apologetic to a fault, here I've witnessed countless examples of difficulty or outright refusal to admit, accept or even share fault, even when it's obvious to both sides

there seems to be some weird sense that if doing so, one looses something, where in actuality, if one were to do so, the act in itself commands respect

not to mention it feeling better afterwards than the alternative

sundaymorningstaple wrote:I also find your response rather typical as well. Instead of admitting that it is wrong, it's easier to trying to just shift the blame on others. Normal behaviour here.


As a local, I will have to admit that is true. Even I find it incredibly frustrating. More so, and this is my personal observation/opinion, coming back from living in a "liberal, Western society".

Now, this is not going to be a popular opinion, but I place the blame squarely on expats of yesteryear. From our colonial past till recent years, us natives have looked upon our "white masters" for guidance. If they behaved in the manner of lords and refused to accept responsibility because they can, surely we will emulate that. You will find it true, especially among the older generations, that behaviour.

On the other hand, younger expats come here with a more enlightened view, that they are here for new experiences and to learn about the world. Hence they tend to be nicer. The locals, especially the more educated ones, recognise that and reciprocate.

*gets ready for the sh*tstorm coming from old expats* :lol:
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Postby pollyminaz » Fri, 13 Jun 2008 11:20 pm

Haha.. Its not that I don't want to apologise, I still believe in my argument, however flawed it may look to you. And I am not trying to shift the blame. I am just presenting another 'case study'.

Is my argument really that typical? :???:

Anyway, I have never heard another word for 'ang moh' until secondary school. So i am just trying to explain the rationale behind people using it.
My mother too, have never heard the word caucasion until recently. And she had trouble pronouncing it as well.

:cool:

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Fri, 13 Jun 2008 11:21 pm

banana wrote:Now, this is not going to be a popular opinion, but I place the blame squarely on expats of yesteryear.

Still blaming others, I see. If it's not the gahmen, it's the expats. Get off it already!

(The rest of your post I agree with.)

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Postby durain » Fri, 13 Jun 2008 11:34 pm

you mean the colonal yesteryears? :P

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Postby banana » Fri, 13 Jun 2008 11:39 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:
banana wrote:Now, this is not going to be a popular opinion, but I place the blame squarely on expats of yesteryear.

Still blaming others, I see. If it's not the gahmen, it's the expats. Get off it already!

(The rest of your post I agree with.)


:lol: get off my case already! why are you so obsessed with me? :lol:
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Postby maneo » Fri, 13 Jun 2008 11:43 pm

pollyminaz wrote:Please tell me why there are stalls like 'Crazy Ang Moh' and 'Botak Jones'?

Some people have a sense of humour.

What's the big deal?
Ang Moh is at least a lot easier to say (and accept) than pasty-faced, fish-eyed, barbarian ghost. :P

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Postby ksl » Sat, 14 Jun 2008 12:08 am

examples of difficulty or outright refusal to admit, accept or even share fault, even when it's obvious to both sides
Actually i don't think it's unique to Singapore, I would put money on it being unique to some Asian race's, I have seen much the same in Taiwan too, and also in Beijing, even UK and it's normally connected to working class environment, territorial behaviour, whereby the argument doesn't stop, its taken back to the manner, and discussed, if a full scale attack is required :)

Just like cats and dogs piss, to mark territorial area's, humans do it a different way, you will notice if a human visits a different area in a country, he may still be loud and intimidating with friends, but when alone, behaviour is much more in line with social expectations, they may even say sorry if they bump you. and would never say sorry at home.

On their own turf, they expect confrontation, otherwise it's a sign of weakness, that leaves you exposed to bullies.

A more affluent, upbringing is different altogether, they are not exposed to the same social attitudes, and primitive survival skills,,, the rich kids may even call you out to a dual, or fight fair in accordance with the Queensberry rules. Today there are no rules in UK, and the element of surprise, will give you a leading edge on the opponent.

It's not quite that bad here yet!

Personally i don't see a geat deal of difference in behaviour, other than it appears to be more older people 30's into 50's that fall out in the market area's, I think its more prevalent here in Singapore and Taiwan, because people are out doors for longer periods of time, for the problems to arise. Just my opinion.

The older expats where more likely to have come from the higher echolons of society in the UK at the time, they would never, i believe mix with locals, they would never i believe mix with their own native locals either, so its a poor explanation. :-| Pride is the same anywhere, and not many will admit, to being wrong, but some do, like myself, which I'm also happy to oblige, patience is a virtue, that many Asians lack, on their own turf, its upbringing, and environmental stress, nothing more nothing less.

Back in the kampong days, it probably didn't happen so much, or just wasn't seen, development changes all that!

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Postby pollyminaz » Sun, 15 Jun 2008 12:35 am

Sigh, i can't be bothered wasting my time debating here if you all decides to attack my debating style.


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