October 7th, 2010
|11:24 pm - "No dogs or Chinese allowed"|
So I'm doing some research for my Hetalia fanfic (yeah, research for a fanfic when I loathed doing it for uni essays, I know, messed up priorities) and I came across the issue of the supposed sign that existed at the entrance of Huangpu Park that said;
"No dogs or Chinese allowed"
Being Chinese by birth I have, of course, heard of this story. The gruesome tale of China's fall from glory, the Opium Wars, the seccession of Hong Kong, the 8 nation alliance, the burning of Yuanmingyuan, the pillaging of our palaces, the forced treaties that cut China up much like what the Scramble for Africa did to that continent, these are all stories I think every Chinese hears when he/she is growing up. You can say it's propaganda, it's brainwashing, it instills in us a nationalism that makes the CCP cackle with glee, whatever.
Unsurprisingly, the websites I found all proclaimed this sign as a fabrication of the CCP's giant propaganda machine. It didn't happen, it didn't exist, no such thing was ever hung over Huangpu Park! Ok, maybe. It certainly is a very provocative sign and crude at that. According to wikipedia;
"The Public Garden was closed to Chinese people between 1890 and 1928, and according to a popular myth, a sign at the park's gate read 'No dogs or Chinese allowed'. However, there is no evidence that such a sign ever existed. Period photographs show a very different sign, one listing ten regulations, the first of which was 'The Gardens are reserved for the Foreign Community', the fourth being 'Dogs and bicycles are not admitted'."
Not that the Chinese really need any more reasons to be pissed off at the foreign powers that basically stomped, spat and ignored their country's sovereignty during those years at the turn of the century, but not allowing Chinese people to enter (or as whoever wrote it in wiki so gently puts it "was closed to Chinese people") and then having a stipulation that says "dogs [...] are not admitted" kind of gives the same meaning as "no dogs or Chinese allowed" doesn't it? Either way the end result is that neither human beings of Chinese blood or those animals that walk on four legs and go 'woof woof' can enter the park.
I understand the fury that a sign with the exact words "no dogs or Chinese allowed" would generate and how it would differ to what wikipedia claims really was the case, but honestly, I think it still betrays where the Chinese stood in the eyes of the "foreign community" at that particular time. Yeah, they might have been too polite to say it, they may have felt it was too crude even for their tastes, but sugar coated racism is still racism, honey coating bullsh*t is still bullsh*t.
I don't think it's right to perpetrate fabrications as part of history (though every country does I'm sure) and I would prefer if such a sign didn't exist for the truth to be told, because seriously, the truth really isn't that much prettier is it? The Chinese don't even have to make up stories to express how vile the invaders were.
Back to my fanfic (for those reading it, yes, the Russia/China one where Russia's been missing for the past like...5 chapters OTL I promise I'm bringing him back soon, but there's so much stuff to shove in there between the First Opium War and the Second one where Russia makes his reappearance. I'm also a little nervous since I think some of the readers are expecting Russia to come back as this big hero and save Yao from his suffering but uh...haha...that...doesn't really happen....O___o;;)
"No dogs or Chinese allowed"
I remember seeing that sign from watching Bruce Lee back then, who gets angry and destroys said sign. Now you mentioned it, I don't think I ever came across the sign when we did Chinese history during year 12.
Propaganda or not, its all true and no one can deny it.