Friday, 2 October 2009

Joseph, the unfortunate banana

Joseph is a typical “xiang-jiao-ren” (banana). For the uninformed, a “banana” usually means a Chinese who does not know how to speak the Chinese language. And Joseph is one of such, able to only converse in English.

One day, Joseph returned to his home after work, just like usual. As he walked towards his home having parked his car, Joseph was stopped by 2 men. These 2 men began to ask Joseph some questions in Mandarin.

As they were smiling and appeared to be polite, Joseph tried to respond to them. Of course, he couldn’t really understand what these 2 men were asking and tried to explain himself in English instead. Hence, for a good few minutes; there was a classic chicken and duck talk situation.

After a while, these 2 men became rowdy. Joseph could see that they looked irritated. All of a sudden, one of the men pulled out a “parang” (long knife) and started threatening Joseph. But still, Joseph was unable to comprehend what they wanted as they were speaking in Mandarin.

Instinct came upon him that he was being robbed and hence, he took out his wallet and mobile-phone and gave them to the men. To his surprise, those men threw away his wallet and mobile-phone and continue to threaten him with the “parang”, shouting at him in Mandarin.

Poor Joseph, he just couldn’t make up what those men want. Worse, the 2 men got so annoyed, they started to attack him. They kicked, punched and slashed him with the “parang”. This went on for a while, till Joseph was floored.

As Joseph was rolling on the ground trying to block kicks directed at him, he felt a small bulge in his pocket. It was his car key. It was then that it dawned upon Joseph that the 2 men wanted his car. In a flash, Joseph took out his car-key and desperately handed it to the 2 men.

One of the men grabbed his key, shouted something to Joseph (in Mandarin of course) and drove away his car.

For all those bananas out there, particularly those who are proud that they only speak English, do take note that your banana-ness may just get you killed. In the land of sumptuous food, criminals tend to only speak everything but English.

And ya’ know what? Criminals and sumptuous food in this land share one similarity… there are plenty of them out there…


2 years go….
Can you take it easy?A state of many people

43 comments:

blackjack said...

zewt, do u think of such stories or are they real? serious.

seokthong said...

Instead of feeling pity towards Joseph, i laughed like crazy. Is this true?

I don't know how to say, a Chinese that doesn't speak/understand Chinese is weird. I will not feel proud if I don't know the Chinese language.

Even though I'm from Malay school, I'm learning Mandarin on my own, until now..I'm still learning. Chinese language is getting really important nowadays.

Anonymous said...

sinocentrism mindset.....

I am Princess Misha's Mum said...

:)

Anonymous said...

I am “banana” and linguistically challenged. I have tried many times to learn Chinese/Mandarin but to no avail. I am constantly laughed at. Don’t get me wrong, I am cognizant of the importance of the language.

So for those who have posted “superior than thou” just because you can speak the language, I say, please don’t be so full of yourself. For example, I quote “I will not feel proud if I don't know the Chinese language”.

Take it easy man, there are many things that make a man proud, just speaking Mandarin and enjoying Bah-Kut-The and Nasi Lemak, while NOT contributing to make this world a better place DOESN’T COUNT.

I can’t believe it, some guys can be so proud merely speaking Mandarin and doing NOTHING. Just because you are more hardworking/smarter and speak does not justify you, the “proud one” to be better than the Bananas.

Jerine said...

Oh no...I'm a banana too. Can you teach me what is car and key in mandrin. At laest if it happens to me i know what they want.

Terra Shield said...

I have a question... does a banana constitute of someone who can't speak Mandarin but can speak other dialects , eg: Hokkien, Cantonese, or does it constitute someone who can't speak any Chinese language at all?

And what about writing/reading in Mandarin?

zéwt said...

blackjack - hehe... whadaya think...

seokthong - glad you have seen the light...

anon @ 2/10 4.14am - western-imperialism mindset. and just in case you dont know, i am also a banana.

I am Princess Misha's Mum - :)

Anon @ 2/10 8.55am - i think you are the one who should take it easy. have a look at my achieve and you will know what point i am trying to make. one which i think, you missed. neither english speaking nor mandarin speaking people should be proud of their traits. and just in case you dont know, i am also considered a banana.

Jerine - hahahaha... i think MKL can teach you :P

Terra Shield - that has always been the million dollar question. i speak cantonese, a little mandarin and i cant read nor write the language. people consider me as one. to each its own i guess.

pinknpurplelizard said...

There are lots of coconuts out there also. Some wannabe or try-hard coconuts... Shame shame shame...

I find that banana and coconut persons are deluded about their 'engrish' pride.

missironic said...

Wow.. seriously happen? So poor thing ler Joseph.. Although im a banana, i choose to know some Chinese, at least i can understand wat others are saying, rather than kept in the dark.

Lifong said...

I speak Hokkien and Cantonese. I comprehend a little of Mandarin and other dialects too. I guess ppl like me are half-bananas, a split! not a real banana...maybe not even a banana as when i went back to my greatgrandmother's home in China, some old folks there do not speak Mandarin, they spoke in their own dialect. When asked whether they speak Mandarin, in which they call "Pu thong hua" (common language), my greatgrand-aunt said she only understand a lil.

I think it's not about being a banana or not. The most important thing is we remember who we are..and we protect our identity (that's why i stick to the pure-breed thingy with ur post on racism :P) You Hokkien, you speak Hokkien, you learn if u dunno(applies for other clans). Mandarin, to me is like a common language @ lingua franca. We need to learn a bit too, if we dun understand it.

eiling lim said...

ooh I totally love your last line! Anyways, the two men would have just pointed to the car or search his pockets! Why all the hassle?

Irene said...

um can't speak in chinese, then speak in malay. i believe they will understand and so will you.

sorry to say, i barely speak chinese to save my life. I am a chinese who can't speak chinese properly without butchering it. I was brought up by non chinese family who is my nanny and grew up in a non-chinese speaking coomunity. I would prefer not be judged that just because i can't speak chinese, this kind of shit will happen to me or instil to some assumptions that non chinese speaking chinese are less respected.

we have only one life, we are who we are. regardless of what language we speak but what is important is the type of personality that we have inside. non chinese speaking chinese are not bad people. i am kinda annoyed with this poking fun , i get it all the time and laughed at.

economist said...

wah joseph really 'yak chew'....

j_yenn said...

Zéwt, dudé!! Why'd you changé your namé to sométhing so Frénchy?

Vincent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Huei said...

hahahha got such person wan mehhh??? well i guess he should know a little bit of chinese gua!

i'm banana oso..but thank god can converse in chinese la

Sharon said...

oh wow, thats crazy :S
i'm glad at least i know how to listen to the basic Mandarin conversations. most importantly, i know what "car" is called in mandarin!

Mcmercedez said...

Hm.. If he know some Mandarin will not end up kena for no reason.. Pure bad luck..

But normally in this circumstances, why would they want to hit him?? Unless those criminals doesn't understand English also.. Probably from the Republic of Mainland..

Anonymous said...

Regret that there are a lot of of Chinese with a Sinocentrism mindset that still fail to realize,a lot of Malaysian Chinese that cannot speak English.

Many assume the robbers spoke Mandarin. What if they were Malaysian Chinese and spoke some dialect, because they could not communicate in English?

Not everyone speaks all the major dialect?

Does that make Joseph a unworthy Chinese? Knowing that Joseph was a banana, does that mean he deserved to be rob because he does not understand dialect/mandarin?

What I'm trying to suggest is that NO ONE should look down/degrade/demeaned any one that is deficient in a particular dialect or language.

No one is perfect, and no one should think that they are superior, in the cyberworld (especially in leaving comments) or in the real world.

J2Kfm said...

wait, i'm a banana myself, but able to communicate in basic mandarin, after rigorous training in penang.
yet this story may NOT be happening in real life. imagine them pointing at your car, and you surrender your wallet. hmmm ......

MKL said...

我不明白 O_o 你说什么?

mun said...

Why bother to kick, punch and slash? One man can just pin Joseph down while the other search his whole body for the car keys. Anyway, the two men could be speaking to Joseph in Russian for all he knows. We can't be expected to know all the languages that criminals may be using, can we?

ZACL said...

This all sounds rather theatrical and off key, though it is a nasty story.

Mandarin, we are told, is the language of diplomats, the well educated.

seokthong said...

anon: Bla..bla..bla..

zéwt, you just email me after the anon has finished farting with his "9 5 dap 8" thing, ok? so that i can come to your nice blog again.

“I will not feel proud if I don't know the Chinese language”--> Seriously, what's wrong with my answer? So, should i feel proud of it or not, if i know/don't know the language/certain things?

How does this anon know that this "certain person" is not doing something for the world? And did this "certain person" said that he/she is very proud that he/she speaks Chinese? Really full with rubbish.

tagskie said...

hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day! http://kantahanan.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

zewt,

it seems that you despise your country....true?

Shaun said...

Seems from the blog, only the uneducated speaks mandarin? hmmm

Instead of learning the language, try to learn maths. Most of the richest man in the world speak only English, so maybe it is a good idea to follow that.

zewt said...

pinknpurplelizard - coconuts? hmmm... that's a new term...

missironic - that's good!

Lifong - i read somewhere that hokkien was actually the national language of china before pu-tong-hua was introduced... i guess we should all learn hokkien :P

eiling lim - no one know what they said... perhaps they were also annoyed that joseph couldnt speak mandarin hahaha...

Irene - hello there. it is definitely not one's sin when one cannot speak chinese. however, it becomes a shame when a chinese is proud that she cannot speak chinese and worse, one sees pride that one can only speak english. are you a banana and proud to be one? or do you wish that you could have been different?

economist - a big gong-jiew.

zewt said...

j_yenn - for fun... changed back already :P

huei - can speak canto... good enough lah.

Sharon - hahahahaha.... but do you know key though?

Mcmercedez - probably... and probably said... "shem me? hua ren bu hui shuo hua yu!!!?" *whack whack whack*

anon @ 2/10 5.13pm - sigh... why do ppl always fail to comprehend me... sigh... but anyway, since we are on this notion... i did not say joseph is an unworthy chinese. but i think chinese should not be proud if a chinese cannot speak chinese AND should not take pride that he/she can ONLY speak english. plenty of such out there. apparently, doing chinese things make one very chinese... and no onw is saying who is superior.

also, why do ppl speak english and not make an effort to speak chinese (language or dialect)? is it becos one do not have a sinocentrism mindset? or one has a look to west imperialism mindset? there can never be a balance.

J2Kfm - hahahaha... it's real though...

zewt said...

MKL - bie dan xin, bu zong yau :P

mun - russians? highly unlikely. afrikaans, maybe...

ZACL - true though.

seokthong - hahaha, calm down... :)

tagskie - ok.

anon @ 4/10 4.00am - what has this post gotta do with that?

Shaun - wahh... i think the current richest breed speak arabic leh.

neno said...

hmmm..cakap melayu la..lol..better still..next time jus throw everything to them..see wat they take..

zewt said...

neno - that's why... he didnt do that... sigh...

Amanda Christine Wong said...

But i'm a banana :(

neno said...

sigh..i think generally ppl shud learn more languages..at least learn how to speak malay in malaysia unless u r a foreigner..if u really dunno jus say so..dun berlagak jus bcos u noe how to speak english onli..ish..geram betul..

zewt said...

Amanda Christine Wong - me too...

neno - damn right... shouldnt berlagak that you only know english...

narrowband said...

I've a friend, who's a Singaporean, actually told me he wished he knew how to speak Malay. Strange right. And also there're even more Singaporeans who wished they knew Canto.

To a certain extent I think Malaysians a very lucky lot. Save for the few bananas who had little or no opportunity to learn Chinese, the rest of them should be grateful. And at least improve their English because the school covers this. I didn't have the opportunity to enter a chinese school (I was in a chinese kindy!) because there simply wasn't any near where I lived. That's the challenge faced by the Chinese here.

charlemagne said...

hahaha! cheers 2 u zewt. no matter this story is true or fake,it does happen whether we know or we don't know rite?? U r such a great person,man!!! hope 2 meet u one day.

zewt said...

narrowband - i think what we all need to accept is that we all should be able to converse in both mandarin and english in this very flat world. and i always believe an additional language is always good. your friend in singapore is certainly not strange.

charlemagne - well, i can tell that it's true :)

me said...

inability to comprehend tamil may also get u killed in the same way, wouldn't it? unfair to expect uneducated indians to learn english before they rob ppl. or other races for that matter, since we are in a multi-cultural country. now with the intrusion of bangla, myanmar, cambodia and so many other races, there is no possible way we can master all the languages in the world. it just boils down to plain bad luck.

zewt said...

me - if luck is in the picture, then explanation will not be needed.

b|eedingsperm said...

At times you can't blame the person for being a 'banana'. Being one myself who grew up with a English speaking background and going to a Malay school with all Malay friends. There was no chances of speaking or learning Mandarin or other dialects. It's not that I don't want to, but it's not as easy to catch the language. It takes time. I'm not boastful about being to speak English very fluently but I won't be sorry I can.

Maybe the 'banana' community should change the situation around and rob some Chinese speaking people and demand in English. That would be funny too.

zewt said...

bleedingsperm - hello... what a nick! it's ok to be a banana, just dont be a proud one. i just cannot picture who speak english and go around robbing.