Americans bastardizing Feng Shui

Fair Warning: This has been on my mind for a long time, and it’s not meant to demean or offend anyone. If you easily take offense to this topic, don’t read my rant. Otherwise, continue on…
Personal rant:
For more than two decades, I’ve had to deal with American incompetence with the asian culture. My friends in middle school told me how much they loved “chinese food”. So I start asking them about my favorite dim sum dishes as a child – chicken feet, eggrolls, thousand year old egg congee, etc. and the only responses back were “Eww, gross.” and jawdroppers. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but “sweet and sour pork” was never a Chinese dish, neither was “chop suey”. The literal translation for chop suey is “left overs” in Cantonese.


In college, I met kids that were part of “Asian Pride”. Yet these kids couldn’t speak their native language, nor did they want to learn, couldn’t tell me
Now older, and not much wiser, I’m baffled by the push for Feng Shui lead by Hollywood’s finest. Last month, Columbus Business First wrote an article about how even Donald Trump uses Feng Shui in his offices. They call it the interaction between human beings and their environment. In all reality, feng shui is a lot deeper than the orientation of your furniture and your house. This is an article written by Jane Alexander. It is a little more accurate, but I want to elaborate on it.
Jane says that feng shui is healing ofthe environment. Realistically, the chinese think that everything is as a whole, thus there is ying and yang, black and white, good and evil. You cannot have one without the other, and there must be a balance for a person or their environment or else you get sick, or whatever happens. If anything, you have to have the belief in chi, ying and yang, and the rest of the connection. While Buddhism absorbed Feng Shui when it reached China, it really stemmed I Ching. The basic history can be found here.
In the end, I know that as a Chinese American, we (Asians) are bastardizing the Western culture also. Look to Japan, Shanghai, Beijing, and you find that youth take the Westernization to the extreme and almost laughable at times.
People will always love their chicken fried rice, and their egg rolls that are large enough to beat a person across the face with, but next time remember, you don’t “LOVE” the chinese culture. You love the screwed up Western version of it.
End of rant.

  • Ni hao ma?
    Wo shuo Yingwen. Ni jiao shenmo mingzhe?
    Wo bu zhidao.
    Greetings,
    I could not help but check this out after seeing it on the wondrous Greensboro101 site, as I am currently studying Feng Shui, albeit in bits and chunks, in my spare time, and only using books.
    Having marveled at the wisdom and accuracy of the I Ching for a number of years, it finally dawned on me that Feng Shui might well be where the I Ching best hits the road, only in this case, it would be Street — The American Street, where I recently wrote this surely naive article on Feng Shui, I called “Feng Shui & Falluja”.
    http://www.reachm.com/amstreet/archives/2004/11/23/feng-shui-falluja/
    I think it is imperative that Americans learn from and about the Chinese language, culture and philosophy. Such richness, depth, grace, profundity. Like a professor once said, the Chinese were eating rare spices and dressing in exotic silks in a fully flowered civilization while many of us European types were living in caves, eating meat and potatoes. I still eat meat and potatoes, but I relish the spice.
    Feng Shui is doomed to be popularized and commercialized, but I think that Feng Shui, at least, will survive. And that it might not leave such a bad footprint.
    Cheers,
    Dave

  • Ni hao ma?
    Wo shuo Yingwen. Ni jiao shenmo mingzhe?
    Wo bu zhidao.
    Greetings,
    I could not help but check this out after seeing it on the wondrous Greensboro101 site, as I am currently studying Feng Shui, albeit in bits and chunks, in my spare time, and only using books.
    Having marveled at the wisdom and accuracy of the I Ching for a number of years, it finally dawned on me that Feng Shui might well be where the I Ching best hits the road, only in this case, it would be Street — The American Street, where I recently wrote this surely naive article on Feng Shui, I called “Feng Shui & Falluja”.
    http://www.reachm.com/amstreet/archives/2004/11/23/feng-shui-falluja/
    I think it is imperative that Americans learn from and about the Chinese language, culture and philosophy. Such richness, depth, grace, profundity. Like a professor once said, the Chinese were eating rare spices and dressing in exotic silks in a fully flowered civilization while many of us European types were living in caves, eating meat and potatoes. I still eat meat and potatoes, but I relish the spice.
    Feng Shui is doomed to be popularized and commercialized, but I think that Feng Shui, at least, will survive. And that it might not leave such a bad footprint.
    Cheers,
    Dave

  • While I have never been very into Feng Shui in itself (being that it was popularized), I have practiced certain little things as does my girlfriend that are very much Chinese. I suppose my rant is more of the commercialization of a tradition and it bothers me that people take it and tread all over it.
    Thank you for the wonderful thoughts. Realistically, with the stupidity and corruption in Western medicine, I’m curious as to how Chinese medicine would do in the South. I’ve heard from a few that it’s very similar to old Appalachian medicine. Amazing how thousands of miles, and in the end, we still use very similar ways and cures.

  • While I have never been very into Feng Shui in itself (being that it was popularized), I have practiced certain little things as does my girlfriend that are very much Chinese. I suppose my rant is more of the commercialization of a tradition and it bothers me that people take it and tread all over it.
    Thank you for the wonderful thoughts. Realistically, with the stupidity and corruption in Western medicine, I’m curious as to how Chinese medicine would do in the South. I’ve heard from a few that it’s very similar to old Appalachian medicine. Amazing how thousands of miles, and in the end, we still use very similar ways and cures.

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