Something wrong with Chinese Culture

Robin Low
2 min readJan 29, 2020

I remember a long time ago, Chinese culture is about respect, filial piety and justice, etc.

But as I grow up, I see that much of the good values are being eroded as Chinese embrace capitalism. It seemed that the Chinese really embrace profits above all else as we see “fake rice”, “fake milk powder” and other food scares from China.

In Singapore, Chinese New Year is a period where more people consume Chinese New Year goodies and this is also when many companies increase prices because of demand. Even the price of hair cuts also increase.

When you have any type of disaster, haze, SARS or anything uncommon, expect N95 masks to be sold out and scalped. There is no sense of community, just selfishness and greed. This seems to be in line with what Singapore government believe in as the Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told Singaporeans to steal other people’s lunches to stay ahead.

I was taught that the Japanese were the enemies as they invaded Singapore during WWII, but I’ve been to Japan several times, and in the suburbs, the sense of community still surprise me.

When a community collaborate, their efforts multiply and they can do more than individuals do separately. In Ishinomaki, I’ve seen old shop owners going as a group to clean a shop at a time, collectively move big items out of the damaged stores and clear efficiently. When people buy supplies, they buy enough for their own consumption for 1 meal and allow others to buy.

This is a big difference from the US where I see people in trucks buy out all the gas and sell it down the road for 10 times the price.

In Singapore, I see the same thing as well, when the Health Minister check stock of surgical masks and say that there are sufficient stock for everyone if people buy a few for themselves, but I cannot find any masks in Toa Payoh, Bishan and Ang Mo Kio. Then I find them on Carousell for double the price.

I feel that Chinese culture is overtaken by capitalism and people are not ready for disasters. With the increased frequencies of disasters, outbreaks of diseases and displacement of people, I do foresee a very bad time ahead if we do not change our ways and embrace the community.

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Robin Low

Author, Traveler, Innovator. Focuses on Social Impact and Innovation.