Saturday, September 26, 2009

Picture of the Day: Manufactured Elegance

Everyday on my way to work by foot, I pass by this curious development. It's a new building complex which is behind a hotel called Radegast. When the hotel opened, I wondered if it would get any business with such a strange name. But a few weeks after it opened, a stream of cars and taxis drive up to the entrance depositing guests or picking them up.

However, I did wander in the hotel one day after work and hardly saw anyone in the lobby and the fifth floor where the business centre and banquet rooms are...

One has to wonder which rooms are really being used there.

But I digress. Behind the hotel a posh Chinese seafood restaurant is being built. The sign is within a giant marble-like frame with what looks like carved bamboo leaves in it. And next to it workers are building a grand entrance.

A few weeks ago it was strange to see such a modern building have a classic European facade complete with Corinthian columns superimposed on it. I thought they would try to make it look like natural stone, but instead they painted it white and then some kind of peachy shade.

And now they are building a gazebo-like dome jutting out of the arch.

Is this their idea of a stylish entrance?

In a period now where Internet users passionately and sometimes even fervently defend China and how great it is, they cannot stand anyone who is less of a patriot than themselves and make that known all over cyberspace.

But more importantly people in China must be Chinese. However what is the definition of someone being Chinese? How can someone be lesser Chinese than another? This monolithic belief is such a stereotype, especially when the country is keen to promote that it has 56 minority groups.

So why is it, that even after the two Opium wars, and the imperialists who came in and carved up China, leaving it to become "the sick man of Asia", that its people still think European things equate with high class?

Or is it perhaps old habits die hard?

7 comments:

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Wanna hear your opinion

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