#Imagine China, through the lens of Jill

Jill

My name is Jie Huang and I’m studying Peace Studies in University of Bradford. My interest lies in conflict analysis, conflict resolution and finding cure for sadness. Except for these, I also have a wide interest in life including cooking, drawing, dancing, music and craft.

 The peaceful society that I expect in China is to respect people for their personality instead of their power and wealth. Although everyone is born equal legally in China, but the life concept of majority people are still influenced by traditional customs, which leads a widely existed potential social class inequality. In my opinion, many Chinese are accustomed to evaluate their role during situation around them, act like what this role should do, compare themselves with other people by judging social class, then respond differently. We are tied by our roles too much. It’s pathetic to have prejudice and judgment filling the society.

I wish people could view others just as human and build a basic respect for everyone. I realize how hard it is. Because not only people who have higher status and wealth expected more respect than others, but economic and political inequality also drive this phenomenon. Today we are not involved in any war, but structural violence in our country is all over. If we just look at the primary school, children who followed directions and don’t make any trouble will be praised. In a class, the teacher is the most powerful person in the room. At the beginning of any class, every student needs to stand up and shout together “Hello, teacher”. Then the teacher responds with “Hello, students”. Then the students sit down. The interesting point is we never shout the name of teachers, not even with Mr. or Mrs., this forced action is just to remind you about your social role, remind you of what you are instead of who you are. After class, this role is continued. If students meet their teachers in the campus or street or other public place, they will call teachers with their surname and “teacher”. For example, “Wang Teacher” or “ Li Teacher”. It sounds so creepy for me now but I never felt that when I was in primary school, same in middle school and high school. Teachers and students keep their unequal relationship all the time. Some people may see it as a show of respect for teachers, but I see it more sadly. It means that your job represents your social class and the way people treated you. So the moment you choose a job, it decides how you will be treated. Not only when you are working, but in everywhere. This kind of one side respect for people who have higher status than you really make it difficult to achieve the peaceful society I imagine. As long as people still feel fear from their higher-ups.

***

Respect comes up again and this time it is seen as a tool for inequality, if the respect is only tied to a job.

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