Europe As Seen By Americans, Europeans, & Gay Men?

Since most of our readers here at china/divide are long-time observers of China, any one of you remember those China maps that show how Chinese people from different parts of China view other parts of China? Anyone have a link to them? I ran a few internet searches in both English and Chinese but couldn’t find them. I’m probably not using the right search queries but anyone know what I’m talking about? [Update: Thanks to whichone, you can find some of them here and here, though you need to be able to read Chinese. Cheers, mate.] They were pretty funny as long as you were familiar with popular Chinese regional stereotypes.

Now for something that might be more familiar for most of our quite-Western or Westernized readers:

Europe According to the United States of America

This is a map of how the United States views Europe and part of a collection by graphic designer and illustrator Yanko Tsvetkov titled “Mapping Stereotypes: The geography of prejudice1.

Judging by how often I hear foreigners complaining about how smelly Chinese people are, I had forgotten that the French were victims of that stereotype as well. Commies, St. Patrick’s, and Godfather are kinda banal but Mexico and Brazil are a nice touch, as well as Resident Evil.

Here are a few more as a taste:

Europe According to France

Europe According to Germany

Europe According to Britain

Anyone who has studied European history and modern society will probably recognize quite a few of the jokes in these maps. Go see the whole collection (and yes, there’s one for Gay Men too).

So now, a question: Anyone know of any similar maps for Asia. Most of us long-time observers of the region are already familiar with the stereotypes and prejudices that have arisen from the tensions and history between Asia’s major countries. Many “Westerners” certainly have a few of their own for the region. Did anyone out there ever make funny maps about them?

P.S. – While I’m at it, might as well throw this one in for good measure. I should probably relocate.


  1. via Joe Xu, thanks. []



28 Comments

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  1. -+

    First one is a bit dated – given the appearance of the old Yugoslavia together. Other than that… {shrug} not exactly anything new.

  2. -+

    As for the link to C. Custer’s article about “Stupid Americans”… what a crock of shyte. A holding cell for imbreeds is not the length and breath of the American school system (public or private).

  3. whichone

    -+

    Is it something like this?

    I googled “人心中的中国地图”

  4. xian

    -+

    I made China vs World one for 4chan once, 500 replies man

  5. -+-2

    Problem is, South Korea, Japan, China still seem to take things a bit too seriously, maps showing East Asian stereotypes wouldn’t be that funny.

    With the exception of a few fringe nutters (IRA, ETA, etc.) nobody in Western Europe holds any real beef with other countries in the region. If we don’t particularly love each other, we get along without the kind of turbulence you see in the Balkans, the Caucasus, the Mexican border, or the East China Sea.

    • nems

      -++1

      what kind of turbulence in the Balkans???

      you are angry because stereotypes about chinese yet you are a slave to them about others..!!! (Serbia and Balkan in this case)

  6. -+-2

    “Judg­ing by how often I hear for­eign­ers com­plain­ing about how smelly Chi­nese peo­ple are, I had for­got­ten that the French were vic­tims of that stereo­type as well.”

    Simply put, this betrays a rather strange view of things.

    I have never heard it said that Chinese people are generally smelly. I do remember people occasionally complaining about the bodily odour of individuals, the people who complained were usually people I refer to as “assholes” because most of those they complain about are those in no position to wash regularly.

    In fact I can remember far more complaints about bodily odour from foreign residents of Japan, due to the way in which Japanese ‘sarariman’ often work late, go to capsule hotels, and then come in wearing the same clothes for days on end.

    However, neither of these beliefs qualifies as a ‘stereotype’ held about that country by people in other countries (or, at least, none I am aware of). Perhaps there is a stereotype of people in China being smelly in the US, I don’t know because I have never been there, but I can tell you that British people have no such widely-held stereotype about the Chinese – Indian people are far more the victim of this.

    It seems you have more than a bit of a chip on your shoulder. One wonders whether, as a US citizen, you see yourself as a ‘foreigner’ or not – and a ‘foreigner’ in which country?

    Oh, and Kai, I wouldn’t be doing this if it weren’t for the fact that you previously accused me of having “dou­ble stan­dards and prej­u­dices” which are “uncom­fort­ably obvious” without deigning to explain what my “uncomfortably obvious” “double standards and prejudices” were. If you are basically going to insinuate that I am a racist, you should at least try to show some basis for this claim.

    • -+

      Strange? I think you answered your own challenge, FOARP. You don’t have to read ShanghaiExpat or TheBeijinger forums (amongst other noteworthy dens of expat catharsis like chinaSMACK or ChinaHush) to hear comments about Chinese people from such — I agree — “assholes”.

      As for generally smelly, you and I both know most people have a penchant for sweeping generalizations, especially when they get riled up. I understand you’re upset by the way I view you but I feel you’re being disingenuous here. You and I both know many foreigners have choice words for “Chinese people” in their less than enlightened moments and in my experience (which may not be your’s since you’re swearing up and down about it), smell happens to be one of them.

      Since you made the comparison, do understand that certain foreigner stereotypes of Chinese people aren’t mutually exclusive with stereotypes of other nationalities. That was kinda implicit in my mentioning the comparison with the French, right?

      Next, I agree that in the UK, Indians are “far more the victim” of smell stereotypes than the Chinese. If it helps, and as I’ve indicated above, I’ll clarify that I’m referring to stereotypes heard or uttered by foreigners in China or who have been in China.

      I definitely have a chip on my shoulder, just like you, but we have different chips. Jumping ahead a few steps, let’s just say I disagree with you on what chip you think is on my shoulder, just as you disagree with what chip you think I think is on your shoulder.

      FOARP, we’ve had many arguments over time and over multiple blogs often over precisely what I think are your double standards and prejudices. Others have as well. I’m not going to bother with trying to convince YOU of what I feel are your uncomfortably obvious double standards and prejudices. I’m not even sure why you seem so upset about it this time when I’m pretty certain you already know we have a history of disagreement with each other. Why are you suddenly so concerned now when this isn’t the first time I’ve expressed what I think about how you approach contentious issues concerning China.

      So I have an opinion about you, FOARP, what now? Are you going to hound me on every future china/divide post over it, each time explaining that you wouldn’t be hounding if it weren’t for the fact that I think you have double standards and prejudices?

      • -+

        Kai, what I object to is your apparent insinuation that I am a racist. It seems only fair that, if this is not your view, you should say so, and if it is your view, that you should say why. Forgive me if I cannot remember you ever having made this particular accusation in the past. Forgive me also if I find this apparent accusation somewhat objectionable, given that accusations of racism are so easily made and so hard to disprove once made.

    • Jones

      -+

      I’ve never said Chinese people, as a group, are smelly. However, I have walked in underground tunnels in Shanghai and, good god, Guangzhou during the summer and may have complained under my breath about the lack of deodorant. Simply saying, even in the worst of body-odor-inducing-misery I still did not attribute stankiness to Chinese people. Just the missing deodorant.

    • -+

      I have read many comments about Chinese people by foreigners and Chinese people are smelly is one of them. However, it is usually foreign women and maybe because Chinese do not use deodorant as much as foreigners.

      The foreign men prefer to say Chinese have small dicks.

      • King Tubby

        -+-1

        Fauna. RELAX. Chinese women are sweet…. trust me.
        Deodrants are disgusting and a real bring down when people are thinking about cross cultural nookie.

        Look, every time I hit a Western airport, all I see is really over weight people.

        Whats happening Fauna? You are actually upset about something.

        Nonetheless, I include you in my Christmas card list.
        Best KT

      • -+

        Fauna, baby, not only have I never heard a foreigner say that Chinese people are, in general, smelly, but I took a leaf out of the book of ultra-troll and conspiracy theorist Charles Liu and did a Google search for the phrase “Chinese people smell bad”:

        http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=%22chinese+people+smell+bad%22&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&client=firefox-a

        I got exactly ten results, which I list in reverse order of ranking for your amusement:

        No. 10: A bunch of guys on a Bosnian website discussing a youtube video made by a gay Chinese guy about his boyfriend.

        No. 9: A bunch of guys on a Mexican website discussing the same video

        No. 8: A bunch of guys on a Japanese anime website discussing police racial profiling, one of which said -

        “If someone is profiled by a cop once, twice, or even on several more occasions as hard as it may be to not form an opinion on cops as a whole given those experiences it would be ignorant to do so because your sample size is too small. It would be like thinking all chinese people smell bad because I happen to know a few that do, you can’t judge a group of people that easily or more specifically to do so is to admit not being open minded enough to understand we’re not all cut from the same cloth.”

        No. 7: A bunch of guys on Youtube discussing the same video as in Nos. 10 and 9.

        No. 6: A comment left by a student at CSUS (Sacramento?) on a thread on the Subaru Impreza Owners Club forum discussing why dumplings “smell”, I note that the commenter is now banned.

        No. 5: An academic article written by a linguistics researcher at the University of Hong Kong discussing the subject of ideophones in the Cantonese language (or dialect, whatever), one of those quoted is the phrase “臭崩崩” (although I think it should read “臭嘣嘣”) meaning “smelly”. An example phrase is given: “香港人香喷喷, 中国人臭崩崩”.

        No. 4: A comment by an Arkansan High School student on Facebook.

        No. 3: A discussion thread on a tech website about manufacturing in China, where a commenter said

        “I think you have me a little confused though. I’m not saying ‘Chinese people smell bad’.”

        No. 2: A commenter on Facebook who said:

        “You can’t generalize a whole race of people because we are all different in different ways. You can’t say “All chinese people smell bad.”"

        No. 1: A bunch of guys on a Pakistani website discussing the gay Youtube video.

        My scientific conclusions? Basically, most of the people in the world who say that Chinese people smell are actually cruising for Chinese guys.

        I believe you owe me one (1) internet.

  7. King Tubby

    -++2

    Cut it out Guys. I know that it is SOP to give it a big tug before jumping into the spa or entering the sauna, but this stuff is pathetic. Get a life. Bop the gf. Join the Foreign Legion. Invade Iceland.
    Kai, get your Overlord act together and throw some real meat to us trolls.

  8. Paul

    -+

    Whilst not wishing to keep going a ridiculous argument (I will anyhow) I have never heard of the stereotype of Chinese people being smelly, neither whilst living in China, or back here in the UK. Sure on a hot day in the subway or on a cramped bus with someone’s pit in your face, it’s pretty smelly, but no more than anywhere else.
    In actual fact, I thought it was the other way round, that people from China/Japan etc think westerners stink of pork and milk!

  9. fennix

    -+

    Hmmm, I do think that these maps are quite interesting and I have not seen this before. I have seen something before about Chinese thinking and charactures(sp?) of the people from different provinces (probably ChinaSmack from last year).

    Regarding the question of smelly….I live in Guangzhou and somehow have almost no expat friends (nor contacts even though I do own a cafe). Here I think that the local residents do shower at minimum once a day (though I do agree that they are not familiar with deoderants) and I think often they shower twice a day…and when hot and back at home can be many more times to cool off. I have heard stories of the winter time and further north than Guangdong (where you can see snow and ice) where the buildings are not heated (as in Beijing) that the people from the countryside might not at that time clean themselves as often (imagine breaking the ice off the wash water before using to wash….I think under those circumstances I would do the same). I remember watching James Clavell’s “Taipan” about the beginnings of HK when the father admonishes his newly arrived son from England that it might behoove himself to wash at least once a day as the locals (Chinese) do and his son’s answer of “what is wrong with the smell of one’s own shite on one’s body?” sigh….we have come a long way since then in that short time…

    • fennix

      -+

      Ah, sorry for my English grammar….Too long in China and too little interaction with native English speakers. I am slipping and now I see errors but how to correct my posts? I do understand that Shanghai and further north that in the winter months the buildings are heated…it is south of Shanghai that this is not so and in rural areas people must be practical and cut corners….no hot water for bathing so maybe less to bathe in the winter time.

  10. fennix

    -+

    I just went through the China Smack site and I do not find the page with the relevant images of the cartoons with descriptions for the different Chinese provinces. I did save the images and can forward them to you….There are 27 of them under the label of anthropomorphic but I am not sure where the source of these were.

  11. nems

    -+

    i like jokes about stereotypes…and its lame that Balkans are uncharted 3 maps….