Someone in the Chinese blog-sphere linked to my English weblog and the blogger commented in Chinese, something to the effect of ¡°A blog by a Beijing kid who has gone to the States. Her English is good, but she is kinda opinionated.¡± The fact that I was called ¡°a kid¡± amused me. When I mentioned this comment to my mom, she was puzzled because apparently she never considered me opinionated. [grin]
I pointed out to mom that probably my point of view on legalizing drugs could be considered opinionated.
¡°Oh, I see.¡± She said, ¡°I guess you are kinda on the right.¡±
¡°huh?¡± I thought she had slipped. ¡°Did you mean to say I¡¯m kinda on the left?¡±
¡°No, definitely not. You are on the right.¡± Mom sounded very confident.
¡°NO WAY!¡± I was horrified.
It took us a while to realize that definitions of left and right in China were the exact opposite of definitions in the West.
In China, the hard core Leftists were the most loyal to the Communist Party. Most intellectuals were considered in the Right Wing because they were for moderation, human rights, and softer rules. They were not radical enough for the Left.
When I told mom that GWB represents the far Right in the States, it was her turn to feel horrified. During the Culture Revolution, many intellectuals who dared to speak up against Communist Party¡¯s hardliners were titled with being part of the ¡°Right Group¡± and sent off to the country side and forced into manual labor. It was hard for mom to think of those ¡°liberal¡± humanists on the same side of GWB.
As a universal rule, the conservatives are considered Right, while the more progressive ones are considered Left. In China, the Communists considered themselves to be the most progressive force of the society, thus they were the Left. Even thought Chinese Right¡¯s agenda is much more closer to American Left.
Everything is relative. How fascinating!