That is the sentiment from one of the acting “models” that was chosen for the day to represent a developer in West China. In this short film by David Borenstein of the NY Times, it gives you a glimpse into the world of how Westerners are viewed in China. The specialty firm collects groups of foreigners, often found in bars whom they rent out to attend events to make it seem more “international”. Clients can select from a menu of skin colors and nationalities, but when it comes to white people, it doesn’t seem to matter which country he/she is from, what matters is the image it can create to promote the global, modern feel.
I have noticed walking around China, that the advertisements with foreigners usually end up using very average, even a little unhealthy looking white people. I often ask myself, “where did they find this person, and why?”
I recently watched a movie called Shanghai Calling which wasn’t particularly a well-made movie, but it did give you a unique perspective into an expat’s life in China. In this movie as well, there is a character that poses as a hired “lawyer” for the day, to represent a company being accused of copyright infringements. It seems impossible and even wrong to allow these things to happen, but that is the way China runs, and it even becomes a bit charming after a while. No, things don’t always go as “written” or promised, but the unpredictable aspect makes us better prepared, more patient and brings us closer to the few people we can trust.
Photo is a scene from Shanghai Calling
Leave a Reply.
Unicultural team and trainers, sharing our views and experiences on everything cultural.