We are full of schematic ideas about other nations and states. Our old Europe is a good example of it. We say that the East is wild and captious, the South is dirty and noisy, America is to young to be treated seriously and the North is a white desert with tough inhabitans.
Americans think that their infallible and irreplaceable rules and procedures are good enaugh to solve each important problem – for example – to build a democratic system in Iraq (it’s all because US ministers and generals haven’t read “The Gallic Wars” by Jules Caesar, yet).
We all have got trouble with our stereotypes. That’s why we are not surprised, when we read “Africa has its Bright Side, Too” by Oscar Kimanuka in “The East African” (Kenya). He wrote about Chinese-African seminar in Chengdu (Sichuan) to promote their relations by exchanging informations through the mass media.
WHEN a Chinese is asked about Africa he or she thinks of pyramids, the Safari or Nelson Mandela, the symbol of Africa’s humanity. Mandela has increasingly come to salvage Africa’s battered image, which has often been seen through the Western media as a continent of famine, hunger, disease, ignorance and conflict. But fewer Chinese know that Africa is a continent of diversity in cultures, languages and hospitable people.(…)
From Africa’s perspective, China is a huge country with the largest population in the world — 1.3 billion — rapid economic growth and development, and a friendly people.
That’s right – information, massmedia, education and knowledge are the best remedium against the trivial stereotypes. I am very attached to our euro-american culture but (and) I’m really glad, I can watch Africans fighting as well with stereotypes. May be, my proud is naive but it’s my own one.