To Anglo - and particularly, 'British' - sensibilities, some Asiatic cultures have a reputation for rudeness.
The Chinese in particular can seem very impolite. They talk loudly and sharply, and come across as bossy and impatient - usually when addressing their social inferiors, though their equals and betters often get this treatment too. This is because Chinese culture in particular values bluntness, and China's socio-economic situation means that wage-slaves like waiters and clerks can and often are treated like dirt (to no ill-effect). One could say that the whole thing is a big culture-clash
. It's not to say that there aren't genuine arseholes among the peoples of Asia - there are plenty
- but more often than not, a 'rude' Asiatic is not genuinely such.
Essentially, the way various Asiatic peoples converse - i.e. 'rudely' - is mainly an unfortunate result of applying the tone and meter of their own languages to languages where that kind of speaking is the way rude people talk.
For another thing, it's a matter of differing cultural notions of what is rude and what isn't. Chinese Etiquette
can be as foreign as the language, and might even be confused for being an Etiquette Nazi
While usually Played for Laughs
in fiction, this can even be Played for Drama
, especially among children of Asian immigrants, who get the confusion of growing up among these clashing cultures
Might even cause Stop Being Stereotypical
. Can also overlap with Asian Store Owner
as well as with Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy
is a common Occidental equivalent.
Contrast Japanese Politeness
(although Japanese people are not always portrayed as polite), Inscrutable Oriental
- In the English version of Axis Powers Hetalia, China comes to a meeting of the Allies very late. He states that he was cooking and that:
China: ...My cultural arrogance means I am neither sorry nor remorseful.
- Played with on Las Vegas, with Polly the Korean manicurist. She's rude as anything, not because she's unusually bossy or callous, but because she doesn't hesitate to prattle on and on about her sex life in mixed company.
- Spoken of approvingly in an episode of QI. They'd been discussing how gross it is when job interviewers make people talk about how excited they'll be to get some menial service job and what they'll "bring to the company," and how with that in mind, it's nicer to see people who look openly miserable with their jobs. Phill Jupitus said he and his friends used to go to a Chinese restaurant specifically because they were treated like shit there and found it hilarious, and that one time, they were interrupted mid-meal and told to move to another table on a different floor of the restaurant.
- Kanae Tsuji, a Japanese doctor from Trauma Center: New Blood, is based on this type of character in American dramas.
- The female Panderans from World of Warcraft play this to the hilt.
- Tales of a Gay Asian: Mr Bak-mei reminisces being saved by Americans, only to hurl racial slurs when he sees they are black. Not only the old angry Asian man, but Sengchou the blonde transsexual, despite her whitewashed appearance is weirded out by tanning and doesn't give eye contact to whites. However, compared to Bak-mei it is mostly ego related, not racial.
- Alexandra Wallace posted a video complaining about Asians being rude in a library. The girl's "ching chong ting tong" line, make her come across as the rude one.
- The fact that this was also in the wake of the 2011 tsunami did not help matters, since it was widely held that they were just trying to get in contact with family members back home.
- Edsel Ford Fong, a waiter at San Francisco's Sam Wo restaurant who was famous for his rudeness.
- In this viral video, a Hong Kong resident gets angry at a mainland Chinese tourist for letting her kid eat noodles while on a train. This sparked a dialogue on how their time as a British colony has made Hong Kongers view mainland Chinese as rude. Overlaps with Cultural Cringe.
- Singapore, which has a majority Chinese population, is renowned for the general unhelpfulness if not quite overt rudeness of its people. Even Singaporeans are aware of this, terming such people "Ugly Singaporeans".
- Because of cultural differences regarding personal boundaries and privacy in conversation, some Westerners in China (in particular) may find questions or comments that Chinese people consider normal topics of conversation or ice-breakers rather rude or invasive: how much you weigh, how old you are, how much money you/your parents make, whether or not you have a significant other, comments on your personal appearance, your political views, your contact information when you barely know the person, etc. In addition, shopkeepers, hotel receptionists, or taxi drivers may ask questions that seem rather invasive (where you're going, why you're buying what you're buying, what you're doing in China, if you've eaten yet today). The general thing to remember is that if you feel like your privacy is being invaded, the person asking generally just wants to be friendly. In rural/more remote areas, people may also point, stare, shout English words, or pose for photos with a foreigner, sometimes without asking permission beforehand; this is mainly out of excitement and curiosity (since outside of major cities in China, Westerners are an uncommon sight) and a wish to be friendly, not out of rudeness or malice.