WARNING: This entry contains profanity. If you are opposed to such language, please skip to the next entry.
First, let me apologize for using the following profane words. I use them only for the purpose of talking about my experience today. And, as you will read, I definitely oppose the use of these words. I cringe when I hear such words coming from other people. And, I would have to be hard pressed by someone to say these words to someone else. To get it out of the way, the words I will be using are: “fuck”, and all of the derivatives of the word, and shit.
Those that know me will tell you that I usually do not get angry. In fact, I am usually very optimistic about things. Yes, I get mad. But, I very, very, very seldom get steaming angry. Well, I did today. I am a bit embarrassed about it.
I was in primary school today. I was mobbed in the hallway as I usually am by the kids. I was on the floor with grade 5. One of the boys came up to me and yelled at me “f***”. I tried to stop him, but he ran off and I was in the middle of a mob. A little while later, the same boy came back to where I was and yelled “FU” at me. This time, when he ran away from me, I broke through the mob to catch him. But, he ran away and I could not find him.
Before I continue any more, let me say two things.
1. It is not really the kid’s fault for this language. They think it is funny and fun to say, They learn it from movies and music they see in English. And, I assume they also learn it in their video games too.
2. I put up with much lewd behavior. Especially in primary school. Usually I can ignore it. In mobs of boys, it is bound to happen that a hand is trying to pinch or slap my butt. Some boys are even brave enough to touch my crotch area. And, there are times when a boy will try to hit me in my testicles. All of which, I will try to correct the behavior if I can determine who it is. Many times I cannot discover who it. It is bad enough when they are trying to check you out when you are going pee in the toilet area.
So, I put up with much. In fact, a foreign teacher from another school here in Ganyu decided to leave the school and the country because his students would constantly use the words f*** and S***. When the administration of the school refused to act, he quit his job and left. He was Australian. So, I am glad that the sensitivity to these words are not just me.
Anyway, back to the day’s events. I was in class and playing a game during my lesson. One team lost points in the game. Behind my back, I heard a boy say s***. Very loudly. At first I tried to ignore it. I did not want to bring attention to it. But, he continued to say s*** and then would mix in the word f***. I suddenly remembered that this is the same class, and the same area of the class that I had this happen before many months ago. I became very angry. I really do not know why I became so angry. I turned around and yelled at the side of the class where it came from and asked who was saying those bad words. No one responded. I was determined to find out who it was. After being persistent and, angrier that no one would admit to it, one boy finally admitted it was him. I yelled at him that his language is not appropriate. And, I told him to leave the classroom. At first, he was not sure what to do. But, he then left. I then, angrily, told the class that this type of language is not acceptable. It should never be used around me or anyone else. Some Chinese teachers were opening the door of the classroom to see what was happening. I yelled for them to leave. They did. I finished my ranting to the students. I took a deep breath and then told my assistant that I was stepping out for a couple of minutes. I took about two minutes in the hallway to regain my composure. I returned to the classroom and began teaching the lesson again. At first, the class was not saying much except that they were sorry for what happened. I just kept teaching in a calming manner. Soon, the classroom environment returned to normal and we were laughing again. The rest of the class was as if nothing really happened.
After the class, the boy came in and approached me. He came to me and apologized for what he said. I smiled at him and told him that he was forgiven. I gave him a big hug. I tried to reassure him that everything is fine now. I finished packing up my bag from my classroom activities. By now, the kids were seated and doing some chair exercises that they have to do. I looked over at the boy and he was definitely troubled. I quietly walked over to him, held my hat in front of us and told him that I was sorry that I got so angry with him. He was crying. It broke my heart. I tried to reassure him that everything is fine between us. I told him that when I see him again, we will be friends. And, I apologized to him one more time. I actually think he understood most of my English. And, I understood his English. I then left the school to go home as it was the end of the day.
I am not happy about how I reacted. I could have done better. I know that much. But, if anything comes from this that is positive it is that this boy, his classmates, and maybe others will find that this is not acceptable language. It is not something to say lightly. And, as I said, I cannot blame the students. They are just learning these things from the English entertainment sources coming from America and other Western countries. I cannot blame the Chinese teachers for not correcting this behavior because many of them do not know English or what these words mean. And, of course the school is not aware of how offensive these words are. It is kind of like speaking pig-latin when we were young. Only those of us who used it, knew what was being said.
I did an entry about profanity in China many months ago. The worst profanity in Chinese is: 肏你祖宗十八代 (cào nǐ zǔ zōng shí bā dài) – This is basically the granddaddy of them all. It means “f*** your ancestors to the 18th generation.” As Chinese have deep respect for their ancestors, this will certainly do more than offend someone, and it will almost definitely result in a fight of some sort.
I do not think a Chinese teacher, the school administrators, or the parents would let the kids go around saying this casually. As such, they should not use words in English that are offensive to those who know what it means.
I frequent a local coffee house often. They will play rap music when there is hardly anyone in the place. One of the songs is so offensive with the use of f***, FU, and MF, that I have asked the waitress to turn off the music. And, that is the problem with English music in China. They love to listen to the rhythm and beat of the music, but do not understand the lyrics. There have been times that I would be walking down the street and some Chinese teens would ride by on their bikes. They would scream over their shoulders when they see me, saying F*** or FU. Maybe the kids do know the meaning. But, they do not know how upsetting it can make some of us.
Sure, it is common place to hear these words in America. I just chalk it up to immaturity and stupidity from those who use it. I have had people around me that have to use profanity every other word they say. It has become habit for them. I refuse to be around these type of people. And, sadly, another terrible word…almost as bad as saying FU, is the black population using the word “nigga. Just hearing this word, or someone using the word “nigger” just makes my skin crawl. I have no idea why the Black community is accepting of the word “nigga”. I guess it is ok for them to say it. But, I am labeled a racist or a bigot for saying such a word. Profanity may have become more and more accepted in our liberalized society in America. But, to me, it really shows how dumbed down our society has gotten over the past few decades. As a Christian, when I hear comedians and other people casually using my Lord’s name in vein, I just want to scream. When I lived in the USA, I would delete those channels that commonly allowed such vulgarity from my TV selections. Comedy Central comes to mind. There was a time when certain profanity was prohibited to be used in American media and entertainment. Somehow, this Freedom of Speech, has killed that listing of banned words. Perhaps we need to bring back that list and regulate some of the lewd behaviors and words in our media. And, in my own opinion, if you see no problem with using profanity in every day language, or have it in our entertainment industries, I would recommend that your moral compass be recalibrated. Again, just my opinion. But, it is my blog, so I guess I can say that here.
Let me finish by offending some of my readers by saying to you… God bless you.