Research has shown that renowned Chinese explorer Cheng Ho reached what are now the American shores 90 years before Columbus. Columbus’s grandparents weren’t even sperm yet.
Centuries before that, history recorded nomadic tribes trekking from Mongolia over the natural bridge that is now the Bering Strait through Russia, Alaska, and down the coast to North and South America.
With this bit of anthropological consideration, it’s no secret why Native Americans and Ancient Pre-Spaniard Latinos, with their golden skin, straight black hair, and brown eyes bear a significant resemblance to Asians.
It’s because through some distant ancestry, beyond written records, we are related. It might also explain why both cultures include a staple of rice, why a sombrero looks like a rice hat, and why an egg-roll looks like a tiny burrito.
These are ancestral echoes embedded deep into our DNA. Archeologists have also found that the Mayan civilization had developed similar lunar calendars, pottery and jade not unlike those used by the Chinese at the exact time.
The understanding is that the Mayans were derivatives from those who traversed the Bering Strait. Some records in ancient Chinese texts also point to a monk and a merchant who traveled at different times to a far off land. That land would likely have been America. Understanding these bits of lore are important as you become acclimated to the new Chinese America.
You must realize that we were here first, and that you are the true invaders. I speak mainly of the European settlers and aggressors, for the African line of Americans were initially brought against their will. Euros had a choice, and they chose to gentrify the area with rabid colonialism — a matter that Chinese both admire and abhor. But let’s leave America for a moment and look at Chinese history.
Chinese History, and Why It Kicks Butt
Sure, the Chinese had our tough times. Feudal kingdoms, war, revolution, but like Western cultural history, we also had years of enlightenment, scientific breakthrough, and lots and lots of great little stories to tell.
Europeans and their bastard children Americans are constantly back-patting themselves as the apex of “Western Civilization,” but their histories are junk-heap scrapings in human history compared to the Chinese. The Chinese were the truly largest and most sophisticated empire outside of Europe and Africa. Yeah… those were the days…
Chinese legend has it that the Chinese spawned all the other Asian countries, although India is a bit of a controversy, so let’s leave that for now. But Japan, Korea, and goldish etceteras seem to follow a similar pattern: some emperor sends off some kids as punishment and they, having only a basic elementary education, go off and try to form their own country.
It’s of course why many non-Asians can’t tell the difference between varied Asians and so they make fun of all of them collectively as chingchong-Chinamen. It’s also why these other Asian languages look similar to Chinese—often sharing the same characters and even pronunciations. Now, I’m sure the linguistics experts have ways to figure out how which is derived from what, but who cares. It had to start somewhere and China is as good a place as any, as it has the most clear-cut and recorded history.
China and its people are likely the most crucial elements to the history of Eastern Civilization. In fact China in Chinese means “Middle Kingdom.” In other words, China is the center of the world, and perhaps the universe. Now really, who has the balls to call themselves the Middle Kingdom unless they can back it up? Even America, which was named after some Italian guy named Amerigo, didn’t have the dumplings to call the place the “United States of the Universe.”
In any case, centuries before Europe and the so-called Renaissance, China was developing a sophisticated culture with art, literature, music, philosophy, medicine, science, and an almost mystical understanding of the world, the mind, and the human body. Of course, this was only for the educated and elite, but when isn’t it? This elitism would come back and bite the Chinese however after World War II and much of what was developed over its proud history was never realized. (Learn this lesson well, America: Take care of the poor or they will get pissed and overturn the country).
Still, it wasn’t a bad run of progress before that. After all, who invented gunpowder and the crossbow and dumplings? Those relate together somehow. Perhaps in that you use gunpowder and/or a crossbow to hunt a deer or some other worthy animal and make dumplings out of it. So without Chinese, you would have considerably less dumplings. In case you were wondering, the Italians call dumplings “ravioli” and the Jewish call them “matzo,” after borrowing the idea from the Chinese. Gunpowder also led to the Chinese inventing the cannon, matches, fireworks, and the multistage rocket. Imagine July 4th Independence Day without fireworks! How un-American is THAT? It’d be pretty boring just frantically waving Chinese-made American flags on the Fourth of July.
Americans need to thank their lucky stars for Chinese ingenuity. Other Chinese inventions:
- the magnetic compass
- the noodle
- tea (which without it you never would have had a Boston Tea Party and thus would still be relegated to being under British Rule)
- paper (followed by relief printing, movable type, and the book, and if people couldn’t read, there would be no internet – thus without the Chinese, no internet, and no internet porn)
- tofu (meaning there would be no vegetarians, thus nobody to shop at Whole Foods)
- the umbrella
- earthquake detection equipment
- the blast furnace
- the wheel barrow
- the kite (thus Ben “Fatty” Franklin wouldn’t have been able to prove electricity, thus no light bulbs or the internet)
- deep drilling for natural gas (where the frack would you be?)
- porcelain (you’d be eating off wood)
- horseback riding stirrups (many a torn ACL for your cowboys)
- the pagoda
- civil service (no roads or sewage treatment)
- grain storage (no bread or Twinkies)
- the first counting tool
- the rudder (a lot of inefficient boats)
- the planetarium (no second life for Pink Floyd)
- the rainbow bridge
- the suspension bridge
- the iron plow
- decimal fractions (no sales tax)
- the propeller
- brain surgery
- paper money (just coins)
- the mechanical clock (can anyone say hourglass?)
- the parachute (a lot of ineffective air attacks)
- the sweatshop (where silk was spun)
- the Chinese restaurant (no Thanksgiving dinner when you mess yours up)
Now you could argue that inventions are born from necessity and therefore someone, probably a European, would have eventually brought these into existence if they needed them. But they didn’t, did they? They were busy sitting on their arses worrying about war and plague and pestilence and acne.
Meanwhile the Chinese were trying to make the world a better place to live and be more productive. Not much has changed when you think about it. And there are plenty of ideas that the Chinese have adopted today and brought them into the mainstream including:
- software piracy
- cheap labor
- instant noodles
- old people
- fortune cookies
- investment property
- Communism without communes
- Toyota Camries