Everyone knows that Germans are punctual, the French are the most skillful lovers, Americans are all cowboys, and Russians drink vodka from a samovar and ride bears.
And the Chinese are hardworking. Here they have no greater joy in life than to work hard. And we even have a song about them, as the sun rises over the Yellow River, and the Chinese go to the field, clutching a handful of rice in their fist, and carry portraits of Mao…
In fact, of course, the Chinese are no different from other people in this regard. Nothing human is alien to them. They also shirk from work at the first opportunity. They also like to have a good meal and take a nap after eating, right at the workplace. Although no, they love it more than anyone else in the world, but this is a topic for a separate article.
Their diligence — in studies, work — is often based on fear. In front of my parents. Before society. Before the future. The demand is very strict, since childhood, such is the East. It makes you sad and you remember yourself in the army. For the first six months of my service, I worked hard: I dug holes, fell asleep and dug new ones. Dug trenches. I carried curb stones in my hands — the cart was not supposed to be from the checkpoint to the guardhouse, it’s a kilometer and a half through the entire part. I was painting something, pulling, loading… was I hardworking then? Not really. But my work and the work of other “spirits” were monitored by Sergeant Ivakhnenko, the size of a breeding bull and with about the same character. His blows were all-crushing. There were no options, I had to work hard.
The work of many Chinese is exactly like that — forced and not particularly meaningful. Where it should be done quickly and well, the Chinese will pick for a long time, glue, tie up, patch up constantly, so that in the end everything falls apart and they have to start over. They can do it quickly, but this speed resembles a “demob chord” — somehow in record time to bring “beauty” so that all this, as usual, falls apart after delivery.
The Chinese are not hardworking. But they are very hardy. That is, where I or someone like me will die from unbearable working conditions, the Chinese will work with a serene expression on his face. And for this they deserve both respect and praise. It is these hard-working people-ants, short, dark-faced, dressed in baggy blue uniforms – who create grandiose new buildings, multi-level interchanges that take your breath away, roads are laid, streets are swept, goods are delivered…
The hardiness of the Chinese is incredible. It affects foreigners living in China no less than the realization of the complete failure of the myth of Chinese diligence.