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Chinese: 'Jews make money'

Rachel Guo, Chinese creator of YouTube series on China asks her countrymen what they think of Jews and explains why stereotypes have a positive side

Liron Nagler-Cohen
Published: 04.23.12, 16:27 / Israel Jewish Scene

A well known American stereotype is that Jews love Chinese food, but what do the Chinese think of Jews? Rachel Guo, the creator of the web-based Chinese series "Real China, No Drama" asked the same question. The answers were presented in an episode fittingly called "Oy Vey: China on the Jews" and seem to stick to the stereotypical bent.
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Guo, 29, created the YouTube series which is made up of short clips which attempt to explain the Chinese nation. She's a kind of goodwill ambassador: She wasn't sent by the Chinese foreign ministry, doesn't receive a salary and yet since December 2011 she has already uploaded 16 clips – all "homemade" – each presenting the Chinese culture is a way that make it accessible to the Western eye, ear and most importantly – heart.

 

It all started, she says, when she visited the US 18 months ago. "From the moment I landed at the airport, the US seemed familiar," she notes. "I had consumed American culture through movies and TV shows my whole life."

 

 

In contrast, Guo found there was a great deal of ignorance when it came to what Americans knew about her country.

 

Understanding that the power lay in various media outlets, Rachel decided to go back to her country and try and generate a revolution of awareness with regards to China and its culture – even if only in the smallest way.

 

One episode of her hit YouTube show focuses on what the Chinese think of Jews. The episode came about after a slight incident with a Jewish friend, in a bid to show that what sounds perfectly reasonable to one culture, may not sound reasonable to a different culture.

 

"Most Chinese people think that Jews are smart, they have strong relations with their families and are very responsible," Guo told Ynet. "I never thought about it too much until I took a vacation in China with one of my friends last summer. My friend is a US born Jew and he came up with an idea for a business venture. I joked around and said 'you're Jewish.'

 

"He was a little bit offended and angry and asked in response: Did you just say 'you're Jewish?' I meant to say you're a smart Jew who finds business opportunities wherever you go. It was supposed to be a compliment. But for some reason he took offense."

 

So if responses like: "Jews are a smart nation who know how to make money," and "Jews are good at business," "Jews lead the global economy," and "They have long noses;" arouse an angry reaction and thoughts of the Holocaust, stop for a minute and look at Guo's smiling face who assures us, it all comes from a deep sense of admiration.

 

 

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