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    Posted November 7, 2012 by
    Xi'an, China
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Life in China

    Anti-Japan Riots in Xi'an, China

    The Japanese and Chinese have been fighting over Japanese controlled islands for years. Since I arrived in China I've been aware of the Chinese hate for the Japanese. My first clue was when my 7-year-old student was playing with the globe of the world ball and gave Japan the finger.

    A couple months ago the adult population took their hate to another level. Overall the Chinese are a selfish group of people. This is something I know and I accept. If I lived in a world with an intense level of competition and a huge population (not to mention a world of only children) I might be the same way. Recently their selfish side came out in an ugly way. They destroyed other's property. They attacked cars and restaurants that were Japanese. Does this seem rational?

    As a foreigner walking around during this time I don't feel especially comfortable. Why would they do anything to me? But why are they doing this in the first place. They're acting in an irrational and ignorant manner.
    Chinese flags were carried by adults, carried by children, flown on the outside of huge shopping malls, small shops, and on cars and motorbikes. I wish I had gotten a sense of community from all of this. Instead it felt like a carnival. Ironically their word for demonstration (游行) is also the same word for parade. Instead of trying to avoid the violence by staying home they were out in huge numbers eating ice cream and taking pictures.

    I'm not taking sides in this fight. The Japanese were awful to the Chinese years ago. I just don't agree with how the Chinese have acted.

    In the days following this day the Chinese were once again forbidden to protest. During class the next day we watched one of the busiest streets in Xi'an become closed off to cars and pedestrians. The gates to the city center were completely closed to anyone trying to enter. No one was allowed to protest.

    I've had many days in China when I've questioned why I am here. This day was a big one. I was reminded how selfish and ignorant Chinese people can be. At the same time I don't believe this is a big enough reason to abandon a country I've grown to love, hate, and be fascinated with all in the same moment.
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