Mee-Mee Phipps

Author of Memories in the Bone and The Ming Admiral

The Diverse Bananas-Global Dragons Conference

Queen’s Birthday Weekend May 30th -June 2nd in New Zealand saw the Diverse Bananas Global Dragons Conference held at the Auckland University Business School.

It brought together Chinese from New Zealand, Canada and Australia to follow the up-dates on where we are at as an Overseas Chinese Community.

There is an old Chinese saying: “ZHI HU” which means “eat bitterness” and is often quoted as enduring hardships, or in modern terms ‘ swallowing rats’. The Chinese have been a people much adept at this and triumphed. One not only had to see how China had progressed in recent history – through the Opium wars to the Japanese invasion, but also overseas to the countries they had escaped to, Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand to see how they had endured the unendurable. And managed to live through to have progeny, despite the odds. And how these progeny have triumphed! The Chinese Diaspora can be viewed as being akin to the Jewish one. The same values applied to both. The values of keeping strong in one’s culture, of keeping one’s head down. education of the young, frugality and thrift have seen both triumph. Because make no mistake, the Jews had their share of Zhi Hu too.

The end of the Conference made me proud that I happen, due to no effort on my part, to be one of these people — adept at Zhi Hu and that I have triumphed.

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