Posté par tianjin le 27 octobre 2013
A jùn mǎ 俊 马 tale 故事 (François de la Chevalerie)
“No great man lives in vain.
The history of the world is but the biography of great men” Thomas Carlyle.
A couple of month before his death that occurred the 9 of November 1969, General de Gaulle expressed his intention to visit China.
Because France was the first western country to establish diplomatic ties with China in 1964, the leaders of this country were quite happy to welcome him.
They remembered his quote : “China is a big country inhabited by many Chinese.
In preparing himself for that trip, de Gaulle consulted thoroughly a lot of book since the « Man’s Fate », written by Malraux, his former Minister for Cultural Affairs, an in-depth description of the revolution that took place in Asia at the beginning of the century;
« A Barbarian in Asia » from the Belgium novelist Henri Michaux; tales from Matteo Ricci, a Jesuit priest also called in Chinese Lì Mǎdòu (利瑪竇) or Xītài (西泰) and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, philosopher and paleontologist.
Unfortunately, de Gaulle died abruptly from a seizure just before.
What remains from him in today China ?
There is no General de Gaulle in China but a man named commonly Tài gāo le (太高了).
According to the translations, sometimes “The very tall” much more probably, “The Very great”.
That certainly is fairly troubling but it is a tradition in China, there is a distinct name given to each foreign personnalities.
Who once decided?
Some said that at the request of Zhōu Ēnlái an obscure civil servant has selected this Chinese name.
Besides the « very great » is widely known in China as far I learned during my trip through the country even in the depths of China.
From Lanzhou to Taiyuan, the approach is always the same.
When some guys asked me about my nationality (nî cóng shénme guójiä lái?), I answered with sometimes a hesitating voice, sometimes a joyful voice.
- Fǎ guó rén ! (法国人)
Then the questioner smiles.
- You mean, Làng màn? (浪漫)
Usually, làng màn reflects the French men behavior in China, something between romantic and libertine. (Isn’t it redundant ?)
I am really sick and tired of it.
I’m not a “làng màn” much than an Italian or a Spanish. So I asked the guy if he knows something more that this stereotype, old fashioned assumption.
- Tài gāo le (太高了), he replied gently.
- What do you know about him?
- Somebody important! (Zhòng yào de rén 重要 人). He took part in the War…
Generally the conversation stops at that point.
That’s all in the mind of the average Chinese man.
Once, an educated woman from the University of Changsha told me.
- In the old times, he incarnated an ascetic and magnificent ideal, the so called French pride. He epitomized the adage of « act locally for global impact ». But now France is somewhat weak, uncertain, without a holistic perspective.
- Let’s dream together! Let the rains come down upon you and cover France with life-giving water.
A writer from the city of Guangzhou made that significant statement.
- Tài gāo le belongs to the Chinese soft power (Zhōng guó ruǎn quán lì 软实力).Beyond the sovereignty of each country, as a primary objective, it depicts an ideal world, a fairytale existence throught the respect for the cultural heritage. Tài gāo le is our spiritual connection to France, always. That’s our appreciation. Tài gāo le is a Chinese hero of a peaceful, safe and predictable world as we dreamed.
But he is not.
At the « Millennium Center » in Beijing, the bas-relief of the history of China depicts only two strangers, both Italian, Marco Polo and Matteo Ricci.
- Because French politician have left his deep sense of commitment, because French have mainsly forgotten his lessons, exclaimed an old professor from the Tsinghua University (清华大学), we’re going to dress the General de Gaulle as a Confucius mandarin (guān). Then, for the generations to come, he will enter definitively into the Chinese pantheon.
Publié dans Le Général de Gaulle et la Chine | Commentaires fermés