10.29.2010

The Hilarity of the Coin

By now we're all aware of the little rusty coin which is in the process of rewriting Sino-African relations.  While I find the possibilities of the coin beautiful, touching, and all that good stuff, I also find it utterly hilarious.
"While the evidence is still not conclusive, it undermines Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama's claim to have been the first international trader to open up East Africa.

He arrived in 1499 on an expedition to find a sea route to Asia, and launched more than 450 years of colonial domination by European maritime powers."
*cue Western historians doubling over, gripping their stomachs, and going, Oooooh*

Nobody saw this coming, I think.  While some of us aren't really surprised at this point, it's still not what we were expecting.  We were expecting confirmation of things we already knew; we weren't actually expecting learn brand new info which would extend our relations by at least another century.
"'We're discovering that the Chinese had a very different approach from the Europeans to East Africa,' said Herman Kiriama, the lead archaeologist from the National Museums of Kenya.

"'Because they came with gifts from the emperor, it shows they saw us as equals. It shows that Kenya was already a dynamic trading power with strong links to the outside world long before the Portuguese arrived,' he said.

"And that is profoundly influencing the way Kenya is thinking about its current ties to the East."
*cue Chinese government throwing a ball*

Remember when a Western scholar dared to suggest that Europeans enslaved and colonized Africans because they saw us as equals (last paragraph)?  Does anyone else remember that?  Because I never stopped thinking about that ridiculous nonsense, and I find myself wondering if Kiriama's word choice was deliberate.

And this is just the beginning.  Who knows what else they'll find?  All I know so far is that China has been interacting with Africa longer than the West, and in all that time, the Chinese never caused anywhere near the damage the West did.

Wow...that's telling.

12 comments:

  1. It's telling alright. What's left to see is how the Chinese are going to handle things currently.

    "While the evidence is still not conclusive, it undermines Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama's claim to have been the first international trader to open up East Africa."

    This is total nonsense but we know that already. They should consider replacing "the first international trader" with "the first European trader". European =/= International and claiming this ignores not only the Chinese but also the Arabs, the Indians, the Jews, the Persians, the Malays...

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  2. Remember when a Western scholar dared to suggest that Europeans enslaved and colonized Africans because they saw us as equals (last paragraph)?

    Wait, what? Who the fudge cookies enslaves their EQUALS?! Flaming idiot.

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  3. I think it is pretty well established among those who care for evidence and not myth making about "who discovered what" and who go their first. I watched a long program on the History Channel about all the different ethnic groups that made it to the Americas and before Columbus. Notably the Polynesians who were experts at ship building and surviving long periods on the water because they traveled with chickens which provided a built in continuous food supply. Anyway the Polynesians definitely made it to South America and there is evidence they made it to North America as well.

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  4. those who care for evidence and not myth making

    And Western scholars love their myths. They'll have you believing they were the first to do everything.

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  5. Remember when a Western scholar dared to suggest that Europeans enslaved and colonized Africans because they saw us as equals

    Whaaaa????? Damn, even an elementary school student would know that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

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  6. At some point, they'll be forced to alter their mantra "scientific evidence will prove..." because science is proving what the non-"white" world has already known because common sense is just that... common (at least among those with sense).

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  7. How da Gama never mentioned Chinese presence/influence in East Africa? If they beat him there by a century, he would've known; he would've seen. How come that little tidbit of info didn't make it back to Europe?

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  8. @ Ankesen Mie - And lose out on being "The First", if only through ignorance of the masses? ;)

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  9. You gotta wonder ,though. I mean, explorers were being financed by monarchs. If I were the one financing da Gama's little road trips, that's the sort of intel I'd really want to know...you know?

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  10. Sometimes it did. It's just that history teachers downplay or ignore elements that don't present a certain view. Or the explorers themselves do. Columbus for example was a pathological liar, contradicting even himself in his own journals. Cognitive Dissonance and narcissism are also factors to a certain degree.

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