FOR the past few weeks we have been looking at the presence of blacks in Asia, particularly in China.
So, just how African are the Asians?
The Chinese are called ‘yellow people’ owing to their skin colour.
They also identify themselves as blacks, owing to the colour of their eye and hair colour.
Unless a Chinese or other Asians are albino, they exclusively have black hair and eyes.
When the Chinese see foreigners, they identify themselves first with other Han and Mongol families, such as Koreans and Mongolians, then with other East Asian groups, like Tibetans and the Japanese.
Afterwards, they identify with Indians as well as Arabs and then Africans.
The only characteristic the Chinese share with whites is a pale skin colour which was brought about by miscegenation with whites, in addition to climatic adaptation to lands distant from the African heat.
The rest of the physical and genetic characteristics of the East Asians are more than three quarters similar to early human and African people like the Bushmen and only a quarter similar to Caucasians.
Contemporary Chinese who are ethnically Han carry a paternal genetic marker called ‘Y ht (haplotype) O’, as do the people of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
Considering that ‘Y ht A’ is found among Bushmen groups, like the Khoi, ‘O’ comes much later on the human genetic marker tree.
The pure Mongolian found in places like Mongolia which is located north of China carries the ‘C’ genetic marker. He evidently intermarried with northern Caucasians who belong to the ‘Y ht N’ family and conceived the ‘Y ht O’ offspring we now see dominating East Asia population wise.
‘Y ht P’ and ‘Q’ belong to their kinsmen who became Red Indians in America.
The Chinese share their averagely short height, high cheek bones, squint eyes, yellowy complexion, black hair, black eyes, broad nostrils and non-aquiline lips with the African Bushmen and their descendants.
The Chinese do not typically take a racist stance against blacks.
They are curious people mostly because they were a closed society, sanctioned and isolated by the US from the early 1950s to the late 1970s.
So it is understandable when they over-gaze, feel Afro hair or take pictures of African people.
Otherwise, the Chinese seem to admire blacks, particularly athletes such as NBA players.
They have always had a deep reverence for blacks and many of the Buddha statues that were preserved from long ago are of blacks, whom they bow down to and burn incense for.
These include the Bodhidharma, the Buddha that was associated with introducing gongfu or martial arts (wushu) to Shaolin China.
As for whites, the Chinese have had a bad perception of them in the past.
The Great Wall of China was built to fend off Barbarians from the north.
These Barbarians were white.
It is, however, important to note that the Great Wall’s construction began before the contemporary Chinese race of the Han entered China.
It was built during the Zhou Dynasty, when much of China was still black.
Constant attacks by whites on Mongols led the latter group to take extreme measures.
As was the case with Tshaka Zulu, whose warmongering was born out of the need to defend against the coming of Boer whites from the Cape, so were extremist Mongols like Genghis Khan born out of the need to defend against barbarian whites from the north.
The whites again clashed with the Chinese when the British threatened to addict China’s whole population to opium and syphon away its revenue.
When they attempted to stem this Western-induced drug pandemic, Britain declared war on China.
Two wars ensued and after losing both of them, China became a semi-colony to European nations like Britain, France and Germany.
Britain took away Hong Kong and their presence there was hated by most Chinese.
They were treated as third class citizens after whites and Indians and called derogatory names like ‘Chinks’ and ‘Monkeys’ by whites whom they called Western devils (xigui) and ghosts.
Today, the Chinese do not trust whites at all.
They are very suspicious of them and often exclusively spy on, deport or arrest American and European whites over security issues.
Whites use negative propaganda against the Chinese, accusing them of using child labour, destroying the environment, oppressing their own people and depriving them of human rights.
This is similar to the negative propaganda used by whites against blacks in film and media which has, in turn, corrupted people’s perception of our race.
The Chinese really behave like Africans in many respects. Their traditional diet and staple crops can be found here in Africa.
Millet was the staple grain of China before rice, which was engineered out of millet, and wheat, which was later introduced to them from Europe.
They continue to use millet to prepare porridge and congee.
Before using rice, they used millet to prepare their traditional wine in the same way as is done in Zimbabwe.
Finger millet (rukweza), pearl millet (mhunga) and sorghum (mapfunde) were the staple grains in Zimbabwe as well, that is, until the Portuguese introduced maize from the US where it was engineered from terracotta grass by ancient groups like the Mayans.
Since then, many Africans have made maize their staple crop.
Similarly, the Chinese also value maize, particularly before it dries or is ground into flour.
They either boil or roast the maize and eat the kernels off the cob like we do here in Africa.
Traditionally, they would process all grains with the mortar and pestle which are known as duri and mutswi in chiShona.
They would then use winnowing baskets that we call rusero to remove the chaff from the grain.
This typically African activity is still commonly seen at many rural homesteads in south-east Asia.
The Chinese also prepare large kernel air-popped corn which we call maputi in Zimbabwe.
However, the Chinese often sweeten theirs in addition to salting.
The Chinese love peanuts and they share the same traditional nut preparation style as Zimbabweans; namely boiling with salt and seasoning and then drying them. They also eat them boiled and unshelled or shelled and roasted.
Peanut butter is also widely used in the Chinese cuisine, just as it is used in traditional Zimbabwean dishes.
Traditionally, the Chinese used grinding stone kits to butter their peanuts.
The same grinding stone kit is used in Zimbabwe and is called guyo and huyo.
The sweet potato is widely grown in Asia and Africa, so much so that one may be misled to believe it is indigenous to those continents.
The Chinese boil or roast the sweet potato the same way we do here in Zimbabwe.
The Chinese also consume pumpkins and watermelons, both of which came straight out of Africa.
They also consume sugarcane.
The African influence in East Asia is evidently strong, this is owing to the fact that the presence of Africans there predated that of modern Asian people and Africans sailed frequently to and from the far east.